Devil’s Breath – World’s Scariest Drug?

Robberies. They’re a messy business. We’ve  all heard the gruesome tabloid stories of   tweakers with cheap handguns shooting up a liquor  store for twenty bucks and a fistful of change.   Or maybe the knock-out mugger, arrested  after a string of robberies and assaults,  

Going to jail for half a decade for money  a white collar criminal triples in an   hour. These things happen so often in the US  that they barely even make the news anymore,   and often end up ruining the lives of  both the victim and the perpetrator.

But let’s see how a Colombian pro does it  without even needing to carry a weapon.   A pro like Demencia Black, the street name of a  Bogota drug dealer interviewed by Vice in 2012.   Demencia doesn’t need to carry a gun or a knife,  because he’s packing something even more deadly:  

A fistful of Devil’s Breath, a chemical  compound dubbed the World’s Scariest Drug by   many. And today, you’re going to find out  why it’s earned such a terrifying reputation. Let’s say Demencia wants to rob a man for all  he’s worth. He’ll spot his target – perhaps a  

Businessman boozing at a local night club  without a care in the world. The kind of   guy with a Swiss watch and a Platinum American  Express Card, both of which he loves to flaunt. When nobody is looking, Demencia will  stroll towards his target with a smile,  

Wearing a casual t-shirt and shorts – hardly the  most intimidating outfit for a hardened criminal.   But you don’t need to look scary when you have the  Devil’s Breath on your side. It’s a fine, white   powder, similar to cocaine in appearance. But its  effects are an order of magnitude more potent.

Demencia taps his mark on the shoulder,  and when the yuppie turns to look at him,   Demencia raises his hand – a scoop  of Devil’s Breath nestled in his   palm – and blows it into his victim’s  face. By this point, it’s already over.

In Demencia’s own words, from the aforementioned  Vice documentary, “With just that flash the   person is totally drugged. You wait a minute  and when you see it kick in, then you know   that you own that person. You can guide them  wherever you want. It’s like they’re a child.”

And for Demencia, this robbery truly  is like taking candy from a baby.   He tells the drugged businessman  to get up and follow him,   and the businessman does exactly as  he is told without a single complaint. The two of them take an evening  stroll to a local ATM, and the  

Businessman happily empties his entire  bank account for Demencia. After all,   people high on the Devil’s Breath  aren’t exactly famous for saying “No.”   By the time the transaction is over, Demencia  has made the kind of score your average American   stick-up man can only dream of. And he  did it without even carrying a weapon.

A lot of stories about the Devil’s Breath – also  known by its scientific names Scopolamine and   Hyoscine – play out exactly like this. Whether  they’re true or scary urban legends, they often   follow the template of a manipulative criminal  using the drug to make someone do something  

They wouldn’t normally consent to. Because the  drug is synthesized from a number of plants,   including a type of nightshade common  in the upper region of South America,   it’s become a favorite among shady  characters in the Colombian underworld.

One famous and often repeated example is a man  meeting a beautiful woman in a club one evening,   and deciding to take her home to his Bogota  apartment. However, when he woke up the   next morning, he found that the woman was  gone and his apartment was totally empty.  

Furious, he went downstairs to ask the doorman  what had happened. The doorman told him that a   van had pulled up in front of the building in  the middle of the night, and he and the woman   had loaded all of his possessions into the van.  He asked the doorman why he didn’t say something,  

And the doorman said that he had. The man had just  said it was fine, and he knew what he was doing. He would later find that the Devil’s  Breath had been slipped into his drink   back at the bar, and he’d entered a state  so suggestible that he was willing to be  

An accomplice in the wholesale  burglary of his own apartment. And sadly, robbery is not the full extent  of the drug’s use in a criminal context.   There have been a disturbingly large  number of reports of the Devil’s Breath   being used to facilitate forced  consent in sexual assaults,  

In place of the perennial drug  rohypnol, commonly known as “roofies.” Some incredibly sensational reports  have even claimed that scopolamine is   being used to incapacitate victims for organ  harvesting operations. Though to be honest,   that last one is most likely about as true  as the hook handed man on lover’s lane,  

Or the killer hiding in the back seat. The same goes for stories of criminals  somehow soaking the drug into business   cards and passing them to unwilling victims.  As scary as the thought would be – or just the  

Thought of having to talk to any stranger for  long enough to get their business card – it’s   unlikely that there’s any truth to it. There  just isn’t much of a pharmacological basis   for dangerous quantities of the compound  being soaked into the skin through those  

Means. But of course, the truth has never  gotten in the way of a good horror story. It’s a global tradition to move between  eras of drug hysteria every few years,   with one fashionable drug at a time typically  being labeled the “world’s scariest drug.”  

Typically, these drugs are connected  to a huge number of horror stories,   and given supposed effects that sound  like something out of a scary movie. In the 1980s and 1990s, people across the US were  terrified that PCP or “Angel Dust” was turning  

Drug addicts into unstoppable, superpowered  killing machines. A few decades later, after the   high profile cannibalistic attack of Rudy Eugene  – the so-called “Miami Zombie” – on Ronald Poppo,   people were calling Bath Salts  the “Zombie Drug.” Despite the   fact Eugene was never actually shown to have  the drug in his system during the incident.

A wide variety of other drugs have  been given this same treatment,   from Flakka to Krokodil, and the  Devil’s Breath is no exception. However, even if some of the tales of Devil’s  Breath terror are exaggerated, or the product   of tall tales told by drug dealers  getting high off their own supply,  

Scopolamine is still a genuinely  dangerous drug when abused. In 2015, the US’s Overseas Security Advisory  Council gave an unofficial estimate that there   are 50,000 scopolamine related incidents  in South America every year. Naturally,   this has put the fear into potential vacationers  considering a Colombian getaway – and likely  

Caused a few sleepless nights for members  of the Bogota tourist board as a result. Scopolamine can have incredibly toxic  effects on the body in high enough doses.   Many scientists believe that scopolamine depresses  the central nervous system, and can lead to a bevy  

Of side effects from hallucinations, to severe  drowsiness, to dry mouth, cardiac arrhythmia, and   amnesia. If you overdose on this stuff and can’t  find treatment in time, it’s extremely likely you   won’t live to see tomorrow. And when the elderly  are given the drug, it massively increases the  

Risk of dementia. So even if it doesn’t turn  you into a zombie on the spot, the drug can   rob you of your mind and cognitive faculties  in even more terrifying ways in the long run. You’d much rather deal with Demencia  Black, the Colombian drug dealer,  

Than the kind of degenerative dementia that  turns your life into a living hell over time. However, there is another side to  scopolamine that will probably surprise you.   Namely, the fact that it has a wide  variety of medicinal uses, even today.

Despite mainly coming into fashion as the “scary  South American mind control drug” in the last   two decades, scopolamine actually has a long  and storied history. Early, unrefined forms of   scopolamine and Hyoscine have been in use by  various cultures for thousands of years. For  

Example, the Aboriginal people of Australia – the  oldest continuous culture on earth today – have   long used similar chemicals from the soft corkwood  tree in Bush Medicine. And because of the powerful   psychoactive properties of Hyoscine, it has  also been used for spiritual purposes across  

The globe for thousands of years, inducing states  of ritualistic religious hallucination in users. It entered popular Western medical use in  the late 1800s, pioneered first by German   scientist Albert Ladenburg and later suggested as  a medical anesthetic by surgeon Dr. Schneiderlin.  

Because of its wide array of effects, the drug  was tried out for various purposes throughout   the 19th and 20th Centuries. It came into  use as a popular anesthetic for childbirth,   an antidote to gastrointestinal spasms, and an  effective treatment for postoperative nausea  

And vomiting. That last one is actually  still one of its most common uses today. Scopolamine and similar chemical compounds  have been used to stave off nausea for over   a century now. From tribal chiefs to the Allies  in World War II storming the beaches of Normandy,  

These chemicals have proven to be the  most effective in staving off seasickness.   But it isn’t just the sea that a small dose of  scopolamine can make a world of difference in.   Most scientists agree that scopolamine is the  gold standard when it comes to preventing all  

Kinds of motion sickness, and wearing a  small, prescription scopolamine patch can   make your travels far smoother  than they’ve ever been before. But hey, this video is called “The World’s  Scariest Drug”, not “The Drug That’ll Stop   You Getting Seasick.” Are there any other  frightening uses of scopolamine? The answer  

To that question is “Absolutely.” It goes without  saying that Colombian drug cartels are unsavory   people – vicious, ruthless outlaws who’ll do  anything to turn a profit. And if that involves   pedaling and using drugs like scopolamine, so be  it. But imagine if the drug’s scary, mind-bending  

Properties were used by a violent gang in full  cooperation with its country’s government? This exact situation played out during the  mid-to-late 20th Century in the Czech Republic,   thanks to an extremely frightening group  called State Security, colloquially referred   to as the Czech Secret Police. Much like the  East-German Stasi, this group was a ruthless,  

Repressive arm of the Soviet puppet-state. They  would spy, intimidate, torture, and murder to   keep their masters in power. And like a lot of  thugs working for repressive government regimes,   a big part of their job was forcing confessions  out of perceived enemies of the state.  

And like a cheesy Bond villain, you better believe  that these guys had ways of making you talk. Of course, while State Security were more than  happy to grab the rubber batons and bolt cutters   for some good, old-fashioned torture, they also  liked to mix it up a little. In the early 1900s,  

Hyoscine had often been used as a kind  of truth serum, but was soon discontinued   due to some of the unpleasant side effects  we’ve already discussed. But State Security   weren’t all that into human rights for their  prisoners, so they had no problems with using  

A little of the Devil’s Breath on their political  prisoners to make them more open to suggestion. It’s extremely likely that the answers  produced by this method of questioning were   unreliable to incoherent, but again, it’s  not like they really cared either way.   As long as they got somebody, they were happy.

