How was Satan formed

The Devil: An Inquiry into the Representation of the Devil


1.0 Introduction
1.1 Structure and aim of the study

2.0 main part
2.1 Satan, Devil or Lucifer? The question of the name
2.2 Satan in the Old Testament
2.3 Satan in the New Testament
2.4 Satan in art
2.5 Satan in the comic Bible

3.0 conclusion
3.1 The devil as a symbol of evil?

4.0 Appendix
4.1 List of images
4.1.1 Fra Angelico: The Last Judgment (detail)
4.1.2 Taddeo di Bartolo: Hell
4.1.3 Anonymous: Merlin's conception
4.1.4 Anonymous: The state of sin
4.1.5 Anonymous: Hell and the seven deadly sins
4.1.6 Can Stock Photo: Illustration "Vector"
4.1.7 Siku: The Bible
4.2 Bibliography
4.3 Internet sources

1.0 Introduction

1.1 Structure and aim of the study

The devil - symbol of evil or is it evil itself? This discussion has haunted theology, actually all of humanity, for centuries. But who or what is this devil actually? And above all, how do people imagine this personified evil.

That is what this work is about. Less about the role of the devil as a symbol of evil than about its portrayal. On the basis of this presentation, a short conclusion should be drawn in conclusion, the discussion about the origin of the devil and his role in connection with the omnipotence of God should be left out, as this would go beyond the scope of the work.

But in order to lead to the depiction of the devil, the name of the devil is explained first. His role in both the Old Testament and the New Testament is analyzed below. Furthermore, its artistic representation, especially in the Middle Ages, in the Renaissance as well as in the 19th century, but also the current representation, among other things using the example of a comic Bible, is examined. Finally, the results should be summarized in a short summary.

1.0 main part

2.1 Satan, Devil or Lucifer? The question of the name

The devil has different names that are used in different places. The Old Testament often speaks of Satan, while the New Testament of the Bible tends to talk about the devil.

The term Satan in its original meaning is not a name for the figure of the devil. The word Satan, which has a Hebrew origin, means something like adversary. It existed before the word devil and is known in all languages ​​that know the word devil.

Satan is to be understood more as a title and therefore not to be equated with the figure of the devil.

The figure with the title Satan appears partly human, but also heavenly and can be found in the Bible primarily in the Book of Job, but generally only in the Old Testament.

In the New Testament, especially in Luke and Matthew, on the other hand, a figure called the devil appears. The word devil has a Greek origin and means accuser or slanderer. Due to an incorrect translation from Hebrew into Greek, the names devil and Satan were combined under the Greek name Διάβολος (diabolos). Diabolos means devil. This makes it clear why Satan is often used as a synonym for the word devil.[1]

In the New Testament only the evangelists Matthew and Luke originally use the term Satan, while Mark speaks of the devil. The names were later equated, making Satan the name of the devil.[2]

Another synonym for the devil is the term demon. This means a spirit standing between gods and humans. There are both good and bad demons.[3]

Lucifer is also a popular name. The word Lucifer means light bringer, which in this context does not necessarily fit the person of the devil. It is also not an official name but was derived from Isaiah 14:12:

How did you fall from heaven, you beautiful morning star! How were you struck to the ground, who struck down all peoples! (Isa 14:12)[4]

A relationship with the devil was established here[5] and, to prove the existence of the devil as an angel originally created by God, Lucifer became the name of the devil.[6]

2.2 Satan in the Old Testament

In the Old Testament of the Bible, Satan rarely appears. He is referred to here as Satan because Satan is an old Hebrew word which means adversary.[7] And he appears as this adversary.

In the book of Job, however, Satan initially appears in a different role. He moves among the sons of God, God's retinue, and speaks to God. God condones Satan and accepts his challenge to test Job.[8]

In this case, Satan is in the service of God and acts against people.[9] He does not appear here as an adversary of the divine will nor as a tempter to evil. Instead, he instigates an attempt to test Job's fear of God.

