One of the most enigmatic characters in biblical tradition is the figure of the Devil (or Satan). What is the origin of the devil? Which ancient texts mention this figure? How do the writers of the biblical texts portray the relationship between God and the Devil? These questions are critical to making sense of the Devil's emergence as an evil, powerful figure in ancient Jewish and Christian traditions.
This Guide for the Perplexed explains the complex history of the Devil by first looking at the appearances of the Devil in writings in Ancient Near Eastern, Jewish, and early Christian traditions to examine the various characterizations and the evolution of the Devil. It then considers the traditions associated with the Devil such as the origin of evil, the serpent in the garden of Eden, Satan's fall from heaven, the temptation of Jesus, hell as the Devil's abode, and the demise of the Devil in the end times.