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Was the Devil in the bible the true villain?

 
 
Reply Wed 21 Nov, 2012 06:34 pm
I will be honest because I truly do not know but what does the bible say about the devil? I guess I was always caught up in the good things Like Jesus and so forth But when I reflect back on the devil he seems more like a skeptic than a evil being.
Is it wrong to be skeptical about the religions that you disagree with and if not why would it be wrong for other religions or even atheist to be skeptical about your religion? To me this is a scientific discussion to one degree or another.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 9 • Views: 3,129 • Replies: 32
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Lustig Andrei
 
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Reply Wed 21 Nov, 2012 07:20 pm
@reasoning logic,
Interesting topic because most of what we think the Bible says about the Devil isn't in the Bible at all. It's all later church interpretation and interpolation. For example, in the Old Testament book of Genesis nowhere does it say that it was the Devil that tempted Eve to eat the forbidden fruit (and nowhere does it imply that this fruit was an apple). The culprit is simply referred to as"the serpent" throughout. It's only theologians of a much later age who decided that "serpent" must equal "devil."

We don't really get much (if any) mention of something that could legitimately be called "the Devil" until the New Testament. It does say that when Jesus spent 40 days meditating in the desert, the Devil came to tempt him. But this is a faceless sort of demon, lacking any personality or discernible evil traits.

The Devil as we know of him is really the invention of the Medieval priesthood. I don't know just where the notion of the tails and horn came in. Maybe Wikipedia has something on that; I'll have to look it up. There is a further problem about identifying the Devil in old Christian writings because they were mostly written in Latin. Now the Latin language largely dispenses with such niceties as definite and indefinite articles, something we're used to seeing in English. So later translators, running across a word like diabolus in a Latin text had no way of telling whether the original author meant to say "the Devil" or "a devil," referring to an insignificant evil spirit, an imp.
reasoning logic
 
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Reply Wed 21 Nov, 2012 10:22 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
Thank you for sharing. It seems that you have shared a lot of truth with us and if some of it may seem wrong to others I am sure someone would challenge you on it.
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Ceili
 
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Reply Wed 21 Nov, 2012 10:43 pm
The devil was the first disgruntled employee.
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rockpatel
 
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Reply Thu 22 Nov, 2012 06:03 am
As humans we love to love our villains. ... as various Bible passages will clearly indicate the real meaning behind Satan and the devil.
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rosborne979
 
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Reply Thu 22 Nov, 2012 06:33 am
@reasoning logic,
Hypothetically speaking, if your religion were contingent on followers having pure Faith in everything you said, without question, then skeptics would be the bane of your religion (it's Devil, ultimate evil, destroyer... )
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djjd62
 
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Reply Thu 22 Nov, 2012 06:42 am
to quote a wise man, Thomas of Waits

Don't you know there ain't no Devil, there's just God when he's drunk
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izzythepush
 
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Reply Thu 22 Nov, 2012 10:05 am
@reasoning logic,
You might want to check out Paradise Lost.

http://www.enotes.com/paradise-lost-text
Lustig Andrei
 
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Reply Thu 22 Nov, 2012 03:58 pm
@izzythepush,
izzythepush wrote:

You might want to check out Paradise Lost.

http://www.enotes.com/paradise-lost-text


Great poem, Izzy, but John Milton's take on the Devil as a rebel with just cause is a country mile from anything even remotely connected to Christian theology, either Biblical or as part of a later exegesis. Ant the OP was referring specifically to the Bible.
izzythepush
 
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Reply Fri 23 Nov, 2012 02:28 am
@Lustig Andrei,
I know, but RL is quite tied up in Christian mythology, so I thought he might like to see something inspired by the Bible, as well as by what was going on at the time.
reasoning logic
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Nov, 2012 01:50 pm
@izzythepush,
Quote:
I know, but RL is quite tied up in Christian mythology, so I thought he might like to see something inspired by the Bible, as well as by what was going on at the time.



