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This article is an entry from the Netseran Encyclopaedia edited by Hadrian Mar Elijah Bar Israel. You can log in or request an account to make changes..


The English word “Satan” comes directly from the Greek word Σατανᾷ (sat-an-a), which itself is taken from the Hebrew שָׂטָן (saw-tawn), which means literally “adversary”.

There is no “Devil” to be found in the Peshitta (the Bible in Aramaic) or elsewhere in the church. Instead, there are a number of contrary forces, which, being part of God, work in this world.

It is possibly a reflection of their wider culture that Western Christians have over the past thousand plus years made the conscious choice to empower masculine personifications in the Bible as being independent entities separate from God, (i.e. “Lucifer”, “Satan”), but have refused to personify the feminine forces which are personified in the scriptures (i.e. “Wisdom”, “Prudence”).

When we read about the Adversary, the Deceiver, et cetera. These negative forces are sometimes personified poetically, and for practical reasons of speech, but are not in themselves literal entities any more than Wisdom , Prudence , et cetera.

Let’s not forget that the Holy Scriptures were originally written in Aramaic, the language of Jesus Christ and His Apostles, and not in Greek as many people claim. If you read and believe that the New Testament was written first in Greek, then it follows that you believe that “διαβολος” (diabolos), the pagan God of the Underworld, “άδης” , where a lot of your friends and family are going if they don’t behave according to very specific (but constantly changing) ‘norms’ demanded by society, and that when they get there, they’re going to burn forever.

This however is the antithesis of what Jesus taught His Apostles and the faith that they propagated through their own original Aramaic writings; which once you read them easily show that the Greek was a corruption, not only conceptually but also theologically.

In the Scriptures

The Aramaic word שטנא occurs a total of forty-nine (49) times in the Aramaic New Testament, at Matthew 4:10, 12:26, 13:39, 16:23, Mark 1:13, 3:23, 3:26, 4:15, 8:33, Luke 4:5, 10:18, 11:18, 22:3, 22:31, John 6:70, 13:2, 13:27, Acts 5:3, 26:18, Romans 16:20, 1st Corinthians 5:5, 7:5, 2nd Corinthians 2:11, 6:15, 11:14, 12:7, 1st Thessalonians 2:18, 2nd Thessalonians 2:9, 1st Timothy 1:20, 3:6, 3:7, 5:15, 2nd Timothy 2:26, Hebrews 2:14, James 4:7, 1st Peter 5:8, 1st John 3:8, 3:10, Revelation 2:9, 2:13, 2:24, 3:9, 12:9, 20:2, & 20:7; and is translated as Satan in English.