The Devil – A Potted History
Tonights theme is Old Nick himself…
A piece of Christian PR or something else?
The challenge we will be facing is the simple fact that so much religious hysteria surrounds any discussion of demons and devils – or The Devil him, or its, self. Much of this narrow minded view comes directly from the propganda perpetuated by some of the worlds leading religions. Afterall, the argument would go, if God is good then all of the evil in the world must be coming from somewhere.
No I’m not trying to be a Satan-Devil apologist, but it must be recognised that the notion of a ‘battle royal’ between Good (God) and Evil (Devil) does not come from the Old Testament tradition nor does Satan have a major presence and he (she/it) is certainly not Gods adversary.
But before we go any further let’s have some news…
From Catherine we have…
From the UK
June 29th: A landslide 200 miles off our coast is being blamed for the ‘mini’ tsunami’ that swept up estuaries and altered the tidal pattern around Cornwall and Devon today. Baffled observers from fishermen to holidaymakers noted the sudden retreat of the tide followed by its returning surge of three foot high waves.
June 28th: A nuclear power station in Scotland was forced to shut down two of its reactors after the filter system became clogged with jellyfish. The cooling systems of the plant involve the intake of seawater and apparently this is not such a rare occurrence for nuclear facilities of this nature. There were no ill-effects and surveillance of the area for any further gelatinous obstructions are under way.
June 25th: A tearoom owner in Dunbartonshire believes she is being haunted by a sweet-toothed spectre after numerous odd goings-on in her village cafe. Laura and Fiona McKirdy have heard strange noises, sweets and sweet jars moving of their own accord and pictures falling off the walls. The most mysterious occurrence appears to be one that happened to Laura, who left a broken jar of sweets for only to find a reassembled jar upon her return. Laura says that “She doesn’t seem to mean any harm. She’s a very friendly ghost – I wouldn’t stay here if she wasn’t.”
From International News
June 30th: A man from Kansas City, Missouri faces a sexual assault charge after he assaulted an unconscious woman on the sidewalk on Wednesday. His remarkably pathetic line of defence was, “I thought the lady was dead.” Melvin L. Jackson was charged on Thursday with a felony count of sexual assault and he is still in Jackson County Jail.
June 29th: Delays at the John F Kennedy International Airport had some unusual perpetrators today. Runway 4 was overrun by over 100 diamondback terrapins that put a stop to several flights for up to half an hour. Apparently, one side of the runway is a sandy location that is ideal for terrapin egg-laying and during the season they are often found attempting to cross it in large numbers. The animals have been successfully relocated out of harms way.
Dark matter, the somewhat impalpable stuff of the universe, may have finally been recorded for us to see. “Unexplained “filaments” of radio-wave emission close to our galaxy’s centre may hold proof of the existence of dark matter,” researchers are saying. The filaments have been cropping up in pictures since the 80s and baffling astronomers to this day. The Arxiv Repository states that the work needs to be further tested before definite confirmation can be announced.
The current Pope, Benedict XVI, launched his first tweet today, the 60th anniversary of his ordination.
June 28th: Don’t ask where, or why, or what on earth, but somebody has invented a robot armpit, complete with authentic body odor. Kevin Grennan, man behind the mechanical pit states that “Each robot that I have augmented with a ‘sweat gland’ emits a particular chemical that has a specific effect on humans and the chemical has been chosen to further enable the robot’s primary function.” The feature has so far been included in a bomb-disposal robot and a picker robot.
Chris Logan of West Chester attended the AT&T National at Aronimink Golf Club and was struck on the head by a stray golf ball from Sean O’Hair. He was unharmed by the golf ball upon medical examination, but had he not had the examination, the doctor would not have discovered the malignant cancer on his thyroid that needed immediate removal. Since Logan had the cancer removed, he has had no further tumors and thanked Sean O’Hair profusely for effectively saving his life.
Fee sent in her notes on Bizarre Deaths… (yes I know, I’m worried about her too!!!)
An Indian man was killed when his cell phone exploded in his face. Gopal Gujjar, 23, was found dead on 17 August with burns to his left ear, neck and shoulders, near a farm in Bandha village close to the city of Kota in Rajasthan. He had apparently gone to the forest to graze cattle about noon and was believed to be talking on the phone when it exploded. Pieces of the Nokia 1209 handset, a basic model released in August 2008, were scattered nearby. In January 2010, a 27-year-old woman in Andhra Pradesh was killed while talking to her husband on a charging phone. (Sydney) D.Telegraph, 18 Aug 2010. See also FT172:10, 181:8 for non-lethal mobile explosions.
