Satan


Satan
/sayt"n/, n.
the chief evil spirit; the great adversary of humanity; the devil.
[bef. 900; ME, OE < LL < Gk Satân, Satán < Heb satan adversary]

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      in Judaism and Christianity, the prince of evil spirits and adversary of God.

      The word Satan is the English transliteration of a Hebrew word for “adversary” in the Old Testament. With the definite article the Hebrew word denotes “the adversary” par excellence, mainly in the Book of Job, where the adversary comes to the heavenly court with the “sons of God.” His task is to roam through the earth (like a contemporaneous Persian official) seeking out acts or persons to be reported adversely (to the king); his function thus is the opposite of that of the “eyes of the Lord,” which roam through the earth strengthening all that is good. Satan is cynical about disinterested human goodness and is permitted to test it under God's authority and control and within the limits that God sets.

      In the New Testament the Greek transliteration Satanas is used, and this usually appears as Satan in English translations. He is spoken of as the prince of evil spirits, the inveterate enemy of God and of Christ, who takes the guise of an angel of light. He can enter a man and act through him; hence, a man can be called Satan because of his acts or attitude. Through his subordinate demons Satan can take possession of men's bodies, afflicting them or making them diseased. To him sinners are delivered for the destruction of the flesh that the spirit may be saved. After the preaching of the 70 disciples, during which devils were subjected to them, Jesus saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven (Luke 10:18). According to the visions in the Book of Revelation, when the risen Christ returns from heaven to reign on earth, Satan will be bound with a great chain for a thousand years, then be released, but almost immediately face final defeat and be cast into eternal punishment. His name, Beelzebul, used in the Gospels mainly in reference to demoniac possession, comes from the name of the god of Ekron, Baalzebub (II Kings 1). He is also identified with the devil (diabolos), and this term occurs more frequently in the New Testament than Satan. In the Qurʾān the proper name Shaitan (“Satan”) is used.

      Among early Christian writers, the figure of Satan played a larger part in the discussion of the nature of evil, the meaning of salvation, and the purpose and efficacy of the atoning work of Christ. Early and medieval church writers discussed at length problems raised by belief in the existence of a spiritual being such as Satan in a universe created and sustained by an all-powerful, all-wise, and all-loving God. Under the influence of the 18th-century revolt against belief in the supernatural, liberal Christian theology tended to treat the biblical language about Satan as “picture thinking” not to be taken literally—as a mythological attempt to express the reality and extent of evil in the universe, existing outside and apart from man but profoundly influencing the human sphere.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • SATAN — Toutes les religions croient en des esprits malfaisants. Dans la tradition judéo chrétienne, toutefois, une telle croyance s’est structurée de manière originale autour de la figure d’un prince des démons, Satan ou le Diable: cette originalité se… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • SATAN — (Heb. שָׂטָן). In the Bible, except perhaps for I Chronicles 21:1 (see below), Satan is not a proper name referring to a particular being and a demoniac one who is the antagonist or rival of God. In its original application, in fact, it is a… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • satan- — *satan germ., Maskulinum: nhd. Satan, Teufel; ne. Satan; Rekontruktionsbasis: as., ahd.; Interferenz: Lehnwort lat. satanās; Etymologie: s. lat. sata …   Germanisches Wörterbuch

  • Satan — Sm std. (9. Jh., sataniklin 8. Jh.), mhd. satanās, satān, satanāt, ahd. Satanās Entlehnung. Entlehnt aus kirchen l. satan, satanās, dieses aus ntl. gr. satãn, satanãs, aus hebr. śāṭān, eigentlich Widersacher, Feind (Gottes) . Adjektiv: satanisch …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • Satan — proper name of the supreme evil spirit in Christianity, O.E. Satan, from L.L. Satan (in Vulgate, in O.T. only), from Gk. Satanas, from Heb. satan adversary, one who plots against another, from satan to show enmity to, oppose, plot against, from… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Satán — satán. (Del lat. satan, y este del hebr. šāṭān, adversario, enemigo; en la tradición judeocristiana, el demonio Satanás). m. Persona diabólica. Es un satán. * * * altSatán o Satanás/alt ► TEOLOGÍA Nombre dado en el Antiguo Testamento al ser… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • satán — satán. (Del lat. satan, y este del hebr. šāṭān, adversario, enemigo; en la tradición judeocristiana, el demonio Satanás). m. Persona diabólica. Es un satán. * * * altsatán o satanás/alt ► masculino BOTÁNICA Hongo basidiomicete del orden… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • satán — (Del lat. satan, y este del hebr. šāṭān, adversario, enemigo; en la tradición judeocristiana, el demonio Satanás). m. Persona diabólica. Es un satán …   Diccionario de la lengua española

  • Satan — Sa tan (s[=a] tan, s[a^]t an obs ), n. [Heb. s[=a]t[=a]n an adversary, fr. s[=a]tan to be adverse, to persecute: cf. Gr. Sata^n, Satana^s, L. Satan, Satanas.] The grand adversary of man; the Devil, or Prince of darkness; the chief of the fallen… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Satan — Satan: Der Name des Höllenfürsten (auch übertragen gebraucht für »teuflischer Mensch«) mhd. satanās, satān, ahd. satanās führt über kirchenlat. satan, satanas und griech. satanās auf hebr. s̓ạṭạn »Widersacher, Feind; böser Engel« zurück… …   Das Herkunftswörterbuch

  • satán — sustantivo masculino 1. Satanás. satanás o satán (con mayúscula) sustantivo masculino 1. Nombre del príncipe de los demonios: Satanás tentó a Cristo. 2 …   Diccionario Salamanca de la Lengua Española


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