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Edric O

An introduction to good and evil

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Is it true that the Bible describes that Satan was cast onto the earth, not down in hell? And if so, must that not mean that there is no hell?

The Christian New Testament turns Satan into a surpreme powerful being, independant of God and God's will.  He is a supernatural being capable of disobeying God, going against God, and dooming God's people to hell.

The word satan means "challenger", "difficulty", or "distraction" (note that it is not a proper name). With the leading ha- to make haSatan, it refers to /the/ challenger. This describes Satan as the angel who is the embodiment of man's challenges. HaSatan works for G-d. His job is to make choosing good over evil enough of a challenge so that it can be a meaningful choice. In other words, haSatan is an angel whose mission it is to add difficulty, challenges, and growth experiences to life

Contrast this to Christianity, which sees Satan as God's opponent. In Jewish thought, the idea that there exists anything capable of setting itself up as God's opponent would be considered overly polytheistic

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That's nonsense, purge, the act of seducement, as allegorized in Genesis and during Jesus' stay in the desert, is exactly the same. Just the basis for evil - if we are to dissolute its satanic personification and the "thing as itself" - is set into a more autonomous form of human. For the New Testament was about the gaps in the law, given by the Old one. Evil is done, but the God's will is always done as well, how can you write so manicheistically I have no idea...perhaps if you read too many neocon magazines  ::)

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Neocon?  Puhlease.  If you honestly believe that I suggest you delve into your "Old Testament" ASAP and familiarize yourself better.  This isn't neo-anything, it's scripture, and pre-Christian (which is - ironic in the face of your accusation - neo-Judaism) scripture at that.  Never forget that.

There are a number of cases when Satan is used interchangeably with "anger of G-d", such as 2 Samuel 24, and 1 Chronicles 21.

2 Samuel 24:

1 And again the anger of HaShem (G-d) was kindled against Israel, and He moved David against them, saying: 'Go, number Israel and Judah.'

2 And the king said to Joab the captain of the host that was with him: 'Go now to and fro through all the tribes of Israel, from Dan even to Beer-sheba, and number ye the people, that I may know the sum of the people.'

3 And Joab said unto the king: 'Now HaShem thy G-d add unto the people, how many soever they may be, a hundredfold, and may the eyes of my lord the king see it; but why doth my lord the king delight in this thing?'

4 Notwithstanding the king's word prevailed against Joab, and against the captains of the host. And Joab and the captains of the host went out from the presence of the king, to number the people of Israel.

1 Chronicles 21:

1 And Satan stood up against Israel, and moved David to number Israel.

2 And David said to Joab and to the princes of the people: 'Go, number Israel from Beersheba even to Dan; and bring me word, that I may know the sum of them.'

3 And Joab said: 'The HaShem make His people a hundred times so many more as they are; but, my lord the king, are they not all my lord's servants? why doth my lord require this thing? why will he be a cause of guilt unto Israel?'

4 Nevertheless the king's word prevailed against Joab. Wherefore Joab departed and went throughout all Israel, and came to Jerusalem.

On top of this, who was it that smote Sodom and the other cities?  Was it a fallen angel who had been tempted away from G-d's command?  If the fallen angel tempts us to fall, who tempted the fallen angel to fall?  Anyway, we read in the story of Sodom that it isnt some kind of fallen angel that brings death and destruction on Sodom and the other offending cities, but G-d's command.

Was it a fallen angel that destroyed the Egyptian army on the tail of the Israelites?  No, it was G-d's command.

Better yet, who allowed the Israelites to compile all the gold and jewelry that went into creating the golden calf, the idol?

35 And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they asked of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment.

36 And HaShem gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have what they asked.

The Israelites are leaving Egypt to go to the promise land, and yet they first go and take gold and silver, and jewely from the Gyptians for the trip?  Hahaha, come on, if that isn't a test in the making on G-d's part I don't know what is.  And lo and behold, all this gold, silver, and jewelry, mere days later, is used to create a golden calf so that the Israelites can worship a physical representation of the G-d who just brought them out of bondage.  We all know what G-d says about trying to represent him physically, or make idols to worship him through.  I mean really, and at that, you choose to represent your G-d with a calf, one of his many creations?

