Now, one may ask, who is Satan? I will be very blunt in answering this; there is no Satan, as Satan is not a who, especially in Judaism and the ancient religions of the Levant, (11) nor in Mesopotamia. In these early religions, there was no such thing as an anti-God, or some anti-deity or devil, that always opposes the will of God, and who drags sinners into some burning hell, after death, to forever punish. (11) The two religions that would have believed in an anti-God was those of the pagan Roman and Greek people, (Hellenists), and those who practiced pagan Zoroastrianism, which was mainly in what is now, Iran, and was their state religion by 600 BCE. (11)(12)(13) Zoroastrianism had reached Mesopotamia, the Levant, Egypt, Macedonia, Lydia (eastern Turkey), Cyprus, and to the borders of Greece over the reach of the Persian Empire conquering the lands by 500 BCE. Over this, the Greeks had the Persian pagan Zoroastrianism religious belief intermixed with their own pagan and pantheistic God of the underworld and wealth, Hades. Thus, they had pagan dualism in their religion from both sources. (12)(13) Hades was said to be known of as far back as Homer’s mythical Iliad (in print during the 8th century BCE, but the story is said to go back to circa 1260–1180 BCE). However, by the 5th century BCE, due to fear of the name, they called Hades by a new name, Plouton (Pluto), just as the Persians had conquered the lands close to Greece.
Zoroastrianism had also reached the many islands between Turkey and Greece in the Aegean Sea. One island in particular, Patmos, was where John of Patmos wrote the Apocalypse (Revelation). (12) The Apocalypse mirrors the pagan and dualistic end of times story of God fighting an anti-God in Zoroastrianism. However, some scholars believe that this Greco-Roman Zoroastrian apocalyptic theme was used to write about the downfall of Nero Caesar, (Roman Emperor from 54-68 AD), along with the downfall of the Roman Empire at his time, and not a devil. In the story, in this case, it is Nero Caesar that is being called the satan, anti-God, or anti-Christ, where his name equates 666 in Aramaic numerology. Some will try to cite the book of Daniel, claiming that it is linked to John’s apocalypse, and state that the Apocalypse is futuristic over this, but the text of Daniel was actually written after and while things were occurring, and was a metaphor for those occurrences, so it was not a prophecy about the future of a coming messiah. Scholars state that Daniel never existed, and that the author of the cryptic text was writing about the Greek king, Antiochus IV Epiphanes (175–164 BCE). That is confirmed by Judaic and other history. There was a reason why the Orthodox Christians did not want the Apocalypse (Revelation) to be added to the Bible.
The word, satan, is a Hebrew word, a noun from a verb or descriptive title, meaning adversary, nothing more. In the Tanakh, it is always written as “ha-satan or הַשָּׂטָן” (hstn), which means “the adversary”, but in Kings, it is written as “satan or שָׂטָן” (stn), where it means an army. Another way to describe the word, satan, is any adversary, which can be anyone or anything. (1)(4)
Below, I quote Elaine Pagels, PhD, (10) from her book, “The Origin of Satan,” 1995:
In biblical sources, the Hebrew term, “the satan” [ha-satan], describes an adversarial role. It is not the name of a particular character. Although Hebrew storytellers, as early as the sixth century B.C.E., occasionally introduced a supernatural character, whom they called “the satan”; what they meant, was any one of the angels sent by God, for the specific purpose of blocking or obstructing human activity. [sic]
Next, I quote, Dr. Helen Bond, M.Theol. PhD, Univ. of Edinburgh, Scotland:
There’s no kind of prince of darkness; somebody who stands in opposites to God. Throughout most of the texts, there’s no concept, at all, of an evil force.__Quote from “The History Of The Devil.” [sic]
Within the Tanakh, the word, satan, is not used but in very few instances, and I will name a few here. In one place, and one of the most important, is in Job, where “ha-satan” (hstn) was an unnamed angel, who “questions the sincerity of mankind’s loyalty to God, by putting forth the argument, that any given human is only loyal because God gives her or him prosperity”. (1) To this, God agrees, and commands this angel to cause “various misfortunes upon Job, as a test of his faith”. (1) Here, the angel’s name was not Satan. Quoting Job 1:6: “Now the day came about, and the angels of God came to stand beside the Lord, and the Adversary [ha-satan], too, came among them.” In 1 Chronicles 21:1, the satan, ha-satan, entices or “moved” David into taking a census. This is peculiar, because the same story that was told 500 years earlier, gave God as doing this deed (remember this). (1) In 1 Samuel 29:4, the Philistines state: “lest he [David] be an adversary against us”, so here, David is the adversary or the satan, “ha-satan”. In 1 Kings 11:14, it states that God “stirred up” an adversary or a satan upon Solomon. Last, satan was used to describe an army, in 1 Kings 5:17-18, where it does not mean a devil nor a singular person.
