The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Satan, a person or a personification?

As I understand it… the “this world” was the world of 1st century Judaism, out of which many a believer in that era had come; and of which the apostles warned against those buckling under the strain of persecution not to return to — of which the ruler, evil one or god of that age was the Judaic High Priesthood.

Paul is conversing with disciples at Corinth a gentile church and says Satan blinds the minds of unbelievers to gentiles so clearly this has nothing to do with Judaic High Priests.

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In Isa 1.18 " Come now let us reason together" which is similar to common sense , so it is a factor to be considered among others. Common sense is not necessarily revealed by how many people believe something but more by the logic of the belief.

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Well i believe Moses & Job & Matthew & John & Paul & Peter& James & Jude and Jesus. Their descriptions of Satan are about a living being and are warnings or negative portrayals of Satan.

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Is that your belief, qaz? (Do you often have conversations with the sun, moon & stars?). If not, why not?

Jesus said if your hands or feet offend you, cut them off. How many people have you ever heard of who have literally chopped off/gouged out body parts in taking Jesus words to insanely excessive literality? Have you chopped off/gouged out any lately? If not, why not?

Ezekiel speaks of Pharoah as being a tree in the garden of Eden & a sea monster. Do you also take that literally? If not, why not?

“Ezekiel himself is full of graphic, poetic images and metaphors (comparisons in which one thing is simply called another without “like” or “as”), one of which is a statement that Pharaoh was a tree in Eden, God’s garden (Ezek. 31:1-18; he is also a sea monster, 29:3-5).”

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Davo, what (a) advantage and (b) consequences would there be in accepting your Pantelistic views as opposed to say, what Paidon or ECF Origen or Robin Parry or Christian Universalists believe?

If there are no afterdeath negative consequences for anyone, even the most wicked sinners, then what is going to motivate people to holy living?

If all prophecy is fulfilled, & all Scripture applies to those who are long dead, what significance, if any, does Scripture have for us today?

Is there any gospel for today? If so, what is this gospel? Are you motivated to share it with the lost?

Perhaps you’ld prefer to start a new thread in answering those questions.

Why not? And what does it matter?

Can angels, God, Jesus, Adam & Moses be “proven empirically or logically to exist”? If so, how?

What would the Bible need to say to prove Satan’s existence as a personal being?

My perception is that some Biblical writers probably perceived ‘Satan’ to be one of the universe’s actual creatures, perhaps a perverse angelic one. But that this doesn’t stop others from believing that the actual reality they were trying to account for, is an impersonal ‘power’ toward evil that is not in reality lodged in one real person.

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What does it matter whether Satan is a person or merely a power?

Does it matter how many angels can sit on a pinhead?

My doctrine? I’m not smart enough to have doctrine but the folks i referenced do and i believe them so if that’s dogmatic and ridiculous i’ll take it all day long.

Is the source of that thought a “person or a personification?”

Of course the possibility that God created Angels for reasons beyond your understanding must be a incoherent thought!

I read the article in the PDF which Davo posted.
The author correctly asserts that the word translated as “Satan” means “adversary”.
However, I fail to see why that fact should be considered as evidence that Satan doesn’t exist as a person.

My name on this forum is “Paidion”. It means “trained, little child.” Is that fact evidence that I don’t exist as a person?

Even my real name “Donald” has a meaning. It means “world ruler”. More evidence that I don’t exist?

I’m not sure what so clearly a translation you’re using Steve BUT Paul nowhere across his Corinthian epistles… “says Satan blinds the minds of unbelievers”, period! Further… that gentiles were in the Corinthian church doesn’t make it any more… “a gentile church” than anything else. In fact the textual evidence suggests the exact opposite, i.e., that the early churches right across Asia Minor were inherently Jewish with then increasingly gained gentile growth.

Have a look at the prelude to your 2Cor 4:4 reference above you claim speaks of unbelieving gentiles and thus has no Judaic connections…

2Cor 3:13-15 — unlike Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the children of Israel could not look steadily at the end of what was passing away. But their minds were blinded. For until this day the same veil remains unlifted in the reading of the Old Testament, because the veil is taken away in Christ. But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart.

As I have pointed out elsewhere… Paul’s audience in the Corinthian church is heavily Israel-centric; consider the following and ask yourself what sense this would have made to your gentile unbelievers

1Cor 10:1-5 Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.

And you assert Paul’s primary audience was gentile and thus find no Judaic connection, really… :question:

From Paul’s letter to the Galatians:

…and when James and Cephas and John, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given to me, they gave the right hand of fellowship to Barnabas and me, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised. (Galatians 2:9 ESV)

Paul saw his Gentile converts as grafted into the tree of the Jewish patriarchs. But as Paidion implies, asserting most converts in churches built by the evangelist focused on reaching Gentiles were not Gentile calls for clear evidence.

Bang on the money!

I’m not quite sure what you percieved Paidion’s apparently implied assertion to be, but Paul certainly after appealing to Israel has a changed focus toward bringing the Gentiles into the early Diasporic community. As I have noted time and again the early church among whom many a Gentile came to find Christ, was inherently Hebraic wherein the gospel gained early traction and growth; again please reconsider the evidence…

Jn 7:35 Then the Jews said among themselves, “Where does He intend to go that we shall not find Him? Does He intend to go to the Dispersion among the Greeks and teach the Greeks?

Acts 15:21 For Moses has had throughout many generations those who preach him in every city, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath.”

Acts 2:5 And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. — as per verses 8—11

Acts 18:2, 9-10 And he found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla… Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, “Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have many people in this city.” This was pre-Corinthian epistles… consider verses 4—8

1Pet 1:1 To the pilgrims of the Dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,…

Jas 1:1 James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad: Greetings.

Join the dots… ancient Israel was the seedbed of the burgeoning church… wherein certain Gentiles then came to faith in Christ. Check out the reaction in Antioch…

Acts 13:42, 46-48 So when the Jews went out of the synagogue, the Gentiles begged that these words might be preached to them the next Sabbath. … Then Paul and Barnabas grew bold and said, “It was necessary that the word of God should be spoken to you first; but since you reject it, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, behold, we turn to the Gentiles. For so the Lord has commanded us: ‘I have set you as a light to the Gentiles, that you should be for salvation to the ends of the earth.’ ” Now when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad and glorified the word of the Lord. And as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed.

I trust this textual evidence to my point is clear enough.

IMO, satan is a literal being who Stands in opposition to God = Tetragrammaton. However I also believe that the scriptures personify mans own evils as satan also.

There were indeed Jewish believers in Corinth & Paul later on mentions two Jewish leaders but every study bible I looked at KJV,NKJV,Reformation & Holman all describe Satan as being “the god of this world” in 2nd Cor 4.4.