Tag: early Christianity

Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness

This entry is part 7 of 7 in the series Satan & demons: Thomas Farrar's commentaryIn response to an eight part study I wrote on Christ’s temptation in the wilderness, Tom Farrar has written a four part response to just one of my arguments. I address all four parts of his response in this article. Part one: midrash & historical […] 

Satanological terminology in the Synoptics: Satan

This entry is part 3 of 8 in the series The Yetzer in the Wilderness: Jesus and the Evil InclinationThree 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). […] 

Identifying the adversary

This entry is part 2 of 8 in the series The Yetzer in the Wilderness: Jesus and the Evil InclinationMatthew 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 […] 

Literary genre of the wilderness temptation

This entry is part 1 of 8 in the series The Yetzer in the Wilderness: Jesus and the Evil InclinationDespite 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 […] 

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 […] 

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 […]