1 Kings 5:17-18, from The Complete Jewish Bible, with the full correct Hebrew to English translation, and with both scriptures compared:
(17) You knew my father, David, that he could not build a house for the name of the Lord his God, because of the wars which surrounded him, until the Lord put them under the soles of his feet.
Above, the adversary is satan, or in Hebrew, שָׂטָן
Job 1:6-9, from The Complete Jewish Bible:
(6) Now the day came about, and the angels of God came to stand beside the Lord, and the Adversary, too, came among them.
(7) The Lord said to the Adversary, “Where are you coming from?” And the Adversary answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth and from walking in it.”
(8) Now the Lord said to the Adversary, “Have you paid attention to My servant Job? For there is none like him on earth, a sincere and upright man, God-fearing and shunning evil.”
(9) And the Adversary answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing?”
The original Hebrew does not say Satan, but ha-satan, in Job. Here “the satan” is ha-satan, or Hstn, which, in Hebrew, is: הַשָּׂטָן
The Christian use of a devil, named Satan, an anti-God or fallen angel for that matter, came from the early church’s Hellenistic clergy, such as Paul of Tarsus (5-67 AD), Philo of Alexandria, (25 BC-50 AD), Justin Martyr (100-165 AD), Origen Adamantius of Alexandria (185-254 AD), and Tertullian of Rome (155-240 AD), whom, like Paul, were Hellenists. (8) Paul taught a Hellenistic Christian view at Antioch, after he was converted, where it flourished. The Hellenism of the Greeks and Romans taught of many pagan Gods, and one in particular was Hades, the Greek God of the underworld. Here, Hades supposedly held souls in a purgatory (a Greek place known as Tartarus) as a punishment, before releasing the soul to go on. The Jews had something only slightly similar to a purgatory, in that, after death, a wicked soul would drift around the Gehenna, (Hebrew Ge Hinnom), for a few days, which is a small valley outside the walls of Jerusalem, (derived from the valley of the son of Hinnom), which had rubbish heaps set alight, where the sinful soul would drift around, and become purified after a few days before going on. (That valley is now built up with homes, see the photo below). The Christians ignore this, and call Gehenna Hell or Purgatory. There is no punishment of hell fire and brimstone in Judaism, nor some anti-God, devil, nor fallen angel creating it at the Gehenna in Judaism. (11) Judaism states that the soul will either dwell in the Sheol, or will go to God. (22) Later, around the second temple period, a belief in resurrection came into being for the Pharisees and the Essenes, who argued against the beliefs of the Sadducees. According to Josephus, who was a Pharisee that defected to the Roman side, thus acquiring their Hellenistic and other teachings, he stated that: “the Pharisees held that only the soul was immortal and the souls of good people will be reincarnated,” and “pass into other bodies,” while, “the souls of the wicked will suffer eternal punishment.” There was some belief of this in ancient Sumeria. Next, we have Paul, who also claimed to be a Pharisee (8), and states at 1 Corinthians 15:44, when speaking about the resurrection, what “is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.” Paul then states at 1 Corinthians 15:50: “Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.” In other words, a dead body will not be raised to go to heaven, only the soul. In Acts 24:15, Paul, in his defense to Felix, stated: “And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.” Here, though, by his other writing, he meant the resurrection of the dead’s soul. The difference is, that Paul preached an end of time resurrection, that some Jews did not believe in, and that the book of Jubilees “seems to refer to the resurrection of the soul only, or to a more general idea of an immortal soul.” (5) (22)
When we look at what Josephus wrote, one can see his use of the Greco-Roman Hellenistic influenced punishment by Hades, after death, and he had a not widely held belief in reincarnation, which is generally from the Hindu religion, (see the Persian Hindu Kush region on map), that came to the Levant with the Persians, though reincarnation was also mentioned in ancient Sumerian writing in a hymn to the Goddess Nungal. Next, we have Paul, whose knowledge of Judaism has been questioned by several biblical scholars, especially Rabbis, over his writing, though Paul claimed to be trained in Rabbinical Judaism, that of the Pharisees. In this instance, though, Paul was correct, in that after death, the soul leaves the body and goes on, just as Rabbinical Judaism teaches, and the ancient Sumerians. One can find proof of this at Ecclesiastes 12:7: “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” Also, there is Genesis 6:3, which states: “And the Lord [Adonai] said, My spirit shall not always strive with [live in] man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.” Thus, as God states, when one dies, the soul, a part of God’s own spirit, leaves the body. The few instances of a resurrection, in the Tanakh, was about a resuscitated body at that time, and not at a later end of time resurrection. (21) Thus, the soul is gone before the body is buried or entombed. It leaves at the time of death.
