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Lecture 4

RE104 Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Satan, Israelites

Religion & Culture
Course Code
Andrew Muncaster

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Evil and it’s symbols:
Q: Is the devil less believable due to the rise of science?
- religion is believed to have shrunken however that is only contained in certain areas/ beliefs
Concept of the devil is important even if there is or isn’t a devil.
Where does the devil come from?
- No devil in hebrew bible
- Omni god & problem of evil
- Order vs. Chaos in meaning- systems
- why bad things happen to people
Book of Genesis - Why things are the way they are
- Early hebrew tradition, god is there to get rid of chaos
- Adam & Eve story - banished from the garden
- Serpent ( no temptation/ no trickery, just tells the truth)
- Multiplication of man, introduction of desire, heart became evil
- Destruction by water
- Tower of babel
- Abraham tested by god, sacrifice your son
Hebrew conception of Evil
- concept of devil slowly emerges in hebrew religion (Book of Exodus)
- early sense of god reflects the lifestyle of ancient hebrews
- not an omni god
- as the israelites settle down, ethical teachings move away from ritual/ taboos to social justice
- prophets challenge the mighty to do good for the weaker, etc.
- Hebrew view shifts toward Omni god (now understands the hearts of people )
Q: If evil is alien to god’s nature, where does it come from?
1. human sin
- still god’s fault, evil goes beyond original sin (ie. the holocaust)
2. Evil is the result of a spiritual being who opposes the lord god
- monotheism
Where does the devil come from?
- Faultlines in Strict hebrew monotheism
- uniting both faultlines = concept of devil
Faultline 1: Bene-ha-elohim (Sons of god )
- start to represent the shadow of god
Faultline 2: Mal’ak Yahweh (Angel of god/ messenger)
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