The devil (from Greek: διάβολος or diábolos = slanderer or accuser) is believed in many religions, myths and cultures to be a supernatural entity that is the personification of evil and the archenemy of God and humankind. The nature of the role varies greatly, ranging from being an effective opposite force to the creator god, locked in an eons long struggle for human souls on what may seem even terms (to the point of dualistic ditheism/bitheism), to being a comical figure of fun or an abstract aspect of the individual human condition.
While mainstream Judaism contains no overt concept of a devil, Christianity and Islam have variously regarded the devil as a rebellious fallen angel or jinn that tempts humans to sin, if not committing evil deeds himself. In these religions – particularly during periods of division or external threat – the devil has assumed more of a dualistic status commonly associated with heretics, infidels, and other unbelievers. As such, the devil is seen as an allegory that represents a crisis of faith, individualism, free will, wisdom and enlightenment.
In mainstream Islam and Christianity, God and the devil are usually portrayed as fighting over the souls of humans. The devil commands a force of evil spirits, commonly known as demons. The Hebrew Bible (or Old Testament) describes the Adversary (ha-satan) as an angel who instigates tests upon humankind. Many other religions have a trickster or tempter figure that is similar to the devil. Modern conceptions of the devil include the concept that he symbolizes humans' own lower nature or sinfulness.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 Abrahamic religions
- 3 Other religions
- 4 World folklore
- 5 Other names
- 6 God as the devil
- 7 See also
- 8 Footnotes
- 9 References
- 10 External links
The Modern English word devil descends from the Middle English devel, from Old English dēofol, that in turn represents an early Germanic borrowing of Latin diabolus. This in turn was borrowed from Ancient Greek διάβολος (diábolos), "slanderer", from διαβάλλειν (diabállein) "to slander": διά- (diá-) "across, through" + βάλλειν (bállein) "to hurl". In the New Testament, Satan occurs more than 30 times in passages alongside diábolos, referring to the same person or thing as Satan.
In mainstream Judaism there is no concept of a devil as in mainstream Christianity or Islam. Texts make no direct link between the serpent that tempts Eve in the Garden of Eden in Genesis and references to Satan in 1 Chronicles and in Job.
In the Book of Wisdom, the devil is represented as the one who brought death into the world. The Second Book of Enoch contains references to a Watcher angel called Satanael, describing him as the prince of the Grigori who was cast out of heaven and an evil spirit who knew the difference between what was "righteous" and "sinful". A similar story is found in 1 Enoch; however, in that book, the leader of the Grigori is called Semjâzâ. In the apocryphal literature, Satan rules over a host of angels. Mastema, who induced God to test Abraham through the sacrifice of Isaac, is identical with Satan in both name and nature. The Book of Enoch contains references to Sathariel, thought also to be Sataniel and Satan'el. The similar spellings mirror that of his angelic brethren Michael, Raphael, Uriel and Gabriel, previous to his expulsion from Heaven.
In mainstream Christianity the devil is usually named Satan. Some modern Christians consider the devil to be an angel who, along with one-third of the angelic host (the demons) rebelled against God and has consequently been condemned to the Lake of Fire. He is described as hating all humanity (or more accurately creation), opposing God, spreading lies and wreaking havoc on the souls of mankind. Other Christians consider the devil in the Bible to refer figuratively to human sin and temptation and to any human system in opposition to God.
Satan is often identified as the serpent who convinced Eve to eat the forbidden fruit; thus, Satan has often been depicted as a serpent. Though this identification is not present in the Adam and Eve narrative, this interpretation goes back at least as far as the time of the writing of the Book of Revelation, which specifically identifies Satan as being the serpent (Rev. 20:2).
In the Bible, the devil is identified with "the dragon" and "the old serpent" in the Book of Revelation 12:9, 20:2 have also been identified with Satan, as have "the prince of this world" in the Gospel of John 12:31, 14:30; "the prince of the power of the air" also called Meririm, and "the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience" in the Epistle to the Ephesians 2:2; and "the god of this world" in 2 Corinthians 4:4. He is also identified as the dragon in the Book of Revelation (e.g.), and the tempter of the Gospels (e.g.).
The devil is sometimes called Lucifer, particularly when describing him as an angel before his fall, although the reference in Isaiah 14:12 to Lucifer, or the Son of the Morning, is a reference to the Babylonian king.
