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Steven3
Oct 26th 2007, 06:04 AM
Hi folks
Open question, prompted by another thread.

If you were asked to give 1 Bible verse as evidence for Satan not being an allegory/symbol, but being a literal-historical supernatural being which verse would it be? :hmm:

God bless
Steven

th1bill
Oct 26th 2007, 06:24 AM
Hi folks
Open question, prompted by another thread.

If you were asked to give 1 Bible verse as evidence for Satan not being an allegory/symbol, but being a literal-historical supernatural being which verse would it be? :hmm:

God bless
Steven
I would laugh and ask them to be serious. There are 23 direct references to Satan and the Bible, front to rear, is full of indirect references. If Satan is an allegory, the entire Bible is a lie. The truth of the matter is that the Bible has stood the test of time by having never failed in these last two thousand years of continual attack on all fronts. Not one error has been found after 20 centuries of examination by the worlds most educated and devoted detractors.

Satan is real!

Soj
Oct 26th 2007, 06:38 AM
Probably the following verse where 1) God has a verbal conversation with Satan, and 2) Satan says that he has been "walking".

Job 2:2 And the LORD said unto Satan, From whence comest thou? And Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.

From that verse there is no denying that Satan is a real person, the ultimate test is whether you believe what the text says?

jeffweeder
Oct 26th 2007, 06:42 AM
And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.
6 And the devil said to Him, "I will give You all this domain and it glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.
7 "Therefore if You worship[4][Or bow down before ] before me, it shall all be Yours."
8 Jesus answered him, "It is written, 'YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD AND SERVE HIM ONLY.' " .................................................. ...

kardia
Oct 26th 2007, 06:51 AM
And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. (Rev 12:9 KJV)

Flutecrafter
Oct 26th 2007, 08:16 AM
Luke 22

31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:

Sold Out
Oct 26th 2007, 12:52 PM
If Jesus is real, then Satan is real, because he tempted Jesus:

"Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve." Matthew 9:10

Pleroo
Oct 26th 2007, 03:53 PM
Hi folks
Open question, prompted by another thread.

If you were asked to give 1 Bible verse as evidence for Satan not being an allegory/symbol, but being a literal-historical supernatural being which verse would it be? :hmm:

God bless
Steven

I tend to believe that it is both. Some references to satan/the devil are, I believe, directly referring to the fallen nature of man, other times to actual being/s of the spiritual realm. The only ones listed above that I particularly feel strongly are the latter, are the references to Jesus' tempation.

Tanya~
Oct 26th 2007, 05:08 PM
Hi Steven,



If you were asked to give 1 Bible verse as evidence for Satan not being an allegory/symbol, but being a literal-historical supernatural being which verse would it be? :hmm:

Luke 10:18 And He [Jesus] said to them, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.

Pleroo
Oct 26th 2007, 05:13 PM
Another reference:

Jude 1:9 But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not dare to bring a slanderous accusation against him, but said, "The Lord rebuke you!"


Though I'm not trying to give you evidence, frankly. This, along with the Jesus' temptation passages (and some others that could certainly go either way), are simply the passages that make me think it's not so cut and dried as to say that satan/devil are ONLY allegorical/symbolic. :)

[Edit: I should also say that some of the "demon" passages, which I find impossible to look at as allegorical/symbolic, convince me that there are literal spiritual beings in the realm of darkness. It makes sense to me to believe that, since there are demons, there is likely some type of hierarchy involved, and a "lead" demon. Could be wrong. These are just my thoughts.]

Semi-tortured
Oct 26th 2007, 05:25 PM
If Jesus is real, then Satan is real, because he tempted Jesus:

"Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve." Matthew 9:10


I wonder if Satan was visible to Jesus during the temptation? Like was Satan tempting him in his mind, or was Jesus standing face to face with some sort of physical manifestation of Satan?

"The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist." Kevin Spacey in The Usual Suspects

markedward
Oct 26th 2007, 05:37 PM
I wonder if Satan was visible to Jesus during the temptation? Like was Satan tempting him in his mind, or was Jesus standing face to face with some sort of physical manifestation of Satan?Satan was described as having a one-on-one conversation with Jesus. Might be a little weird when Jesus is hanging out with John and Peter one day and they ask Him about His time before His ministry and He replies "Well, you see, guys, I went out into the wilderness and I had a conversation in My brain!"

It probably wasn't that Satan appeared in a physical, tangible body to Jesus... think of when an angel appeared to Ezekiel by the river. Only Ezekiel could see him, even though there were other people nearby. It could easily have been the same case for Satan.

Semi-tortured
Oct 26th 2007, 05:53 PM
Satan was described as having a one-on-one conversation with Jesus. Might be a little weird when Jesus is hanging out with John and Peter one day and they ask Him about His time before His ministry and He replies "Well, you see, guys, I went out into the wilderness and I had a conversation in My brain!"

It probably wasn't that Satan appeared in a physical, tangible body to Jesus... think of when an angel appeared to Ezekiel by the river. Only Ezekiel could see him, even though there were other people nearby. It could easily have been the same case for Satan.

