Satan The word Satan , and the Arabic (shaitan), derive from a Northwest Semitic root , meaning “to be hostile”, “to accuse”. In the New Testament, Satan is a name thought to refer to a supernatural entity who appears in several passages and possesses demonic god-like qualities. The name is found in passages alongside Diabolos (Greek for the devil) more than thirty times, referring to the same person or thing as Satan. The most common English synonym for Satan, “the Devil”, is descended from Middle English devel, from Old English dēofol, which represents an early Germanic borrowing of Latin diabolus . In Greek, the term diabolos (Διάβολος, ‘slanderer’), carries more negative connotations than the Hebrew ha-satan (‘accuser’, ‘obstructer’, ‘adversary’) which possesses no demonic qualities in the Torah writings and is believed by many to be a great and glorious Angel who was created on the sixth day of creation. Ha-satan is called Baal Davar by Chasidic Jews of the eighteenth century, so this could also be taken as a name for Satan. Lucifer is sometimes used in Christian theology to refer to Satan, from a mistaking of the latinized hebrew word Hillel, meaning shining one, a reference to the planet venus, the bright morning star, as a reference to the king of babylon’s spiritual backer. Satan is to be better understood as an “accuser” or “adversary”. The term is applied both to supernatural entities and human beings. The term Satan in Hebrew is derived from the root meaning “to oppose”, “to be an adversary” or “to act as an adversary”. In the Book of Job, ha-satan(“the adversary”) is a prosecuting attorney against mankind in the heavenly court of God. Other angels are not mentioned by name. He is known as the accuser and is the angel which questions mankind’s loyalty to God. He argues that man is only loyal because God gives them prosperity. He is the one who actually delivers all the ills upon Job to test his faith on Gods command. Satan in Mainstream Christianity He is believed to be an angel who rebelled against God- and also the one who spoke through the serpent and seduced Eve into disobeying God’s command. His ultimate goal is to lead people away from the love of God – to lead them to fallacies which God opposes. Satan is also identified as the accuser of Job, the tempter in the Gospels, the secret power of lawlessness , and the dragon in the Book of Revelation. Before his insurrection, Satan was the highest of all angels and the “brightest in the sky.” His pride is considered a reason why he would not bow to God as all other angels did, but sought to rule heaven himself. In Christianity he is called “the ruler of the demons” ; “the ruler of the world” and even “the god of this world.” The Book of Revelation describes how Satan will be cast out of Heaven, down to the earth, having “great anger” and waging war against “those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus”. Ultimately, Satan is thrown forever into the “lake of fire”, not as ruler, but as one among many, being treated no different than all the others who have been cast there as well. Satan in Islam While Shaitan is an adjective that can be applied to both man (“al-ins”, ) and Genie, Iblis is the personal name of the Shaitan who is mentioned in the Qur’anic account of Genesis, and whose origin is unclear but it is more likely to be made of fire. However, the name Iblis is likely a contraction taken from the Greek “Diabolos”. Whenever the Qur’an refers to the creature who refused to prostrate before Adam at the time of the latter’s creation, it refers to him as Iblis. The Islamic view of Iblis (English: Lucifer) has both commonalities and differences with Christian and Jewish views. Bahո’վ interpretation of Satan The Bahո’վ Faith teaches that Satan is a metaphor for the “insistent self” which is a self-serving inclination within each individual. The insistent self is often referred to in the Bahո’վ Writings as “the Evil One”. “Watch over yourselves, for the Evil One is lying in wait, ready to entrap you. Gird yourselves against his wicked devices, and, led by the light , make your escape from the darkness that surroundeth you.” Satan is not seen as being an independent evil power, but as our own lower nature. “This lower nature in man is symbolized as Satan — the evil ego within us, not an evil personality outside.” The Bahո’վ Faith teaches that evil is non-existent. Evil is simply the absence of goodness, and consequently, there can be no evil powers. Satanism Much “Satanic” lore does not originate from actual Satanists, but from Christians. Best-known would be the medieval folklore and theology surrounding demons and witches. A more recent example is the so-called Satanic ritual abuse scare of the 1980s; which depicts Satanism as a vast conspiracy of elites with a predilection for child-molesting and human sacrifice. This genre regularly describes Satan as actually appearing in person in order to receive worship. People claiming to be Satanists – or outsiders claiming to describe Satanism – ascribe a wide variety of beliefs to this movement. These range from the literal worship of a malevolent spiritual being (Theistic Satanism); to a kind of subversive ritual performance stressing the mockery of Christian symbols (most notably the Black Mass); to the claimed rediscovery of an ancient but misunderstood religion (e.g. Setianism, which conflates Satan with the Egyptian god Set); to an excuse for hedonistic recreation, and the celebration of selfishness and pleasure. LaVeyan satanism The most prominent and widely known Satanist in recent years is, and was Anton Szandor LaVey, who founded the Church of Satan in 1966. LaVey wrote The Satanic Bible (1969) and other works which remain highly influential (though controversial) among avowed Satanists. LaVey rejects the Black Mass, cruelty to animals, or a literal belief in (or worship of) Satan, instead considering Satan as the human instinct within ourselves, which is what LaVeyan Satanism celebrates. Instead he supports a view of human beings as animals and rejects many social structures that he believes inhibit human instincts. Not all faiths define a central evil entity such as Satan set in opposition to God. However, some of these faiths, such as Zoroastrianism, recognize evil figures or entities which are sometimes likened to Satan.