Category: Doctrine

When demonology fails: strategies of denial

This entry is part 6 of 7 in the series Satan & demons: Thomas Farrar's commentaryIt is significant that many Christians who profess a belief in demons, act as if they do not. They usually treat illnesses as if they were natural in origin (rather than supernatural), including those illnesses which the New Testament writers apparently attributed to demonic possession. […] 

Satanology of the Apostolic Fathers: 2 Clement

This entry is part 11 of 14 in the series Then the Devil Left: Satan’s lack of presence in the Apostolic FathersTraditionally listed in the Apostolic Fathers, 2 Clement is now recognized as a pseudepigraphal work of the mid-second century at earliest. There is one use of diabolos in 2 Clement. 2 Clement 18: 2 For I myself am utterly […] 

Satanology of the Apostolic Fathers: Quadratus

This entry is part 13 of 14 in the series Then the Devil Left: Satan’s lack of presence in the Apostolic FathersThe early second century Christian apologist Quadratus is known only by a fragment of his work quoted by the fourth century Christian historian Eusebius.1 ‘OUR Saviour’s works, moreover, were always present: for they were real, consisting of those who […] 

Satanology of the Apostolic Fathers: Epistle to Diognetus

This entry is part 12 of 14 in the series Then the Devil Left: Satan’s lack of presence in the Apostolic FathersTypically dated to the late second century,1 this letter presents views which are remarkably different to those of the Apologists who were his contemporaries. Unlike the Apologists, the writer’s soteriology does not describe Christ as a ransom payment to the […] 

New Testament satanology & rabbinic literature

This entry is part 5 of 7 in the series Satan & demons: Thomas Farrar's commentaryEx-Christadelphian Tom Farrar has written an article discussing the relevance of post-Christian rabbinic literature to the satanology of the New Testament and early Christianity. His article contains some useful information, but also contains some highly misleading statements. How relevant is rabbinic literature to an understanding […] 

Who says “The devil made me do it”?

This entry is part 4 of 7 in the series Satan & demons: Thomas Farrar's commentaryEx-Christadelphian Tom Farrar has written an article objecting to the way Christadelphians characterize mainstream Christian comments about the role of Satan in their life. Over time, in discussions with Christadelphians, I have repeatedly encountered the accusation that Christians who affirm the existence of a personal devil […] 

The temptation of Christ: a ten point idiosyncratic interpretation

This entry is part 3 of 7 in the series Satan & demons: Thomas Farrar's commentaryEx-Christadelphian Tom Farrar has written a ten point interpretation of the temptation of Christ in the wilderness, aimed at supporting his personal satanology. The list is idiosyncratic in that it makes various arguments which are unique to Farrar, and which are contradicted or dismissed in […] 

Satanology of the Apostolic Fathers: Martyrdom of Polycarp

This entry is part 8 of 14 in the series Then the Devil Left: Satan’s lack of presence in the Apostolic FathersOn the basis of the most likely date for the death of Polycarp himself,1 the Martyrdom of Polycarp is typically dated to the late second century.2  The extant textual tradition consists of seven Greek manuscripts dating from the tenth […] 

Satanology of the Apostolic Fathers: Fragments of Papias

This entry is part 9 of 14 in the series Then the Devil Left: Satan’s lack of presence in the Apostolic FathersPapias was a bishop of Hierapolis who wrote a work known as ‘Expositions of the Sayings of the Lord’, which was probably written around the middle of the second century,1 but which has been lost; only fragments of his work […] 

Satanology of the Apostolic Fathers: Epistles of Ignatius

This entry is part 10 of 14 in the series Then the Devil Left: Satan’s lack of presence in the Apostolic FathersTypically dated between 110 and 117 CE,1 seven epistles of Ignatius are recognized as genuine,2 with the ‘middle recension’ (quoted by Eusebius), considered the most reliable.3 Ignatius uses the satanological terms ‘ruler of this age’ (Ephesians 17.1; 19.1, Magnesians 1.1, Trallians […]