Imagine being face to face with the evilest creature to ever be. :no:

For Jesus to stand up to that so resoundingly...wow.

rchivers
Oct 26th 2007, 06:31 PM
Imagine being face to face with the evilest creature to ever be. :no:

For Jesus to stand up to that so resoundingly...wow.

Well being God and all, it probably was not too big of a deal.

Semi-tortured
Oct 26th 2007, 07:10 PM
Well being God and all, it probably was not too big of a deal.


Still, He was in human flesh.

Tanya~
Oct 26th 2007, 07:39 PM
Another one is this one, I don't know if anyone has already posted it or not:

Luke 22:3
Then Satan entered Judas, surnamed Iscariot, who was numbered among the twelve.
NKJV

John put it this way:

John 13:27
Now after the piece of bread, Satan entered him. Then Jesus said to him, "What you do, do quickly."
NKJV

An allegory/symbol can't do anything, can't come and go, can't hear any commands or instructions, can't enter a person.

Amazedgrace21
Oct 26th 2007, 08:23 PM
The first reference to Satan in Scripture is found in 1 Chronicles 21:1. The passage of first mention is of great importance. It should cause us to examine closely what the passage tells us about Satan. In the context of 1 Chronicles 21:1 several things are revealed about the adversary and a great "jumping point" to open up the discussion of his tactic's..

"Then Satan stood up against Israel and moved David to number Israel." (1 Chronicles 21:1)

For example,,

Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 2:11, “lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.”

The enemy has been in his game plan a very long time.:)

others:


The Accuser of the Brethren
“Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.” Revelation 12:10

The Spirit of Disobedience
In Ephesians 2:2, Satan is referred to in this manner as he motivates people toward rebellion and anarchy.

The Deceiver of the Whole World
“The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.” Revelation 12:9

Abaddon or Apollyon Abaddon is the Hebrew and Apollyon is the Greek for these titles. Both of these words mean “destroyer,” one who loves to mangle, rip, or tear. “They had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek, Apollyon.” Revelation 9:11The Father of LiesJesus calls Satan this in John 8:44. All lies have their origin in Satan.

The Tempter
The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Matthew 4:3“For this reason, when I could stand it no longer, I sent Timothy to find out about your faith. I was afraid that in some way the tempter might have tempted you and our efforts might have been useless.” I Thessalonians 3:5


YSIC,
Grace

StevenC
Oct 27th 2007, 12:45 AM
Hi folks
Open question, prompted by another thread.

If you were asked to give 1 Bible verse as evidence for Satan not being an allegory/symbol, but being a literal-historical supernatural being which verse would it be? :hmm:

God bless
Steven

Hello,

Scripture should be taken at face that such an entity does in fact exist.

In the case of satan, the word means adversary or accuser. Where the original texts indicate a singular such as "the adversary" I would expect satan to be substituted in english. The capitalization denoting a proper name may be a figment of our language, however, the existence of the being is most certainly not.

In Scripture, Jesus' temptation by Satan is clearly manifest in a being as Jesus rebukes this being.

Luke 4:13 And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.

The devil is described here as having tried to tempt Jesus. How is it the the devil had left Jesus alone if he is not a being.

Revelations 20:7-8 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

Notice scripture does not say "the devils" plural but rather a singular entity in english called Satan.

Anyway, there are plenty of passages that refer to a singular adversary of God.

-Steven

StevenC
Oct 27th 2007, 12:55 AM
I would like to add that if you read the wiki entry on Satan it suggests that even satanists do not believe that the enemy is a real being but ascribe satan to being the evil nature of man.

In Christianity, the idea that satan is not a real entity may in fact be outside influence from the synagog of Satan. Of course, some probably think they are allegorical too. :rolleyes:

-Steven

GJT
Oct 27th 2007, 03:33 AM
There's evidence of Satan being a real entity even outside of the bible, just research about the Mayan culture. I'm not being insensitive to other peoples cultures its there if you know what to look for and the signs. This planets conected more then people think its A LOT more then parallel thinking.

Steven3
Oct 27th 2007, 04:53 AM
Hello all
First - why is allegory "a lie"? :hmm: according to Merriam-Webster dictionary allegory is symbolic of truths


Allegory (http://m-w.com/dictionary/allegory)
1: the expression by means of symbolic fictional figures and actions of truths or generalizations about human existence; also : an instance (as in a story or painting) of such expression
2: a symbolic representation



Second, and permit me to play allegory's advocate for a moment ;), based on the proofs quoted, most of those verses simply don't pass the test of not being an allegory at some level. None of them are a straight journalistic account such as Saul throwing a spear at David, or Sanballat opposing Ezra and Nehemiah, etc.