And that is the story of the Devil’s Breath,  a semi-legendary drug favored by eccentric   Colombian robbers, sufferers of motion sickness,  and shadowy agents of the Czech secret police.   Is it the scariest drug in the world?  We’ll leave that up for you to decide,  

Given that much of its most terrifying stories  exist somewhere in the murky space between fact   and fiction. But either way, if Demencia Black  is walking towards us with a handful of powder,   we’ll definitely be making a swift  exit before he gets too close.

Now check out “Cocaine vs Heroin – Which Drug Is  More Dangerous (Drug Addiction)?” and “How Did He   Become the King of Cocaine – Pablo Escobar”  for more facts about some gnarly narcotics.

#Devils #Breath #Worlds #Scariest #Drug

Was Jesus Actually Resurrected

With 1 out of every 3 people on Earth identifying as Christian, it’s the single most important event in human history. But was Jesus of Nazareth really resurrected from the dead, and is there any evidence for it? To examine the question first we have to establish the historicity of Jesus himself.

While some doubt that he ever lived, no critical historian alive today doubts that Jesus of Nazareth was a real man who lived and died in the time attributed to him in the Gospels. The Jewish historian Flavius Josephus mentions Jesus twice in his histories.

The first mention is widely regarded- even amongst Christian scholars- as having been doctored by a later Christian scribe to be more flattering, but still mentions Jesus as having been condemned and crucified by Roman authorities. The second mention of Jesus by Josephus is when he references the death of Jesus’s brother,

James, who was stoned to death for his belief in Jesus as the Christ. Jesus is also mentioned by the Roman historian Tacitus approximately 86 years after his crucifixion, and affirms that he was in fact crucified by Roman authorities and that a sizable contingent

Of his believers were present in Rome at the time of his writing, which further strengthens the biblical account of Saint Paul. Next, we have to establish the reliability of the evidence used to argue that the resurrection was a real event- namely Paul’s letters and the synoptic Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke.

Today that material is together, along with other books, known as the New Testament, and a critic would be right in arguing that one cannot use one’s own source material to argue for the validity of his or her argument. Except that is a serious misunderstanding of what the New Testament actually is- or

What it originally was. Today the New Testament is considered to be the second half of Christianity’s ‘holy book’, the Bible. Yet before it was largely codified around 200 A.D., the New Testament was a collection of apocalyptic revelations, letters to various churches, and the formal writing down of oral

Tradition in the form of the gospels. Specifically, Paul’s letters and the synoptic gospels are considered to be valid historical documents, that due to their content were later turned into a ‘holy book’. In the words of historian and New Testament scholar Dr. Gary Habermas, if you don’t use

The historically accepted books of the New Testament to argue for the historicity of Jesus, then critics will use them for you. But have the gospels reliably preserved historical details through the ages, and are Pauls’ letters still in their original form and untampered with for the purpose of empowering a Christian agenda?

Historian, New Testament scholar, and textual critic Bart Ehrman- himself an agnostic leaning towards atheism- points out that we don’t have the original autographs by which to authenticate the modern gospels and Paul’s letters. At best we have copies of copies of copies of copies, with the earliest recovered fragments

Dated back to around halfway through the second century. Furthermore, there is clear evidence of tampering with the gospels, with some passages in modern texts today widely known to have been introduced into the text well after the originals. Perhaps the most iconic of these fabricated bible passages is John 7:53-8:11, the story

Of Jesus and the adulterous woman. This story tells of how Jesus came across a woman about to be stoned to death for the sin of adultery by the Pharisee authorities. Jesus however interrupts the process and simply asks that the first man without sin cast the

First stone, resulting in the accusers dropping their rocks and going home. Finally, Jesus comforts the woman and tells her that he does not condemn her, then encourages her to go forth and sin no more. It’s a wonderful anecdote and example of Jesus as what 20th century Atheist philosopher Antony

Flew called, “a first-rate ethicist”. Except it never happened, the story was fabricated and inserted by an unknown scribe into the text, and is only one example of several. In further questioning the historical reliability of the gospels, Ehrman also points out that

Between various surviving ancient copies of the biblical texts are thousands of errors, and that the first written versions of the gospels and Paul’s letters weren’t created until decades after Jesus’ death- leaving plenty of room for details to be omitted, forgotten, or outright fabricated.

Paul’s first letter to the Corinthian church wasn’t written until 55 A.D., with the gospel of Mark being written in 70 AD, Matthew in 80 AD, and John in 95 AD. That’s a spread of 25 to 65 years after the death of Jesus.

So with made-up stories, thousands of textual errors in the earliest available copies, and such a massive time gap between Jesus’s death and his history being recorded, is there any reason to think the New Testament is historically reliable? It’s well established that teachings about Jesus spread far and wide very quickly after

His death- in fact within as little as two or three years after the crucifixion, Jewish authorities were already persecuting Christians across the near-East in a bid to exterminate what they viewed as a heretical cult. This wide geographic dissemination of the core Christian knowledge about Jesus and his

Life events makes it incredibly unlikely that major revisions could have taken place without them being discovered- if for example Christian leaders in Rome wished to greatly change a core fact of the life, death, or teachings of Jesus, believers in Africa- which has one

Of the world’s oldest Christian communities- would have immediately identified the manipulation. The simple fact that we today are able to know that the story of Jesus and the adulterous woman was a fabrication is testament to how difficult it can be to make even minor changes

To the text without them being discovered thanks to the wide geographic distribution of the original material. Further, while Bart Ehrman is correct in pointing out the thousands of errors and discrepancies across various ancient manuscripts, the fact is that the overwhelming amount of these errors are insignificant to the core theology.

These errors are overwhelmingly misspellings and other textual errors, or errors so insignificant as to not affect the intended message of the scripture. While some may argue that over time errors can pile up, as in a game of telephone, the

Discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls proves the great diligence with which holy texts were copied and preserved by Jews. A medieval copy of the Old Testament compared with a copy discovered with the Dead Sea scrolls dating back to between the third century BC and first century AD showed that there were

Astonishingly few differences in the text- and once again, mostly copyist errors. The early Christians, being former devout Jews themselves, would have treated their religious texts with the same reverence and exacting care for precision. Further, while we don’t have the original autographs, we do have many preserved copies

Of some of the earliest church fathers’ writing on the gospels themselves. From their musings on these earliest versions of the gospels we can be confident that we do in fact, have an incredibly well preserved collection that if not perfectly, extremely accurately reflects the content and message of the autographs.

Professor Ehrman correctly points out to discrepancies in the gospel accounts themselves as proof that they are not reliable. On just the discovery of the empty tomb, the gospels vary in the telling. Matthew states that Mary Magdalene and “the other Mary” went to the tomb.

There they found an angel, who told them that Jesus was risen and that they should tell the disciples and that they should go to Galilee to meet up with Jesus. Mark states that both Maries, and a third woman- Salome- went to the tomb and found

A young man inside who told them to tell the disciples to go meet the risen Jesus in Galilee. Luke states that “the women” went to the tomb, and entering the empty tomb they could not find Jesus when suddenly two men in bright clothes appeared before them.

They are not told to tell the disciples about the tomb nor to go anywhere. John states that Mary Magadalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance, so she went rushing back to Peter and one of the other disciples and

Claimed that the Jewish authorities or the Romans had removed Jesus’s body. Peter and the other disciple returned to the tomb to find Jesus’s burial clothing, while Mary somewhere outside the tomb and crying, sees two angels and Jesus- though is not allowed to immediately recognize Jesus.

So how can the various gospels be reconcilable if they differ so much in their re-telling of the empty tomb? It’s important to note that only one of the gospel acounts- John’s- actually differs in any significant way. Matthew, Mark, and Luke were not written side-by-side, but rather individually by different people,

Thus it’s unsurprising that they would slightly differ in their historical retelling. Neither of those three gospels contradicts the other, they merely mention details important to them. While Luke seems to state that a group of women went to the tomb, Matthew and Mark don’t

Omit the possibility- they simply focus on two of the women in that group important to the writer. Luke also does not say that the women are instructed to tell the disciples, or to tell them to go to Galilee to meet Jesus there, but the omission of this detail does not mean

It didn’t happen- the writer of Luke could have very correctly assumed that this part of the history was so well known, it was unnecessary to add it to his account. The presence of the angels is likewise complimentary, as Matthew and Mark may have simply chosen

To focus on the important angel- the one speaking. John is the only gospel that differs significantly, and is thus not considered a synoptic gospel- yet that is consistent with the overall theme of John which explores who Jesus was, not what Jesus historically did.

Most historians accept this fact and don’t consider John a purely historical document anyways, and neither should we. As we can see then, the differences in the gospel accounts are a) insignificant to the core facts, and b) largely an issue of focus, rather than irreconcilable discrepancies.

For comparison consider the accounts of the Titanic’s survivors- many of them swore that the ship sunk without breaking in two, while the rest swore that they saw the ship physically break in two. Nobody however doubted that the ship had sunk, or any of the events immediately after the sinking.

Further, if the gospel accounts had been perfectly accurate to each other, they would’ve almost certainly been collaborated, seriously damaging their value as historical documents. Lastly, while no serious historian objects to the time gap between the gospels and Jesus’s death as being cause for concern over inaccuracy, many non-historian critics do.

After all, how accurate can a historical account be if it’s written decades after the subject’s death? First, this is ignoring the strong oral tradition of ancient Jews. In the first century, very few people knew how to read or write, and thus most people

Would rely on oral retelling of history- and specially of their religious texts, with a very strong emphasis on accuracy. To a devout Jew, the thought of mangling holy scripture by poorly recollecting it was an unthinkable heresy. This strong oral tradition would have been present in the early Christians as well, themselves

Recently converted Jews. Next, while the earliest writings on Jesus date to 25 years after his death, the fact that we have at least 11 historical sources for Jesus within a century of his death makes Jesus of Nazareth the gold standard for ancient historians.