Beelzebub is originally the name of a Philistine god (more specifically a certain type of Baal, from Ba‘al Zebûb, lit. "Lord of Flies") but is also used in the New Testament as a synonym for Satan. A corrupted version, "Belzeboub", appears in The Divine Comedy.
In other, non-mainstream, Christian beliefs (e.g. the beliefs of the Christadelphians) the word "satan" in the Bible is not regarded as referring to a supernatural, personal being but to any 'adversary' and figuratively refers to human sin and temptation.
In Islam the Devil is referred to as Iblis or sometimes the Shaytan (Arabic: Like the usage of the word satan in the Hebrew Bible, Shaytan is also a word used to refer to beings called demons in the Christian Bible, especially the New Testament). Etymologically, Iblis means "the desperate (of God's mercy)" in Arabic. Thus, the name "Iblis" can be seen as a sobriquet given to Satan after falling from Grace. Some Muslim scholars hypothesized that Satan's real name before his fall was Azazel. According to the Book of Enoch and the Talmud, Azazel was the chief of the fallen angels who disobeyed God by committing adultery with women and teaching mankind magic and weaponry, leading to the biblical flood of Noah.
According to the Qur'an, God created Satan, along with all of the other jinn, out of "smokeless fire". The primary characteristic of the Devil, besides hubris, is that he has no power other than the power to cast evil suggestions into the hearts of men and women. The Quran says that Satan was among the angels whom God ordered to bow down to Adam after his creation, it says in 18:50:
And [mention] when We said to the angels, "Prostrate to Adam," and they prostrated, except for Iblees. He was of the jinn and departed from the command of his Lord. Then will you take him and his descendants as allies other than Me while they are enemies to you? Wretched it is for the wrongdoers as an exchange.
Whether Satan was actually an angel or a Jinn whom God elevated to the angelic assembly is a matter of debate among Muslim scholars. Some scholars, such as Ibn Abbas, believed that Satan was actually an angel whom God created out of fire. He was the most worshipful and knowledgeable of angels. Thus, when the Quran identifies Satan as a Jinn, it means that he belonged to a class of fiery creatures called Jinn, which encompasses both heavenly Jinn (fiery angels) and earthly (ordinary) Jinn. Such a notion is evocative of the biblical seraphim, a rank of angels looking like burning fire. Long before Adam was created, traditions narrate, earthly jinn roamed the earth and spread corruption upon it. As a result, God sent an army of angels under the leadership of Satan to fight them. Satan's ego conflated after his victory on earth. He thought he was better than any other creature, and thus God's favorite. God's creation of Adam and his order to the angels to venerate him was a blow to Satan's pride. While all the angels obeyed God and bowed down to Adam, Satan disobeyed haughtily saying 38:76:
"I am better than him. You created me from fire and created him from clay."
Consequently, God expelled Satan from Heaven, with the latter promising to lure mankind into disbelief and evil as an act of revenge from their father, Adam. Also, some scholars call Satan "The Peacock of Angels". On the other hand, other scholars believe that there are no such things as heavenly Jinn or fiery angels, and thus Satan was not an angel. He was a Jinn whom God elevated to Heaven as a reward for his worship and righteousness. This explains why Satan managed to refuse God's order, as angels do not have free will; they obey God's orders without questioning or complaining. As for the angels, they prostrated before Adam to show their homage and obedience to God. However, Satan, adamant in his view that man is inferior, and unlike angels was given the ability to choose, made a choice of not obeying God. This caused him to be expelled by God, a fact that Satan blamed on humanity. Hasan of Basra, an eminent Muslim theologian who lived in the 7th century A.D, was quoted as saying:
"Iblis was not an angel even for the time of an eye wink. He is the origin of Jinn as Adam is of Mankind."
Initially, the Devil was successful in deceiving Adam, but once his intentions became clear, Adam and Eve repented to God and were freed from their misdeeds and forgiven. God gave them a strong warning about Iblis and the fires of Hell and asked them and their children (humankind) to stay away from the deceptions of their senses caused by the Devil.
According to the verses of the Qur’an, the Devil's mission until the Qiyamah or Resurrection Day (yaum-ul-qiyama) is to deceive Adam's children (mankind). After that, he will be put into the fires of Hell along with those whom he has deceived. The Devil is also referred to as one of the jinn, as they are all created from the smokeless fire. The Qur'an does not depict Satan as enemy of God, as God is supreme over all his creations and Satan is just one of his creations. Satan's single enemy is humanity. He intends to discourage humans from obeying God. Thus, humankind is warned to struggle against the mischief of Satan and the temptations he puts them in (Greater Jihad). The ones who succeed in this are rewarded with Paradise (jannath ul firdaus), attainable only by righteous conduct.
