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Literary genre of the wilderness temptation

Despite its superficial appearance as a simple historical record, the Synoptic account of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness1 has often been interpreted as symbolic or parabolic of Jesus’ experiences, since the early Christian era.2 The popularity of this interpretation waxed and waned throughout history; Origen understood the account as a dramatized parable,3 and although Aquinas opposed those who interpreted the temptations as […] 

Satanology of the Apostolic Fathers: Conclusion

Conclusion The following list summarizes this assessment of supernatural evil in the Apostolic Fathers. 1. Didache: strongly demythologized. 2. Epistle of Barnabas: strongly mythological. 3. 1 Clement: strongly non-mythological. 4. Visions 1-4 (Shepherd of Hermas): strongly demythologized. 5. Vision 5, Mandates, Parables (Shepherd of Hermas): weakly mythological. 6. Polycarp’s Letter to the Philippians: weakly mythological. 7. Martyrdom of Polycarp: non-mythological. […] 

When demonology fails: strategies of denial

It 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. Additionally, they interpret certain New Testament passages which appear to be speaking of illness caused […] 

Satanology of the Apostolic Fathers: 2 Clement

Traditionally 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 sinful and have not yet escaped from temptation; but even though I am surrounded by the tools of the devil, I […]