1. notleia says:

    (Of course, Lantom is right. You see, just as with resurrection, the truth of the Devil wasn’t known to the ancient Hebrews. Therefore, the Old Testament Jews recognized him wrongly before the prophets and the revelations of the New Testament showed his true nature and history.)

    It’s kind of amazing how much the Bible doesn’t talk about the Devil, and how much people assume is Biblical that’s actually more Miltonic, from Paradise Lost. Though I have to say, this is the neatest handwave I’ve seen to dismiss and excuse the literary evolution of Satan/the Devil for the sake of imposing an overarching Biblical narrative.

    I’ve probably linked this here before, but it’s still relevant: https://isthatinthebible.wordpress.com/2015/02/06/princes-of-darkness-the-devils-many-faces-in-scripture-and-tradition/

    • Except Jesus Christ Himself treated the Devil as a real, personal, malevolent entity.

      References available upon request.

      And even apart from the Bible, Father Lantom’s logic is sound. Some people might want it to be so. Because if there’s no Devil (and therefore no hidden spiritual dimension of good/evil), then humans shoulder the blame for even more evil. We are even more totally depraved than certain religions would remind us we are.

      • notleia says:

        With the exception of the Temptation of Jesus thing, I can’t think of a passage where it couldn’t be interpreted as a metaphor or allegory. The various demon possessions that Jesus handled? Not specifically Satan. And that’s not even addressing the elephant in the room as to what the things they interpreted as demon possession actually were. Mental illness?

        There’s more than one way around the text besides literalism.

  2. Tim says:

    It’s a fact that there are passages in the OT that can sort of hint or presage at the ultimate truth, but that don’t give it until Divine Revelation is completed in the NT writings. For some reason, God only gave hints that caused folks to slowly, over millennia conjecture on issues, until the Son of God came and clarified much of the confusion of these things. Of course, more confusion exists and will until the New Earth, because it is not called a “mystery” for nothing.

    Why did God do that? Who knows? Perhaps he was, as Lewis theorized, preparing his people, or as Chesterton theorized, strengthening the truth before having Christ come down. But it is true that the Devil does exist, that resurrection is a fact,s o on, according to Our own Lord’s words.

    • notleia says:

      Except you need to preface this with a giant ACCORDING TO MY HERMENEUTIC.

      Did you know that the Orthodox Church doesn’t even bother with the concept of original sin? Similarly, I knew a pastor of a Church of Christ (the weird ones who don’t like instrumental music) who took a historical interpretation of Revelations rather than a futuristic view, and since he was CoC you can bet your butt he had the scriptural citations to back it up.

      Literalism is just one interpretation, and I find it a very limiting one.

  3. Tim says:

    A historical interpretation to the Book of Revelations is not that unusual or revolutionary. It’s been debated for years. I DON’T take a “literalist” interpretation to the entire Scriptures. I am willing to allow that more than we believe is symbolic. But a few things I think are fundamentally true to the Christian faith. I have many opinions, but can debate them all, so I will just stick to some key elements. There are evil angels called demons, they are not just opposing counsels in Heaven’s courtroom but truly evil, we are all sinners on the way to Hell, Christ died for our sins, the Godhead is Triune, the Lord Jesus Christ will come back for us, and the earth will be renovated to the New Earth.

    As for my review, any thoughts there. I want thoughts on Daredevil. (exaggeratedly teasing whiny voice)

    • notleia says:

      EXCEPT, the phrase “fallen angel” appears exactly nowhere in Scripture. 😛

      As for Daredevil, I’ve heard people say that Matt’s partners make more compelling characters than either Daredevil or Kingpin. I haven’t followed the show myself because it’s not really my thing, but it sounds like quite a few people preferred the more realistic characters than the navel-gazey, idealized ones. Though I dunno if “idealized” is the word I want, though I do mean it more in the sense that these characters represent ideas and concepts more than plausible humans.

      There’s always a certain tension between how people are and how they should be, but what’s the point where it starts sounding up its own butt?

  4. In response to Notleia’s comments:

    That the Devil/Satan is a literal personal being there can be no doubt when reading Scripture. “Fallen angel” simply comes from the verses that speak of Lucifer’s fall from heaven.

    “How are you fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! …For you have said in your heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God… I will be like the most High. Yet you will be brought down to hell…. Is this he that shook kingdoms?…” -Isaiah
    “And the great dragon was cast down, the old serpent, he that is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world; he was cast down to the earth, and his angels were cast down with him.” -Revelation 12:9
    As to Satan being a literal person. Yes, there is the temptation of the Lord Jesus… but there is also the earlier account in the book of Job.
    “Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them.” -Job 1:6
    There is far more including Zechariah 3… But you can go beyond the Bible texts and find numerous supportive texts that aid in the context of the Devil/Satan/Lucifer as a literal personality or “fallen angel.”
    I would point out that the book of Enoch corroborates the fall of the angels.
    Beyond that consider the earliest history of the church from Eusebius (whose chief concern was the preservation of the apostolic tradition and not the interpretations of his day). The early church believed in Satan.
    There is a lot of effort being put forward today to change our perception of what the Bible is, what it teaches, and how it should be applied. Our focus should be understanding apostolic tradition because only in reading the works of Christ’s immediate followers can the truth remain. Historical tradition is a powerful thing. There’s no need to reinterpret it. We are no wiser than the generations that came before us.

    • notleia says:

      Yes, the early church believed in Satan, but their concept of Satan wasn’t exactly the same as ours. It certainly wasn’t the same at the time of the writing of Job, where Satan is freakin’ hobnobbing with God.

