The Devil


in later Hebrew and in Christian belief, the supreme spirit of evil, who for immeasurable time has ruled over a kingdom of evil spirits and is in constant opposition to God. The word is derived, via the ecclesiastical Latin diabolus, from the Greek diabolos, an adjective meaning 'slanderous," used also in ancient Greek as a noun to identify a person as a slanderer. The term was used in the Greek translation of the Bible, the Septuagint, not to refer to human beings, but rather to translate the Hebrew ha-satan ("the satan"), an expression originally used as the title of a member of the divine court who functioned as God's roving spy, gathering intelligence about human beings from his travels on earth. Because aspects of this heavenly figure were probably drawn from experience with agents of ancient Middle Eastern royal secret services, it is not surprising that the satan should also be seen as a character who attempts to provoke punishable sedition where he finds none, thus acting as an adversary of human beings, bent on separating them from God. In all speculation about the satan, the major problem being addressed is that of the origin and nature of evil.

In later Jewish tradition, and thus also in early Christian thought, the title becomes a proper name; Satan begins to be seen as an adversary not only of human beings but also—and even primarily—of God. This development is probably a result of the influence of Persian dualistic philosophy, with its opposing powers of good (Ormazd) and evil (Ahriman). But in both Jewish and Christian systems, the dualism is always provisional or temporary, the devil being ultimately subject to God. In the writings of the Qumran sect the devil emerges as Belial, the Spirit of Wickedness (see Dead Sea Scrolls).

In some strains of rabbinic thought, Satan is linked with the "evil impulse," which is thus personified to some degree. This personification is a Jewish form of the widespread and ancient assumption that human beings can be subjected to malevolent forces distinct from their conscious minds. Thus, both in Judaism and in Christianity the belief is found that human beings can be "possessed" by the devil or by his subordinates, the demons.

Perhaps the core of Christian teaching about the devil is that Jesus Christ came to break the grip he and his demons have on the whole of humanity (the "possession" of some is a symptom of the general domination of all), and that in the crucifixion the devil and his henchmen, working their worst, were doomed, paradoxically, to ultimate defeat.

In the Middle Ages the devil played important roles in art and in folklore, being almost always seen as an evil, impulsive animal-human with a tail and horns, sometimes accompanied by subordinate devils. The thought that the latter could take up residence in human beings served more frequently to differentiate the possessed from the normal than to indicate something about the state of all humanity.

The complexity, mystery, and corporate nature of evil have caused some thinkers to believe that a place must be found for the devil even in modern thought.

my animations here
Sweet at Heart
Broken at Heart
Dark at Heart Animations 
Angels & Fairy Animations
Rainbow Colored Animations
Dark Humor Animations 
Dark & Evil Animations
Dark at Heart Screen Savers
Dark at Heart 2
Christopher Stokes Blog
Quantum Science News
Cyber Network News
Vintage Video Games
Visit me on Google+
Follow Us on Twitter

#evil #evilopedia #eviland #dark #darkness #demons #devils #death #die #bloody #skulls #Halloween