The Origin of Satan by Elaine Pagels

Upfront, this is not the book I expected it to be. Even the back cover misleads the reader. Having said that, I still found this book to be interesting.

This book is not really a summary of the concept of Satan throughout history. There is a little bit of that but that is not the theme of the book.

This book is more a Jewish and Christian examination of the “other.” Who is the “other” entity? That is the subject of this book.

In religious circles, it is easy to identify who is faithful and who is not. In the Old Testament, the enemy was clear. Those who were not Israelites, those who did not worship Yahweh - they were the enemy. But what about within the circle? Who was the enemy within the circle? This is where the symbol of adversary, accuser, and Satan emerges.

Christianity changed the game. The religious faith was no longer a matter of customs or a question of nationality. The spiritual enemy was the real enemy, and this enemy took on many forms.

So, I enjoyed this take, but I was looking for more or a history of the devil since there is not much written in the Old and New Testaments.

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