G-d created all things, the good and the evil, and all things are used by G-d to test one's faith and adherence to His Teachings (Torah).

The knowledge of sin and evil, which then gives birth to the temptation and inclination to sin and do evil has been turned into a personal, powerful being in the New Testament.  A fallen angel who was somehow powerful enough to seperate from G-d (despite angels in the Tanakh being obedient tools for G-d, with various jobs), oppose G-d philisophically, and even tempt G-d himself "in the flesh" to bow down to one of his own creations, and join him in *his* kingdom.  I don't see any basis for this in the Tanakh.

No reason to toss out baseless insults.

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I have read and heard people say that Satan was a rebel angel who took 1/3 of the angels, but I have read the New Testament and can't remember coming across such a story.

How do people come to the conclusion anyway that the different verses dealing with "satan" describe the same entity?

It seems more plausible to me that the idea of Satan, with a capital S as the opponent of God is a concept borrowed from Zoroastranian dualism.

[hide]this is off topic...[/hide]

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Term of satan isn't off-topic, when we have it in the right meaning, dh as a spiritual cause, a "way" (as in opposition to the way of Law, or the christian way of Jesus), or a psychological tendency of "being evil". Same goes for the census in the end of 2nd Samuel and 1st Chronicles 21: New Vulgata translates the first verse in Samuel as two verses, thus setting two subjects ("God" angering at his folk and "somebody" calling for the census) - as does the newer book of Chronicles. To understand, census was seen as an act of king's pride, that's why you may read further and find God to be angered about it (angered against own anger?) and punishing Israel. Well, New Vulgata is a catholic translation, but it seems to be clear enough ;)

Also, while there were written many acts of destruction caused by the God itself (well, let's count: flood, Sodoma, all against people and army of Egypt, Kanaan wars...), the word "satan" or "belial" or "asmodeus" or "rahab" or "balaam" or "נחש" is missing. So we should, to use a traditional empiricist method of induction, in search for the original meaning look for the more often uses in books of Genesis, Job, Tobias or Ecclesiasticus, where with those words are ment seductive powers, which are "given free ground" to enter human minds. While if the Judea in the age of Christ had so different philosophical atmosphere (in understanding of term "evil") as you claim, they wouldn't catechise Greeks by quoting Bible, but Gathas.

But of course. When we start to speculate about what kind of an angel is this satan, what are the odds of his power against the power of God...well I would leave such rhetoric for a chess-play. Evil is caused by free human choices, altough you are true in that, when we look for a cause of human itself, we find an infinity there, what some call God as well; so God is the cause even of your computer crashes...

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It's definitely only one verse in Hebrew in the Tanakh, and the translation from Hebrew to English.  Anyway, in the second half of the verse after it says "the anger of G-d" it follows "and He moved David against them" denoting that it was indeed one coherent sentence, and not the two sentences this particular Catholic bible apparently translates it as.

Satan in the Tanakh is used most of the time to denote the word adversary, and is used all through the Tanakh to describe opposition, adversary, etc.

4. But the officers of the Philistines were enraged against him, and the officers of the Philistines said to him, "Return the man, and let him return to his place, where you have appointed him, and let him not go down with us into the battle, lest he become an adversary (satan) to us in the battle. And with what will this one reconcile himself to his master? Is it not with the heads of those men?

Satan - as used as a proper noun, to denote a specific person or definite adversary without giving the true name - appears in only two instances in the Tanakh, and nowhere in the Torah.  It is used as a common noun in all other cases.  One instance of it as a proper noun is in Zechariah, and the other in Job.

