Degree Year

2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Religion

Advisor(s)

Cynthia Chapman
Andrew Wilburn

Committee Member(s)

Corey Barnes, Co-Chair
Margaret Kamitsuka, Co-Chair

Keywords

Satan, 2 Corinthians, Greek Life of Adam and Eve, Testament of Job, New Testament, Bible, Trickster

Abstract

This paper examines three brief mentions of Satan in 2 Corinthians by comparing them with representations in two longer pseudepigraphal texts: the Testament of Job and the Greek Life of Adam and Eve. Although the Satan of 2 Corinthians is often read in tandem with other mentions of an apocalyptic evil figure, I argue that this Satan bears a greater resemblance to the Satan portrayed in the Testament and the Life. In these three texts, Satan's moral alignment is ambiguous: although he often acts for nefarious purposes, he does not oppose God on a cosmic scale as apocalyptic Satan figures do. Instead, this Satan tests and tricks humans, often using disguises. The trickster Satan is not the diametric opposite of the apocalyptic Satan; in fact, the two portrayals sometimes appear within the same text, indicating a gradual evolution of the figure of Satan during the early Christian period.

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Religion Commons

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