The History of the Devil

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The notion of the devil does not originate in the Bible, as many may think – In the Old Testament, Satan is just another one of God’s servants. It is in Iran that the religious teacher Zarathustra simplified things, ending up with only two – a God of the Good and a God of Evil. This belief then spread throughout the Middle East. In the Jewish world, Satan, God’s obedient servant, was gradually replaced by Saden, God’s eternal enemy. The Greeks had an underworld called Hades. It didn’t have fire, but the valley outside Jerusalem, called Hell, did. In Hebrew it was known as Gehenna, a smouldering rubbish heap to which fire was regularly set. That is where bodies of executed criminals were burned. Gehenna was the inspiration for the Christian hell.

When the Romans ruled, their persecutions of Christians and Jews were attributed to 666, symbol of the Devil, but also the numerical identity of Emperor Nero. Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity in the 5th century and made it the state religion. Anyone not adhering to Catholic rules was a heretic, a worshipper of God’s enemy. As Christianity spread under the Roman Empire, the devil took on some of the characteristics of Pan, whom the Romans kept on worshipping- Hence the horns and claws for feet in the newly born imagery of the devil.

By the Middle Ages, the devil became real – everything physical and material was bad, everything spiritual was good. Islam was then seen as evil personified, hence the Crusades. The Inquisition then went so far as to claim that “heretics” were in league with the devil. The Church used excuses of heresy in order to acquire wealth. Women in particular were considered to be close to the devil. Between 60,000 and 300,000 women were burned as witches.

Luther split the Church and each denomination accused the other of demonisation. When the New World of the Americas was colonised, the devil went along. The town of Salem is synonymous with witch hunts. By the 18th century, science had come into the picture and the idea of the devil became more sophisticated, being well groomed, wealthy and sexually appealing. He promised everything to people in return for their soul.

With the age of Revolution, a completely new image of the devil appeared. He was depicted as a lonely figure who suffered under an overbearing God. He was now a brave and handsome fellow and becomes romanticised. The devil was now admired. In the 20th century, the devil became a figure of fun and is considered no better or worse that the common man.

In 1966, the Church of Satan was founded in California. Satan became a popular figure in modern film. In the film “Rosemary’s Baby”, Satan triumphs and the film “The Exorcist” brought evil into a new perspective. In the 1980s, news of organised Satanists swept the media.

The History of the Devil, 7.6 out of 10 based on 34 ratings

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  • GA

    excellent documentary!! although the link on this site didn’t work on my computer here is another working link:
    http://video.google.ca/videoplay?docid=5381469877697541696&ei=lPuFS-rLKZSYqQOX5YWjBw&q=history+of+the+devil+documentary&hl=en#

  • Hollywood PUA

    Well said…

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  • Tarotsbybob

    first paragraph here proves that the writer has no idea what he/she is talking about
    the devil was cast out of heaven before the universe was made and was portrayed as a serpent and evil in the first book of the bible
    the Iranian ppl only state things in a slightly different way
    most religion on this planet no matter what country they come from has its true origins in pagan beliefs 
    but those old teachings have been lost to us because one or more ppl were able to cause thousands of ppl to believe their own twisted version of things and many ppl think they have the right to force their own beliefs on to others even if it means breaking the commandments given by their own god
    war in the name of god does not prove anything at all except that might makes right and in this day in age we as adults should already know that is not the case
    more often than not points that are proven by force are wrong anyways and may land you in jail

    every single one of the top 10 religions in this world are driven by money and money is the root of all evil
    so who is evil
    the devil or the churches ?????
     

  • Tarotsbybob

    first paragraph here proves that the writer has no idea what he/she is talking about
    the devil was cast out of heaven before the universe was made and was portrayed as a serpent and evil in the first book of the bible
    the Iranian ppl only state things in a slightly different way
    most religion on this planet no matter what country they come from has its true origins in pagan beliefs 
    but those old teachings have been lost to us because one or more ppl were able to cause thousands of ppl to believe their own twisted version of things and many ppl think they have the right to force their own beliefs on to others even if it means breaking the commandments given by their own god
    war in the name of god does not prove anything at all except that might makes right and in this day in age we as adults should already know that is not the case
    more often than not points that are proven by force are wrong anyways and may land you in jail

    every single one of the top 10 religions in this world are driven by money and money is the root of all evil
    so who is evil
    the devil or the churches ?????
     