Sufi view of the Devil
Sufism teaches that people should love God without expecting anything in return. Consequently, unrequited love is regarded by Sufis as that perfect type of love because the pining lover expects nothing in return. Thus, some Sufis see Satan as the paradigm of love and the perfect lover. Despite the traditional interpretation of Satan's fall from Grace as an act of excessive pride and rebellion against God, some Sufis see it as an act of self-sacrifice for God's love. Satan refused to bow down to Adam out of his uncompromising monotheism and devotion; he refused to venerate anything or anyone but God. Al-Ghazali, a well-known medieval Sufi Muslim theologian, narrated:
Encountering Eblis on the slopes of Sinai, Moses hailed him and asked, “O Eblis, why did you not prostrate before Adam?” Eblis replied, “Heaven forbid that anyone worship anything but the One. […] This command was a test.”.
Satan believed that God ordered him to bow down to Adam to test his love for him. Satan should maintain his love for God at any cost. So, even if the cost of Satan's refusal to prostrate before Adam is falling from Grace, he should proceed with it out of his unconditional love for God. Abdul Karim Jili, a Muslim Sufi saint, believed that after the Day of Judgement, Hell will cease to exist, and Satan will be back to the service of God as one of his cherished angels.
In the Bahá'í Faith, a malevolent, superhuman entity such as a devil or satan is not believed to exist. These terms do, however, appear in the Bahá'í writings, where they are used as metaphors for the base nature of man. Human beings are seen to have free will, and are thus able to turn towards God and develop spiritual qualities or turn away from God and become immersed in their self-centered desires. Individuals who follow the temptations of the self and do not develop spiritual virtues are often described in the Bahá'í writings with the word satanic. The Bahá'í writings also state that the devil is a metaphor for the "insistent self" or "lower self" which is a self-serving inclination within each individual. Those who follow their lower nature are also described as followers of "the Evil One".
Yazidis believe that God created the world and entrusted it to the care of seven Holy beings, among whom was Melek Taus (King Peacock in English). When God ordered his Holy beings to prostrate before Adam, Melek Taus refused to carry out God's order out of his devotion to him. As a result, God made him the leader of all angels and his deputy on earth. An alternative name for the main deity in the tentatively Indo-European pantheon of the Yazidi, Melek Taus, is Shaitan.[need quotation to verify] Rather than Satanic, however, Yazidism is better understood as a remnant of a pre-Islamic Middle Eastern religion, and/or a ghulat Sufi movement founded by Sheikh Adi ibn Musafir. The connection with Satan, originally made by Muslim outsiders, attracted the interest of 19th-century European travelers and esoteric writers. The Yazidi narrative of Melek Taus bears a striking resemblance to the Islamic account of the Devil (especially the one held by some Sufis as mentioned before). Also, some Muslim scholars named the Devil the Peacock of Angels, a term almost equivalent to Melek Taus, King Peacock.
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The devil was unknown to the pagans of the Roman Empire. According to Robin Lane Fox: "Pagan society knew no "Devil" with whom individuals could make a pact, and thus no torture and persecutions of "false" prophets and prophetesses. These features were a consequence of Christianity."
Christian tradition has frequently identified pagan religions and witchcraft with the influence of Satan. In the Early Modern Period, the Church accused alleged witches of consorting and conspiring with Satan. Several modern conservative Christian writers, such as Jack Chick and James Dobson, have depicted today's neopagan and witchcraft religions as explicitly Satanic.
Few neopagan reconstructionist traditions recognize Satan or the devil outright. However, many neopagan groups worship some sort of Horned God, for example as a consort of the Great Goddess in Wicca. These gods usually reflect mythological figures such as Cernunnos or Pan, and any similarity they may have to the Christian devil seems to date back only to the 19th century, when a Christian reaction to Pan's growing importance in literature and art resulted in his image being translated to that of the devil.
