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Dualism in the Synoptics

The paucity of pre-Christian witness to the satanological terminology in the Synoptic temptation accounts, together with the absence from the Synoptics of established Second Temple terms for supernatural Satan figures (Satanael, Mastema, Belial, Shemihazah, Azâzêl, etc), gives reason to doubt the Synoptic writers held the cosmological dualistic views of their contemporaries. An examination of dualism in the Synoptics, within their […] 

Satanological terminology in the Synoptics: the tempter

The term ‘the tempter’ (ho peirazwn), has no pre-Christian witness in the intertestamental or Qumran literature at all. The term appears in History of the Rechabites 2:9;1 4:1-2,2 but only in the Greek text belonging to the Christian era; it is absent from the Syriac. It is also absent from the Apostolic Fathers, appearing in Christian texts later in the second century. […] 

Satanological terminology in the Synoptics: Satan

Three terms are used to describe Christ’s adversary in the Synoptic temptation accounts; ‘satan’ (ho satanas in Mark 1:12, with the vocative satana without the definite article only in Matthew 4:10), ‘the tempter’ (ho peirazwn, only in Matthew 4:3), and ‘the devil’ (ho diabolos). Elsewhere in Matthew (and only Matthew), the term ‘the evil one’ (ho ponēros), may also be used (Matthew 5:37; […] 

Identifying the adversary

Matthew and Luke’s temptation accounts both consistently refer to Jesus’ adversary as ‘the devil’, whereas Mark’s account only refers to Jesus’ adversary once, as ‘Satan’ (Mark 1:13). In addition, Matthew refers once to ‘the tempter’ (Matthew 4:3), and has Jesus address his adversary once as ‘Satan’ (Matthew 4:10). The Synoptic writers introduce these terms early in their gospels, without explanation […]