* In Job 1 how many of us really take every line of the story 100% literally? How many take as literal historical fact that God literally points out his best servants to his prosecutor in the heavenly court, and then God literally said those things setting up Job for the death of his children? And God literally armed the Adversary character with the powers and limits to do so? Is every word of Job1 and 2 literally journalistically historically true - as true as a report in the Washington Post of a railway disaster? http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=270&letter=S

* In 1 Chronicles 21:1 how many of us literally think a fallen angel independantly made David number Israel when 2 Sam 24:1 says God caused it? God literally did it, or Satan literally did it. Which one is allegory, or both?

* In Matt4, undoubtedly important because it's apparently the only time in the history of mankind when anyone on earth ever saw or spoke to Satan, did Satan literally take Christ to a literal mountain where he could literally see all the kingdoms of the literal world? Is this account 100% straight journalism of events as they actually happened - and if it is why is Luke out of order? Is there no allegory in this account at all?

* Satan entering Judas (twice in the same meal), why's that not allegory? Can't an allegory enter someone?

As I said, playing allegory's-advocate, interested in hard proof that Satan isn't an allegory.
God bless
Steven

PS
"The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist." Kevin Spacey in The Usual SuspectsChris McQuarrie won an Oscar for his 1995 screenplay but Spacey's line isn't original, it's a quote of a girl in a short story by Baudelaire who credits this, somewhat dishonest, argument to a 'cunning' Parisian preacher she'd heard ("La plus belle ruse du diable est de vous persuadez qu'il n'existe pas" in 'Petits poèmes en prose - Le spleen de Paris' 1869). Baudelaire clearly thought the fictional preacher's argument was bogus, and one imagines that McQuarrie knew that when he put it in the mouth of Spacey's character Verbal Kint.

StevenC
Oct 27th 2007, 05:00 AM
As I said, playing allegory's-advocate, interested in hard proof that Satan isn't an allegory.

People tend to find what their looking for. However, if you want proof and are a Christian, just read your Bible, or if you still don't understand ask God. Your postings indicate you are not looking for the answer but instead presenting the opinion that the existence in the devil is allegorical, of which even the devil worshipers apparently believe.

I will instead ask you to present scripture showing that the devil is allegorical.. if you can even find one scripture that shows the devil is allegorical then I would accept your assertion that you are looking for the truth of the matter, otherwise I think you are just fishing.

-Steven

OldChurchGuy
Oct 27th 2007, 05:10 AM
People tend to find what their looking for. However, if you want proof and are a Christian, just read your Bible, or if you still don't understand ask God. Your postings indicate you are not looking for the answer but instead presenting the opinion that the existence in the devil is allegorical, of which even the devil worshipers apparently believe.

I will instead ask you to present scripture showing that the devil is allegorical.. if you can even find one scripture that shows the devil is allegorical then I would accept your assertion that you are looking for the truth of the matter, otherwise I think you are just fishing.

-Steven

Why do you believe that Steven 3's interpretation / understanding of the Bible verses he mentioned is incorrect?

OldChurchGuy

StevenC
Oct 27th 2007, 05:42 AM
Why do you believe that Steven 3's interpretation / understanding of the Bible verses he mentioned is incorrect?

OldChurchGuy

No I don't agree with him.

Perhaps it strikes at the heart of God's character... If God tells us a story that didn't really happen, is God being truthful?

So while some may wish to believe that Job is allegorical because they cannot fathom why the creator would allow Satan to destroy Job's entire family, we have to ask ourselves, what is man that God regards him? From my perspective God has the right to destroy what he created. (i.e. Has not the potter power over the clay.)

Steven can certain believe what he wishes, but if he is willing to argue that God tells us stories and then what he is saying in my opinion is the Bible is filled with lies.

Again with Jesus who are we to say that Jesus was not literally wisked away to a mountain? Saying its allegorical is saying that its not true, that its a story..

A story is not Truth and therefore I reject that. Now when Jesus makes it clear he is telling a story, such as the parables, that is fine, Jesus isn't saying, this really happened, he's making it clear he is telling a story. And I got no problems with that. But to say the Bible is allegorical in the context of Jesus' life is totally unacceptable.

Now it may be that Job is entirely allegorical (I am willing to reason) but to say other scripture must be allegorical on the basis that some don't want to believe in Satan is implying that God is a liar IMO or at best a fabricator of stories.

-Steven

OldChurchGuy
Oct 27th 2007, 05:51 AM
No I don't agree with him.

Perhaps it strikes at the heart of God's character... If God tells us a story that didn't really happen, is God being truthful?

So while some may wish to believe that Job is allegorical because they cannot fathom why the creator would allow Satan to destroy Job's entire family, we have to ask ourselves, what is man that God regards him? From my perspective God has the right to destroy what he created. (i.e. Has not the potter power over the clay.)

Steven can certain believe what he wishes, but if he is willing to argue that God tells us stories and then what he is saying in my opinion is the Bible is filled with lies.

Again with Jesus who are we to say that Jesus was not literally wisked away to a mountain? Saying its allegorical is saying that its not true, that its a story..