In Zechariah it was used to denote the adversary (ha'satan) who were trying to keep the Jews from rebuilding the Second Temple.  Through the reigns of Cyrus, all the way through to Darius, the Samaritans hired people to hinder the process, to the point where it was halted when Darius issued a search to find the decree Cyrus had made allowing Jews to return and re-build the Temple, at which point reconstruction re-started.  As we know, satan isn't once portrayed as an adversary of G-d in Job, but rather as a tool of G-d when testing Job.

Now, getting to the census, it must first be remembered that taking a census calls upon judgement from G-d.  Counting people directly rather than through collection of the half-shekel (as is first mentioned in Exodus).

Exodus 30:12

12 "When you take a census of the children of Israel, according to those who are numbered among them, then each man shall give a ransom for his soul to Yahweh, when you number them; that there be no plague among them when you number them.

David's mistake was not the census itself, but that he directly numbered the people rather than counting the shekels they were to atone with (as was said to be done in Exodus, and was done by Moses in Numbers).

As for all the names that are often attributed to satan, again, it is kind of mind blowing, as there's no basis for it in the Tanakh.  Over the course of time, because of the view by much of Christianity that Satan is the father of all lies, the ruler of the world, flesh, etc., it's become a situation where all names or instances referring to a bad or evil person are attributed to the being Satan.  To the point where the New Testament re-tells stories from the Tanakh which had no connotation of being associated with a fallen angel and opponent of G-d, from this new perspective of him as the ruler of the flesh, the world, and basically us.

When you think about it, the only reason there would ever need to be an evil opponent of G-d is if G-d only did good, and only created good, and would thus need a counterpart who only did evil, and who created evil.  VERY dualistic, and quite similar to Zorastrianism.  But we know that doesn't fit with the G-d of Abraham in the Tanakh.

On a side note, remember that Hebrew is written from right to left, and that some letters are written differently when at the end of a word then they are at the beginning.  So satan would appear as שחן with the nun softit (ן - for lack of a better visual representation) rather than nun (נ).

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Those names (Belial, Asmodeus, the hebrew stayed for "serpent", not "satan") for satan, as a negation of God's will (tough catholic Catechism 395 teaches that Satan is a part of His will and plan as well...or we may say, that Catechism teaches pre-christian Judaism, while John teaches zoroastrism?), are from the books of OT. In fact, there occured a personification of evil already in nomadic hebrew era. If you take Exodus 20,3 command, you may find out that there is a possibility of defining a counter-God. While each of the pagan idols mentioned troughout the Bible was thought so.

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Let's use a little logic here. Purge, you're saying that Satan only does God's will. Does that mean that God wants all the evil and suffering in the world to happen?

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Cause of evil is difference. But if we were indifferent, we couldn't be good either. The hard question stays otherwise, why the God created a difference? Why it didn't remain in singularity? Weird  ;D

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Those names (Belial, Asmodeus, the hebrew stayed for "serpent", not "satan") for satan, as a negation of God's will (tough catholic Catechism 395 teaches that Satan is a part of His will and plan as well...or we may say, that Catechism teaches pre-christian Judaism, while John teaches zoroastrism?), are from the books of OT. In fact, there occured a personification of evil already in nomadic hebrew era. If you take Exodus 20,3 command, you may find out that there is a possibility of defining a counter-God. While each of the pagan idols mentioned troughout the Bible was thought so.

The common theme in the Bible with the pagan idols is that they sat there and were idols that were praised, while G-d was a living G-d who did works for his people.  As for the names, nowhere in the Tanakh are those names given to a powerful rebel from G-d named Satan.

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Let's use a little logic here. Purge, you're saying that Satan only does God's will. Does that mean that God wants all the evil and suffering in the world to happen?

WANTS us to do evil?

That's taking it further than I ever would.  I don't believe that at all.

What he did was give us the choice to choose his Laws and Teachings, or choose to live for ourselves with no regard for his other creations.  He outlined what he wants us to follow, and he outlined many things he wants us to have nothing to do with.