  • Bossmoore

    Poorly written. Though I appreciate the historical spread, to speak of evil and the Devil, Satan or Saden as a mystical being is driven by the humanistic philosophy that religion is the creation of man, and though most religion is the creation of man, if there is an “all powerful” God which evidence demonstrates that to me, then for God to warn us of the evil of the enemy is not the origin of the thoughts of man, but God, the one creator. A better approach would be to journal the earliest evidence of his existence and present that. It certainly makes sense that all man made religion would mimic that which has presented itself from the beginning of our time. Different descriptions, by different men and religions has no bearing whatsoever of the truth or existence.

  • Bossmoore

    Poorly written. Though I appreciate the historical spread, to speak of evil and the Devil, Satan or Saden as a mystical being is driven by the humanistic philosophy that religion is the creation of man, and though most religion is the creation of man, if there is an “all powerful” God which evidence demonstrates that to me, then for God to warn us of the evil of the enemy is not the origin of the thoughts of man, but God, the one creator. A better approach would be to journal the earliest evidence of his existence and present that. It certainly makes sense that all man made religion would mimic that which has presented itself from the beginning of our time. Different descriptions, by different men and religions has no bearing whatsoever of the truth or existence.

  • koz

    Excellent.

  • Adrienneking89

    I love the metal music in the background…

  • Caffeine Anonymous

    Lucifer was Gods top angel the light bringer before his fall. He was the master of music, knowledge, and was above all other angles in heaven. He was perfect in every way. There was God the head Jesus the Son and Lucifer the light bringer then the angles.

    One day God gave Jesus all authority and included him in Gods creations to follow (universe/earth/man), but God left Lucifer out. Lucifer already perfect in every way everything he did brimmed with excellence wanted the same authority.  Lucifer became unbalanced instead of the good he now was filled with doubt and hate, became proud, arrogant, jealous, wicked. He became evil, he became Satan.

    And so he decided he wanted to be like God he wanted to do his own thing without Gods Authority and he wanted to rule over the angles where he managed to convince a 3rd of the angels in heaven to side with him and take control of the heavens. A great war broke out in Heaven between Satan & his followers against Jesus & the  angles, Satan was beaten but not destroyed instead he & the angles that sided with him were kicked out of heaven. 

    After a time God & Jesus created earth and man. And all was good. Adam and Eve were the first humans and they had everything they needed, they were tall than we are today and had perfect bodies, beautiful features eve was very beautiful.

    Satan hates man cause they are Gods creation anything that comes from God Satan hates and will try to destroy. Plus we have one over Satan we can procreate, Satan and his angles cannot. Satan number 1 priority is to destroy man not just of the flesh but of the spirit as well.  Man will have the same downfall as satan if he can cause them to sin they too will join him in the underworld for he wants them to fail just like he has.

    Angles are larger than man around 10 feet tall, their bodies are perfect and they glow they do not have flesh like us but more a spirit that is clothed. When Satan and the angles got kicked out of heaven they lost that perfectness they still had their size but they are ugly compared to the Angels in Heaven.  A prophet said that Satan has a very very old face more a frightening thing to look at that you will quickly look away in horror but a body of a young man & his is hands are very old looking and saggy.  He has a permanent grin more a smirk and if you manage to look at him long enough his grin shows his true status it is not a smile of love or happiness but a smile of pure evil. Satan is not this being of beauty or strength where woman will fall at their knees if they saw him (pagan witches believe).  He is the ugliest frightening creature you would ever see that is bent on destroying you.

    • Caffeine Anonymous

      Spelling! *Angels*

  • Karen

    Although a very very interesting documentary, the things said about Romans and Roman religion are simply wrong. Pan was not a very popular god, he was actually a lower nature god who was considered of little importance. Also, roman persocutions never occured in such quantities as this documentary states.

  • jj

    I have a website where I detail an extinsive run in I had with so called demons. The site contains other important information intended to raise consciousness. The site is http://www.wix.com/metatruth/site

  • manholecover

    More so called WORK on a fucking FABLE full of bullshit and religious belief in utter CRAP. WE believe what our Mothers and Fathers believe because we love them, that’s not very scientific or factually based. We are all good and evil inside of us, most choose evil because it’s EASY. Nothing in life makes ANY SENSE. We are floating on a fucking ROCK in an ENDLESS SPACE and we will all die. That’s the only truth.

    • Spacechase

      How sad it must be to believe that nothing greater than yourself exists.

    • Cloak

      Slow down, bucko. Whether or not you agree with the mythology doesn’t mean you are allowed to put down the people who believe in it. Despite the fact that you would rather try and debunk a religion (fat chance) than acknowledge that this article is a history of belief, and both historically and culturally significant, proves that all you are is a pissed off atheist who provided nothing to the commentary.

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