The “Ge Hinnom” or Gehenna, which is a small valley outside the old walls of Jerusalem, also known as the Valley of the Son of Hinnom. It is now built up with homes.
The very mention of an anti-God, fallen angel, or anti-deity goes completely against early Rabbinical Judaism, (doctrine of the Pharisees), which is what Jesus preached a form of, along with his brother, James, and also, Peter. (11) In Isaiah 45:7, God said that he was the one to “form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.” (2)(3)(11) All the way through the scripture of Tanakh, it is written this way, in that God commands the evil to be done, by a satan, an adversary, which can be anyone or anything, (such as an army), and that man makes his own sin, different than God’s evil, since God gave man free will. Sin is nothing more than breaking the old sacred laws of the land; laws much older than Judaism. The Ten Commandments originated from these older Assyrian and Sumerian laws. (11) To believe in some evil entity, such as an anti-God or anti-deity, who is always trying to counter God or who creates evil and sin, is dualistic, paganistic, polytheistic, and pantheistic. (11) It would also be considered blasphemy, by saying that God did not do or state what he stated he did in Isaiah 45:7. Evidently, the early Christian church leaders did not care about this scripture, nor about going against the doctrine in Tanakh, including Paul, as he admitted to doing anything to gain a convert, even lying or stealing. In Acts, it states that James and Peter made Paul agree to keep the old Jewish and Noahchide law at the Council of Jerusalem, but he broke his word after he left, and still preached and wrote things that were Hellenistic. On top of this, after the early churches clergy invented a Christian devil, (Hades and Typhon renamed Satan), the church used it to its advantage and sold indulgences to the rich, telling them that their soul would not have to stop off in purgatory to be punished, by Satan, once the Pope or clergy signed the indulgence.
Below, I quote Rabbi Tovia Singer, on the subject of satan:
Although this well-known Christian doctrine has much in common with the pagan Zoroastrian Persian dualism from which it spawned, it is completely alien to the teachings of the Jewish Scriptures. In fact, this Christian notion that [the] Satan, in an act of outright defiance, ceased to function as God had intended him to, suggests that God created something imperfect or defective. [sic]
Next, I quote Rabbi Dr. Raymond Apple:
The word Satan figures in the Hebrew Bible, but not as a proper name. As a noun it denotes an adversary; as a denominative verb, to oppose or obstruct or be hostile. It is sometimes used in a human sense; in Psalm 109:6, for instance, it suggests the counsel for the prosecution in a court of law. [sic]
Below, is the scripture that states who creates evil:
Isaiah 45:5-8, KJV
(5) “I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:
(6) “That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else.
(7) “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
(8) “Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open, and let them bring forth salvation, and let righteousness spring up together; I the LORD have created it.“
There are also these other verses that back up Isaiah 45:5-8:
Lamentations 3:37-38, KJV
(37) “Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not? (38) Out of the mouth of the most High proceedeth not evil and good?”
Deuteronomy 30:15, KJV
(15) “See, I [God] have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil.”
