Historic Jesus

The Bible gives Satan many titles. In Hebrew his name means "the opposer." When the Hebrew Bible was translated into Greek, the word diaboloq (also meaning "opposer" and "slanderer") was used. The English words "devil" and "diabolic" are derived from diabolos. He was called Belial, "worthless one," in Maccabean times and was identified in Jewish writings of the period with the serpent in the garden of Eden.

During this same period, Satan became identified with the ringleader of the "sons of God" who had consorted with the daughters of men (Gen. 6.1-4) and with Lucifer, the rebellious angel who had been cast out of heaven. The New Testament refers to Satan as the. tempter (Matt. 4.3), the evil one (Matt. 13.19), the accuser (Rev. 12.10), the enemy (Matt. 13.39), the prince of demons (Matt. 9.34), the ruler of this world John 12.31), the prince of the power of the air (Eph. 2.2), and Beelzebub (possibly a derivative of Baal-Zebub, "Baal of the Flies, who was worshipped at Ekron, See 11 Kings 1.2, 3, 16 and Matt. 10.25

The New Testament writers believed that Satan had a distinctive personality. He could enter people and cause them to commit evil deeds. Satan tempted both Judas (Luke 22.3) and Peter (Luke22.31). The Gospel writers saw him as the father of lies and as a murderer John8.44). Luke said that the woman who was afflicted with illness for two decades was "bound" by Satan. He was regarded as the chief of the demons and evil spirits who afflicted people (Matt. 12.24-26). Matthew called these demons and evil spirits Satan's "angels" (Matt. 25.41) Throughout the New Testament, the descriptions of Satan's power are of a spiritual nature; he influences both the affairs of individuals and of nations. The Gospels clearly affirm that Satan ultimately will be overthrown (Rev. 12.9; 20.2-3), and that the triumphant reign of God will be confirmed forever.