In June 2016 I shared HOAM 49 from ‘The Bible Delusion’, regarding the invention of Satan. Here is Appendix B, to which it refers, for anyone who would like further details of when, how and why Satan was created.
The Invention of Satan, Lucifer or the Devil.
Referenced from HOAM 49.
The only references to ‘devils’ in the OT do not refer to the concept of Satan, but rather to pagan worship. There are only four that I could locate.he KJV contains no statement in any of the writings attributed to Moses about how the devil (Satan) came into being. The Old Testament (OT) contains no mention of him. That is because the Hebrews did not, and Jews still don’t, believe in such a creature. Until the New Testament (NT) was constructed, which occurred several decades, to even centuries, after Christ purportedly lived, such a character is not mentioned anywhere at all. As with the Holy Ghost being a NT creation, with some fifty references, and none in the OT, so is the devil or Satan, with an equal count of about fifty NT areas of reference; the name itself being used in one way or another, many more times than that. Neither one is referenced anywhere in the OT at all. (In Judaism, the Holy Spirit is simply the mind or will of God).
Leviticus 17:7. And they shall no more offer their sacrifices unto devils, after whom they have gone a whoring. This shall be a statute for ever unto them throughout their generations. (Bold added to all four of these quotes).
Deuteronomy 32:17. They sacrificed unto devils, not to God; to gods whom they knew not, to new gods that came newly up, whom your fathers feared not.
2 Chronicles 11:15. And he ordained him priests for the high places, and for the devils, and for the calves which he had made.
Psalm 106:37. Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils.
‘Satan’ and also the ‘Holy Ghost’ are Christian inventions; Satan serving to create fear, for the purposes of early Christian scribes as they created their new religion: Christianity. The Jewish ‘HaSatan’ (the Satan), God’s adversary, sits on God’s council in the OT, but is erroneously equated in several instances to the idea of the Christian devil who first appears in the New Testament.
HaSatan’s true role is adversarial; he is not autonomous, but rather works for God, needing his permission before embarking on any venture. In Judaism, HaSatan is not evil.
The best known references to HaSatan are in the book of Job. Consider a little of the conversation between HaSatan and God. Job 1:6-12 and 2:1-6 are almost identical. (The Bible is often very badly edited).
Job 2:3. And the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man.
HaSatan taunts God in v.5 and says “put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face.” God takes up HaSatan’s challenge and grants him permission to test Job:
Job 2:6. And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.
Without God’s permission, HaSatan can do nothing. The only other OT references to the character are these, where he is always under God’s control:
Zechariah 3:1-2. And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. And the Lord said unto Satan, The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan; even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?
1 Chronicles 21:1. And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.
Psalm 109:6. Set thou a wicked man over him: and let Satan stand at his right hand.
In reality, many references to the devil or devils in the NT simply refer to the condition of a person who was probably either mentally ill or prone to fits, which in the modern world would be considered totally differently to the way such things were viewed two thousand years ago. For example, in Luke 8:2 Mary Magdalene is “healed” of evil spirits and infirmities, “out of whom went seven devils.” How did anyone ever know there were seven? Most theologians agree Luke was written by the same anonymous author as Acts, many years after the time of Christ. None of the NT writers ever knew or even met Jesus, and Luke was just ‘ascribed’ somewhere around the second century CE, to the Luke named in Colossians (a doctor and disciple of Paul). That is, it was simply ‘assigned’ to someone; in this case, the Luke that Paul speaks about. Perhaps there was no one else who they could think of to choose as an ascribed author.
However, no one really knows who wrote Luke, and scholars are equally divided as to whether it is even historical. So, notwithstanding that problem, who was there to actually see and count each of the seven devils that left the infirm Mary Magdalene? Why does that not happen any more? It is perfectly clear that the ‘devils’ were not actually real in this or any other New Testament instance.
A further huge error made by many is to consider that Lucifer is Satan. The idea stems from a single reference to the word – in Isaiah.