Amos 3:6 KJV
(6) “Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? Shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?”
Exodus 9:14 KJV
(14) “For I [God] will at this time send all my plagues upon thine heart, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people; that thou mayest know that there is none like me in all the earth.”
However, there is a bit of New Testament scripture, that those who preach about a mythical devil, named Satan, can’t wiggle out of.
(22) Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. “Far be it from You, Lord!” he said. “This shall never happen to You!” (23) But Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me. For you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”
Peter was no devil, nor was he a fallen angel, but he was impeding Jesus as an adversary, or a “stumbling block”. Here, the word is most assuredly used correctly, just as it is when spoken by any Jew, whom speaks Hebrew today.
Also, the church clergy tied Luke 10:18 KJV (“And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.”) Latin Vulgate: (et ait illis videbam Satanan sicut fulgur de caelo cadentem; And he said to them: I saw Satan like lightning falling from heaven). to Isaiah 14:12, because they sounded similar, even though they are about two entirely different circumstances and times, to concoct the lucifer equals satan fallacy. However, it gets deeper, when one actually reads all of Luke, chapter 10, and one can see that this satan or adversary was Jesus and the apostle’s adversary, and this same adversary was the townspeople mentioned in the scripture that were also called “devils” or daemonia from plural of δαίμων in the Latin Vulgate, such as the people in Capernaum, where in Luke 10:15, Jesus states “And thou, Capernaum, [the city and the people] which art exalted to heaven, shalt be thrust down to hell.” Latin Vulgate: (et tu Capharnaum usque in caelum exaltata usque ad infernum demergeris; And thou, Capharnaum, which art exalted unto heaven, thou shalt be thrust down to hell). The word, satan is used correctly, here, (except for the capitalization), as the town and people were an adversary or stumbling block to the apostles ministering, which Jesus cursed, saying that he would throw them to hell, where he said that he saw that they would fall like lightning, just as the word, satan, was used in Matthew 16:22-23. These verses in Luke, also reminds one of the Hellenist scribe’s, (who wrote Luke), myth of Zeus casting Typhon to Hades, does it not? It seems that those Hellenist Gospel scribes loved capitalizing the word, satan, as if it was a proper name, when it is not.
Yet, the very Christian churches, whom use the Christian Bible that contains the scripture quoted above, believe in a false God, an anti-God, demigod, or fabricated Hellenist fallen angel, that God supposedly has no control over, something imperfect, a mistake that God created, when laying evil to an entity. God creates evil, God does not make mistakes, and God has control of all, as the creator states in Isaiah 45:7. Those very pastors and priests love telling the laity that the Old Testament should not be read, only the New, and one wonders why? Why was the Tanakh even included in the Bible, if one was not meant to read and understand it? What a contradiction!
Next, we have the Christian apologetics, who claim that a physical satan is mentioned in 1 Chronicles 21:1, and that it is an angel’s name. However, that is not so, when we look at the earlier source for this, 2 Samuel 24:1, which was written anywhere from 200 to 500 years earlier. Let us have a look at the two.
1 Chronicles 21:1
(1) And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel. (written 400–250 BC)
2 Samuel 24:1
(1) And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah. (written 700 BC to 550 BC)
In this instance, God was the satan or the adversary. This is a well known argument by the Christian apologetic, where they try to deny that God was called satan, or a satan, but in fact, he was, as the book of Samuel is much older, and is the source for the Chronicler. Any Rabbi will explain the same thing.
