It wasn't until New Testament times and later that the concept of an evil being who is actually called 'Satan' or the 'Devil' or 'Lucifer' evolved. It is interesting to see how these concepts have continued to persist throughout religious and political history with groups stigmatizing others not in their group (whether it be religious, political, racial, etc.) as being 'of the devil'. Dictatorships and other authoritarian organizations always need an external enemy to bind their followers together.
Similar to Karen Armstrong's work, I found Pagels to be an excellent scholar who writes quite well on very difficult topics. All audiences should find her style and tone to be very fair and unbiased. Anyone interested in the Bible or the history of western thought should strongly consider reading this book and her book called Adam, Eve, and the Serpent.
|Bible and Christianity|