Take for example Alexander the Great, of whom there’s not a single history class in the world that doesn’t tell of his deeds. Yet the earliest available sources for Alexander date to over 300 years after his death. How about Tiberius Caesar then, the emperor of the Roman empire during the life and death

Of Jesus? Surely if anyone was to be well-attested to it would be the leader of the most powerful empire at the time. Yet while one contemporary source exists, it’s highly unreliable for historians as it speaks on an all-too personal note.

The best, and earliest, source for the life and times of Rome’s emperor when Jesus died is Publius Cornelius Tacitus, writing a full eighty years after Tiberius’s death. The next after that is Suetonius, 85 years after his death, and Cassius Dio almost two centuries later.

Simply put, to doubt the veracity of the historical account of the scriptures is to put into doubt every single event of ancient history, as the life, death, and teachings of Jesus are the best sourced histories in the ancient world. With the gospels and letters of Saint Paul accepted as valid historical documents, is

There then any evidence for the resurrection as a historical event? We can begin our investigation with the empty tomb. In the gospel accounts, the tomb is discovered empty by Mary Magdalene. Jesus’s burial clothes are there, but not the body. Critics have argued that the empty tomb was an early Christian fabrication, and presented

Various theories as to what really happened. The first is that the entire empty tomb narrative was a fabrication, yet this has been widely rejected by critical historians as the scriptures themselves record the Jewish authorities reacting to the empty tomb by claiming that the disciples had stolen the body, along with their own

Refutation to this claim. An obvious back-and-forth dialogue is preserved, showing that whatever the cause, the tomb of Jesus was in fact discovered empty. Next is the claim that the Jewish Sanhedrin was right, and the disciples did steal the body. This is frankly, an absurd proposition, as guards had been posted to the tomb.

In all likelihood these were actually Jewish temple guards, as it’s incredibly unlikely that Pilate would have bothered to involve Roman guards in what he saw as a purely Jewish religious dispute, and instead simply told the Sanhedrin to use the guards they already possessed themselves.

The idea of the disciples bribing Jewish temple guards successfully so as to perpetuate their heretical belief in a resurrected Messiah is incredulous to the point of sheer absurdity, let alone bribing Roman guards who would themselves face death for such a massive dereliction of duty when the tomb was found empty.

The next theory is the ‘apparent death’ theory. This theory states that Jesus didn’t really die on the cross, and instead survived his crucifixion, somehow slipped past his tomb guards, and returned to the disciples who celebrated him as the resurrected Son of God.

Once more, it is completely absurd to believe that a severely injured Jesus, who had just survived a scourging, then being crucified, and in need of critical medical care, could possibly return to his disciples and convince them that despite his utterly broken body, he had in fact defeated death, quote, “in glory”.

Secondly, crucifixion was simply not a survivable event unless the person was immediately rescued. The way that a person was crucified would lead to a slow but sure asphyxiation as the downward pull of gravity forced an individual to physically push against the nails embedded

In his feet in order to lift their chest up and relieve the pressure, allowing them to gasp for breath. This would have been not only an excruciatingly painful experience, but an exhausting one, compounded by the effects of blood loss and exposure. Additionally, Roman guards were quite used to crucifying Jewish would-be Messiahs and

Rebels by this time, and were under pains of their own death to ensure that their prisoner could not be rescued and did indeed die on their cross. Lastly, in the account of the crucifixion in John 19, we have a Roman centurion ensuring

That Jesus is truly dead by piercing his side with a spear, stabbing upwards and into the heart to deliver a killing blow. The scripture states that “blood and water” came out of the wound, which perfectly mirrors exactly what modern medical science would expect from such a wound on a person who died

After being crucified. Before death, fluid would have collected in the membrane around the heart and lungs due to heart failure- this is known as a pericardial and pleural effusion. Upon Jesus’s body being pierced by the spear, this fluid would have leaked out of the wound,

Followed by blood, exactly as reported in John 19, strongly hinting that whoever wrote the John account either was physically present at the crucifixion or had testimony from a witness who was. So is the empty tomb narrative accurate? There is no realistic reason to believe that Jesus’s body was stolen, or that Jesus survived

His crucifixion. Without an empty tomb, there could be no Christian narrative of a resurrection. As a well-known figure due to his perceived blasphemy and heresy, the site of Jesus’s burial would have been known to anyone looking to debunk the disciple’s earliest claims of

Resurrection, and all the Jewish authorities would have had to do to shut the entire Christian movement down as soon as it arouse was to simply unseal the tomb and show that Jesus still lay there, dead, and that the disciples were liars. It’s important to note who discovered the empty tomb as well- women.

In the very patriarchal society of the ancient Jews, women were not regarded as credible witnesses in court. Both Jewish historian Josephus and Jewish philosopher Maimonides made it clear that women were not competent to testify in court. As Josephus pointed out, testimony of a deaf, mentally incompetent, or young person, as

Well as women, was excluded in most cases. Despite women being ineligible to serve as witnesses in most Jewish courts, the early Christians publicly proclaimed women- the least trustworthy members of society- as the discoverers of the empty tomb. This would not just have been an incredulous, but hugely embarrassing detail for the early

Disciples, and the fact that the detail remains is strong evidence that the disciples were simply accurately relaying the discovery of the empty tomb- no matter how embarrassing it was for them personally. Next in our investigation of the resurrection is the appearances of Jesus after his death.

The majority of new testament historians affirm that Jesus appeared to his disciples after his death. In the words of Ed Sanders, New Testament scholar and former professor at Duke University, “The following is an historical fact: the earliest disciples saw the risen Jesus.

I don’t know how exactly they saw him, but they saw him.” Most critics, including 20th century atheist philosopher Antony Flew ascribe to the hallucination theory to explain the postmortem appearances of Jesus. This theory posits that the disciples were stricken with grief-inspired hallucinations,

And confused them as the real, bodily appearance of a risen Jesus. There are, however, serious problems with this theory. First, any belief in Jesus’s resurrection due to a hallucination could have easily been dispelled by Jewish authorities by simply checking the tomb and finding the body still resting there.

Second, as is established by medical science, hallucinations cannot create new ideas- they simply work within the preexisting mental framework. As devout Jews, the disciples had no belief, let alone an ‘idea’ of a bodily resurrection that predated the end of days.

In the Jewish faith, resurrection only occurred on the last day, as God cast his judgment and called the faithful to live in paradise- before this event there could be no resurrection of the dead. Revivification of the recently dead, much like happens in our modern hospitals every

Day, was certainly possible, but not a resurrection to a “glorified body” as described by the disciples of Jesus. Therefore a hallucination could not have convinced a devout Jew that an event for which he had no basis for believing in, had occurred.

Secondly, the odds of all of the disciples- or at least enough to jump-start the Christian church- all suffering from grief hallucinations are astronomical to the point of, once more, absurdity. There is not a single other recorded case like it in verified medical history.

Further, it’s well recorded that Jesus appeared to groups of the disciples at the same time, and hallucinations cannot be shared between individuals. One individual cannot see what another is hallucinating, and vice-versa. Lastly, there’s the case of Saint Paul. Paul was in effect, a religious terrorist.

As the early Christian church spread rapidly, Paul was tasked with finding Christians and imprisoning or killing them on behalf of the Jewish authorities. Yet two to three years after the crucifixion, Paul- by his own account- encountered Jesus.

At the time he was on the way to the synagogues in Damascus to request their aid in arresting Christians and bringing them back to Jerusalem to undergo trial and possible execution. While on the road, Paul encounters Jesus and is blinded, and remains so until one of the

Very Christians he was sent to arrest or kill finds him and heals him. In ‘The Psychological Origins of the Resurrection Myth’, Jack Kent argues that Paul suffered from conversion disorder, a very real psychological disorder that commonly affects soldiers, police officers, and prison guards.

Commonly, sufferers will experience physical maladies with no apparent cause while under severe psychological stress- thus Paul’s blindness is believed to be a psychosomatic syndrome of his conversion disorder, itself caused by his internal conflict in killing and imprisoning innocent Christians. However, there are as usual problems with this theory.

Conversion disorder is short-lived, and thus would not explain Paul’s dramatic and lifelong change from devout Jew and persecutor of Christians, to a champion of the early Christian faith. It’s also incredibly implausible that Paul experienced conversion disorder along with visual and auditory hallucinations which led him to believe that Jesus was talking to him

Personally- not to mention the Messiah complex that would arise as Paul took on the mission of spreading the Christian faith far and wide. In short, Paul would have had to have been one of the most mentally ill individuals in history to suffer from all four mental disorders simultaneously at exactly this stretch of

Road on the way to Damascus. Hallucination theory simply can’t explain why a sworn enemy of the Christian church would experience the same hallucination as Jesus’s own disciples, years after Jesus’s death. It also cannot explain the postmortem appearances to entire groups of people as recorded by the disciples, as hallucinations are a personal experience.

Finally, a hallucination could not have led the disciples to believe in something they had no concept of before the event- namely, the preapocalyptic resurrection of their former teacher. Next is the marked change in the disciple’s lives as a result of their postmortem encounters with Jesus.

As stated about Paul, hallucinations simply do not lead to lifelong ideological changes, and the disciples clearly underwent dramatic and unprecedented ideological and theological changes practically overnight as a result of their experiences after the crucifixion. Immediately after Jesus’s death, the disciples went into hiding, fearful that the Jewish authorities would crucify them next.