It's worth reiterating again that satan means adversary, regardless of the popular connotation it has today.  To understand what it means in the Tanakh you absolutely have to take that into account. 

And what I am saying is that in the story where Satan IS used and mentioned in somewhat specific terms (as specific as "the adversary" can possibly be) in the story of Job, the adversary does so within what G-d allows, and because G-d allows Job to be tested.  He isn't fighting against G-d, or disobeying G-d, or doing anything but what G-d allows him to.

It's not some independant god of evil.

We all have the inclination to do good and the inclination to do evil, or else free will doesn't exist.  That doesn't mean G-d wants us to do evil.  He gave us the Laws and Teachings for that very reason.  But that's not to say he didn't create in us the choice to disobey them in the many various ways we can.

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WANTS us to do evil?

That's taking it further than I ever would.  I don't believe that at all.

Well the difference between the Christian view of Satan and the view you support (the Jewish view, perhaps?) is this: Christians believe Satan is a being with free will, who chooses to act against God and is the leader of all those who act against God. Satan is not nearly as powerful as God; he exists and is able to act against God because God allows it. God allows it, but He does not condone it. God gave Satan free will in the same way He gave free will to human beings, and Satan chooses to do evil in the same way humans choose to do evil.

Your view seems to be that God commands Satan to do evil, or at least tempt human beings to do evil. The Christian view is that God merely allows those things.

And what I am saying is that in the story where Satan IS used and mentioned in somewhat specific terms (as specific as "the adversary" can possibly be) in the story of Job, the adversary does so within what G-d allows, and because G-d allows Job to be tested.  He isn't fighting against G-d, or disobeying G-d, or doing anything but what G-d allows him to.

It's not some independant god of evil.

You misunderstand the Christian view, then. Christians do not believe Satan is God's equal. In fact, Christians believe the first sin of Satan was precisely his wish to become a god. He is merely a powerful angel, but he was overcome with pride and believed he could actually fight God and win. For this he was punished, along with the followers he had gathered among the other angels. Satan continues to exist and continues to act only because God allows it. But God will not allow it forever. Christians believe Satan will be destroyed in the "end times".

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Where in the Old Testament do angels have free will?

And no, I don't believe that G-d tells Satan to do evil, I believe that there is no Satan the being as Christians believe, and that "evil" already has a name, and it's sin, and never needed an all encompassing figure head, face, or a benefactor, other than he that it inhabits, and tempts.  We all have the ability to sin, and G-d says right there in Genesis that we have the ability to be sin's master IF WE CHOOSE.

How do I misconstrue Christian's view of Satan?  First of all, I was a Christian for 20 years, so I am well aware of what Christians believe.  Second of all, I never once said they believe he is equal.  But that doesn't negate the fact that they believe there's a supernatural being seperate from G-d - the creator of all - who created or creates all of the evil in the world.

This logic completely ignores the fact that there's no rebellion story in Genesis nor anywhere else in the Tanakh.  Yet there was sin all through the Old Testament, there was evil, and there was destruction because of man's evil inclination.

The New Testament view of Satan doesn't fully reconcile with it's source.  The creation of an embodiment of opposition to G-d out of sin is an unnecessary addition of a god-like character.

Ironically, you say that Satan fell because of his desire to be a god, while it seems to me the New Testament went a long way towards doing just that.

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Where in the Old Testament do angels have free will?

Where in the Old Testament is it stated that angels do not have free will? The matter is left unanswered.

And no, I don't believe that G-d tells Satan to do evil, I believe that there is no Satan the being as Christians believe, and that "evil" already has a name, and it's sin, and never needed an all encompassing figure head, face, or a benefactor, other than he that it inhabits, and tempts.  We all have the ability to sin, and G-d says right there in Genesis that we have the ability to be sin's master IF WE CHOOSE.

Then I apologize for misinterpreting your views. You believe Satan (in the sense of an evil angel) does not exist. Is this correct?

