Satanological Terminology in the Synoptics: The Evil One

The term ‘the evil one’ (ton ponērou), has no Second Temple pre-Christian witness as a reference to a supernatural evil being. It is found in one fifteenth century Ethiopian manuscript of 1 Enoch (manuscript A, 1 Enoch 69:15), but not the other two main recensions (manuscripts B and C).¹

Evidence against the reading ‘the evil one’ is that Satan in 1 Enoch is not described as one of the evil angels, and is represented as the obedient servant of God rather than an evil being. In Slavonic Enoch there is only reference to ‘the worship of evil’ (2 Enoch 34:2), though Charlesworth adds a gloss, ‘the worship of (the) evil (one)’² regardless, there is evidence the text here has been interpolated by Christian scribes.³

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Bible reference(s): Matthew 6:13, Matthew 13:19, Matthew 13:38, John 17:15, Ephesians 6:16, 1 John 2:13-14, 1 John 3:12, 1 John 5:18-19

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