It is said that the belief of the satan, or the adversary becoming a devil, or an anti-God or fallen angel, sprang from Persian Zoroastrianism, and made its way into at least one sect of Judaism, the Essenes, before the time of Christ, and some believe that Jesus and the apostles believed in this, over what is written in the New Testament. However, Jesus was a Pharisee and a Nazarite, who was from the people whom became the “Nazarene sect” of Galilee, after Jesus’ death, and not the Essenes. The scripture of the New Testament, especially the Gospel of Mark, the oldest, which the other Gospel writers copied, was written after Jesus and the apostles were dead, generally about a year after their death, by the early Hellenistic Catholic scribes, whom believed in Greco-Roman and Zoroaster’s dualism, and their pantheistic God, Hades (renamed Pluto). The fallen angel myth came from the story of Zeus defeating Typhon, where Zeus cast Typhon down into Tartarus, (the underworld or purgatory), which is also similar to the story from the apocryphal books of Enoch, that also had its roots in Persian Zoroastrianism. We know from the book of Acts, that both James and Peter still associated and consulted with Rabbis, in Jerusalem, when they were asking about what the Judaic laws should be, for which the newly converted Jews and Gentiles must abide by, in order to be seen as clean and holy. Mainstream Rabbinical Judaism, that of the Pharisees such as in Jerusalem, did not believe in the pagan devil, a fallen angel, nor any anti-God, as the Hellenized Essenes had started to believe in. Peter was a Galilean Jew, who founded the church at Antioch, but we know from Acts that he did not agree with what was being taught there by Paul. The Tosaphist, Rabbi Tam, wrote that Peter was “a devout and learned Jew, who dedicated his life to guiding gentiles along the proper path.” The Galileans became known as the fourth sect of Judaism, the fanatical Zealots, which was formed by either Hezekiah during the time of Herod (73 BCE–4 BCE), or it was later developed more by his son, Judas of Galilee, around 6 AD, (18) whom were supposedly a strict form of the Pharisees that were fanatically against the Greco-Roman Hellenists. Those Nazarites (apostles and followers), who became the Nazarene Sect after Jesus’ death, were located within these Galilean borders. (18) The Zealots had a “zeal” for the strictness of Jewish Law, and they were strict to enforce it, along with being against all forms of Hellenism (Greek and Roman theology). (18) James (James the Just), Jesus’ brother, was from the same area, and of the same beliefs. James was titled as the “Bishop of Bishops, who rules Jerusalem, the Holy Assembly of Hebrews, and all assemblies everywhere”. The Gospel of Thomas states that Jesus made his brother, James, the leader of his church, not Peter, though Peter was in Jerusalem with James. To me, this sheds much doubt that Jesus, James, nor Peter believed in the Hellenist thoughts of the Essenes, as it is known that the Nazarites did not believe in many of the things that the Essenes did. Some state that John the Baptist, who taught Jesus, was an Essene, (20) but according to several scholars, that has not been proven, and that he was most likely a Pharisee who believed in ancient baptism, or cleansing by water. (19) According to the Jewish Encyclopedia, “the angel Gabriel announced John’s birth to Zacharias [his father] while the priest stood at the altar offering incense, and told him that this child would be a Nazarite for life.” (20) Thus, John the Baptist upheld and taught the doctrine of the Nazarites. At Matthew 5:17-20, Jesus states that he was a Pharisee, taught the doctrine of the Pharisees, and stated that not one jot or tittle should be changed in the Jewish law. Since it was John the Baptist who taught Jesus, one can make a conclusion from this.
Christian literalists go on to say that satan was the serpent in the tree of knowledge in Eden. This idea comes from the Jewish pseudepigraphic and apocryphal books titled 1st and 2nd Enoch, first written around 200-300 BC, but some of it later, (which are not biblical canon to either the Jews nor most Christians, and are tied to Persian Zoroastrianism), and the book of Genesis. Judaism considers Enoch a work of fiction or bogus, and the Torah’s books, such as Genesis, are all metaphorical and allegorical, thus, they can not be taken literally. The final version of the Torah was written by the Jews, to cover up their earlier practice of pantheism and polytheism, after or during their captivity at Babylon. Before their captivity, during their first twelve kings, many worshiped more than one God, and believed in the pantheon of ancient Mesopotamia that had spread to Canaan. Afterwards, they declared El or Elil (Ellil in some writing) to be their National God, becoming monotheistic. Here, the God, Enlil, became the Canaanite God, Ellil or Elil, (both meaning the God of the air), and the Jewish God, El of the Elohim (6)(7)(9), where they later merged the stories of the Gods Anu, Enlil and Enki into one. The serpent of Genesis is not found in the original Sumerian creation story, as it was Enlil’s half-brother, the God Enki, (the God of wisdom and the waters, not of the underworld), who had started to educate man, after he and his sister, Ninhursag (Belit-ili), the womb Goddess, (14) had created man and woman on Enlil’s orders. The snake has always been an ancient symbol for knowledge, and it is metaphorically placed into the tree to show that it is the tree of knowledge, in place of Enki. Thus, the books of Enoch are shown to be what they are, completely fictional and nonfactual, with an unknown author, which is why they are in the apocrypha! Another instance of this, was that Enlil sent the plagues and the flood, and Enki told Utnapishtim / Ziusudra / Atrahasis or Atra-Hasis to build an ark to save the humans. Atrahasis or Utnapishtim, later, became the Noah of the Jews. A good bit of the metaphorical Torah can be found in the Sumerian, Akkadian, and Babylonian epics and stories, though the Jews changed them around, and renamed the characters to Jewish names, to suit their religion.