But there is a problem with that view. Who was the serpent in the Garden of Eden? The Tanakh does not say Adam or Eve decided to sin on their own. It makes it explicit that they were tempted into it by someone else. Who? If humans are the only beings with free will, then the serpent who tempted Eve must have been acting by God's command. So God Himself essentially tempted Eve?

How do I misconstrue Christian's view of Satan?  First of all, I was a Christian for 20 years, so I am well aware of what Christians believe.  Second of all, I never once said they believe he is equal.  But that doesn't negate the fact that they believe there's a supernatural being seperate from G-d - the creator of all - who created or creates all of the evil in the world.

Christians do not believe that Satan created or creates all the evil in the world - just a lot of it. It is of course possible for beings other than Satan (such as other fallen angels, or humans) to create evil. Satan is not special; he just happens to be the most powerful evil being and thus he is capable to do the most evil.

On a second point, aren't all angels supernatural beings? If you believe in angels, you believe in supernatural beings who are not God. The only difference between you and a Christian is that a Christian believes some of the angels fell and became evil, which you do not believe.

Finally - and you don't have to answer this if you don't want to, because it's a personal question - I am curious about your conversion. You say you were a Christian for 20 years but are not one any more, and from all you have said I assume you are Jewish. If that is the case, I would like to know how one may convert to Judaism... I thought it wasn't really possible.

This logic completely ignores the fact that there's no rebellion story in Genesis nor anywhere else in the Tanakh.  Yet there was sin all through the Old Testament, there was evil, and there was destruction because of man's evil inclination.

Just because something is not in the Tanakh, that doesn't mean the Tanakh denies it. We've been over this before. The Tanakh does not say there was a rebellion, but it also does not say there wasn't a rebellion. Thus it is perfectly compatible with the later accounts of the rebellion in the New Testament.

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Hm, it's interesting that me and EdricO were christians for 20 years as well and we agree on the term of "satan". There was a movement inside christianity in the 2nd century known as gnostics, which teached a differentiation between jewish god of earth, who was in fact the seducer of Christ and satan, while the real god of love, was revealed only at first to Eva and then trough Christ. However, this movement was immediately proclaimed heretical by the catholic authorities, ie Iraeneus or Hieronymus between else. While in that time, the New Testament hadn't a canonized content yet.

But that doesn't negate the fact that they believe there's a supernatural being seperate from G-d - the creator of all - who created or creates all of the evil in the world.

That's perhaps an interesting remark. It's more a philosophical than theological question, but what does mean to be separate from God? Or to be super-natural? Substantially, everything has its part in God, if we take it as the infinite causa prima, or Ain Soph. On the other hand, isn't (now to turn onto the religious terms) human spirit given a supernatural status as well? If the spirit wasn't given by God Himself, but was formed as the other parts of nature, its Father, its God, is the Nature. Thus, within the terms of nature, really nothing is separate from God, neither humans nor angels nor satans, but also nothing - not even God - is super-natural. If the spirit was given by God, then we have to state that it is supernatural; and if there are billions of supernatural beings separate from God known as "humans", why should we disagree with a possibility of another supernatural beings separate from God, which we may call "angels" or "satans"?

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Please excuse these heretical thoughts, but why can't the serpent in the Garden of Eden be God as well? There is no mention of God creating Satan, and, in fact, I feel the very concept of Satan to be cumbersome. If Satan could have defied God -- and continues to struggle against the Lord's will, however outmatched he might be -- then does it not necessarily follow that God is not completely omnipotent? In The Master and Margarita, a symapthetic devil is simply another, albeit rogue, agent of God's, who in the end performs the Lord's will. And that work quotes at its very beginning from Faust, "... and so who are you, after all? -- I am part of the power which forever wills evil and forever works good." Implying that the supernatural powers of good and evil are at their core inextricably linked.

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WOlf, i am sure you are aware of the difference between "allowing", "struggling", and "condoning".  These are all different words.  God can allow something without struggling with or condoning it.  So God can be omnipotent and still allow satan to do harm without condoning it. 