It can’t be understated how devastating the crucifixion was for the disciples- not only had they lost their teacher, but he had suffered a criminal’s death, one so abhorrent to Jewish society that it was believed those who were crucified would not experience resurrection on the final day.

In the eyes of the disciples, Jesus had proven himself to be no different than the dozens of other self-proclaimed Jewish messiahs that came before, and after, his death. Yet we know that within months of the resurrection, possibly even weeks, the disciples were boldly proclaiming Jesus’s resurrection.

This is evidenced by two facts: the first is that the Christian church had spread so quickly that Paul was on his way to root it out in Damascus just two to three years after Jesus’s death. The second is what is known as the ‘Corinthian creed’, written down by Paul in 1 Corinthians

15, which reads: …that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. This creedial statement in Paul’s letter is authenticated as an early Christian creed

By the format it is written in the original Greek, which differs from the way the rest of Paul’s letter is written. In the ancient world, when you wanted to help someone who couldn’t read or write remember

Something, you put it in the form of a creed, and as Bart Ehrman himself attests, the Corinthian creed can be dated back to within one or two years of the crucifixion, with some historians dating it as early as mere months after Jesus’s death.

This means that within months after the crucifixion, the earliest Christians were already teaching Jesus’s resurrection- a concept that they had no ideological basis for prior to the crucifixion. And not only were the demoralized and terrified disciples coming to believe Jesus had risen

From the dead, but they were almost immediately spreading their belief to thousands of other Jews. Belief in the resurrection was far from the only heretical belief of the disciples however, as almost immediately after the crucifixion the young Christian church changed their celebration of the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday.

This move was motivated by the day of Jesus’s alleged resurrection and discovery of the empty tomb, and to first century Jews, would have been the height of heresy. Handed down to them by God himself, and honored for two thousand years, the sabbath and God’s

Commands to keep it holy were of paramount importance to the Jews, and suffused nearly every aspect of their culture. For the early Christians to be convinced that Jesus had risen from the dead, and thus shift their sabbath celebration from Saturday to Sunday, defying almost two thousand years

Of tradition, would have required an incredible burden of proof. As observed across history, religious schisms simply don’t spring up overnight, and yet one of the immediate defining characteristics of the early Christian church was its adoption of Sunday as the new sabbath.

Belief in Jesus as the messiah also completely defied all Jewish messianic expectations. To first century Jews, living under the Roman yoke and having experienced no independence for hundreds of years, the messiah was supposed to triumph over Israel’s enemies and drive them out of the land.

The messiah was not supposed to be tried by his enemies and then sentenced to a humiliating death on a cross- let alone be resurrected three days later only to leave Israel’s enemies in power. For the early Jews, the messiah was a triumphant figure, leading them to victory- not an atoning

Sacrifice for the sins of the world. Explaining how so many 1st century Jews could come to believe in this radically different version of a messiah is difficult, unless the disciples had proof in the postmortem encounters with Jesus, and the instructions they received during those visitations.

Critics argue that the entire narrative was fabricated by the early church, yet fail to account for how truly difficult it would be to come to believe in Jesus as messiah when he defied centuries of messianic expectations within a deeply religious society by dying as a criminal and not driving out Israel’s enemies.

Lastly, we have the faith of the disciples themselves. Christian claims that all or most of the original disciples were martyred cannot be substantiated, but there are good sources for several of the disciples. Peter’s martyrdom is attested to by Clement of Rome, an early church leader elected from

Amongst individuals who personally knew the disciples. He was crucified upside down, not believing himself worthy to die the same way as Jesus. The apostle James, not to be confused with Jesus’s brother, was killed by King Herod in about AD 44.

The martyrdom is attested to in the book of Acts, but also recorded by Clement of Alexandria who was born 100 years after James died. Paul, the famous persecutor of Christians, is widely attested to by the earliest church leadership as having been beheaded by emperor Nero sometime before 68 AD.

James, brother of Jesus, is written about by Jewish historian Josephus, who writes that James was executed by stoning in 62 AD. James’ murder, according to Josephus, offended many of the citizens as it had been carried out by a hastily organized Jewish court during a lapse in imperial oversight of the region.

James’ martyrdom is particularly striking because as the gospels state, he believed Jesus was crazy while alive, and yet would later die for his faith that his own brother was indeed the messiah. While the rest of the disciples cannot be confirmed as having been martyred, the ones

Which can be confirmed paint a telling picture of a group of men who refused to give up their belief in Jesus as messiah despite the threat of death. Often painted as con artists by critics, there is no possible reason to believe that if the

Disciples were truly con men, they would have stuck to the con all the way up to their own execution- and yet history records no mention of their recanting of their beliefs. Simply put, men don’t die for false beliefs. The final argument for the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth as a historical event argues

That the crucifixion and resurrection account simply lacks legendary embellishments, as is present in nearly every other religion. This however is only mostly true, as there are clear signs of legendary-ism that creep into scripture. For example, when Jesus dies the gospels speak of a period of darkness, or of many of the

Dead returning to life briefly, or of the veil in the temple separating the holy of holies from the public tearing in two. While there is some evidence that an eclipse may have occurred on the day Jesus died, there is no evidence that the dead walked briefly through the streets of Jerusalem, or that

The earth shook and the temple was damaged in any way. These are almost certainly, simply legendary embellishments. However, when compared with other religious texts what immediately stands out about the New Testament is the starkness of the text. In fact, the entire account of the life, death, and postmortem appearances of Jesus is quite

Embarrassing to the early church. Even before Jesus dies, the scriptures attest to bickering, whining, and complaining from his own disciples. Jesus frequently rebuffs them for their lack of faith or foolishness, and even outright chastises Peter- the man on whom the church would be built- as having an ungodly way of thinking about things.

One of Jesus’s closest disciples is a tax collector for the Romans- men who were seen as traitors and were so reviled by Jewish society that they were not allowed to worship at the temple and were considered unclean along with various animals.

Jesus’s own family was no better, with the gospels recording that they believed he was crazy- this would be most telling for James, his brother, who would shortly after the crucifixion come to believe in Jesus as messiah and even die for that belief.

When Jesus is arrested, Peter- again, the most important of the disciples- denies Jesus three times, then flees along with the rest of the disciples to hide in fear and shame. When Jesus is crucified, most of the gospel accounts state that at best, only a few of the disciples watched from a great distance.

Only the gospel of John, least reliable in this matter, mentions that a single disciple was even near the cross- though what’s clear is that the disciples didn’t dare come close for fear of their own arrest. After Jesus’s death, none of the disciples believe in his promise to return after three days.

They are so demoralized by the crucifixion that they are hiding from the Jewish authorities, and even when Mary Magdalene brings them news of the empty tomb, they refuse to believe. It’s only when Jesus appears bodily to them that they believe, and even then at least

One of them, Thomas, refuses to believe Jesus isn’t a ghost until Jesus offers that he physically touch him. The picture painted by the gospels of the original disciples is that of scared, doubting, at times unfaithful men- exactly the opposite of what you would expect if the entire narrative

Had simply been created for the purposes of legitimizing a belief in Jesus. Rather than painting them as great patriarchs of wisdom and faith as would be expected, the New Testament is downright frequently embarrassing in its portrayal of the disciples- evidence that the scribes who penned the original gospels were more interested in recording

Truth than fictionalizing accounts and infusing them with legendary attributes. From a radical and sudden shift in deeply held religious beliefs, to the independently attested accounts of bodily postmortem appearances of Jesus, to the inexplicable explosion in growth of the early church, the question of if Jesus rose from the dead or not remains

Without a plausible naturalistic answer. While a naturalistic theory can be posited that answers one or more of the facts behind the early church, no one theory can explain all of them together. The truth is something significant happened in Jerusalem in the early 30s AD, an event

So incredible that it immediately split the Jewish faith in two and led to an explosion in belief in Jesus of Nazareth, executed as a blasphemer and criminal, as the risen Messiah. Now go watch most weird passages in the bible, or click this other video instead!

#Jesus #Resurrected

What The Devil ACTUALLY Looks Like

Lucifer, Satan, Father of Lies, Prince of Darkness…the Devil goes by many names, and almost all of them sound like Scandinavian heavy metal bands. In Christian religious writings, the Devil is a fallen angel that rules over hell. So what does the Devil actually look like?

And is it even possible to make a video about Satan and Christianity without offending a whole bunch of people? Well, we sent our world-class team of researchers through a portal to hell to find out. [Said as an aside:] We expect them back any day now.

Most Christians today have an image of the Devil as a red, horned creature. But what does the Bible actually say about the fallen angel that became Satan? Well, surprisingly, not a whole lot. In fact, the Bible alludes to the fact that the Devil doesn’t have a specific physical form at all.

In essence, the Bible describes the Devil as a spirit being with no physical form. When the book refers to angels – of which the Devil is a fallen one – it refers to them as spirits. Furthermore, since Satan is depicted as a master of deception and manipulation, he,

She, or them – we will use the traditional historical “he” for the purposes of this video – can apparently take many forms. And what better disguise is there for manipulation purposes than appearing as a beautiful angelic being? In 2 Corinthians 11:14, the passage reads “and no marvel; for even Satan fashions

Himself into an angel of light.” Many Christians believe that the first time the Devil appears in the Bible is early on, in Genesis 3. According to your one aunt who disapproves of you living with your girlfriend, the serpent

That tricks Adam and Eve into falling from grace is the Devil, or at least possessed by the Devil. This is taken from a line in Revelation 20:2 that says, “he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.”

This unfortunate reference would go on to give a bad reputation to snakes everywhere. Well…the poison doesn’t help either. Nor does the movie “Anaconda”. However, some modern scholars dispute that the Devil took the shape of a snake. Or, again, even that the Devil was that important in the Bible at all.