New Age movement
Participants in the New Age movement have widely varied views about Satan, the devil, and so forth. In some forms of Esoteric Christianity Satan remains as a being of evil, or at least a metaphor for sin and materialism, but the most widespread tendency is to deny his existence altogether. Lucifer, on the other hand, in the original Roman sense of "light-bringer", occasionally appears in the literature of certain groups as a metaphorical figure quite distinct from Satan, and without any implications of evil. For example, Theosophy founder Madame Blavatsky named her journal Lucifer since she intended it to be a "bringer of light". Many New Age schools of thought follow a nondualistic philosophy that does not recognize a primal force for evil.
Even when a dualistic model is followed, this is more often akin to the Chinese system of yin and yang, in which good and evil are explicitly not a complementary duality. Schools of thought that do stress a spiritual war between good and evil or light and darkness include the philosophy of Rudolf Steiner, Agni Yoga, and the Church Universal and Triumphant.
Some religions worship the Devil. This can be in a polytheistic sense where "God", Satan, and others are all deities with Satan as the preferred patron; or it can be from a more monotheistic viewpoint, where God is regarded as a true god, but is nevertheless defied.
Some variants deny the existence of God and the devil altogether, but still call themselves Satanists, such as Anton LaVey's Church Of Satan which sees Satan as a representation of the primal and natural state of mankind.
Much "Satanic" lore does not originate from actual Satanists, but from Christians. Best-known would be the medieval folklore and theology surrounding demons and witches. A more recent example is the Satanic ritual abuse scare of the 1980s – beginning with the memoir Michelle Remembers – which depicts Satanism as a vast (and unsubstantiated) conspiracy of elites with a predilection for child abuse and human sacrifice. This genre regularly describes Satan as actually appearing in person in order to receive worship.
In the Gathas, the oldest texts of the Zoroastrian Avesta, believed to have been composed by Zoroaster himself, the poet does not mention a manifest adversary. Ahura Mazda's Creation is "truth", asha. The "lie" (druj) is manifest only as decay or chaos, not an entity.
Today, the Parsis of India largely accept the 19th century interpretation that Angra Mainyu is the 'Destructive Emanation' of Ahura Mazda. Instead of struggling against Mazda himself, Angra Mainyu battles Spenta Mainyu, Mazda's 'Creative Emanation.'
In contrast to Christianity and Islam, Hinduism does not recognize any central evil force or entity such as the devil opposing God and man. Hinduism does recognize that different beings (e.g., asuras) and entities can perform evil acts, under the temporary dominance of the guna of tamas, and cause worldly sufferings. The Rajasic and Tamasic Gunas of Maya are considered especially close to the Abrahamic concept, the hellish parts of the Ultimate Delusion called "Prakriti". An embodiment of this is the concept of Advaita (non-dualism) where there is no good or evil but simply different levels of realization.
On the other hand, in Hinduism, which provides plenty of room for counterpoint, there is also the notion of dvaita (dualism) where there is interplay between good and evil tendencies. A prominent asura is Rahu whose characteristics are similar to those of the devil. However, Hindus, and Vaishnavites in particular, believe that an avatar of Vishnu incarnates to defeat evil when evil reaches its greatest strength. The concept of Guna and Karma also explain evil to a degree, rather than the influence of a devil.
To be more specific, Hindu philosophy defines that the only existing thing (Truth) is the Almighty God. So, all the asuric tendencies are inferior and mostly exist as illusions in the mind. Asuras are also different people in whom bad motivations and intentions (tamas) have temporarily outweighed the good ones (Sattva). Different beings like siddha, gandharva, yaksha etc. are considered beings unlike mankind, and in some ways superior to men.
In Ayyavazhi, officially an offshoot of Hinduism prominent in Tamil Nadu (a southern state in India with Dravidian heritage), followers, unlike most other branches of Hinduism, believes in a Satan-like figure, Kroni. Kroni, according to Ayyavazhi is the primordial manifestation of evil and manifests in various forms of evil, i.e., Ravana, Duryodhana, etc., in different ages or yugas. In response to such manifestation of evil, believers, in Ayya-Vazhi religion believe that God, as Vishnu manifests in His Avatars such as Rama and Krishna to defeat evil. Eventually, the Ekam with the spirit (the spirit taken by Narayana only for incarnating in the world) of Narayana incarnates in the world as Ayya Vaikundar to destroy the final manifestation of Kroni, Kaliyan.
Kroni, the spirit of Kali Yuga is said to be omnipresent in this age and that is one reason followers of Ayya Vazhi, like most Hindus, believe that the current yuga, Kali Yuga is so degraded.