Isaiah 14:12. How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
Lucifer is a Latin word. In the original Hebrew text, the fourteenth chapter of Isaiah is not about a fallen angel; rather it is about a fallen Babylonian king, who, during his lifetime, persecuted the children of Israel. There is no mention of Satan, by name or even by inference. Many years after Christ supposedly lived, the proper name, Jesus Christ, evolved and it was early Christian scribes writing in Latin (which was used by the Church), who appear to have decided that they wanted the story in Isaiah to be about a fallen angel, a creature not mentioned in the original Hebrew text (or even believed in by the Jews) and to whom they gave the name ‘Lucifer’ for their own reasons.
In Roman astronomy, Lucifer was the name for the planet we now know as Venus, which is another Roman name. In Hebrew it reads ‘heleyl ben shachar’, which literally means ‘shining one, son of the dawn’, according to Young’s Literal Translation. This phrase refers to the planet Venus when it appears as a morning star. It is translated in the Septuagint (third century translation from Hebrew into Greek) as ‘Eo(u)s phoros’ which also means morning star or dawn god of light, i.e., our ‘Venus’ as a morning star.
The name ‘Lucifer’ appears nowhere prior to the idea being introduced into scripture in Jerome’s Latin Vulgate. It wasn’t actually an error in Latin, as ‘lucifer’ also actually means the same thing – Venus as a morning star. Isaiah was using the metaphor of a bright light in the heavens to represent the power of the Babylonian king who then became faded or fallen. It was as simple as that. What it has subsequently been constructed to represent, thousands of years later by Christians, I find incredulous. It is as theologically far from actual truth as you can possibly get.
God never introduced the Christian idea of Satan. Isaiah lived during the late eighth and early seventh centuries BCE. The Vulgate was written in the early fifth century CE. Well over a thousand years had passed before ‘Lucifer’ appeared as a word in Isaiah. Only after that interpolation did Christians equate it to the devil. It would have been impossible for the Hebrew prophet, Isaiah, to have used the term to mean the devil, for the simple reason that they did not and do not believe in the devil. It would completely contradict their devout idea of monotheism, as giving power to another creates dual gods.
To recap: Jews do believe in ‘THE Satan’, but the concept is radically different from the Christian idea of the devil. Jews believe in neither the devil nor hell. ‘The Satan’ has no power and is an angel who works FOR God, not against him. He must obtain permission from God for everything he does. He is described more as a prosecuting attorney (the Hebrew word for ‘The Satan’ literally means ‘adversary’), who must accuse and show evidence against a defendant. He is the accuser and is actually a member of the divine council; he is not an evil being at all.
The Satan must obtain permission from God to begin any work. There are but few references to ‘HaSatan’ in the scriptures (translated as ‘The Satan’) and in each appearance he is controlled and his work is ‘permitted’ by God for His own purpose. This character is completely different from the Christian idea of the devil.
Consider how the Jews (who originally wrote this stuff) view Job 2:3-6.
“And the Eternal said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil? And still he holdeth fast his integrity, although thou Satan movedst me against him, to destroy him without cause. And Satan answered, the Eternal, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life. But put forth thy hand <God’s hand> now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face. And the Eternal said unto Satan, Behold, he is in thine hand; but save his life.”
Satan has no power and no authority and must get God’s permission to tempt Job or to do any other work FOR God. It is impossible that Isaiah 14:12 refers to Satan falling from heaven as that is theologically incompatible with Judaism and these scriptures are Jewish, NOT Christian. Whilst Christians have two entities, God and the devil, so did the Romans, in Jupiter and Plato, and the Greeks, in Zeus and Hades. However, Judaism is truly monotheistic in that they perceive the very idea of an independent devil creates polytheism within a religion, as each one has power and authority NOT controlled by God. To the Jews this is anathema and ‘the Satan’ is in the employ, under the direction, and control, of God – in a role that Christians would not readily understand.
“For God, the Bible, and for Judaism, to have an entity that competes with God, that has power and authority of his own in opposition to God, is to violate the basic idea of monotheism.” (Rabbi Stuart Federow).
The Jewish idea that God creates good and also evil is clearly stated in the Bible. Take a look at Amos 3:6, Jeremiah 18:10-11, and especially Isaiah 45:7, for example.