The best example is this.  God creates a protective hedge.  There is a serpent outside that may bite you.  If you venture outside the hedge you will be bitten.  If God puts His hand over you... you are protected.  If He takes His hand away you are free-game.  Thats how i have always viewed it.

Thats how it was with Job.  Satan said "Job only serves you becuase you bless him so" ..... God removes His protective hand and allows Satan to attack Job as free-game.  WHy did God do this?  To prove a point, have it recorded in scripture, and allow us to learn from it from an empirical point of view.  Yes it was at Job's expense but he was greatly rewarded for it and if he sits in heaven now then he paid an infinitesimally small price for an infinite reward.

I dont see the "cumbersome".

AC

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G-d spoke "face to face" with Moses (communicated with him directly rather than in dreams and visions as had been done previously and later), gave him the Laws and the Teachings, but saved the fall of angels for Paul, the self-proclaimed former Jewish Christian killer from Tarsus, who himself never even met Jesus, and who's letters were written before the Gospels?  Paul, who never knew Jesus, who was relayed the story by someone else, who relayed it to his gentile protege Luke, who wrote one of the gospels, received this huge revelation that had never once been touched upon?  None of the great prophets, like Moses, were ever clued in?

As for the serpent, does Genesis 3:1 not say that the serpent was the shrewdest of all the animals G-d had made?  And even before that, Genesis 2:25 says about Adam and Eve "The two of them were shrewd, the man and his wife, yet they felt no shame."

The definitions of shrewd:

1. Characterized by keen awareness, sharp intelligence, and often a sense of the practical.

2. Disposed to artful and cunning practices; tricky.

But even before that, who is the first to tempt Adam, even before Eve is created?

Genesis 2:16

"16.  And the Lord commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree in the garden you are free to eat; 17.  but as for the tree of knowledge of good and bad, you must not eat of it; for as soon as you eat of it, you shall die."

The serpent hasn't even been introduced to the story yet, and neither has Eve at that.  But right there G-d plants the seed of temptation in his Creation which he has given free will.  G-d basically said "See that red button?  Don't touch it."  And then one of his creations in the garden almost immidiately tests their obedience.  That's doesn't mean the creation - who was punished more than all parties involved - was sent by G-d, but it also doesn't mean the serpent didn't test their obedience to G-d.

But going back to "the Tanakh doesn't say they sinned on their own", oh but it does.

Genesis 3:6

" 6. And the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was a delight to the eyes, and the tree was desirable to make one wise; so she took of its fruit, and she ate, and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate."

The woman took a creation of G-d's word over the word of G-d Himself.  But neither G-d nor the serpent forced them to eat.  Both were told explicitly by G-d not to touch it, but this verse illustrates that she took the fruit from the tree, she ate it, and her husband also ate it.  They didn't believe or obey G-d's command, and all parties involved faced repercussion for it, the serpent especially.

The foundation for their sin was there all the time.  It didn't take some epitome of evil to tempt them.  It took disregarding the specific command of G-d, regardless of what temptation you want to assign the blame to.  The fruit itself was lifeless, and the tree never once tempted them to partake in it.

And no, the difference between me and a Christian is that I believe angels do jobs G-d created them to do, and that the Tanakh mentions angels plenty of times, and from the writings of many prophets, and doesn't describe angels rebelling against G-d and establishing an evil kingdom on Earth, and later in their afterlife opposite of heaven.

Jews don't tend to believe it's necessary to convert to be righteous, and receive salvation.  It can definitely be done, I just haven't gone through the necessary steps.

Oh, but angels are all over the Tanakh.  It's just this later made up rebellion of said angels that doesn't appear.

And of course the concept of a rebellion of angels in the New Testament is compatible with the New Testament's description of the rebellion.  Why wouldn't it be compatible with itself?

