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Goodreads need half stars I m torn about this work On the one hand there is some good information and research between its covers On the other hand, the writers stretched their findings in ways to seem to bend credulity The humor was just plain silly and needs to be removed in subsequent editions Over all, I d give the book 2 and half to 3 stars. This book was a great concept It helped me to understand what I had learned growing up about Satan Was it Biblical or not Was it literature This book explores is Satan real or is he just made up by people so that God isn t seen as doing things to humans that are bad It goes into the fact that most people want to believe that God is a loving god but not the punishing vengeful god, so was Satan created to combat that The book starts off asking all these questions andThen it explores Satan in the Old Testament, between the testaments and then in the New Testament It goes through the passages and what was going on at that time It also talks about where the concept of hell comes from Is it the Book of Revelation or is it from Dante s Inferno or Milton s Paradise Lost I found it to be fascinating However, I was shocked in parts to find that it was wrote almost like a textbook in places and on a higher level than I was ready for I would recommend this book to people wanting to think on a deeper religious level. I loved The Birth of Satan It was incredibly witty with lines like, Warning Common side effects of biblical study include visual flashes, deep remorse, and unless reading Song of Solomon decreased libido p 30 The authors were honest about their positions and yet very thorough in their reading of the Bible Turns out, Satan plays a very small role in the Bible Much of what we know about him, we can attribute to postbiblical interpreters and our imaginations Essentially, Satan is the development of ancient Jewish attempts to answer the theodicy question If a good God really wouldn t allow evil in the world, then there must be another cosmic source of evil that we ll call Satan The authors trace the role of Satan in the OT and conclude there is nothing linking the serpent in the garden of Eden to Satan or evil and that the first use of the term referred to human adversaries or angels of obstruction who could only operate under instructions from God The authors also trace biblical narratives of death and destruction that were attributed to God in the OT and the devil in the NT what a fascinating revision of history right there in the good book The evil as we come to know him begins in the end of time battles in Revelation and not before which ironically were written when Israel is being persecuted again by its enemies Overall an incredibly enlightening read for anyone interested in theodicy and religious history.
Basically this is an in depth investigation of how the character of Satan came into being based upon references in the Jewish and Christian bibles It s very well researched and informative, and draws from the climate and surrounding religions in the Middle East to strengthen our understanding of why man felt the need to create a minion of evil in a monotheistic religion.While reference was made to Islam as another religion with one God and a contrasting evil character, nothing from the Qur an was referenced to show the Muslim take on Satan I would ve liked to have had that included, as well.This book isn t for those seeking to reaffirm their own Jewish or Christian faith, as it speaks of both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament as historical literary works written in a specific time and place by people for an explicit purpose Many believers of the Bible don t like the think of it in those terms.Overall a good read Well written and informative, though I would ve likedon the Islamic idea of Satan There was some mention of Satan through the ages but this was very brief and almost besides the point The main goal was to explore how Satan appears in the Bible and how that appearance changed over time as ideals and issues shifted from the Jewish Bible to the Christian Testament. I read this for the second time, realizing that I d forgotten much of the detail It s a historical critical bible study with a sense of humor, and goes beyond the bible to contemporary texts from other cultures, such as Babylonian and Persian Literary interpretations of the devil are analyzed as well Faust, Paradise Lost, The Inferno Very interesting to see all the different streams that have contributed to the red guy with hoofs and horns, though when they try to answer the questions about what all of this means, I don t sense profound insight Maybe that s the reader s job. Though I only gave it three stars, the book is very informative and generally entertaining for the general reader The book is well researched and tracks the adversarial satan noun of the Old Testament to the extra canonical, apocalyptic material that transforms the adversarial noun into a proper name, Satan, the prince of demons and finally, the transition of Satan in the New Testament The book is packed with lesser known information concerning this nebulous character and demystifies the stigma surrounding him Note this is not a polemic against Christian or Jewish belief in anyway, but it does serve to assist the