The Bible and Popular Culture

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In popular culture the image of Satan in movies and most print media shows a stereotypical Satan, as a malicious, horned and hoofed creature sporting a pointed tail and a pitchfork or a suave businessman however, does this modern day image fit with that of the Christian scriptures?

Satan is often portrayed in popular culture with the demonic appearance consisting of thick leathery red skin, long curled goats horns and hairy goats legs and a serpent like pointed tail. This image is frequently teamed with a Devil whose personality fits with the ideology of a daring and almost cheeky character. Comparing this seemingly loveable character to that of the aggressive and fear inspiring one found in the Bible brings one to question how such a difference occurred. The character of Satan, in the Bible has taken on many different guises. Some examples are, in Genesis (3:1)1 Satan appears as the serpent that tempted Eve "Now the serpent was more crafty", the book of Luke chapter 4 "he was tempted by the devil." as the tempter of Christ and also in Revelations (20:2)2 as a dragon "He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil". Satan's appearance continually varies throughout the Bible with each story and situation in which he is used. Although very little detail is given about his actual appearance, popular culture has managed to create an image all its own for the figure of Satan.

Many of the ideas and images to which Satan is solicited are tenuous with in the bible itself. Many of the things such as the horns, wings and leathery skin to which most in modern society have grown accustomed have been created and over time added to from alternate sources. These depictions though, can be related to the text through the use of terms such as dragon or serpent, because of the general interpretation of these terms into images by medieval artists and scholars. Some of the images that are presented in modern media of the Devil appear to be derived from past...
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