Satan also functions as an instrument of God, since it is he who inflicts the evils to be endured on Job. So God uses it to bring bad things to Job, he uses it as a kind of tool.[10]

Furthermore, the greatest difference between God and Satan becomes clear here. While Satan only believes in what is bad in people and tries to depict them badly, God believes in what is good in people.[11]

The prophet Zechariah confirms the image of Satan that is formed in the book of Job. Here, too, Satan appears at God's side.[12] He also appears as an enemy of people[13] and more precisely as an adversary of the people of Israel.[14] Satan is an accuser here, his concern is to bring about punishment and misfortune.[15]

As a further motif of Satan, in addition to the depiction of bad people, envy is mentioned in the Book of Wisdom of Solomon.[16]:

But through the devil's envy is death into the world (wisdom 2.24)[17]

Roskoff goes on to explain that Satan also has an influence on people's sins.[18]

2.3 Satan in the New Testament

The devil appears very often in the New Testament. Especially among the Synoptics, i.e. the three evangelists Luke, Matthew and Mark, Satan is mentioned frequently. And Paul also describes him several times. In the New Testament he also has different names, for example Satan, Devil and also Belzebub.

The concept of the devil was very common at the time the New Testament was being written.[19]

Satan often appears as an enemy in the New Testament. This becomes clear in the following excerpts:

Simon, Simon, behold, Satan desired to seven you like wheat. (Lk 22.31)[20]

Be sober and watch; for your adversary, the devil, goes about like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist this firmly in faith and know that the same sufferings go through your brothers in the world. (1 Peter 5,8)[21]

In these two quotes it becomes clear that the devil is often portrayed as the one who tempts and threatens the pious. He is also the accuser of the people. He already takes on this role in the Old Testament, and this role is also assigned to him in the Book of Revelation.[22] The devil continues to act as an enemy of Christ and an enemy of God. So John writes about the devil that he is the "father of lies"[23] be. Furthermore, he is portrayed as an adversary and corrupter of believers in Christ and is related to death. In the letter to the Hebrews, power over death is ascribed to him.[24] Roskoff even goes so far as to call him the author of sin and death in his work History of the Devil.[25]

The synoptic Matthew also describes a kingdom of the devil, which is opposed to the kingdom of God.[26]

In the New Testament, Satan corresponds in many places to Satan in the Old Testament, he is the opponent and slanderer par excellence.[27] The Evangelist Luke writes that the disciples and apostles have power over Satan,[28] but at the same time emphasizes the physical suffering caused by the devil[29] and the persecution of gospel followers.[30]


[1] Compare: Link, Luther: Der Teufel. A mask without a face. Munich: Wilhelm Fink Verlag 1997. p. 23.

[2] Compare: Link, Luther: Der Teufel. A mask without a face. P. 25

[3] Compare: Link, Luther: Der Teufel. A mask without a face. P. 24.

[4] In: Isaiah 14:12.

[5] Compare: Link, Luther: Der Teufel. A mask without a face. P. 27.

[6] Compare: Link, Luther: Der Teufel. A mask without a face. P. 29.

[7] Compare: Link, Luther: Der Teufel. A mask without a face. P.23.

[8] Compare: Job 6: 1-12.

[9] Compare: Di Nola, Alfonso: The Devil. Essence, effect, history. Munich: Eugen Diederichs Verlag 1990. S.181.

[10] Compare: Roskoff, Gustav: History of the Devil. Cologne: Parkland Verlag 2003. p. 171.

[11] Cf .: Jüngst, Gerhard: Engel in der Bibel - Teufel in der Bibel. What is written Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 2008. p. 59.

[12] Compare: Zechariah 3.1.

[13] Cf.: Di Nola, Alfonso: The Devil. Essence, effect, history. P.181.

[14] Compare: Roskoff, Gustav: History of the Devil. P.172.

[15] Compare: Ibid.

[16] Compare: Ibid. P.173.

[17] In: The Wisdom of Solomon 2, 24.

[18] Compare: Roskoff, Gustav: History of the Devil. P.173.

[19] Compare: Ibid. P. 181.

[20] In: Luke, 22.31.

[21] In: 1 Peter 5: 8.

[22] Compare: The Revelation of John 12:10.

[23] Compare: John 8:44.

[24] Compare: The Epistle to Hebrews 2:14.

[25] Compare: Roskoff, Gustav: History of the Devil. P.183.

[26] Compare: Matthew 12:26.

[27] Cf.: Di Nola, Alfonso: The Devil. Essence, effect, history. P.199.

[28] Compare: Luke 10:19.

[29] Compare: Luke 13:16.

[30] Compare: Luke 22:31.

End of the reading sample from 23 pages