Truth, Understanding, Insight

N.T. Satan

27th March 2011, hej


9) Summary:

Of the twenty contexts in two, satan is used as a rebuke for an obstacle, one of whom was Peter. It is used clearly as meaning 'an obstacle', 'weakness' and 'an enemy'. These are consistent with meanings in the Hebrew scriptures.

Twice it is used in relation to a parable which is meant to obscure rather than reveal (Matthew 13:13 Mark 4:2).

Three times it is used to describe a thought that comes into a person to betray or lie.

Three times Paul seems to use it to refer to Roman authority, and two other times it is unclear who the enemy/adversary might be.

By Paul and Y'shua it is used seven times in letters to the servants to describe false Christians. Twice satan is a characteristic of a symbolic entity called 'the dragon' which is clearly in the symbolic 'picture' an enemy and an adversary of true believers who suffered persecution, and hid from its face in the wilderness.

[As an aside the persecuted congregation was forced in 'the wilderness' by the dragon the same length of time Daniel predicted the Jews would suffer (1260 years) at the hands of the beast:

Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. (Daniel 7:23-25)

Zechariah speaks of two olive trees from one lampstand. Revelation speaks of two witnesses.]

Some conclusions

The term 'the satan' has a specific range of meanings. It was used of an angel of God in the Hebrew scriptures. It is used of Peter and the God-given affliction of Paul in the New Testament. Also God caused the delusion of those adversaries associated with the use of 'satan', which was false belief (a lie), because they loved not the truth. Due to the narrow range of the incidents, and knowing the role of God, a Christian may wish to be wary of using the term 'satan', other than precisely how it is used in the scriptures.

Satan seems a special Hebrew word, and must not be separated from its Old Testament meaning.

As 'satan' was transliterated into Greek and not translated, there must have been no translation that fully captured the ideas. 'Satan' is therefore not interchangeable with 'diabolis' which can be easily translated into English or Hebrew, and always indicates an evil 'slanderer'.

For more, an investigation of Anti Christ