There was a Mesopotamian God of the underworld, supposedly fathered by Enlil, named Nergal; syncretised with the God Birtum, (Birtu, Birdu, the same God as Nergal). However, Nergal is not similar to any anti-God, nor a devil, as a punisher of wicked souls. Birtum had a consort, the Goddess Nungal (Queen of the Ekur), (23) and of the underworld, who held the tablet of life and judged the wicked. Ekur means “mountain house of the Gods” similar to Greek Mythology. Nergal was worshiped in some parts of Mesopotamia. Also, this Gods popularity seems to have died out and had never spread that far, as his stories were merged with the God, Ninurta. Both of these Gods were also known as the God of War and destruction, and Nergal was associated with the planet, Mars. They had more in common with Enlil. Thus, as the ancient religions spread west, Nergal/Ninurta, later become the Greek God, Mars, the God of war. The Goddess, Nungal, may have ended up becoming the root of the Greek God, Hades. However, other minor God’s stories were intermixed with Nungals. Curiously, Enlil supposedly fathered another God, the Baal of Tyre named Melqart, who Jezebel worshiped. Most likely, Melqart was a God created by merging the tales of Anu, Enlil, Enki, and the other Gods, the same as the Jews had done with Anu, Enlil, and Enki. The worship of Melqart, was what brought about the war that led the Jews to declaring a National God, El or Elil, (Enlil). Enlil was the same God who brought war and destruction to Ur, over worshiping false idols, and who Abraham swore his allegiance to in Mesopotamia. The Babylonians had created the same type of merged God, with their God, Marduk, who they proclaimed was their National God. It is also said that Zoroaster did the same, by combining or merging all the ancient Persian Gods into two, thus creating his dualistic Gods named “Ahura Mazda” and “Angra Mainyu or Ahriman.” Later, the Persians claimed that their enemies, such as in war, were Ahriman or “devil” worshipers in their propaganda. Doesn’t that sound familiar?
From this use of the word, “satan”, as an anti-God, one can date the authorship of the New Testament books to be written after Jesus and the apostles were dead, somewhere around 70 AD to 170 AD, after the second temple fell, when the new Christian church’s Hellenistic writers would have invented an anti-God, by changing the name of Hades or Pluto into Satan, and using Zeus defeating Typhon and casting him to Tartarus, for the story of a fallen angel. This supported the Persian Zoroastrian myth of an anti-God, and later, a devil. Biblical theory states that this Satan was created to convert the Greek and Roman pagan polytheists to Christianity, who believed in Hades, along with the Persian Zoroastrians. Here, it followed the story of the Persian Magi, Zoroaster, who suggests the dualistic belief that there are two Gods, one evil and one good, whom are always fighting. (12) Zoroastrianism also spoke of a tale similar to the apocalypse, with two God fighting at the end of time. (11)(12) The early Catholic church also used this mythical Satan as a scare tactic, to provoke people into converting, as now they had a supernatural villain who would punish the convert’s soul, badly, for an eternity in the afterlife, if they did not follow the new church and its dogma. Worse, the Catholic church’s pope and clergy sold indulgences, which the rich purchased, that supposedly gave them a pass on punishment, or bought a deceased ones freedom through or from the mythical pagan purgatory, where this pagan Satan (Hades or Pluto) supposedly punished the sinners, before letting the soul go on. They made much money from this, and it is the primary reason for Luther’s ninety-five theses. This, then, developed into Protestantism, which led to the Enlightenment, and the revolutions in Europe and the United States.