Whilst to Christians, the idea of Satan being synonymous with ‘Lucifer’ sounds rational and is quite acceptable, unfortunately it stems from Christian NT propaganda rather than the Old Testament. To the Jews, who (and I hate to keep labouring the point), actually wrote the Tanakh or Old Testament, God is truly monotheistic, there is NO competition. He creates everything, good and evil. However, evil is usually manifested in man rather than in what God does. If God ‘allows’ bad to happen it does not make him evil. Man is quite capable of that on his own.
To quote Steven Weinberg, “With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil – that takes religion.”
The reality is that Hebrew scribes who eventually wrote and constructed all the material in the Old Testament relating to the four thousand years before Christ came along (even that idea is in serious doubt by many), were Jews; they did not believe in or practice any of those things at all. That this is the case is abundantly clear from the Tanakh and Jewish theology.
However, Christians are wrong in their interpretation of it. The concept of Satan, like so many other myths, evolved over many hundreds of years, but is assumed, by modern Christians, to have always existed because the Church infers it. However, in reality, he was never a creature believed in by any of the OT prophets, other than in the form of ‘the Satan’ as described above. Early Bible writers did not believe in or teach any such doctrine as the Christian idea of ‘Lucifer’ being Satan.
It is an irony that the same title ‘(bright and) morning star’ or ‘light bearer’ (Greek ‘phos-phoros’ or ‘light bearer’) appears in 2 Peter 1:19 and Revelation 22:16, as in these instances it refers specifically to Jesus. In fact, in Revelation, Jesus is calling himself ‘the bright and morning star’. You could here equally translate the Latin word ‘lucifer’; thus, in these instances, Lucifer would be Jesus Christ and in Revelation you would have Jesus actually calling himself Lucifer, which would be perfectly correct in its proper context.
A harmless word was knowingly misused in order to create false doctrine, designed to frighten and control early Christians. The harmful, and sometimes devastating, effects of that fear and control are still felt throughout Christianity today, and all from the deliberate misuse of a single word. The myth of Lucifer, coupled with the doctrine of the fall, created an evil theology which only came into play in Christianity in the fifth century CE. Some claim that Isaiah wrote ‘dualistically’, but that is highly improbable and he certainly did not relate the idea of the bright and morning star to Satan, as the Jews did not and still do not believe in him (as already reinforced several times).
The actual invention of Lucifer as the devil was just Christian propaganda designed to brainwash Romans and Greeks into rejecting their pagan gods and accepting the new Christian God. Millions of books were burned, eliminating records which would have revealed the truth behind the fallacious teaching.
An amateur historian could readily be forgiven for not noticing the mistake concerning Lucifer, as in the case of one Dr. Peter Forshaw, an Historian in Renaissance Magic. Within a TV documentary on the philosopher’s stone, he was talking about crystal gazing and actually said (in passing) “If scrying is about invoking and communicating with angels, the problem is, how do you know if it is a good or a bad angel? Lucifer was after all the most beautiful angel; he fell. How do you know the angel you are talking to isn’t a bad angel, manifesting as a good one, leading you astray, leading you to damnation?”
He was using something familiar, but not researched, in order to illustrate a different point entirely. He cannot be blamed for not knowing the truth behind the scripture he referred to; he probably wouldn’t even know where to find it. He is an historian, not a theologian; he just used it because he assumed it would be familiar to most people, so his audience could appreciate his point. The very fact that he confidently referred to Lucifer falling, expecting all and sundry to readily know the story, just shows how most people, including Dr. Forshaw, seem to accept as factual, many things they are told, without proper questioning prior to accepting them.
Had he added, ‘the fictitious (or mythical) story of…’ that would have been more accurate, but that might have raised other questions, detracting from the actual point he was making, which concerned scrying or crystal gazing, a method where people pretend they can magically commune with angels.
The king of Babylon was referenced in Isaiah 14. ‘Lucifer’ was inserted as an interpretation of the king’s name in the fifth century CE. It was falsely associated with the new Christian idea of Satan or the devil, thus altering the previously intended meaning entirely, showing that God did not use the name of Lucifer to depict the Christian idea of the devil. It was absolutely not God’s name for the devil and it appears absolutely nowhere in any biblical scripture as such. Fifth century Christian scribes conveniently created the whole concept of a devil for their own purpose.