A story is not Truth and therefore I reject that. Now when Jesus makes it clear he is telling a story, such as the parables, that is fine, Jesus isn't saying, this really happened, he's making it clear he is telling a story. And I got no problems with that. But to say the Bible is allegorical in the context of Jesus' life is totally unacceptable.

Now it may be that Job is entirely allegorical (I am willing to reason) but to say other scripture must be allegorical on the basis that some don't want to believe in Satan is implying that God is a liar IMO or at best a fabricator of stories.

-Steven

Meaning no offense, but what of the verses specifically cited by Steve3? How is the interpretation / understanding of those specific verses incorrect?

Respectfully,

OldChurchGuy

Steven3
Oct 27th 2007, 05:51 AM
Hi StevenC
Maybe I'm wrong but I detect there's a kind of undertext that almost seems to be implying that I'm somehow morally deficient in some way for not automatically reading literally things that don't appear, to me, to be 100% literal? Sorry if that's so. :cry:

As for whether it is "fishing" to ask for the best verse evidence for something, then okay, my OP, my thread, "my bad", by asking this question I'm guilty of "fishing". May God forgive me.
http://www.imageclick.co.uk/gfx/thumbnails/13-5020.jpg

But what I'm looking to snag is a verse which presents Satan in a journalistic or historical context - and I don't mean those 3 human satans in Solomon's time, or the Num22:22 satan who opposed Balaam, I accept those are non-allegorical.

Do you really want me to present evidence that Satan is allegorical? What's the point - everybody concedes Satan is allegorical in some of the 100+ verses.
God bless
Steven


People tend to find what their looking for. However, if you want proof and are a Christian, just read your Bible, or if you still don't understand ask God. Your postings indicate you are not looking for the answer but instead presenting the opinion that the existence in the devil is allegorical, of which even the devil worshipers apparently believe.

I will instead ask you to present scripture showing that the devil is allegorical.. if you can even find one scripture that shows the devil is allegorical then I would accept your assertion that you are looking for the truth of the matter, otherwise I think you are just fishing.

-Steven

Pleroo
Oct 27th 2007, 03:55 PM
* In Job 1 how many of us really take every line of the story 100% literally? How many take as literal historical fact that God literally points out his best servants to his prosecutor in the heavenly court, and then God literally said those things setting up Job for the death of his children? And God literally armed the Adversary character with the powers and limits to do so? Is every word of Job1 and 2 literally journalistically historically true - as true as a report in the Washington Post of a railway disaster? http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=270&letter=S



* In 1 Chronicles 21:1 how many of us literally think a fallen angel independantly made David number Israel when 2 Sam 24:1 says God caused it? God literally did it, or Satan literally did it. Which one is allegory, or both?

I think it's entirely possible to say that every word of these accounts are true, without reading everything within the accounts as literal. However, it would be very helpful, from my standpoint, if you could expand on exactly what you think this is an allegory/symbol for.

For instance, I think a case can very easily be made that devil/satan can be symbolic of the fallen human nature, which has set itself up in opposition to God -- it is the adversary (satan), and it is also, as believers, our false accuser (devil) before God. But, there are times when I feel that symbol breaks down as for instance:



* In Matt4, undoubtedly important because it's apparently the only time in the history of mankind when anyone on earth ever saw or spoke to Satan, did Satan literally take Christ to a literal mountain where he could literally see all the kingdoms of the literal world? Is this account 100% straight journalism of events as they actually happened - and if it is why is Luke out of order? Is there no allegory in this account at all?

If satan/devil is always and only a symbol for the fallen human nature, then it is not possible, to my understanding, to see that in the account of Jesus' temptation. He did not have a fallen nature, so what exactly was tempting him here?

If not a literal being, can you tell me how you would explain this passage? What/who here is tempting Jesus? I am very interested.

Edit: I would also be interested in your understanding of the demon passages. Do you think those are always allegorical? If so, how do you explain, for instance, them driving pigs into the sea to drown (Matt 8)? Is that, in your understanding, also complete allegory? I find it difficult, nigh on impossible, to see it as such. It definitely has the appearance of a journalistic, literal account.

ShirleyFord
Oct 27th 2007, 04:06 PM
This is clear Scriptural evidence that the devil is a literal spirit being:

Mt 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

Rev 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Rev 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

Rev 20:7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,

Rev 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.


Shirley

Pleroo
Oct 27th 2007, 04:23 PM
This is clear Scriptural evidence that the devil is a literal spirit being:

Mt 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

Rev 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Rev 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

Rev 20:7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,

Rev 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

Hi Shirely. :)

I do not find it difficult to see these references as symbolic of fallen human nature. It is our arrogance and self-pride that has set us up against God trying to convince ourselves we are god in His place [satan:adversary]. It is also our fallen nature that tries to convince us that Scripture is not true when it says that Jesus takes away the sin of the world and that as believers we are justified before God [devil:false accuser]. In other words, the fallen human nature has "deceived the whole world", but the deceiver is being brought into the full Light of what Jesus accomplished at the cross -- it is torment indeed for our fallen human nature when that happens, and it will not withstand that Light. These are my thoughts.

