Where Did Satan Come From? Which Religion Gave Birth to the Devil? Read to Know All about Satan!
Satan has various aliases - the Devil, Beelzebub, Prince of Darkness, and Lucifer. Throughout mythology, and even in popular culture, there are many references to the church of Satan, how to summon Satan, Satanism, etc.
Besides Christianity, the other religions and cultures also refer to an evil figure or the Devil. But, have you ever wondered where did Satan come from? Where did the story of the Devil originate?
Read on to find out about Satan -the idea that gave rise to popular cults, including the church of Satan, and rituals of how to summon Satan.
The Common Conception in Religious Cultures
In Abrahamic religions like Christianity and Islam, Satan is usually perceived as a fallen angel. In Judaism, Satan is a representation of an evil agent who is subservient to God. In all these religious cultures, Satan is a metaphor of evil incarnate. This notion is as opposed to the pure and sacred concept of anything Godly.
The word “Satan” is etymologically Hebrew, meaning “adversary” or “accuser”. The name first appeared in the Hebrew Bible. Here he was cast as an ordinary human or supernatural body that opposed any good deed.
Yet, the word “Satan” does not appear in the Book of Genesis. Instead, the “Serpent” in the Book of Genesis is more popularly considered as a representation of the evil spirit that relates to Satan.
The Origin in Judaism
The actual origin of the term and idea of Satan goes way back before the advent of Christianity. And it was not only one religious culture that shaped the initial idea, but two - Judaism and Zoroastrianism.
In original Judaism, there was no such embodiment of evil properly represented. Even though the idea of bad as opposed to good existed. It took shape with the influence of Zoroastrianism.
The time traces back to the Second Temple Period (516 BCE to 70 CE) of Jewish history when the Jews were living along with the Achaemenids. The Achaemenids followed Zoroastrianism.
From there, the Zoroastrian God of evil, Angra Mainyu, influenced the Jewish conceptions of Satan. The present concept of Satan as an opponent of God thus took shape through Jewish pseudepigrapha of the Second Temple Period.
Satan in Christianity
The Book of Genesis does not directly mention Satan. Christian religious texts, including the Book of Revelations and the New Testament, refer to Satan directly. In the Book of Revelations, Satan finds representation as a supernatural ruler. One who brings sorrow and sin in the world.
The Book of Revelation is also responsible for painting the most known image of Satan in popular culture, the one with horns and tails.
Satan represents a metaphor of a fallen angel in the Book of Revelations. Here he fights against Archangel Micheal and his army of angels. In this great fight, Micheal defeats Satan, imprisons him and cast into the "abyss".
The imprisonment of Satan signifies the beginning of the concept of Satan as the ultimate evil incarnate who rules Hell. The New Testament represents Satan as the evil supernatural body which tried to persuade Jesus with his vice and temptation.
The concept of the church of Satan was also a Christian development. As the name suggests, it is essentially an opposition to the idea of the church of God or Jesus. The cult of the church of Satan gave rise to the cult of Satanists - those who worship Satan.
There have been relative developments in the cults, including rituals on how to summon Satan, how to please Satan, and more. Satan’s another alias Lucifer which means "morning star" or "light-bringer" has consequently strengthened the cult of the church of Satan.
The original idea of Satan finds relation to Zoroastrianism-influenced Judaism. The notion of Satan that exists today is a result of all these ideas consolidated into one.
Yet, all these ideas in religious cultures and mythology have one thing in common. It is the idea of evil as opposed to the idea of good, and Satan originated from this particular construct.
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