Satan in Sacred Texts
By: Carrie-Anne Prudence
Within the bible there are a distinctive and shocking amount of passages referring to Satan. More specifically, the topic of misogyny and barbarity towards women, which has sparked a lot of debate. Central to this debate, are the Pauline and duetero-Pauline epistles, which hold conflicting views upon Satan and the treatment of women. Within this essay 3 different texts will be analyzed and compared in relation with this topic. 1 Timothy, a duetero-Pauline epistle presents a view of the devil that is more similar to the Book of the Watchers, than it is to 1 Corinthians, a definite Pauline epistle. This seems to support the scholarly opinion that 1 Timothy was not in fact written by Paul. The evidence backing up this opinion will be discussed within this report, along with the similarities and differences of Satan portrayed within each text.
1 Timothy is considered to be a duetero-Pauline epistle, meaning the author is considered to be someone else writing as Paul. This letter is written in a way that is not consistent with any of Paul’s other texts. The letter itself has misogynistic tones, and emphasizes inequality between males and females, old and young, deacons, widows and other groups. The most shocking portrayal of misogyny is in 1 Timothy 2, where it is stated that women must live in full submission, be quiet, and not to assume authority over a man (1Timothy, 2, English Standard Version). This is where most skepticism has arisen as to whether or not this passage was written by Paul. In Many of Paul’s previous writings, such as Galatians, he stresses the equality of all groups, “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians, 3:28, New International Version). Satan is also evident in 1 Timothy 3 where the deacons are warned against Satan’s sin of pride, “He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil.” (1 Timothy, 3:6, New International Version). The passage expresses this as a test, and warns that Satan waits to take advantage of the deacons, and if they pass this test then they are a worthy deacon, “they must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons” (1 Timothy, 3:10, New International Version). Satan is also referenced when humans engage in uncontrolled sexual and social activities in 1 Timothy 5. It states that if these urges overcome your dedication to Christ, you are giving in to the devils ways. Timothy 5 also stresses the importance of family, and being faithful within your relationships. Anything that prevents you from doing so are considered to be obstacles posed by the devil in order to prevent Christians from living a fully Christian lifestyle. The writing, tone and subject matter of this letter are not consistent with Paul’s other letters or writings, as we will see later within this paper.
In Enoch, the Book of the Watchers there are also many similar ideas and portrayals as 1 Timothy. This book further expresses the inequality of men and women as well as the power men have over women. The story discusses two angels and how they fall because they lust for the “daughters of man” (Derynck, 2014). This could be understood that a mans relations with a women were considered to be a sin. The angels also make a pact to take wives, once again demoting women to objects that can be “taken”, “Come, let us choose us wives from among the children of men 3 and beget us children,”(Enoch, 6:2). They also enforce metallurgy upon men, and jewelry and cosmetics amongst women, increasing the sins of lust, greed, and violence amongst humans. The influence of the devil becomes evident in this book when the fallen angels bring about chaos, imbalance, and corruption of the natural order, and increase sins amongst humans...
References: Derynck, Tracy (2013) Class notes - Book of the watchers. Retrieved from Mount Royal
University RELS 3302 Blackboard website: https://courseware.mymru.ca/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_tab_group_id=_2_1&url=%2Fwebapps%2Fblackboard%2Fexecute%2Flauncher%3Ftype%3DCourse%26id%3D_186575_1%26url%3D
Derynck, Tracy (2013) Epistles notes. Retrieved from Mount Royal University RELS 3302 Blackboard website: https://courseware.mymru.ca/webapps/portal/frameset.jsp?tab_tab_group_id=_2_1&url=%2Fwebapps%2Fblackboard%2Fexecute%2Flauncher%3Ftype%3DCourse%26id%3D_186575_1%26url%3D
The Book of Enoch, Section I. (n.d.). The Book of Enoch, Section I. Retrieved February 11, 2014, from http://www.ccel.org/c/charles/otpseudepig/
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