ShirleyFord
Oct 27th 2007, 04:40 PM
Hi Shirely. :)

I do not find it difficult to see these references as symbolic of fallen human nature. It is our arrogance and self-pride that has set us up against God trying to convince ourselves we are god in His place [satan:adversary]. It is also our fallen nature that tries to convince us that Scripture is not true when it says that Jesus takes away the sin of the world and that as believers we are justified before God [devil:false accuser]. In other words, the fallen human nature has "deceived the whole world", but the deceiver is being brought into the full Light of what Jesus accomplished at the cross -- it is torment indeed for our fallen human nature when that happens, and it will not withstand that Light. These are my thoughts.

Perhaps then you wouldn't mind going through the Scriptures I listed and take each word in each verse and define it for me as either literal or symbolic:

Mt 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

Rev 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Rev 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

Rev 20:7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,

Rev 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

Thanks! :)


Shirley

Pleroo
Oct 27th 2007, 05:04 PM
Perhaps then you wouldn't mind going through the Scriptures I listed and take each word in each verse and define it for me as either literal or symbolic

Shirley, I'm no expert, but I don't think that's how symbolism and allegory work (the word for word thing). Also, I'm not trying to convince anyone of anything here. I am putting forth my thoughts on this -- thoughts that are in no way etched in granite. As a matter of fact, this is one of those things that I have been thinking on for quite some time, coming to no firm conclusion and that is why I'm appreciative that this thread is here. I appreciate the dialogue because I learn from it. If you want to show me why I am wrong in this, by all means, be my guest.

ShirleyFord
Oct 27th 2007, 06:49 PM
Shirley, I'm no expert, but I don't think that's how symbolism and allegory work (the word for word thing). Also, I'm not trying to convince anyone of anything here. I am putting forth my thoughts on this -- thoughts that are in no way etched in granite. As a matter of fact, this is one of those things that I have been thinking on for quite some time, coming to no firm conclusion and that is why I'm appreciative that this thread is here. I appreciate the dialogue because I learn from it. If you want to show me why I am wrong in this, by all means, be my guest.

I agree that as we discuss Scripture with others, we all learn if we stay focused on what the Scriptures themselves actually are saying. I know I do.

So assuming that you are right and that "the devil" in all of these Scriptures are symbolic of our fallen sinful nature, let's go through each of the verses and see what else could be accurately defined as symbolic as well. I've bolded and underlined different words in each verse along with "the devil" that seems to me to be very important in the understanding of the entire verse of whether they are to be understood literally or symbolically.

Mt 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

Rev 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Rev 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

Rev 20:7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,

Rev 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.


Shirley

StevenC
Oct 27th 2007, 08:23 PM
But what I'm looking to snag is a verse which presents Satan in a journalistic or historical context - and I don't mean those 3 human satans in Solomon's time, or the Num22:22 satan who opposed Balaam, I accept those are non-allegorical.

Do you really want me to present evidence that Satan is allegorical? What's the point - everybody concedes Satan is allegorical in some of the 100+ verses.
God bless
Steven

The word allegory as opposed to symbolic implies a larger work. So if you say one verse is allegory what your really saying is that the entire work is allegory. Because one verse singled out cannot be an allegory the correct implication is that a single verse is symbolic not literal. To say a verse is allegorical is the same as saying that the entire work is allegorical.

So essentially by declaring the gospels allegorical you are classifying them as works of fiction with elements of truth.... And you wonder why I am a little coarse with you?

But I will lay off, hopefully you understand that many do not agree with you, and maybe you'll consider that there is a good reason why.

-Steven

StevenC
Oct 27th 2007, 08:44 PM
Meaning no offense, but what of the verses specifically cited by Steve3? How is the interpretation / understanding of those specific verses incorrect?

Respectfully,

OldChurchGuy

Hello,

Your question deserves a response although I hope to leave the thread alone after this.

Allegory is typically a large work rather than a particular verse.

If someone said that the account of Jesus encounter with Satan in Matthew or Luke was symbolic, then I would have probably just ignore it. Its difficult to convince people that something symbolic is literal or something literal is symbolic, and often times in the Bible you'll find cases where both are true, something is being literal and symbolic simultaneously. Sometimes people can only see one side and not the other.

Saying certain verses are allegorical is an attack on the larger work because it implies that the entire work is fiction meaning not real, with elements of truth. This is not to say that God doesn't teach us through allegory or parables which is one of the ways Jesus taught (which also fulfilled prophecy.)

One could easily argue that life in itself is a sort of allegory. Real personally experienced events that contain moral lessons which God is teaching us through a sort of symbolism. Although the word allegory is probably not the best word to describe this.

The Gospels having different timelines or sequences of events does not in itself mean the events were not literal. To say that implies that the sequence of events is more important than the events themselves.

Hope that answers atleast part of your question,

-Steven

Pleroo
Oct 27th 2007, 11:13 PM
Mt 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:


I guess I'm not seeing the problem with saying that some of these words are symbolic while some are not. For instance, when it talks earlier in this section about Jesus sitting on His throne, I don't have a problem with thinking the sitting and the throne may very well be symbolic. I don't think it's unlikely to say the fire is symbolic.