Henry Ansgar Kelly, a UCLA professor who published “Satan: A Biography”, believes our current interpretation and image of Satan is all wrong. According to Kelly, not only is Satan not nearly as important or ubiquitous in the Bible as most Christians currently believe, but he’s also not such a uniformly evil character,

And certainly not the antithesis of God. In the 45 books that make up the pre-Christian scriptures, Kelly only counts three direct references to Satan. That’s about as often as you’d mention the weird barista at your local coffee shop in a biography of your life.

Furthermore, in these books, Satan’s job “is to test people’s virtue and to report their failures”, according to Kelly. Even when the word Lucifer appears in the bible, Kelly explains that Lucifer was latin for “light-bearer”, and is unlikely to be a reference to Satan.

Rather, it’s the name the book gives to various other entities, such as Venus and the morning star. So any description of Lucifer can’t be used as an accurate assessment of the Devil’s appearance. Going back to Adam and Eve, Kelly believes the Revelations passage that casts Satan as a serpent is mistranslated and misunderstood.

“Nobody in the Old Testament – or, for that matter, in the New Testament either – ever identifies the serpent of Eden with Satan.” Christian philosophers of the second and third centuries were the ones who originally attributed all these references to Satan, as they considered him a figure of great importance.

If all that is true, then where did our ugly, horned, horrifying vision of the Devil come from? Turns out, a lot of it was due to one pissed off Italian literary genius named Dante Alighieri. Dante, as those who were at least partially awake in World Literature classes know, wrote

“The Divine Comedy” between 1308 and 1320. The narrative poem, now considered one of the best works of literature in history, was divided into three parts: Inferno, Purgatorio, Paradiso. Because a lot of Italian really is just about adding O’s to English words, these mean, as you may have guessed: hell, purgatory, and paradise.

Therefore, the book included a lot of descriptions of the Devil. In Dante’s “Inferno”, the Devil is grotesque. He is a giant, winged demon, frozen in ice up to his chest, trapped in the center of hell. In Dante’s disturbing vision, Satan has three heads, each with a pair of bat wings under each chin.

To top it all off, his three mouths are always chewing on the following historical figures: Judas Iscariot, Marcus Junius Brutus, and Gaius Cassius Longinus. Judas was, of course, the disciple that betrayed Jesus, Marcus Junius Brutus was of “et tu, Brutus?” Caesar-killing fame, and Cassius was the guy that started the Caesar-killing plot along

With him. As gross as this vision of the Devil sounds, Dante’s version of the Father of Lies was a little more pathetic than in other descriptions. Dante envisions Satan as a slobbering, wordless demon subject to the same terrifying punishments of hell he is doling out.

Furthermore, Dante emphasizes that Satan once used to be beautiful until he rebelled against God. A line from the poem states, “Were he as fair once, as he now is foul”. Another medieval book, the Codex Gigas, also has very detailed images of the Devil.

Codex Gigas, which means “Giant Book”, is also nicknamed “The Devil’s Bible”. Given that the tome weighs a staggering 165 pounds, we actually think that “Giant Book” is the more accurate of the two names. We have also never been so grateful for Kindles.

Throughout the several, several, hundred pages of the book, the devil is depicted with a greenish face bearing red horns, eyes, and claws. This comes closer to our modern image of the Devil. But according to some scholars, it turns out Christianity also borrowed bits and pieces

From other religions and belief systems to fill in the Bible’s blanks. Bernard Barryte has curated an exhibit titled “Sympathy for the Devil” at Stanford’s Cantor Arts Center, which somehow escaped the notice of Mick Jagger’s legal team. Barryte says, “bits and pieces from lots of now-defunct religions got synthesized:

The cloven feet from Pan, the horns from the gods of various cults in the near east.” This image was highly popular in the 15th and 16th centuries, which depicted the Devil as the sworn enemy of Christianity and of all mankind. A horned, furry beast, barely human in appearance.

As we dive further in, the research shows that the image of the Devil, besides being influenced by important literary and artistic works of each era, changed along with the interpretation of what the Devil symbolized. For example, John Milton’s work “Paradise Lost” drew Satan as a sad figure deserving of pity.

This depiction, combined with the effects of the French and American Revolution, led to images of the Devil as a more human character. As Barryte says, “people interpreted the figure less as a demonic creature and more as a heroic rebel against the oppression of the paternal god.”

At this point in time, many Christians wanted to remove the superstitious elements of their religion altogether, considering them a bit backwards. Therefore, this new more human look for the Devil suited them just fine. By the 19th century, Goethe’s “Faust” leaned into the image of the Devil as a sly, cunning manipulator.

At this point, the image of Satan switches to a more weasley-looking trickster. Many bronze statues of this era depict him as a thin, drawn, frequently hunched over man with pointed features One thing many depictions share in common is the color red.

That’s usually a theme for images of Satan, which makes sense as he rules over a place where fire is eternally burning and people are bleeding from being tortured. Some Christians believe that the Devil still occasionally walks the Earth, presenting himself in the form of demonic possessions.

Popular shows and cartoons show him carrying a trident and wearing a red cape. A few last-minute, ahem, “sexy” Halloween costumes depict him in a red bodysuit and horns, wearing nothing much else at all, and prone to being fined for public intoxication.

Nowadays, many works of art depict the Devil as embodied by a person, or institution, right here on Earth. The Devil has been depicted as a tailor sewing Nazi uniforms in Jerome Witkin’s “The Devil as Tailor”, or even as a red-clad papal figure next to a bloody woman in “Heaven and Hell”.

We will not be showing that second image in this video, and trust us, your brain cells will thank us for that. In fact, as corruption and sex scandals came to light regarding the Catholic Church, it became common to depict the Devil as existing within the church itself, or at least its important figureheads.

Whether drawn by religious Christians or non-religious artists, as society moves more towards addressing issues and injustices right here on Earth, the concept of the Devil appears more and more in human form. Brutal dictators, genocidal psychopaths, and serial predators are all seen as evil to the point of non-comprehension.

Aka…”they have the Devil inside them.” However, the concept of an evil spirit, religious or otherwise, is hardly unique to Christianity. Most cultures and religions around the globe have a being similar to “the Devil”, and each has its unique take on what this spirit may look like.

Islamic mythology speaks of a demonic creature below the level of angels and devils called the Jinn, a spirit that can take human or animal form. They live in inanimate objects and are responsible for mental illnesses, destruction, accidents, and other maladies. In English we know them as…genies.

Clearly, Disney sanitized this creature a bit for its movies. In many Caribbean countries, their folklore speaks of evil spirits known as Jumbees. These Jumbees come in all different shapes and sizes, and carry different intentions as well. In Guyana, native people speak of the Massacooramanis, a large, excessively hairy man-like creature

That boasts a sharp set of teeth protruding from its mouth. He always lives in rivers, where he drags boats into the water and feasts on the men inside. The Moongazer, on the other hand, comes out only during the full moon.

He looks like an extremely tall, slim, muscular man who straddles a road and stares at the moon. Anyone who tries to pass the road underneath him instantly gets crushed to death. And really, if you see a naked 8-foot tall creature straddling a road and try to pass

It anyway, your death might be a little bit on you. The most terrifying spirit of all is the Dutchman Jumbee. It unfortunately makes sense that indigenous and Black Caribbeans would name the most horrifying demon after the colonizers that enslaved and slaughtered them.

These Jumbees are said to be the spirits of Dutchmen who killed and buried slaves. They reside in Dutchman trees, and if anyone climbs these trees, the Dutchman will make them horribly ill, break their bones, or even kill them. Some of the strangest looking devils in the world might be the Baku of Japan.

According to Japanese legends, the gods created the Baku with all the leftover parts they had after completing the rest of the animal kingdom. In one manuscript, the Baku is said to have an elephant’s trunk, rhinoceros’ eyes, an ox’s tail, and a tiger’s paws.

Other illustrations show it with an elephant’s head and tusks, claws, a hairy body, and horns. The Baku isn’t necessarily all bad. Children in Japan would call on the Baku to come eat their nightmares. However, the legends warned that people who called on the Baku too often would make the

Creature too hungry, and it would end up eating their dreams, hopes, and desires, leaving their life empty and miserable. So the next time you dream that you are naked in class and forgot to study for the past four years of school while your crush points and laughs at you…maybe just deal with it

On your own. The Devil has taken many shapes throughout both Christian history, and in whatever analogous demonic form he takes in cultures around the world. Frequently, the Devil changes appearance depending on beliefs of the time, holding a mirror to

What role religion is playing in society during each era rather than having one fixed appearance. Now that you hopefully have a good grasp on how to identify the Devil and various other demons, as well as several images to fill your nightmares tonight – remember, don’t

Call on the Baku unless you really need it – check out some of our other stories and legends on The Infographics Show!


50 Things You Didn’t Know about Satan

In the blue corner is the being supreme, the lord of love and reigning world champion in the infinite battle of Good vs. Evil, the one and only, God Almighty. In the red corner is heaven’s outcast, the devil from down below, the one and only Master

Of Deception and Father of Lies, The Prince of Darkness. That’s pretty much how the story goes, or at least that’s the tale many people tell. But Satan, he’s a complicated entity. There’s much more to him than most people know.

He’s not just a devil with a pitchfork who stands on your shoulder telling you to steal a candy bar; he has a long history, and he’s gotten up to stuff you wouldn’t believe. Today you’re going to learn a lot more about this overlord of the underworld! 50.

Ok, so first you need to know who Satan is. It’s a bit more complicated than you think, but we’ll try and make this one as short as we can. There’s a kind of devil in all the Abrahamic religions, but in Christianity, he plays a bigger role than he does in Judaism and Islam.

In all three religions, Satan is there to make people impure, to lure them to the dark side. The Old Testament talks about an entity that is an adversary of God. He’s there in the Book of Job, making life really hard for Job.