A sample of Christian Americans were polled by Barna on their Christian belief. Many still affirmed that God is the all-powerful Creator, but a mere 17 percent of the Catholics, 18 percent Methodists, 20 percent Episcopalians, 21 percent Lutherans, and 22 percent of the Presbyterians, told Barna, that they thought Satan was real.” (16) That poll was in 2001.
Also, from another poll: “The notion that Satan, or the devil, is a real being who can influence people’s lives, is regarded as hogwash by most Americans. Only one-quarter (27%) strongly believes that Satan is real, while a majority argues that he is merely a symbol of evil. Mormons are the group most likely to accept the reality of Satan’s existence (59%) while Catholics, Episcopalians and Methodists are the least likely (just one-fifth). (17)
The New Testament tells us where sin and evil originate, and it is not some anti-God or fallen angel. We can find the truth of the matter in both Mark and Matthew below.
Mark 7:21-23 KJV
(21) For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, (22) Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: (23) All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.
Matthew 15:18 KJV
(18) But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. (19) For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: (20) These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.
There is an old saying of mine that goes along with the above two pieces of scripture, and that is: “out of heart, out of mind”. Sin is created by man alone, within his mind, by his ego, vanity, greed, hate, bigotry, want, and jealousy. When man acts upon this, he is his own satan. A sinner is nothing but a criminal who has broken the ancient laws (the Commandments) listed within the Volume of Sacred Law.
Last, I end with a famous quote by Gerald Messandé: “The framework of the three monotheisms [Essene Judaism, Christianity, Islam] had been erected. The Devil’s birth certificate was filled out by an Iranian prophet”.
- Satan at New World Encyclopedia
- Isaiah chap. 45, at the Bible Hub
- Isaiah chap. 45, at The Complete Jewish Bible
- Satan at Encyclopedia Britannica
- Resurrection at Wikipedia
- Enlil at Wikipedia
- Enlil at New World Encyclopedia
- According to the Jewish Encyclopedia, Paul was a hellenist, though he claimed to be a Pharisee.
- “Enlil appears frequently in ancient Sumerian, Akkadian, Hittite, Canaanite, and other Mesopotamian clay and stone tablets. His name was sometimes rendered as Ellil in later Akkadian, Hittite, and Canaanite literature.” See Here.
- Elaine Pagels née Hiesey, born Palo Alto, California, February 13, 1943, is the Harrington Spear Paine Professor of Religion at Princeton University. She is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship. She received her PhD in religion from Harvard University, in 1970.
- Rabbi Tovia Singer, from Outreach Judaism, on who satan is.
- Breyan Rennie: Zoroastrianism: The Iranian Roots of Christianity? Dept. of Religion, Westminster College, New Wilimington, PA., 2007
- Mary Boyce: A History of Zoroastrianism vol III, 1985.
- Ninhursag, also spelled Ninhursaga, (Sumerian) Akkadian Belit-ili. Encyclopedia Britannica.
- The Story of Atrahasis, Grand Valley State University.
- Barna Poll on U.S. Religious Belief—2001, Uwe Siemon-Netta, UPI. Retrieved from http://www.adherents.com/misc/BarnaPoll.html May 21, 2007.
- Religious Beliefs Vary Widely By Denomination, http://www.adherents.com/misc/BarnaPoll.html June 25, 2001
- Zealot, at the Jewish Encyclopedia.
- Marshall, I. H.; Millard, A. R.; Packer, J. I. (eds.). “John the Baptist”. New Bible Dictionary (Third ed.). IVP reference collection. ISBN 0-85110-636-6
- John the Baptist, at the Jewish Encyclopedia.
- See 1 Kings 17:17-24, 2 Kings 4:32-37, and 2 Kings 13:21.