Also, earlier in that passage He's saying that people are being judged on whether or not they've done things for HIM, but then continues on to explain that that is symbolic, for having done things for others. And earlier He used the symbol of sheep and goats.

Basically, what I'm saying is that in speech, I think it's quite common to mix symbolic language with literal.





Rev 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Rev 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

Rev 20:7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,

Rev 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.


Shirley

I'm definitely having a hard time understanding why it's so hard to see these verses in Revelation as full of symbolic language since that [symbolic or signified] is how it is described in the very first chapter of the book.


Finally, satan means adversary, devil means false accuser. Sometimes the words are left basically untranslated, making them appear to be proper nouns. Sometimes they are not and this has been done at the discretion of the translators. So, SOMETIMES, it is apparently okay to see these words not as the name of a spiritual being, at least according to them.

Steven3
Oct 28th 2007, 03:16 AM
Hi Pleroo :)

I think it's entirely possible to say that every word of these accounts are true, without reading everything within the accounts as literal. However, it would be very helpful, from my standpoint, if you could expand on exactly what you think this is an allegory/symbol for.1. Job's Satan
I'm honestly not sure I know at all what the Prologue to Job is allegorical of, it's so far outside the norms of not just OT wisdom literature, but also any comparable ANE texts, that most serious commentators are wary of identifying the meaning. I'd hesitate to be dogmatic, any more than being dogmatic about the meaning of any other allegorical or symbolic material in the OT, or NT for that matter.

But if we look at the rest of the book of Job: Do any of us really think that those dialogues are a 100% verbatim court-transcript of long cycles of actual speeches that literally happened like Paul's speech in Athens? (I'd guess some do, some don't). Do those that don't, still think that there is a literal historical Job underlying the poetry? (I do, the details about S[h]abeans and Chaldeans indicate a real historical figure possibly living some time in 1 Kings).

So if there are allegorical elements in the rest of Job, why must the Prologue be 100% journalistic fact, a tape recorded transcript of actual conversations that took place in an actual throne-room, where God literally sends his Satan-courtier to kill his favourite believers children?

Whatever the Prologue is teaching about God and suffering I imagine it's consistent with the rest of Job/Elihu/God's speeches, and the Epilogue of the narrator at the end. I'm merely pointing out that Satan "going to and fro on the earth" is only 1 literal earth-bound-sounding line among context that otherwise is heaven-bound, and more likely to be allegory than history.


2. David's Satan
As to the 1Chr21:2-vs-IISam24:1 confusion about whether God or Satan caused David to number Israel, I'm not even sure that is allegorical. It could just be a Blunt's Undesigned Scriptural Coincidences type of problem where the solution is reading in parallel, and the fact that it's "a satan" (satan, no definite article, not the-Adversary, ha-Satan) may suggest it may be a 1Kings11:14 type human satan prompting David.


3. Christ's Satan
I must admit I agree with your assessment, the wilderness temptations would be, for me, the one exceptionally non-allegorical case. Even if it may (if allowed) contain some allegorical elements, we're presented with what reads almost like a journalistic account of a literal encounter with Satan, unique in the Bible.

If satan/devil is always and only a symbol for the fallen human nature, then it is not possible, to my understanding, to see that in the account of Jesus' temptation. He did not have a fallen nature, so what exactly was tempting him here?Clearly as someone who never sinned Jesus' mortality (on the cross) does not change the fact that he "holy, separate from sinners", did not have had a fallen nature like his family and neighbours at Nazareth, so there would have to be some external voice to propose the temptations. The devil in the wilderness is a good way of presenting those temptations. But, and this is I hope not going to cause offence with anyone, Jesus also didn't suffer from amnesia. The Holy Spirit didn't erase Christ's memory, wipe his hard drive of 30 years of knowing man (John 2:25), when the Holy Spirit "drove him into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan".

When Satan comes and tells him the (clearly Jewish*) expectations that the Messiah would
i. make manna,
ii. appear on the little-wing of the temple per Ps91
iii. drive out the Romans (2nd in Luke order)
*a Gentile (Buddhist, Hindu, Greek) Satan wouldn't ask i or ii, but might ask iii.

The miraculous element added to each of these temptations aside, the basic real-life-level temptations are unlikely to be things that Jesus hadn't already heard ad nauseam during the previous 30 years (again John 2:25 probably proves this). So perhaps the real question about Satan is what is he telling/offering Jesus that Jesus didn't already know?
If not a literal being, can you tell me how you would explain this passage? What/who here is tempting Jesus? I am very interested.I think we could only identify that by looking for if and where the 3 temptations occur in the 4th Gospel. Since there is no 40 days, they can only reoccur in the next 3 years - as Luke says:

Luke4:13 And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.

We could also ask why Luke (or his eye-witness interview Luke1:2) switched the order of the 2nd & 3rd temptations. Personally I think it's a deliberate switch because of what happens next in Luke 4:13,29...