A devil-like figure in Buddhism is Mara. He is a tempter, who also tempted Gautama Buddha by trying to seduce him with the vision of beautiful women who, in various legends, are often said to be Mara's daughters. Mara personifies unskillfulness, the "death" of the spiritual life. He tries to distract humans from practicing the spiritual life by making the mundane alluring or the negative seem positive. Another interpretation of Mara is that he is the desires that are present in one's own mind preventing the person from seeing the truth. So in a sense Mara is not an independent being but a part of one's own being that has to be defeated. In daily life of the Buddha the role of devil has been given to Devadatta.
In the Ausarian drama we find that Ausar (Greek: Osiris) is chopped into 13 pieces by Set. Auset (Isis) collects all of his pieces save his phallus. Horus, son of Ausar and Auset sets out to avenge the death and dismemberment of his father by confronting Set. Horus is victorious over Set and Ausar, being brought back from the dead becomes lord of the underworld. It is this drama that gives us the cosmic conflict between good and evil, evil being embodied by Set. This is not to say that Set was always seen as an evil character in Ancient Egyptian theology. There are many times in Ancient Egyptian history where conflicts between different "houses" lead to the depreciation of one god relative to another.
As in most polytheistic faiths, the characters involved differentiate themselves from the Western tradition of a devil in that all the gods are closely related. In this case, numerous historic texts suggest that Set is the Uncle or Brother of Horus and in the "defeat" of Set, we see another separation from the norm in the devouring/assimilation of Set into Horus with the result of Horus having depictions of both the falcon head and the (unknown animal) head of Set. This (like Buddhism) represents a dissolution of dichotomy.
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In the Western Christian tradition, the devil has entered popular folklore, particularly in his role as a trickster figure. As such, he is found as a character in a wide number of traditional folktales and legends from Ireland, Newfoundland, Italy and the United Kingdom, where he often attempts to trick or outwit other characters. In some of these tales, the devil is portrayed as more of a folk villain than as the personification of evil. The devil also features prominently in a number of hagiographical tales, or tales of the saints such as the popular tale of St. Dunstan, many of which may fall outside the authorized religious canon. The devil is also a recurring feature in tales explaining the etymology of geographical names, lending his name to natural formations such as The Devil's Chimney.
David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, claims to have only one piece of correspondence with the devil in the nation's vast and varied collections. A letter sent from Baltimore at the end of the American Civil War to Confederate leader Jefferson Davis bemoans the rebellion against the United States and is signed by "the Devil".
In some religions and traditions, these titles are separate demons; others identify these names as guises of the devil. Even when thought of as individual demons, some are often thought of being under the Devil's direct control. This identifies only those thought of as the devil; List of demons has a more general listing.
- Asmodeus, Asmeday (Hebrew), Aesma-daeva (Avestan: King of Nine Hells, King of Demons
- Azazel, Asael (Hebrew): King of Devils
- Baphomet, a demon supposedly worshiped by the Knights Templar
- Beelzebub, ba'al zevuv בעל זבוב (Hebrew): Lord of the flies (Matthew 10:25)
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These are titles that almost always refer to the devil.
- 666 or 616, the Number of the Beast
- Angra Mainyu, Ahriman: "malign spirit", "unholy spirit"
- Antichrist, a political figure who will receive power from the devil in Christianity
- Dark Lord
- Der Leibhaftige [Teufel] (German): "[the devil] in the flesh, corporeal"
- Diabolus, Diabolos (Greek: Διάβολος)
- The Evil One
- Father of Lies (John 8:44), in contrast to Jesus ("I am the truth").
