Elaine Pagels
ELAINE PAGELS  Macroknow Library

The Origin of Satan.

"From the beginning . . . Israelite tradition defines 'us' in ethnic, political, and religious terms as 'the people of Israel,' or 'the people of God,' as against 'them' -- the (other) nations (in Hebrew, ha goyim), the alien enemies of Israel, often characterized as inferior, morally depraved, even potentially accursed. In Genesis 16:12, an angel predicts that Ishmael although he was Abraham's son, the progenitor of the Arab people, would be a 'wild ass of a man, with his hand against everyone, and everyone's hand against him; and he shall live at odds with all his kin.' The story implies that his descendants, too, are hostile, no better than animals."1a* (See TACITUS and Edward Ayoub's Critique.)

"In biblical sources the Hebrew term satan describes an adversarial role."1b*

" . . . Jesus had accused 'the Jews who had believed in him' of plotting his murder: twice he charged that 'you seek to kill me.' When they find his words incomprehensible, Jesus proceeds to identify 'the Jews' who had previously believed in him as Satan's own: 'You are of your father, the devil; and you want to accomplish your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning (8:44).'"1c NEW TESTAMENT

"Origen . . . defending Christians against charges of illegality, dares argue that people constrained by an evil government are right not only to disobey its laws but even to revolt and to assassinate tyrannical rulers."1d RAWLS


* Italics in the original.

Elaine Pagels. The Origin of Satan. Elaine Pagels, 1995. New York, NY: Vintage Books, a Division of Random House, Inc., 1995.
a The Social History of Satan: From the Hebrew Bible to the Gospels, at 36.
b Ibid., at 39.
c Luke and John Claim Israel's Legacy: The Split Widens, at 102.
d Satan's Earthly Kingdom: Christians Against Pagans, at 147.