4. Gadarene swine

Edit: I would also be interested in your understanding of the demon passages. Do you think those are always allegorical? If so, how do you explain, for instance, them driving pigs into the sea to drown (Matt 8)? Is that, in your understanding, also complete allegory? I find it difficult, nigh on impossible, to see it as such. It definitely has the appearance of a journalistic, literal account.I agree, I can't see how anyone can read the drowning of the pigs as anything less than a journalistic, literal account. In fact I don't see how any of the Synoptic demons verses can be put in the same category as the devil/Satan for two reasons:
A. people could always see the demon-possessed person, and
B. the NT (Paul and John in particular) doesn't go on and develop demons as an allegorical theme as the NT does with devil/Satan (John never even mentions demons once in his late Gospel, yet he freely references the devil).
Caveat 1: the only obvious exception being where Jesus tells the parable about the one demon who went and got seven more, that's clearly an allegory by definition.
Caveat 2: I suppose that the Gadarene swine may have a dual level of symbolic significance, like some of Jesus' other acted-parable-miracles, but in itself it's not an allegory by literary definition, it's a real historical event which people witnessed. It's no more a literary allegory than Jesus cursing the fig-tree, we have eyewitnesses.

God bless
Steven

ShirleyFord
Oct 28th 2007, 03:22 AM
[/u][/b]


I guess I'm not seeing the problem with saying that some of these words are symbolic while some are not. For instance, when it talks earlier in this section about Jesus sitting on His throne, I don't have a problem with thinking the sitting and the throne may very well be symbolic. I don't think it's unlikely to say the fire is symbolic.

Also, earlier in that passage He's saying that people are being judged on whether or not they've done things for HIM, but then continues on to explain that that is symbolic, for having done things for others. And earlier He used the symbol of sheep and goats.

Basically, what I'm saying is that in speech, I think it's quite common to mix symbolic language with literal.


I'm definitely having a hard time understanding why it's so hard to see these verses in Revelation as full of symbolic language since that [symbolic or signified] is how it is described in the very first chapter of the book.


Finally, satan means adversary, devil means false accuser. Sometimes the words are left basically untranslated, making them appear to be proper nouns. Sometimes they are not and this has been done at the discretion of the translators. So, SOMETIMES, it is apparently okay to see these words not as the name of a spiritual being, at least according to them.

I agree with you that Revelation is full of symbolic language. But there is still a lot of literal language also. But in order to be able to separate the symbolic language from the literal, we must go outside of Revelation to the rest of the NT where the language is clearer. But we can't just pick out words and then look them up in Strong's or some other concordance to get the true meaning. We must get the context of all that is being said where we find a certain word.

I'm able to do this with Jesus's own words in the 4 gospels. He speaks of the devil as though he is a literal being. I figure that Jesus should know what the devil is since He is God as well as man and I can depend on Him to tell me the truth. I can't find where he ever seems to imply that the devil is symbolic of man's old sinful nature that he was born with.

Jesus also speaks of eternal hell and everlasting punishment. I believe both are to be taken literally in Revelation, along with the lake of fire and the fire in it. And I believe both are eternal and never ends and the suffering of those who are in it never ends. Their suffering last forever and ever.

I also believe the angels of God and of the devil are very real literal spirit beings.

Shirley

Steven3
Oct 28th 2007, 03:40 AM
PS
I wonder is it challenging the inspiration of the Gospels to say that "Mammon" is an allegory? and that therefore devalues the rest of the Gospels? (I fully realise this is hardly the same as the Matt4 account, we all recognise that, I'm just addressing the point that recognising one verse of allegory doesn't make a whole book non-literal...)

OldChurchGuy
Oct 28th 2007, 11:49 AM
Hello,

Your question deserves a response although I hope to leave the thread alone after this.

Allegory is typically a large work rather than a particular verse.

If someone said that the account of Jesus encounter with Satan in Matthew or Luke was symbolic, then I would have probably just ignore it. Its difficult to convince people that something symbolic is literal or something literal is symbolic, and often times in the Bible you'll find cases where both are true, something is being literal and symbolic simultaneously. Sometimes people can only see one side and not the other.

Saying certain verses are allegorical is an attack on the larger work because it implies that the entire work is fiction meaning not real, with elements of truth. This is not to say that God doesn't teach us through allegory or parables which is one of the ways Jesus taught (which also fulfilled prophecy.)

One could easily argue that life in itself is a sort of allegory. Real personally experienced events that contain moral lessons which God is teaching us through a sort of symbolism. Although the word allegory is probably not the best word to describe this.

The Gospels having different timelines or sequences of events does not in itself mean the events were not literal. To say that implies that the sequence of events is more important than the events themselves.

