New Testament Satanology & Rabbinic Literature

Tom Farrar has written an article discussing the relevance of post-Christian rabbinic literature to the satanology of the New Testament and early Christianity. His article contains some useful information, but also contains some highly misleading statements.

Farrar rightly notes that the relevance of post-Christian rabbinic literature to the New Testament, is a disputed issue in among scholars. It is generally agreed that the collections of rabbinic literature known as Talmud Jerusalem and Talmud Babylon, which first began to be compiled around two hundred years after the birth of Jesus, cannot be treated uncritically as an accurate representation of normative first century Judaism, or a reliable socio-religious context to the understanding of the New Testament.¹

In particular, difficulties involved in the accurate dating of Jewish literature from the Second Temple Period (around 530 BCE to 70 CE), as well as the later rabbinic literature, complicate the challenge of determining whether or not a Jewish source was genuinely a part of the New Testament’s background.² However, careful application of various criteria can provide reliable dates for rabbinic material,³ and help determine whether or not later rabbinic material illuminates the Second Temple Period background of the New Testament.

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Author: Jon Burke

Keywords: Adversary, Angel of darkness, Body of death, Christ tempted, Christ's temptation, Christ's temptation in the wilderness, Deliver us from evil, Devil, Devil and Jesus, Devil tempts Jesus, diabolos, Evil angel, Evil Inclination, Evil nature, Evil one, Good angel, Good nature, Hara Yetser, Ha-ra Yetser, Hara Yetzer, Ha-ra Yetzer, Hara Yezer, Ha-ra Yezer, Intentional misspelling, Intentionally misspelled, Jesus' temptation, Jesus' temptation in the wilderness, Jesus tempted, Jesus tempted by Satan, Jesus tempted by the devil, Jesus tempted in the wilderness, Jesus's temptation, Jot, Jot and tittle, Jots, Man's sinful nature, Mispelled word, Mispelling, Misspelling, Misspelled word, Personification of evil, Satan, Satan and Jesus, Satan tempts Christ, Satan tempts Jesus, Seducer, Sexual temptation, Sin in the flesh, Sin within, Sinful nature, Snatcher, Temptation, Temptation from within, Temptation in the wilderness, Tempted in the wilderness, Tempted of Satan, Tempted of the devil, Tempted sexually, Tempted to do evil, Tempts Christ, Tempts Jesus, The devil tempts Christ, The devil tempts Jesus, The Evil Inclination, The Evil One, Tittle, Two jots, Two yodhs, Two yods, Wicked one, Wilderness temptation, Wretched man, Yatsar, Yetsarim, Yetser ha ra, Yetser ha tov, Yetser ra, Yetser tov, Yetzer, Yetzer ha ra, Yetzer ha tov, Yetzer Hara, Yetzer ra, Yetzer tov, Yezer ha ra, Yezer ha tov, Yezer Hara, Yezer tov, Yod, Yodh, Origin of Sin, Two inclinations, Envy of the devil

Bible reference(s): Genesis 1:31, Genesis 8:21, Deuteronomy 10:16, 1 Chronicles 21:1, Job 1:6, Job 1:7, Job 1:8, Job 1:9, Job 1:12, Job 2:1, Job 2:2, Job 2:3, Job 2:4, Job 2:6, Job 2:7, Psalms 51:10, Proverbs 25:21, Isaiah 5:18, Isaiah 57:14, Ezekiel 36:26, Joel 2:20, Zechariah 3:1, Matthew 4:1-11, Matthew 6:13, Matthew 12:26, Matthew 16:23, Mark 1:13, Mark 3:23, Mark 3:26, Mark 4:15, Mark 8:33, Luke 4:2-13, Luke 10:18, Luke 11:4, Luke 11:18, Luke 13:16, Luke 22:3, Luke 22:31, John 8:44, John 13:27, Acts 5:3, Acts 26:18, Romans 7:17-24, Romans 16:20, 1 Corinthians 5:5, 1 Corinthians 7:5, 2 Corinthians 12:7, 2 Corinthians 11:14, Galatians 1:4, Ephesians 4:27, Ephesians 6:11, Ephesians 6:16, 1 Thessalonians 2:18, 1 Thessalonians 3:5, 2 Thessalonians 2:9, 1 Timothy 1:20, 1 Timothy 3:6-7, 1 Timothy 5:15, 2 Timothy 2:26, Hebrews 2:14, James 4:7, 1 John 2:13-14, 1 John 3:8, 1 John 3:10, 1 John 3:12, 1 John 5:18-19, Revelation 2:9, Revelation 2:13, Revelation 2:24, Revelation 3:9, Revelation 12:9, Revelation 20:2, Revelation 20:7

Source: “New Testament Satanology & Rabbinic Literature,” Berea.

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