I am not saying you aren't free to believe it.  I am just saying there is a reason Jews don't buy it, and that's because Jews familiar with scripture see no basis for it in the Tanakh, which is their Bible.  Just like Jews familiar with scripture won't bow down to a man as a representative of G-d (whether not doing it for 2,000 years with Jesus, or the anti-Christ who Jews will supposedly worship in the future ::) ), because G-d specifically told them not to.

And going back to Paul, it's funny that Paul grew up at the same time and very close to Apollonius (Pol) of Tyara, who moved to Tarsus at 12, who's story is quite similar to that of Paul's stories of Jesus.  It's also worth noting that Paul and Apollonius (Pol) were in Ephesis and Rome at the same times.  Apollonius is named after Apollo, who became identified during the centures BCE with Sol, the sun. Paul was according to the New Testament originally named Saul.  Pol (Apollonius) was also accompanied by Demis, while 2 Timothy 4:10 tells us Demas has left Paul.

It must be repeated that the earliest Christian writings are by Paul, the gospels came after a number of Paul's letters, and Luke - a gentile who himself was even further removed from Jesus - being a disciple of Paul, who was relayed the stories by Paul, wrote most of the New Testament - the Gospel of Luke, and Acts of Luke.

I think the concepts of Jesus and Satan provide quite a polytheistic belief system.  I don't mean to offend or step on toes, however when I see things that don't match up with the source the New Testament was created to follow, especially when me and many other still follow that source, I'll likely point it out.

The belief in Jesus doesn't bother me.  Praying to Jesus for salvation *as* G-d just doesn't ring true to me anymore, and it came through a better understanding of the Tanakh itself, where such things were warned against.

I mean, think about how Christians get about Gnostic Gospels, Islam, etc. and anything that doesn't conform to ideas and concepts agreed up in Nicea and Trent.

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aaaah i get it Edrico...... Purge converted to to whatever his belief is now through a rejection of Paul.  This is common.  This is how most devout christians depart from christianity..... by challenging the credibility of Paul.  If you look on wikipedia you will find there is a special section dedicated to this topic.  Its called Pauline Christianity.

On another note.... we are all splitting hairs purge really.  And i mean really splitting hairs.  We all believe the same thing you do in terms of satan... but you for some reason try to make it like your belief is so much more different.  Christians believe that Satan works within the bounds set by God... of course he does... he is creation after all.  Just like us.  Satan isnt a special demi-god or whatever.

BUt lets use some logic to understand what Edrico is saying... and listen carefully.  With all the creation out there and all the evil in the world, there is bound to be one of those created beings that is the "best" at being evil.  Think about it.  Satan isnt super special.... he just happens to be the most evil/sinful thing.  It would make sense that this being would be a fallen angel... because a spirit as described in the bible is definately more powerful than a person in flesh-form  as is illustrated by the Angel of Death in Egypt and Satan's testing of Job. Thus the most powerful of these sinful angels would logically have an identity.  Its like if we performed a race here at dune2k to see who could run the fastest.  Logically, there is bound to be one of us who is the fastest runner.  We arent demi-gods or special... its just that logically speaking through deduction.... one of us is the fastest.

Same goes for evil.  Satan just happens to be the most evil creature.  Therefore he gets the personification.  Makes perfect sense.  Just listen to what we are saying and you will see we all believe the same thing.  Stop over-complicating things purge. 

AC

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Nah.

I stopped believing in Christianity when I better familiarized myself with the Tanakh (Old Testament) and realized how much the New Testament deviates from it.  This, of course, required the understanding that they weren't just two pieces of one work, and being able to seperate them to see *where* these prophecies Jesus was said to fulfill were in the Tanakh.  Come to find out they just weren't there, or they relied on twisting translations, and outright grasping at straws to connect things Jesus did with "prophecies" that appeared in the Tanakh.  The shadiness of the character Paul was more of an afterthought, really.  Paul, despite claiming to be a Jew, was a Roman citizen, and sought to make conversions even at the expense of the Laws and Teachings.  Paul never knew Jesus, and his disciples were even further removed from him.