      Christianity did not spring fully formed from the forehead of Paul. There is very little of a continuous Christian tradition.

      As for the Isaiah reference, Lucifer was a term for the planet Venus, and with Lucifer being a Latin name, Isaiah wouldn’t’ve used it. Another reason literalism fails is that translation to English only gets you so far.

      • Job was the earliest of all the Biblical books, so tradition does not support your position on this.

        As to Christian tradition there is a very strong continuous tradition all the way back to the Lord’s disciples. Christ’s own brother, James, was killed in Jerusalem for preaching the same tradition. And an uncle of the Lord died a martyr’s death when he was very advanced in years because he would not renounce the same Christian tradition.

        Your assertion that Lucifer was a term for Venus is incorrect. Venus has often been known as the morning star, not son of the morning. I have long been a student of astronomy and even secular astronomers laugh when they hear the assertion that Lucifer is another term for Venus.

        If you are making these assertions you need to give us the source material. What references support your claims? What extra-biblical works substantiate them? I have given some of my source material. What is yours?

        • I just had to make one more comment 🙂 Jesus himself said that he saw “Satan fallen as lightning from heaven.” There is much support for the personhood of the Devil.

          I will also note that there are misconceptions as to Lucifer meaning Venus, however these appear founded in astrology and not actual observable science. There is a strange assertion that Saturn equals Satan, and Venus equals Lucifer. …Enough said, mysticism is not the answer to anything.

          • notleia says:

            If you’re meaning to distract me into arguing about the name Lucifer, it’s working, because I can argue about words all day.

            Lucifer more or less means “light-bearer,” so it’s conceivable that it could be used as a poetic name for the brightest, shiniest thing that isn’t the sun or moon. Like “son of morning,” or are you going to start arguing that Lucifer/Satan is a child of the goddess Aurora?

            • Conceivable, yes. Applicable, no. 😉 I’m not sure what you mean by that Aurora reference. I made it quite clear astrology should have no bearing on this discussion. But astronomy certainly should.

              The most important question here is: What are your source materials? In order to disprove the personhood of Satan you would need to show evidence comparable in ancient reference to the authority of Job.

              • notleia says:

                Wait, what? You’ve never read Greek mythology? What kind of Philistine rock do you live under?

                But if we can’t even get past a passing reference to Aurora, there is nowhere near enough time and space in this comments section to explain comparative mythology to you.

                BUT SERIOUSLY, did you never get even a drive-by survey of Classical mythology when studying pretty much every Renaissance or Romantic poet or FREAKIN’ SHAKESPEARE??? If you haven’t even read Shakespeare, you need to get right the heck off my lawn. I’m not supposed to be deploring the state of education at my age.

      • dmdutcher says:

        Not sure its that specific. The word means bright star, and to be honest I’m not sure how that verse is interpreted as meaning Satan at all. They are talking about The king of Babylon, not Satan, in that prophesy.

        It might be from that school of exegesis that sees Song of Solomon as being a metaphor for God and the church. The link between Babylon and the world/Satan is a historically Christian one, and that might be why that verse has the dual interpretation. I don’t know though.

  5. dmdutcher says:

    There are many passages where it’s not an allegory:

    Luke 22:31 has Jesus mention Satan desires to sift Peter like wheat, and one is several verses where Satan is mentioned as a specific adversary. Like Luke 13:16 mentions that Satan has bound a woman for 13 years. The “jesus in the wilderness” stories have him being tempted by Satan, and you can see in the NT the idea of a specific adversary being said, one who isn’t used by God, but who is actively hostile to him. You also see this in the epistles, where Satan is seen to roam like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

    I agree there is some evolution from the OT to the NT, as the OT seems to have a general adversary that may be used by the Lord. But I think the idea of a specific tempter/adversary is not a historical addition over time, but emerged in the canon more or less fully formed. I do agree the sort of miltonic Satan, or the Satan of pop culture is not Biblical, and we really need to be careful about how we meld ideas to scripture.


    • Tim says:

      I think that, personally, there is more evidence for a metaphorical basis for the Devil’s fall from Heaven due to Our Lord and other NT writers. In Canon, they are just as the Word of God as Christ’s words. God inspired, tempted, whatever, the writers to say what they did. But there is only one portion that could possibly refer to SoS, and that is very sketchy. So there is more of an evidence than the ridiculous Song is an allegory idea.

      Also, there is an amazing amount of stuff that, as I stated before, came about in the inter-Testament period, that was clarified by Our Lord Jesus. Some of it was around before that, in Job, David, so on, but here we learned the truth so far as God sees fit in His wisdom to clarify it to us. It sort of was the separating of myth from True Myth.

      • dmdutcher says:

        Yeah, i’m not really definite on how that style of exegesis works, so  I only mention my own confusion. It’s not really a judgment on it.

        The intra-testament stuff, i don’t know. Reading the Book of Enoch (after playing El Shaddai: Ascent of the Metatron) showed me that there’s a good reason why those books aren’t canon; they say things about God that aren’t true. In that book, God refuses to show mercy to the angels that fell when they petitioned him, and even went so far as to say He’d end their kids (nephilim) too. I think it’s a bit dangerous to use them as standards.

  6. Julie D says:

    Okay, getting back to Daredevil and away from the hermanuetics lesson… this makes me even more curious to get into it, but I don’t have a Netflix subscription. How long are the trials?

What do you think?