- “Like all ancient peoples, the early Hebrews believed that the dead go down into the underworld [Sheol] and live there a colorless existence (comp. Isa. xiv. 15-19; Ezek. xxxii. 21-30). Only an occasional person, and he an especially fortunate one, like Enoch or Elijah, could escape from Sheol, and these were taken to heaven to the abode of Yhwh, where they became angels (comp. Slavonic Enoch, xxii.). In the Book of Job first the longing for a resurrection is expressed (xiv. 13-15), and then, if the Masoretic text may be trusted, a passing conviction that such a resurrection will occur (xix. 25, 26).” and farther in the text concerning later thoughts of resurrection, “By means of the “dew of resurrection” (see Dew) the dead will be aroused from their sleep (Yer. Ber. v. 9b; Ta’an. i. 63d, with reference to Isa. xxvi. 19; Ḥag. 12b. with reference to Ps. lxviii. 10 [A. V. 9]). As to the question, Who will be raised from death? the answers given vary greatly in rabbinical literature. According to R. Simai (Sifre, Deut. 306) and R. Ḥiyya bar Abba (Gen. R. xiii. 4; comp. Lev. R. xiii. 3), resurrection awaits only the Israelites; according to R. Abbahu, only the just (Ta’an. 7a); some mention especially the martyrs (Yalḳ. ii. 431, after Tanḥuma). R. Abbahu and R. Eleazar confine resurrection to those that die in the Holy Land; others extend it to such as die outside of Palestine (Ket. 111a). According to R. Jonathan (Pirḳe R. El. xxxiv.), the resurrection will be universal, but after judgment the wicked will die a second death and forever, whereas the just will be granted life everlasting (comp. Yalḳ. ii. 428, 499). The same difference of view prevails also among the New Testament writers; at times only “the resurrection of the just” is spoken of (Luke xiv. 14, xx. 35); at other times “the resurrection of the dead” in general is mentioned (John v. 29; Acts xxiv. 15; Rev. xx. 45).” http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/12697-resurrection
- Nungal. The Goddess Nungal held the tablet of life, and was the queen of the mountain house (Ekur) that the Gods resided on. She was also the consort of Birtum , and the Goddess of the underworld. She dealt punishment to the wicked, (after watching for truth and lie). The punishment was shame from the other dead, to where the wicked soul was shunned by the others. It is possible that this Goddess was the root of the Greek God, Hades, where they combined Nergal, Birdu, Namtar, Ninazu, and Nungal into one God. From a hymn to Nungal: “Mercy and compassion are mine. I frighten no one. I keep an eye upon the black-headed people: they are under my surveillance. I hold the tablet of life in my hand and I register the just ones on it. The evildoers cannot escape my arm; I learn their deeds. All countries look to me as to their divine mother. I temper severe punishments; I am a compassionate mother. I cool down even the angriest heart, sprinkling it with cool water. I calm down the wounded heart; I snatch men from the jaws of destruction. My house is built on compassion; I am a life-giving (?) lady. Its shadow is like that of a cypress tree growing in a pure place. Birtum the very strong, my spouse, resides there with me.” Here, she has some qualities of Hades, but Hades was not know for being forgiving or having any mercy. Also, the Nungal hymn mentions reincarnation for those who are not sinners, which is different from Greco-Roman mythology. Last, one must also remember that Nungal, along with the other deities mentioned, were subordinate to Enlil, Enki, Ninhursag , and Anu. They were minor deities, and were fathered by the elder ruling King/Gods and Queen/Goddesses, mainly Enlil and Ninlil. This being said, there was no insubordinate anti-God.
Dualistic: Originating from the word, dualism, which means the belief in two Gods, that are always acting counter to each other; a God and an anti-God. Zoroastrianism is considered dualistic.
Paganistic: The belief of paganism.
Polytheistic: The belief in more than one God.
Pantheistic: The belief in a pantheon of Gods, such as the Greek and Sumerian pantheons.
Hellenism: The beliefs and practices of the people who lived under the influence of ancient Greek culture during the Hellenistic period and the Roman Empire (c. 300 BCE to 30 BCE). These beliefs were intermixed with some Jewish sects, and became known as Hellenistic Judaism, thus, ancient Greek religious dogma was intermixed with Judaism, such as the stories from pantheism and polytheism. The Hellenists are responsible for the so-called apocrypha and pseudepigraphic apocalyptic literature (such as the Assumption of Moses, the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, the Book of Baruch, the Greek Apocalypse of Baruch, etc.) dating to the period.