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For Bible Study Nerds

In relating the events of Jesus’ temptation, Matthew presents Satan (“the devil”) without any introduction or explanation except to say he is a “tempter.” The assumption appears to be that Matthew’s Jewish readers a) already knew who Satan was, and b) accepted that Satan was a literal, living being.

Satan’s name in Hebrew (śᾱtᾱn) and Greek (satanas) mean the same thing: “adversary.” In the New Testament he’s commonly called “the devil” (diabolos) which means “one who slanders or accuses.”

Other descriptive names for Satan that are recorded in the New Testament include:

“accuser of our brothers” (Revelation 12:10)

“that ancient serpent” (Revelation 12:9)

“your enemy” (1 Peter 5:8)

“the evil one” (Matthew 13:19)

“father of lies” (John 8:44)

“the god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4)

“a murderer” (John 8:44)

“prince of this world” (John 12:31)

Matthew 4:1-11; The Temptation of Jesus

Works Cited:

[EDB, 543; RBD, 896]

 

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