He kills Job’s children, his servants, and for good measure, he covers Job in boils. He does all this to see if Job will renounce his belief in God. So, there you go, Satan is there to mess with people’s beliefs.

Still, in that old book he was far from being a cloven-hoofed beast with horns that can spin a young girl’s head around. In the New Testament, there is talk of fallen angels. In the story of Matthew, there’s a devil-type thing that tries to persuade Jesus to give up his belief in God.

He’s yet again the tempter, the evil to all the good in the world. In short, there are lots of stories. There’s Lucifer, sometimes interchangeable as Satan, who is said to have rebelled against God, and with a gang of other fallen angels, they wage war against God.

Then you have Beelzebub, a flying demon who also is a kind of a Satan character. In the Book of Revelations, you have the Red Serpent, which you could call devilish, but what about this pitchfork swinging, constantly cursing guy who isn’t very photogenic?

Well, he was made up by some creative folks in the Middle Ages. Dante Alighieri wrote about Satan in The Divine Comedy in the early 14th century. This is how Satan is described in the “Inferno” part: He has three faces. He has a chest of ice.

He has mighty bat-like wings, crunching teeth, and he is generally a rotten thing. When the King James Bible became a best-seller after it was published in 1611, Lucifer, aka, the “Morning Star”, played a big part, as it did in John Milton’s 1667 masterpiece poem, “Paradise Lost”.

Now we have a much more wicked tempter, a more monstrous figure who’s a real brute. Satan was no longer just an angel that had switched jobs, he was something more terrifying. The cloven hooves and horns were often a feature, which relates back to Pan, a mythological

Half-goat, half-man figure that was always wild and irrepressibly horny. When you think about famine, plague, and the rest of the crappy things that made Europe a horrible home for a long time, it only makes sense that this devil turned into something absolutely terrifying. This is the guy evangelists conjure up in their nightmares.

He’s the entity that possessed witches and made Hollywood tons of money. The bottom line is the devil evolved throughout history. Ok, we had to get that out of the way. Now for some short facts. 49. Not surprisingly, when you go filling people’s heads with stories of this beast, it affects

Some folks in a bad way. In 2018, an Australian man beat his best friend to death because he thought his friend was Satan. Satanic serial killer, Richard Ramirez, once shouted at a victim, “Swear on Satan.” This one survived. Many did not.

In fact, a lot of killers have claimed to either be in the service of Satan or believe they are killing Satan. Either way, most people would believe Satan isn’t to blame. As you’ll see in this show, the devil is often a scapegoat. Well, that’s what the law thinks. 48.

A 2016 Gallup poll revealed 79 percent of the American respondents said they believed in God, but only 61 percent of people said they believed in the devil. 47. A similar poll went out in the UK, but only 18 percent of people said they believed in the devil. 46.

U.S. televangelist Paul Crouch once said that if you play a part of Led Zeppelin’s song “Stairway to Heaven” backward there is a Satanic message in there. This is how it allegedly goes: “Here’s to my sweet Satan. The one whose little path would make me sad, whose power is Satan.

He will give those with him 666. There was a little toolshed where he made us su­ffer, sad Satan.” Guitarist Jimmy Page once said it was hard enough to write the songs forwards, never mind backward, too. By the way, some experts now say the number in the bible that represents the number of

The beast is 616. 45. There is a Church of Satan, but its founders don’t actually believe Satan, or God for that matter, exists. One of the high priests said believers are “insane” and he says Satan just represents someone who is an “adversary” or an “opposer”, someone who questions everything.

Recently, a British member of the Church of Satan said Satanism has less to do with doing bad things than it does with being atheist and libertarian. In the U.S, you can pay $225 and get a lifetime membership for the Church of Satan. 44.

Some people believe if Jesus is the son of God then the anti-Christ is the son of Satan. An example would be Damien Thorn in the Omen movies. 43. It’s been said the first of those Omen movies was cursed, with the reason being a lot of

Really unlucky things happened to the cast and crew. The weirdest of them all involved effects artist John Richardson. He was the guy responsible for creating the famous decapitation scene in the movie. During the filming of his next movie, he got into a car crash. He survived, but his passenger was decapitated.

On top of that, an animal trainer was killed by a tiger after making The Omen, and during the filming of The Omen, a stuntman was attacked by trained Rottweilers. 42. The Pope has been accused of being the antichrist from time to time.

Martin Luther once said the Pope “is the true end times Antichrist who has raised himself over and set himself against Christ.” 41. Quite a few American presidents have at one point been accused of being the antichrist. Those include Donald Trump, Barack Obama, John F. Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan.

Hilary Clinton has been called out, too. 40. Ok, so some people think the mark of the beast will appear on us all at some point. It comes from something written in the Book of Revelations. It goes like this: “He causes all, both small and great, rich

And poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” What could that mean?

Maybe subcutaneous technology could be the mark of the beast. In the past, people used to say the number 666 was hidden in barcodes. That’s been debunked, but people have now moved onto microchips under the skin. Some evangelicals have already said those chips will be the mark of the beast that gets

Under everyone’s skin. 39. Quite a few well-known people have said the Freemasons worship the devil. We don’t have any proof to back that up. Now we’ll talk about some really dark things the devil has supposedly been involved with. 38.

According to the “Canon Episcopi”, a text of medieval canon law dating back to the 10th century, witchcraft was alive and well in Europe back then. It says witches flew around on broomsticks, and one of their favorite destinations was the forest.

The forest is where they made love to demons, and sometimes killed infants in the name of Satan. 37. Things got much more heated in the 15th century. That was when the book “Malleus Maleficarum” was written, a treatise on witches that detailed the exploits of people possessed by Satan.

It might sound funny to you, but it led to massive persecution of people accused of being witches. Thousands of people were tortured and killed during decades of witch hunts. 36. The first European folks to make the New World their home weren’t much better.

The Puritans of New England talked about babies being born with claws and horns, which was a sure sign the devil had infiltrated the woman. Some of those puritans believed the Native Americans were “children of the Devil.” 35. It was mostly thanks to the Enlightenment thinkers in the 17th and 18th centuries that

Belief in witchcraft started to die. Unfortunately, some parts of Europe and the New World remained in the dark and dismissed what those thinkers said. Witch hunts stopped in most places, but belief in Satan remained strong. 34 Satan doesn’t just appear in Christian bibles,

He also shows up in the Talmud and has been discussed by Jewish rabbis at length, with some positing that Satan was involved in the story of Moses returning from Mount Sinai and that he may have played a role in the Purim story, which tells of how the Jews were

Saved from the Persian Empire. 33 And speaking of the Talmud, the origin of the name Satan actually comes from the Hebrew word which means “opposer” or “adversary” and was used in the Hebrew bible as a term for both human enemies of the Jewish people, as well as supernatural foes. 32.

In 1966, after the Beatles member John Lennon said his band was “more popular than Jesus”, people in the Southern United States took to burning Beatles’ records even if they loved them. Some people believe Lennon made a pact with the devil so he could get famous.

The devil got his due, though, because Lennon was shot dead in the street. 31. In the 1960s, the Beatles were accused of putting Satanic messages in their music. Decades later, an article in the Vatican newspaper praised the band for their melodic tunes. Now for something that may frighten you. 30.

In 2018, The Atlantic reported that priests in the U.S. were being asked to perform an unusual number of exorcisms. The article said, “The official exorcist for Indianapolis has received 1,700 requests so far in 2018.” That’s a lot for just one state, especially as there are only around 100 official Catholic

Exorcists in the U.S. 29. In 2020, in Panama, seven people died in a mass exorcism. The victims included a pregnant woman and her five young kids. An extremist religious group was blamed for the deaths when it was discovered members

Of the group held natives captive and beat them with bibles, burned them with torches, and cut them with machetes. This particular sect was denounced as “Satanic” by local church authorities. 28. The novel “The Exorcist” was partly based on the alleged demonic possession of a 14-year old American kid known as Roland Doe.

That wasn’t his real name. The exorcism was kind of like the movie, in that the boy allegedly spoke in a weird voice, things flew on their own around the room and the kid couldn’t stand to be near a holy cross. At one point marks just appeared on the kid’s body.

It’s also said he got up and broke a priest’s nose. 27. In 2014, two women in the U.S. were charged with murder after killing two children, aged one and two, during an exorcism. The women said the kids’ eyes had turned black due to the devil being inside them.

They badly beat two older kids, but they thankfully survived the ordeal. We found more recent cases of children being killed in exorcisms in the U.S., Europe, and elsewhere. If you think belief in demonic possession is dead, you are very wrong. 26. Parts of the bible talk about Jesus doing exorcisms.

This is from Mark 1:25/6, “Jesus rebuked him, saying, ‘Be silent, and come out of him!’ And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying out with a loud voice, came out of him.” It’s a pity all exorcisms aren’t so quick and easy. 25.

The saying, “The devil is in the details” actually comes from, “God is in the details.” 24. Satan goes by other names as well as the devil, including, Beelzebub, Mephistopheles, the Prince of Darkness, Lord of the Flies, the Antichrist, the Father of Lies, and Moloch. Ok, back to more dark details. 23.

In 1692, in Salem Village, Massachusetts, a group of young girls were accused of being in league with Satan. What happened next became known as the Salem Witch Trials. The accused girls, as well as women, and men, appeared at a special court to address the

Accusation that they were getting friendly with the devil, which of course wasn’t true at all. 22. 20 people in all were hanged by the neck in Salem for the crime of practicing the devil’s magic, but over time around 150 people were accused of being witches.