Thank you Izzy, You know how much I like mythology. Wink

If we were to step away from mythology just for a moment and talk about reality, what would your view point be about Farage?

Lustig Andrei
 
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Reply Fri 23 Nov, 2012 07:57 pm
Couple of minor things that might or might not be relevant: Satan is mentioned in the Old Testament in just two places -- I Chronicles and the Book of Job. The name Satan apparently comes from the Hebrew Ha-Satan which simply means 'the adversary' or 'the enemy.' It's usually rendered in modern Semitic languages (Arabic, Hebrew) as Shaitan. In the New Testament, in the Book of Revelations, the devil is referred to as 'the dragon' in several passages and as 'the old serpent' in others. (Connecting Devil to Serpent again, as is popularly done inGenesis; see my post above).

Don't know what that has to do with anything but I thought I'd keep the thread going. Maybe someone more knowledgeable has something to add.
reasoning logic
 
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Reply Fri 23 Nov, 2012 08:14 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
Quote:
Don't know what that has to do with anything but I thought I'd keep the thread going. Maybe someone more knowledgeable has something to add.


I would not count on that and I truly do not mean that in a sarcastic way, "You have been outstanding in what you have shared and I agree, "it would be nice to hear from others who have a mind similar to yours.
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izzythepush
 
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Reply Sat 24 Nov, 2012 04:33 am
@reasoning logic,
Farage is an arsehole, about as far right wing as you can get without dipping into fascism. Btw, I spend a lot more time talking about political realities than belief systems. It's your threads that have a religious bent not mine.
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izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Sat 24 Nov, 2012 06:34 am
@reasoning logic,
Without repeating myself, you might find this comment of interest re Farage and UKIP. Also this thread is more suitable for this topic.

http://able2know.org/topic/202222-1#post-5174957
Smileyrius
 
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Reply Sat 24 Nov, 2012 07:30 am
So the story goes, born out of jealousy the Devil was the challenger to Gods right to rule. Mankind is playing out humanities part in a great debate that results in Gods plea at Proverbs 27: 11.

I am pretty sure that a devil such as pictured by christianity would not be able to tempt so many as a third of the angels of the heavens to join him in his rebellion. Based on his achievements, I imagine he is quite a charismatic leader, a great strategist and very good to his own.

his image has been heavily influenced by hellenistic mythology (i.e Hades, the god of the underworld) and platonic theory through the early christian era, and compounded as Lustig mentioned by the fire and brimstone teachings of medieval christianity, using the devil to frighten the bejeesus out of the commoners into tithing to the church.
reasoning logic
 
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Reply Sat 24 Nov, 2012 07:39 am
@Smileyrius,
Quote:
I am pretty sure that a devil such as pictured by christianity would not be able to tempt so many as a third of the angels of the heavens to join him in his rebellion. Based on his achievements, I imagine he is quite a charismatic leader, a great strategist and very good to his own.


Very well said, Something for Christians to think about.
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Frank Apisa
 
  1  
Reply Sat 24 Nov, 2012 07:41 am
@reasoning logic,
Almost doesn't matter if it was a villain or not, RL.

The serpent and "the lord" both told Eve certain things in the Book of Genesis...and it can be argued that the serpent told the truth and "the lord" didn't.

Not sure that makes either of them a villain, but it does seem to make "the lord" a liar...or at least, mistaken.

reasoning logic
 
  1  
Reply Sat 24 Nov, 2012 08:29 am
@izzythepush,
Thank you for sharing Izzy. I will be honest I think that mess will be resolved by Greece. From what I understand Greece is going to save Europe. Idea

reasoning logic
 
  1  
Reply Sat 24 Nov, 2012 08:34 am
@Frank Apisa,
Quote:
The serpent and "the lord" both told Eve certain things in the Book of Genesis...and it can be argued that the serpent told the truth and "the lord" didn't.


When I reflect back on the bible where the Devil tempted Jesus to through himself over the cliff, I think that the Devil was calling the Jesus miracles BS. Hell if you can walk on water you might as well see if you can walk on air too.
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