Hope that answers atleast part of your question,

-Steven

I understand you are wanting to drop this thread so I will stop with the questions. Rather, here are some observations based on what I currently believe and understand (subject to change without notice) :) :

We do not have the original manuscripts of any of the NT or OT writings so I am not sure anyone can say with objective certainty the Bible we have is the divinely inspired inerrant word of God.
We are looking at writings written in the first century through a 20th-21st century viewpoint. That 2,000 year gap makes it very difficult for any of us to put ourselves in the frame of mind of the NT writers, much less the OT writings which are even older.
Aside from there being no original manuscripts, there are no known commentaries written at the time by the authors of the NT manuscripts or peers explaining their intent.
It is my belief that first and foremost, the Bible is a book of faith; not a book of fact. For me, making the Bible a book of fact means it is not any different from an almanac or encyclopedia.
One can BELIEVE a correct interpretation of the subject at hand is to take it literally.
One can also BELIEVE a correct interpretation of the subject at hand is to take some or all of the passages as allegory.
Regardless of one's belief / interpretation of scripture, great care should be taken to avoid concluding one's beliefs are irrefutable fact.Enough preaching.

OldChurchGuy

Pleroo
Oct 28th 2007, 03:30 PM
Hi Pleroo :)

3. Christ's Satan
I must admit I agree with your assessment, the wilderness temptations would be, for me, the one exceptionally non-allegorical case. Even if it may (if allowed) contain some allegorical elements, we're presented with what reads almost like a journalistic account of a literal encounter with Satan, unique in the Bible.
Clearly as someone who never sinned Jesus' mortality (on the cross) does not change the fact that he "holy, separate from sinners", did not have had a fallen nature like his family and neighbours at Nazareth, so there would have to be some external voice to propose the temptations. The devil in the wilderness is a good way of presenting those temptations. But, and this is I hope not going to cause offence with anyone, Jesus also didn't suffer from amnesia. The Holy Spirit didn't erase Christ's memory, wipe his hard drive of 30 years of knowing man (John 2:25), when the Holy Spirit "drove him into the wilderness to be tempted by Satan".

When Satan comes and tells him the (clearly Jewish*) expectations that the Messiah would
i. make manna,
ii. appear on the little-wing of the temple per Ps91
iii. drive out the Romans (2nd in Luke order)
*a Gentile (Buddhist, Hindu, Greek) Satan wouldn't ask i or ii, but might ask iii.

The miraculous element added to each of these temptations aside, the basic real-life-level temptations are unlikely to be things that Jesus hadn't already heard ad nauseam during the previous 30 years (again John 2:25 probably proves this). So perhaps the real question about Satan is what is he telling/offering Jesus that Jesus didn't already know?I think we could only identify that by looking for if and where the 3 temptations occur in the 4th Gospel. Since there is no 40 days, they can only reoccur in the next 3 years - as Luke says:

Luke4:13 And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.

We could also ask why Luke (or his eye-witness interview Luke1:2) switched the order of the 2nd & 3rd temptations. Personally I think it's a deliberate switch because of what happens next in Luke 4:13,29...

Interesting thoughts! Thank you. I particularly appreciated the Jn 2:25 reference. I was just thinking on that passage last week and head "filed it away" as something that seemed to me to have a lot more significance than I was able to grasp at the time. Putting it together with the temptation account, then Heb 2:18 and the seemingly contradictory James 1:14, imvho, you've really hit on something there!

deepjagga
Oct 28th 2007, 08:18 PM
Hi folks
Open question, prompted by another thread.

If you were asked to give 1 Bible verse as evidence for Satan not being an allegory/symbol, but being a literal-historical supernatural being which verse would it be? :hmm:

God bless
Steven
Revelation 9:11 And they had a king over them, which is
the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew
tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.

tgallison
Oct 28th 2007, 11:42 PM
Hello all
First - why is allegory "a lie"? :hmm: according to Merriam-Webster dictionary allegory is symbolic of truths


* In Job 1 how many of us really take every line of the story 100% literally? How many take as literal historical fact that God literally points out his best servants to his prosecutor in the heavenly court, and then God literally said those things setting up Job for the death of his children? And God literally armed the Adversary character with the powers and limits to do so? Is every word of Job1 and 2 literally journalistically historically true -

* In Matt4, undoubtedly important because it's apparently the only time in the history of mankind when anyone on earth ever saw or spoke to Satan, did Satan literally take Christ to a literal mountain where he could literally see all the kingdoms of the literal world? Is this account 100% straight journalism of events as they actually happened - and if it is why is Luke out of order? Is there no allegory in this account at all?


Steven HI

Allegory is not a lie, it is an allegory.

I take Job literally. Allegories and parables are truths, stated in a way we might understand them. The beast and the false prophet (Job 40:15-24) (Job 41:1-34), is an allegory of two members of Satan's trinity. As you study the scripture they fit like pieces of a puzzle. God made the Bible in a manner that seekers could grow in the knowledge of Him by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Why is Luke out of order?

Matthew stipulates the order, at least in the KJV, by a little word then and also the word again.

The Gospel of Luke does not stipulate the order. At least in the KJV.

If I am a fool, I am a fool for Christ's sake.

respectfully, terrell