One of the men who was executed was pressed to death, which had to be a very painful way to go. The authorities thought if he was tortured he might spill the beans, but there weren’t any beans to spill. A Massachusetts General Court soon reversed the guilty verdicts, but that came too late

For the 20 victims. The youngest of the accused was a four-year-old girl named Dorothy Good. She told the court her mom had been talking to the devil. She was also said to bite people like a wild animal. The next fact is just plain crazy. 21.

Believe it or not, animals played a big part in the hysteria that happened at Salem. Yep, cats, dogs, and other animals were also said to be possessed by Satan. Some folks believed the animals were a kind of team member for the witches, and like some of the accused witches, they had to go.

In one instance, a girl had convulsions and it was believed she was a witch. She said the neighbor’s dog had bewitched her. That dog was immediately shot. A local minister later declared the dog innocent of any wrongdoing.

Later, another mutt took a bullet, even though the locals said it was a victim of evil. 20. Did they really do a float test on accused witches, or is that just made up? It’s not fiction at all and was in vogue in the 17th century.

Sometimes called “dunking” or “ordeal by water”, it would involve throwing a person, usually a woman, into a river. If she sank, she was innocent of working with the prince of darkness, but if she floated, well, obviously she was in league with Satan.

You might ask what the rationale was behind that, but let’s remember the Age of Reason was still a century away. Some people said water was pure, and that’s why it wouldn’t accept witches. You really wouldn’t want to show off your treading-water skills in those days. 19.

You might wonder what the difference is between a demon and the devil? Basically, the devil is the CEO of evil and demons are his managers. You could say those who demons possess are the folks on the lower end of the pay scale. 18.

The American anthropologist, Erika Bourguignon, spent a lifetime studying demons and she said 488 societies in the world believed in demonic possession. You don’t need Satan to have demons, but you need evil. In the past, if you were mentally ill sometimes people would say you were a victim of demonic possession.

That still happens today in some societies. A psychiatrist in northern Thailand once said he took his team to the villages far from the city. In some villages he found autistic kids locked in cages. Their families would offer chicken sacrifices to the evil spirit so it would leave the kid’s body.

Coming up next is something called “The Satan Defense.” 17. Satan gets the blame for a lot of bad things that people do, so you could call the poor fella a handy scapegoat. In 2016, a guy appeared in court after shooting two teenagers. One of them died and the other was badly injured.

What was the guy’s defense? He actually said Satan made him do it and so he was actually innocent. The guy, named Kody Lott, was actually incensed when the media said killing two kids on their way home from school for absolutely nothing was senseless.

Lott said the devil told him to do it, so how was it senseless. He will stay in prison until at least 2046. God might feature in the courtroom, but the justice system has no time for Satan. That’s kind of weird when you think about it. 16. Satan has little to do with Halloween.

No one is exactly sure how the tradition started, but it likely goes back to harvest festivals that were held pre-Christianity. The Christians, however, got hold of it and started calling it All Hallows’ Day, which was a day to celebrate saints and the faithful that had died.

This somehow turned into a night where people walk around dressed as Hello Kitty and maniacs put glass in candy. This next one is seriously messed up. 15. There is no shortage of people who claim they are the devil. These egomaniacs are everywhere and they span all age groups.

A recent case involved a naked woman breaking into a family’s house. The owner told her to leave, to which the woman laughed and then claimed she was the devil. All hell broke loose when the woman attacked the man and his family, even though he had a gun.

39 shots were fired but the woman wasn’t hit. Not only that, but she also managed to fight off all the family. The man later said, “She had the strength of four grown men.” Maybe she was the devil, or she’d been taking some serious drugs.

You can find multiple stories every year in the USA where people who do horrible things claim to be the devil. For some reason they are usually women. 14. There is a term, “She-Devil”, but it usually refers to a woman who manipulates men and does horrible things to them.

While sometimes we refer to Satan as a ‘he’, in reality, or super-reality, the devil is sexless. However, in Hebrew, the noun for Satan is a masculine noun. 13. If Satan is real, he must work around the clock, so much so he makes Elon Musk look lazy.

That’s because around 150,000 people die in the world every day of the week. Considering most of those people will not be faithful to God and will no doubt have a rap sheet of sins a mile long, the intake process for hell must keep Satan really busy. 12.

In the bible, it doesn’t say Satan created Hell. Nope, he was condemned to live in the inferno. He’d probably prefer a three-bedroom suite in Manhattan, but sinners can’t be choosers. The bible actually teaches us that Satan spends most of his time on Earth.

Hell is a little confusing, so we thought we’d refer to that paragon of truth, Billy Graham. In his writing he says the “everlasting fire was created for the devil and his angels”, and he also says that the devil can roam “through the earth going back and forth in it”.

There’s also the theory that sinners will be cast into the pits of hell only on judgment day, so right now they are on remand. Those who wrote the big book talk about Jesus mentioning “eternal life” and “eternal punishment”, but some Christian scholars argue that eternal punishment just means being

Wiped out, like completely being deleted from the big server in the sky. So, hell could be absolutely nothing. The idea of a goat-man with a pitchfork burning your toes with his cigar is entirely a modern fancy. It would have been alien to JC. 11.

The French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre wrote a play about hell called, “No Exit.” A well-known phrase from that play is, “Hell is other people.” In the play, people die and end up in a waiting room, but the thing is, they are there for eternity.

They soon get on each other’s nerves, and that waiting room becomes a kind of hell. It sounds a lot like social media. Ok, we’ve reached the top ten now, time to ramp up the evil. 10. Some Christians, mostly of the ilk that have Jesus bumper stickers, believe in something called “The Rapture.”

This is when the world ends and the goodies on Earth with the once faithful dead will be beamed up “in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air.” This great kidnapping will lead to eternity in heaven. As for those left behind, things aren’t supposed to be great for them.

Maybe they will have a date with Satan at some point, or they might go on to act in a very popular TV series. By the way, most Christians don’t actually believe the big snatch will ever happen. 9. God was sometimes really wrathful; you certainly didn’t want to get on the wrong side of

God. In Genesis 3:14, God has some stern words with Satan, saying, “Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.” 8. You should know that you shouldn’t make deals with Satan because whatever he gives,

He’ll take back double. He once offered Jesus all the kingdoms of the world, but in the small print, there was a proviso stating that in return Jesus had to worship Satan. Jesus’ response to this offer was, “Away from me, Satan!” 7.

You’ve heard of the Seven Deadly Sins, but did you know some people say behind each one is a demon who can tempt you into committing that sin. The sins are: Pride, envy, wrath, sloth, greed, gluttony, and lust. Satan himself is behind wrath. A prince of hell named Belphegor is the gluttony guy.

He tries to convince folks to get really rich, which we all know in the real world gluttony has its fair share of problems. 6. What do you think is the most committed sin by men? Greed? Sloth? Nah, it’s lust, according to some research we read.

Think about how often every day you have a sexual thought… for women that sin was pride. 5. Speaking of sexual thoughts, there are demons called Incubi and succubi. The former is a demon in male form that makes love to women in their sleep and the latter

Does the same but she is female and chooses sleeping men. Such stories were around a long time before Christ appeared on the scene, so they are not only Christian stories. In the past, these demons were sometimes accused of messing with a man’s health, while women were said to sometimes be impregnated by them.

Maybe demons weren’t the problem… Now for something very real. 4. There is a book called “The Devil’s Bible” that was written by a monk over a period of decades in the 13th century. It’s quite the tome, too, weighing in at 165 pounds (75kg).

Some people believe the devil himself was behind the book, but most folks think that the writer just had a lot of time on his hands. If you wrote all day every day the book would take about 20 years to finish. It got the name Devil’s Bible because of an illustration on page 290.

The legend behind the book says that a monk had broken his vows and faced being walled up alive. His other option was to agree to write a book that contained all human knowledge. That wasn’t going to be easy, but what’s a monk gonna do.

He tried writing the book, but it was too hard, so the story goes that he asked Lucifer for help in exchange for his soul. All he had to do was feature that picture of the devil. 3. Ok, so how would you contact the devil if you wanted to do a deal with him?

He’s obviously a busy demon, and you can bet he has a lot of requests. We looked online for, “How to contact Satan”, but there are no clear guidelines. There are a bunch of rituals you can find online that tell you how to summon demons, which usually involve evocation spells.

There is a new book out there containing such spells, although the International Association of Exorcists condemned it saying it was like putting a grenade in people’s hands. It’s aimed at kids, too, telling them if they have too much homework or life aint going

So well, they might want to draw some lines on the floor and “dial up some demons.” 2. The good news is that after looking at a bunch of Christian websites not one agreed that the devil can read your thoughts. Satan, unlike God, is not omniscient.

Nowhere in the bible does it say the devil can plant things in your head. Watch out though, because this is in the bible: “Brothers and sisters, be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith.”

An interpretation of this could be that the devil is always there, just waiting for you to show some weakness. When he sees you are weak, he can somehow use his trickery to create circumstances around you that will tempt you to sin.

He also has a network of demons doing such bad work, demons that must have been busy during all those Catholic Church abuse scandals. 1. So, what is the fate of Satan? Can’t we just get rid of him?

According to the Book of Revelation, at some point Satan will be forced to hang up his gloves. This is what’s written about his forced retirement. “And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown.

They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” Amen. Now you should watch this, “50 Insane Cold War Facts That Will Shock You!” or, have a look at this, “50 Insane Facts About Vietnam War You Didn’t Know.”

#Didnt #Satan

What The Bible Actually Says About the Devil

Satan. Lucifer. T-mobile. The Devil takes many names, but even if you’re a devout Christian you may just be surprised about what the bible does- and doesn’t- say about Satan. The traditional biography of Satan as accepted by most Christians is that he was once amongst

One of God’s most beautiful angels, but in his vanity, rebelled against God and inspired a third of the heavenly host to wage war against their creator. For this, Satan and his angels were cast out of heaven and condemned to hell, where they will spend eternity.