You are mistaken if you think we believe the same thing.

We don't believe in a fleshly G-d, and we don't believe in a lord over a kingdom of evil.  G-d is the G-d of all, not just the heavens.  But in Christianity Satan is god of Earth and the flesh.  You say he isn't a god, however his descriptions in the New Testament say otherwise.  Not only is G-d apparently not capable of providing us salvation on His own, but He also needs an evil less-than-G-d-god to make the sacrifice necessary.

The two most powerful beings in the New Testament are Jesus - a man, except for his last year or two when he becomes G-d-in-the-flesh - and Satan - a fallen angel who wrestles independence, Earth, and the flesh of humans that inhabit it away from G-d.

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I think the main difference in our beliefs is that YOu group the Angel of Death with Satan. Whereas christians dont.

- The Angel of Death only kills at God's specific direct command.

-Satan kills when he is indirectly allowed but he is chomping at the bit like a wild horse wanting to do it.

Both angels have free will.... the Angel of Death, Gabriel, Michael, they all have specific functions.   Judgement bringer, Messenger, Warrior, respectively.

However you are stating that Satan also has a function.....Tempter.  The problem is that scripture doesnt say anywhere that God Tempts his creation.

I think the main difference is that all other angels work directly within God's will, while Satan and fallen angels work indirectly with God's will.... thereby alleviating any concerns that God is a Tempter.

Now you may say "well direct or indirect... it doesnt matter" ... ah but yes it does.  Because we could have all existed in the garden without temptation, without evil, and had a perfect Utopia... that would have been best case scenario.  We were to be children to be taught what is right by having a relationship with God.  Like Moses had.  Adam and Eve could have gone to God whenever they had a question and communicated and learned.  Instead they were tempted and and damaged all of creation.  However,  God being infintely wise..... indirectly uses evil to achieve his will,  basically making lemonade out of lemons.  But the point is that perhaps He never desired for the lemons to be manifested in the first place.

Nah.

I stopped believing in Christianity when I better familiarized myself with the Tanakh (Old Testament) and realized how much the New Testament deviates from it.  This, of course, required the understanding that they weren't just two pieces of one work, and being able to seperate them to see *where* these prophecies Jesus was said to fulfill were in the Tanakh.  Come to find out they just weren't there, or they relied on twisting translations, and outright grasping at straws to connect things Jesus did with "prophecies" that appeared in the Tanakh.  The shadiness of the character Paul was more of an afterthought, really.  Paul, despite claiming to be a Jew, was a Roman citizen, and sought to make conversions even at the expense of the Laws and Teachings.  Paul never knew Jesus, and his disciples were even further removed from him.

Well my point still stands..... you obviously have to reject Paul if you reject Jesus, because Paul obviously was the main author of scripture that proclaimed the specific Jesus that we christians believe in today.  Also Jesus was to fulfill the messianic prohpecy.... i dont see where there needs to be alot of twisting of scripture to fulfill that.  And what about specific things like "not a bone broken in his body.... etc....etc... as far as i was aware Jesus fulfilled messianic prophecy to the letter."  Except of course that Jews were expecting a social revolution instead of a spiritual one.  As is evident in Judas' misunderstanding of Jesus.

AC

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Wow, real mature.  Just delete loads of discussion and explanation because you don't agree with it.

How very Christian-like.  The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

Catch ya'll later.

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Wow.... this was a good test to see Purge's true colors.  The topic was split into a new topic by a moderator... purge thinks it was deleted... and then he goes off on an anti-christian rant.  I'm disappointed, I never would have guessed you were so biased and hateful.  Makes me wonder about your motives now.

Since we went off-topic mods moved it here --> http://dune2k.com/forum/index.php?topic=19257.0

p.s.- for your info purge... this isnt a "christian board"  its more atheistic than anything else, so nobody is trying to surpress your opinions.  Your comments were way out of line.

AC

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