interested reader in understanding both Satan and scripture in a new light.Finally, I decided on three stars due to a couple of careless slip ups in general e.g., Table 4.1 lists Hades as the son of Zeus and a couplerelevant, nuanced mistakes pertaining to their research Overall however, I highly recommend it as an introductory work of the subject. This is a fascinating journey through the biblical roots of Satan, the Devil, Lucifer I found it particularly relevant because of my childhood memories of being terrified of Hell and Satan, and how these were used to scare me into being a Christian Even exploring my religious doubts was an overwhelming feat when I thought all of my doubts were the influence of Satan It took me several painful and scary years before I could overcome this fear.Looking back, I realize that I never actually looked for biblical evidence of such a supernatural villian I just took it on sermon alone It didn t take much to scare the piss out of me I was young and impressionable, with a very active imagination But if all this stuff was supposed to come from the Bible, why didn t I just look for Satan there, to see just how scary he really is That s what this book does.The authors have accomplished an amazing feat of writing style, in that it is both light and heavy at the same time They manage to get into quite a bit of biblical detail, but rarely feeling bogged down Their sense of humor is subtle Here s a good example, which also serves to describe the authors perspectives and confessed biases We indicated our religious affiliations Roman Catholic and Protestant in the preface, although neither of us pretends to be definitively or officially Catholic or Protestant We are writing for a mixed multitude of Christians and Jews, whether back slidden or at the forefront of the saints when they go marching in We are also addressing persons of other or no religious affiliation who are simply curious about Satan We will certainly disappoint those readers for whom the Bible is beyond analysis, a divine document to be trusted and obeyed but never subjected to interpretation We hope that, in the end, we also disappoint readers who want to see the Bible exposed as antiquated and primitive, a cultural superego from which modern persons need liberation To my surprise, this book shows that there s not actually much about Satan or Hell in the Bible, especially the Hebrew Bible derisively called the Old Testament by Christians This book goes through it with a fine toothed comb, exploring every reference to Satan or Hell in detail, using historical context to make sense of the passages.It shows that Satan didn t exist in the Bible as much as was developed There was no Satan as a specific entity at all in the early Hebrew Bible There was just hassatan, the Hebrew word for adversary, opponent, obstacle, or basically just pain in the ass Satan as an entity didn t actually show up until apocryphal writings between testaments, and even Jesus and Paul in the Christian Bible New Testament usually used Satan as a descriptive word for someone who annoys them.Really, the only place that Satan as we know him today shows up in a big way in the Bible is in Revelation, which this book describes asof a horror story or dark fantasy than a gospel Even Satan in Revelation is incomplete, and much of the detail we now ascribe to Satan and Hell was all post biblical, particularly Dante s Inferno and Milton s Paradise Lost.The authors theory is that Satan was the original conspiracy theory Conspiracies are attractive because they simplify evil People need simple explanations for why bad things happen to good people This became especially true when Judaism transitioned from polytheistic to monotheistic There is a lot of evidence that Judaism started out as polytheistic There s even specific references, by name, to the other gods in the Hebrew Bible.Something that had never occurred to me before reading this book is that monotheism is inherently unstable Polytheism allows you to assign each personality of nature to a personality in the heavens But if you only have one god, then everything has to be attributed to him, the good, the bad, and the ugly There are several passages in the Hebrew Bible that say this very explicitly Because life, and nature, can be both beautiful and terrifying, the god must necessarily appear to have a sort of multiple personality disorder, one minute pouring out blessings and the next punishing indiscriminately Indeed, this is exactly how God behaves in the Hebrew Bible.It s kind of hard to worship a god like that If you really want people to believe in it, you need to split the evil part of the personality somehow, and that s what people started clamoring for around the turn of the Christian era Increasingly over the centuries, you seeof the evil that was once attributed to God being dumped on Satan Now we have someone to blame for all the evil in the world, and God can emerge blameless and omnibenevolent It has evidently worked quite well It explains why God is so much nicer and consistent in the Christian Bible.This book is merely interesting from an atheist perspective, but I imagine it would be mind blowing for believers Especially if their belief stems in large part from a fear of Hell This book won t just help believers understand the biblical origins of Satan