Satan however has occasion to leave his hellish prison. His most famous appearance is perhaps his arrival in the garden of Eden, where he transforms himself into a snake. Once he finds Eve, he tempts her to eat from the one tree in all of the garden that God

Had forbidden Adam and Eve to eat from- the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Having succeeded in inspiring mankind’s first rebellion against God, Satan then makes numerous smaller appearances throughout the books of the Old Testament. His grandest appearance by far however is in the Book of Job.

Job is a good, honest man who dutifully worships and obeys God. He is one of the richest men in the land of Uz, blessed with vast flocks, a large family, and great wealth. Job is kind to his workers, and generous with those in need, and God is well pleased with him.

Then one day Satan arrives at God’s court along with a group of angels, and God asks him where he’s been. Satan tells God that he’s been roaming the earth, and much like a proud father, God asks Satan if he’s considered his servant Job.

Satan challenges God, and tells him that the only reason Job is so righteous is because of his vast blessings- if God removed his favor from Job’s life, then surely he would rebel against him. God agrees to allow Satan to strike down Job, but forbids him from actually killing him.

Satan then descends to the land of Uz and in one day causes a catastrophe that kills most of Job’s family, inspires raiders to steal his flocks away, and strikes Job down with painful boils. Job, though showing frustration towards God, refuses to curse him, and for his reward God

Restores twice as much as what was taken away from him and gives him supernaturally long life. Satan’s next major appearance is nearly two thousand years later. Jesus, at the very start of his ministry, retreats to the desert for forty days.

While there, Satan appears to tempt Jesus, seeking to corrupt God’s son and doom his ministry on earth. Fasting for the duration of his desert trip, Jesus has not eaten much if anything in those forty days, and Satan first tempts Jesus by telling him to turn a stone into bread so

He can eat it. Jesus rebukes Satan, telling him, “It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” While Satan is trying to tempt Jesus to fulfill his earthly desires of food, Jesus rebukes

Him, making it clear that spiritual matters are more important than earthly matters, even if they require sacrifice. Next, Satan transports Jesus to Jerusalem, to the very top of the holy temple. Then he tells Jesus, If you are really the son of God, cast yourself down: for it is

Written, “He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time you dash your foot against a stone.” Jesus once more rebukes Satan, telling Satan that you should never tempt the Lord your God.

In this rebuke, Jesus is rejecting the idea that he should use his supernatural powers for his own personal edification or gain. Next, Satan takes Jesus to a very high mountain, from where the duo can see all the kingdoms of the world and the riches they contain.

Satan promises Jesus that if he commits but just one act of worship to him, he’ll give him dominion over every kingdom. Jesus promptly rebukes Satan a third time, telling him “It is written, thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and only him.”

In this final rebuke, Jesus rejects the idea of gaining material wealth and political power at the cost of his service to the people of the land- the poor, the needy, and the spiritually lost. Rejected three times by Jesus, Satan retreats as Jesus is then attended to by angels.

Satan doesn’t reappear during Jesus’s time on earth, except in parables and when the Jewish religious authorities claimed that Jesus was casting out demons because he was in league with the devil. However, Jesus corrects them, saying that if one is to rob a strong man’s house, then

First he must tie up the strong man. In essence, Jesus couldn’t possibly be exorcising demons unless he had already overpowered Satan. Satan makes his big comeback however in the Book of Revelation. Here we get some glimpses of the end of the world, when Satan appears- described as a

Great red dragon with seven heads adorned with seven crowns, ten horns, and one massive tail. Satan knocks a third of the stars out of the sky, and then pursues a pregnant woman who is about to give birth. God however saves the child and helps the woman escape from Satan.

This woman is widely believed to symbolize the virgin Mary, who faced rejection by her own family after becoming pregnant out of wedlock, and was terrified that her husband-to-be, Joseph, would also reject her. God however sends an angel to explain the situation to Joseph, who agrees to take her

As his wife despite her pregnancy, thus enduring great shame from their local community. After giving birth to Jesus however, Herod- the Roman-approved king of Judea- orders all male children two years old and under to be killed. He has heard of the arrival of the Jewish messiah, and like most Jews expected that

The messiah would be a conquering figure which would restore the ancient Jewish kingdom. That would inevitably mean that Herod himself would be removed from power, and thus he ordered his troops to kill all children under 2 years of age. Satan is widely believed to have been the fearful influence driving Herod’s actions.

However, an angel comes to Mary and Joseph, and instructs them to flee until it is safe to return. Satan is once more foiled in his attempt to derail the arrival of the messiah. Next, the war in heaven is described, with the arch-angel Michael leading God’s armies against the rebellious host led by Satan.

Defeated, Michael throws Satan out of heaven and down to the earth. In hindsight, maybe Michael should’ve thrown them into space and not here on earth amongst us. Satan is imprisoned for one thousand years, and then is at last set free.

He gathers up his armies for one final battle against the righteous of the earth and Heaven’s armies, but God sends down a pillar of fire to burn up Satan’s forces. Satan himself is captured and thrown into the lake of fire, and the righteous are forever free of his influence.

There’s just one small problem with Satan’s official biography- much of it isn’t about him. The ancient Jews who wrote the Old Testament never had any inclination to believe in a figure that was ultimate evil, let alone a rival of God.

As lord and creator of all things, God could not possibly have a rival, and thus it would be foolish to assume any one being could rise to the position. In the original Hebrew, the word satan means accuser or adversary, and is used to reference humans and a celestial being.

When used to reference a celestial being, the word is accompanied by the definitive article, making it clear that the name Satan is not a name at all, but a title. Satan is not Accuser, but The Accuser- it’s his job title.

Satan is not a fallen angel opposing God from the depths of hell, but rather, Satan is actually part of God’s court, and carrying out his assigned duties. We see this best in the Book of Job. Here, Satan actually arrives with a group of angels, making it clear that he himself

Is also an angel. Satan doesn’t ‘make a bet’ with God that he can break Job, as is the common Christian narrative, but rather Satan merely points out the apparently obvious- Job is only faithful to God because he has abundantly blessed him.

In order to prove that this isn’t the case, God allows Satan to carry out his duties as the accuser, but within parameters. Further difficulties arise when the Book of Job is taken as a historical account by Christians, who then use the book to support a living biography of the deeds of Satan.

However, it is quite clear from the way that Job is written that it is a work of poetry, a text meant to explore some of the deepest and most painful theological questions such as why do bad things happen to good people- and how should they respond when they do.

Jesus’s reference to Job is not a surprise then, as Jesus himself taught exclusively through parables. The writers of the Old Testament did not believe in a literal devil, but rather understood that the temptation to do evil lived in all of us.

However, these beliefs began to gradually change, and sometime in the late BCs and early ADs, Satan became a specific being which was diametrically opposed to God. Coincidentally enough, this is also when Zoroastrianism began to exert a greater and greater influence on Jewish culture.

In Zoroastrianism, good and evil exist in equal measures and are diametrically opposed. However, evil is limited by space and time, while good is not. Thus, when the world ends and space and time run out, evil will simply cease to exist, leaving only good to triumph.

This powerful duality clearly had an influence on Jewish beliefs, who began to identify Satan as a specific figure forever in opposition to God and his people- as evidenced by Satan’s greater role in later Jewish books of the Old Testament. Satan developed many of the parallels of Zoroastrianism duality, including a near-peer opposition

To God, but an inability to outright defeat him. Satan too would eventually be defeated at the end of days, and only good would remain to rule over creation. Exactly like in Zoroastrianism. Jesus himself likely saw Satan in the same traditional sense that the ancient Jews did-

As an internal temptation and not a physical being with the power to do evil and oppose God. This is because the account of the three temptations of Christ are widely accepted as having been a symbolic representation of Jesus’s internal struggles and doubts at the start of a ministry

He knew would end in his death, and not literal events. Once more given the fact that Jesus almost exclusively taught in parables, this is a very likely conclusion. His first temptation was the temptation to use his power to fulfill his own selfish needs- or hedonism.

If Jesus could heal the sick, he could use that same power to fulfill every lust and desire in his heart. His second temptation was the temptation to glorify himself, instead of God. Often pressed in on all sides by adoring crowds, Jesus would have easily been tempted to use

His massive influence and support to take leadership of the nation for himself, or to simply develop a cult of personality. The biblical account of Jesus atop the temple was a representation of how Jesus could show off his supernatural powers in front of crowds of people and gain their support or adoration.

His third temptation was to use his power to indulge his materialism. With his god-given power, Jesus could have become a great ruler if he wished- yet he didn’t come to grow political or economic power, but to begin a spiritual revolution.

While he could have been a king, he instead chose the role of a servant. The fact that no mountain peak could actually show all the kingdoms of the earth makes it clear once more that this is a symbolic representation of Jesus’s early internal struggles.

The early Christians certainly believed that Satan was a physical being completely opposed to God- the pinnacle of all evil. That belief has continued to the present day and even influenced non-Christians. Yet the earliest biblical accounts, unadulterated by the growing influence of Zoroastrianism

And other dualistic religions, make it clear that Satan is not a devil hellbent on overcoming God, but rather merely another member of God’s angelic court. However, as God’s prosecutor, he is the closest that a Jew, Christian, or Muslim has to a

Supernatural enemy- even if The Accuser is not trying to destroy faith, but rather grow it by pointing out where it is weakest. A modern belief in Satan as the enemy of God is simply doctrinally unsound, as humanity itself only rebelled against God when they ate the fruit of the knowledge of Good and

Evil. As they were the first, and only beings to eat this fruit, no angel could have possibly rebelled against God in the way that mankind did. When you’re done yelling at us in the comments, go watch 50 things you didn’t know about Satan. Or we tempt you to click this other video instead.

#Bible #Devil