- Iblis, the devil in Islam
- Lord of the underworld / Lord of Hell / Lord of this World
- Lucifer / The Morning Star (Greek and Roman): bringer of light, illuminator; the planet Venus, often portrayed as Satan's name before he fell
- Old Scratch, The Stranger, Old Nick: a colloquialism for the devil, as indicated by the name of the character in the story The Devil and Tom Walker
- Old Hob
- Prince of Darkness / Air
- Satan / The Adversary, Accuser, Prosecutor
- (The ancient/old/crooked/coiling) Serpent
- Shaitan, an Arabic name for Satan
- Kölski (Iceland)
- Voland (medieval France)
God as the devil
Several religious authors throughout history have advanced the notion that the god of the Bible is consistent in character with the devil. They make the case that the Biblical God is a divine force that wreaks suffering, death and destruction and that tempts or commands humanity into committing mayhem and genocide. Tertullian accuses Marcion of Sinope, the first great heretic of Christianity in the 1st century, that he
[held that] the Old Testament was a scandal to the faithful and accounted for it by postulating [that Jehovah was] a secondary deity, a demiurgus, who was god, in a sense, but not the supreme God; he was just, rigidly just, he had his good qualities, but he was not the good god, who was Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Church condemned his writings as heretical. John Arendzen (1909) in the Catholic Encyclopedia (1913) mentions that Eusebius accused Apelles, the 2nd-century AD Gnostic, of considering the Inspirer of Old-Testament prophecies to be not a god, but an evil angel. Hegemonius (4th century) accuses the Persian prophet Mani, founder of the Manichaean sect in the 3rd century AD, identified Jehovah as "the devil god which created the world" and said that "he who spoke with Moses, the Jews, and the priests is the [Prince] of Darkness, not the god of truth."
These writings refer to the Abrahamic God variously as "a demiurgus", "an evil angel", "the devil god", "the Prince of Darkness", "the source of all evil", "the Devil", "a demon", "a cruel, wrathful, warlike tyrant", "Satan" and "the first beast of the book of Revelation".
- Deal with the Devil
- The Devil's Farmhouse
- Devil in popular culture
- Hell, Hades, Underworld
- Lawsuits against the Devil
- Non-physical entity
- The Devil (Tarot card)
- Theistic Satanism
- "devil". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica. 29 June 2007.
- Revelation 12:9
- 1Chronicles 21:1
- Job 1:11
- διάβολος, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus
- The Dictionary of Angels by Gustav Davidson, © 1967
- "But by the envy of the devil, death came into the world" - Book of Wisdom II. 24
- 2 Enoch 18:3
- "And I threw him out from the height with his angels, and he was flying in the air continuously above the bottomless" - 2 Enoch 29:4
- "The devil is the evil spirit of the lower places, as a fugitive he made Sotona from the heavens as his name was Satanail, thus he became different from the angels, but his nature did not change his intelligence as far as his understanding of righteous and sinful things" - 2 Enoch 31:4
- Martyrdom of Isaiah, 2:2; Vita Adæ et Evæ, 16)
- Book of Jubilees, xvii. 18
- Fritscher, Jack (2004). Popular Witchcraft: Straight from the Witch's Mouth. Popular Press. p. 23. ISBN 0-299-20304-2.
The pig, goat, ram — all of these creatures are consistently associated with the Devil.
- 2 Corinthians 2:2
- Rev. 12:9
- Mat. 4:1
- See, for example, the entries in Nave's Topical Bible, the Holman Bible Dictionary and the Adam Clarke Commentary.
- "Do you Believe in a Devil? Bible Teaching on Temptation.". Retrieved 2007-05-29.
- Tafsir al-Qur'an al-adhim (Interpretation of the Great Qur'an) – Ibn Kathir – commentary of surat al baqarah
- The Beginning and the End – Ibn Kathir – Volume I
- Adapted from islamqa.info
- The Beginning and the End – Ibn Kathir – Volume I, also the Koranic commentary of the same author
- Adapted from A History of God, Karen Armstrong
- Adapted from No god but God, Reza Aslan
- "The Greater Satan", Javad Nurbakhsh
- "The Disobedience of Iblis in Sufism – Journey to the Sea". journeytothesea.com.
- Al insan Al Kamel (the perfect human), Abdul Karim Jili
- Smith, Peter (2000). "satan". A concise encyclopedia of the Bahá'í Faith. Oxford: Oneworld Publications. p. 304. ISBN 1-85168-184-1.
- Bahá'u'lláh; Baháʼuʼlláh (1994) [1873–92]. "Tablet of the World". Tablets of Bahá'u'lláh Revealed After the Kitáb-i-Aqdas. Wilmette, Illinois, USA: Bahá'í Publishing Trust. p. 87. ISBN 0-87743-174-4.
- Shoghi Effendi quoted in Hornby, Helen (1983). Hornby, Helen (Ed.), ed. Lights of Guidance: A Bahá'í Reference File. Bahá'í Publishing Trust, New Delhi, India. p. 513. ISBN 81-85091-46-3.