and Hell better, but the entire Bible, how it was written, when it was written, and what cultural elements influenced it. &Read Pdf ⇟ The Birth of Satan: Tracing the Devil's Biblical Roots ✗ Of All The Demons, Monsters, Fiends, And Ogres To Preoccupy The Western Imagination In Literature, Art, And Film, No Figure Has Been Feared Or Misunderstood Than Satan But How Accurate Are The Popular Images Of Satan How And Why Did This Rather Minor Biblical Character Morph Into The Very Embodiment Of Evil TJ Wray And Gregory Mobley Guide Readers On A Journey To Retrace Satan S Biblical Roots Engaging And Informative, The Birth Of Satan Is A Must Read For Anyone Who Has Ever Wondered About The Origins Of The Devil T.J Wray and Gregory Mobley claim that the book is targeted at both an academic and lay readership, although I suggest some knowledge of the history of God and an awareness of man s dual nature would provide depth of context for the work Taken straight, I think it would be a little bland They stay very tightly within the boundaries of the Biblical references to Satan with some references to the near Eastern historical context Their contention is that Satan evolves and changes during the course of the Hebrew Bible, the Christian Old Testament, although, except for a couple of notable exceptions, he s not very interesting in the first part of the Bible, as they trace his development from minor court functionary to the Prince of Darkness What is interesting is the parallel evolution of God from a divinity possessing the power of good and evil to a singular entity possessing only good, as the two forces split over time In a world in which man s darker nature often triumphs, there is a role for evil, a role currently played by Satan In fact, except for his temptations of Jesus, he s not very interesting in the New Testament, either The authors point out that the Western world s perception of the devil is courtesy of Dante s Divine Comedy and Milton s Paradise Lost, especially Milton s version His evolution in western culture would be farinteresting, but, the authors barely touch on that topic They briefly mention the psychological importance of Satan in western culture, and I think they fall short of developing that topic In a world in which man s darker nature often triumphs, there is a role for evil, a role currently played by Satan What the authors don t mention is the birth of Satan Man s dualism, man who is created in the image of God, seems the most obvious source for both a creator of love and goodness and a dark figure of evil, the two seem not separate forces but different aspects of the same nature, as they are in each individual I was disappointed that they didn t discuss the possible origins of Satan, since that was the title of their book, even though they vaguely place the God Satan conflict within the context of other eastern religions, particularly Zoroastrianism, which possess a good versus evil dichotomy They seem uninterested in Satan s origins, just his development at the hands of the Biblical authors It s a moderately interesting book, although far drier than the subject would suggest it should be. Part of this book s downfall for me was my own high expectations I was hoping for a deep plunge into a psychological philosophical dissection into the need for Satan s existence, alas that isn t what I got These authors took abenign approach with this difficult subject matter and simply talked about his historical literary evolution through religious writing Their conclusion Satan didn t always exist but came about gradually to fulfill a need to explain the ugly part of life In extreme monotheism God is problematic as he is both the source of good and evil and yet a God like that can only inspire people s affection for so long before they realize they are better off without him Satan was the man for the job, he takes away God s ugly half and now we have a scapegoat that we have all so desperately wanted The irony of Satan s role in Christianity though is that not only is he necessary he is essential, equal to, if not greater than, Christ himself, for without Satan there would be no Christ Christ needed Satan in order to overcome him, to subdue death and evil, without him Christ would have no purpose That is the almost frightening paradox of the man everyone loves to hate, is that his role in Judeo Islamo Christian theology is almost central Now to address the question that still lingers Is Satan Real this question disturbs me because it is almost unanswerable It is a question that once Metaphysics tried and failed to answer, and there might be a reason for that Real is very subjective, I might even argue that you the reader are not real Think about it, on a physical level you are made up of such small and distant pieces of matter that it is impossible to even say what you are let alone whether or not you are real So in that sense I think the problem is the question Instead of what is real Maybe it should be what makes something real to us Now putting the question like that I believe there is an answer We make things real both individually and collectively, largely just on belief regardless of whether it is correct or not As long as there is a need to explain away the ugliness in life Satan s existence will remain very real, as one explanation, to countless people.