- Drower, E.S. The Peacock Angel. Being Some Account of Votaries of a Secret Cult and their Sanctuaries. London: John Murray, 1941.
- Lane Fox, Robin (1986). Pagans and Christians in the Mediterranean World from the Second Century AD to the Conversion of Constantine. London, UK: Penguin Books. p. 205. ISBN 978-0-14-102295-6.
- Hutton, Ronald (1999). Triumph of the Moon. Oxford: Oxford UniverUniversity Press. p. 46.
- "Church of Satan official statement of beliefs". Churchofsatan.com. Retrieved 2012-04-05.
- "SATANISM: Real & imaginary". Religioustolerance.org. Retrieved 2012-04-05.
- "Hindu Concept of God". Shaivam.org. Retrieved 2012-04-05.
- American Artifacts: Inside the Archivist’s Office. American History TV (National Cable Satellite Corporation (C-SPAN)). 26 December 2011. Event occurs at 15:40.
- Grimm, Deutsches Wörterbuch s.v. "leibhaftig": "gern in bezug auf den teufel: dasz er kein mensch möchte sein, sondern ein leibhaftiger teufel. volksbuch von dr. Faust […] der auch blosz der leibhaftige heiszt, so in Tirol. Fromm. 6, 445; wenn ich dén sehe, wäre es mir immer, der leibhaftige wäre da und wolle mich nehmen. J. Gotthelf Uli d. pächter (1870) 345
- "Vísindavefurinn: How many words are there in Icelandic for the devil?". Visindavefur.hi.is. Retrieved 2012-04-05.
- "Marcionites". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.
- "Gnosticism". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 1913.
- Manichaeism by Alan G. Hefner in The Mystica, undated
- Acta Archelai of Hegemonius, Chapter XII, c. AD 350, quoted in Translated Texts of Manicheism, compiled by Prods Oktor Skjærvø, page 68.
- History of the Acta Archelai explained in the Introduction, page 11
- Albigenses by Nicholas Weber in Catholic Encyclopedia, 1907
- Martin Luther by Oswald Bayer in The Reformation Theologians: An Introduction to Theology in the Early Modern Period, edited by Carter Lindberg, Wiley-Blackwell, 2002 (partial text available at Google Books). See The Evil One; God as the Devil; God's Wrath, page 58..9.
- The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine, 1794, Part I, Chapter VII, Examination of the Old Testament
- A Book of Blood: Biblical atrocities on Ebon Musings, undated
- Walter L. Williams, private correspondence (quoted here with permission), 19 March 2009, referring to The Essential Teachings of Jesus and Mary by Walter L. Williams, unpublished manuscript, 24 December 2008, excerpts available at The Community Of Jesus And Mary
- The Old Serpent Chained by "Son of man", Author House, 2006. (Full text of book available by clicking "Free Preview", then "Download the free eBook".)
- The Origin of Satan, by Elaine Pagels (Vintage Books, New York 1995) explores the development, the "demonization" of the character of Satan against the background of the bitter struggle between the early Church and the Synagogue to be the legitimate heir of ancient Hebrew religious tradition. She discusses how Satan becomes a figure that reflects our own hatreds and prejudices, and the struggle between our loving selves and our fearful, combative selves.
- The Old Enemy: Satan & the Combat Myth, by Neil Forsyth (Princeton, New Jersey, 1987) seeks to show how Satan emerged from ancient mythological traditions and is best understood not as a principle of evil, but as a narrative character in the context of "the Combat Myth". Forsyth tells the Devil's story from the Epic of Gilgamesh through to the writings of St. Augustine.
- The Devil: Perceptions of Evil from Antiquity to Primitive Christianity, by Jeffrey Burton Russell (Meridian, New York 1977) is "a history of the personification of evil" which, to make things clear, he calls "the Devil". Accessible and engaging, full of photographs illustrating the text, this is the first of a four volume series on the history of the concept of the Devil. The following volumes are, Satan: The Early Christian Tradition, Lucifer: The Devil in the Middle Ages, and Mephistopheles: The Devil in the Modern World.
- The Devil in Legend and Literature, by Maximilian Rudwin (Open Court, La Salle, Illinois, 1931, 1959) is a compendium of "the secular and sacred adventures of Satan."
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- The dictionary definition of Devil at Wiktionary
- Media related to The Devil at Wikimedia Commons
- Entry from the Catholic Encyclopedia