A man searching for a legendary ghost train was killed when a real locomotive came down the tracks and hit him. Christopher Kaiser, 29, of Charlotte had gathered with around 12 others on the anniversary of a crash that happened near Statesville, North Carolina, at 3am on 27 August 1891, when seven carriages fell off the Bostian Bridge into a ravine and 30 people died. According to local legend, the sounds of the accident, including the train whistle, screeching wheels, and the screams of passengers, can be heard again on the anniversary and each year people go to listen. It is also claimed that people have seen a uniformed man with a gold watch. On the centenary of the crash in 1991, more than 150 people turned up.
Xia (or Xin) Xinfeng, from Maolou in the central Chinese province of Henan, has been sentenced to death for killing Mao Ansheng, her childhood sweetheart, with a kiss. They had sworn an oath that if either were unfaithful, they would have to die. Xia took action when she saw her man talking to a woman in a way that made her suspicious. They had arranged to meet the next day at a public bathhouse. She filled a plastic pellet with rat poison, hid it under her tongue, and while they were kissing, nudged it into his mouth. Failing to notice, Mao swallowed it and died shortly afterwards.
Rat poison is one of the commonest methods of murder and suicide in China. One variety, dushuqiang, was banned three years ago. A widow had used it to kill 10 guests, with whom she had been engaged in a feud, at her husband’s funeral banquet
Death by Decapitation by Helicopter Rotor Blades !!!
Actor Vic Morrow died on the set of Twilight Zone: The Movie when a helicopter spun out of control due to special effect explosions, crashed, and decapitated him with its rotor blades.
Two other child actors also died at the event, which triggered a massive reform in US child labor laws and safety regulations on movie sets.
Primer on Satan by Catherine Baker
Origins of Satan
The origin of Satan is difficult to pinpoint, as Satan represents the basis of an idea, that is, of evil, to many religions as well as being a physical character in Christianity.
In Hebrew, ha-satan (השָׂטָן) can be translated as ‘adversary’ or someone that opposes something. In Judaism there is no solid concept of Satan as a being.
In the Balaam story (Found in Numbers) God sends a messenger to prevent Balaam from disobeying the rule of God, this messenger is therefore taking the role of the satan.
In the Book of Job, it is the satan who dares God to test Job. The satan in this story, though frightening and harming somebody, is still an angel at this point. He was described as a Beni Elohim which translates as ‘son of God’.
Job was written around 550 BCE, preceding the beginnings of the thought that Satan was a person and not a mere ‘adversary’.
168BCE saw Antiochus Epiphanes’ declaration that he was to eradicate the Jews and their culture. The Jews who resisted henceforth named the Jews who did not ‘Hellenising Jews’, using Satan as a symbolic tool to demonise them. They felt that their Jewish opponents had been ‘seduced by the power of evil/Satan’. After this, the stories of Satan began to circulate and the tale of his fall and his origin began to gain more influence. The notion that he was a force that worked as a source of negativity and conflict from within a community of believers also became prevalent and it became a central theme in early Christianity.
He has many names, including,
Apollyon, the Greek name for Satan meaning “Destroyer” and Abaddon in Hebrew. “And they had as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, but in Greek he has the name Apollyon.” Revelation 9:11
The Beast. This may have come from the dragon also mentioned in Revelations, the creature with seven heads, ten horns, ten crowns/ diadems and blasphemy written on each of his heads. The blasphemy written on his heads is thought to be his claim to be the real God, as he is the great deceiver and will come to earth claiming to be God. The crowns and head are thought to represent Satan’s followers.
The serpent, in reference to his role as the serpent that tempted Eve to eat the apple.
As discussed in earlier TRTZ broadcasts, Lucifer (A name that means ‘Shining Star’ and as such is a name used for Satan before he was cast out of Heaven) was an anointed cherub before he fell and there are thoughts that he was one of the most beautiful residents of Heaven. There are numerous descriptions of his appearance before he fell, suggestions that he was covered in gemstones, possessing twelve wings as the Angel of music, (Or of praise and worship). It is often thought that the descriptions of gold and gemstones encrusted angels stem from the emphasis we want to put on their being perfect or above us.
He is supposed to have been dissatisfied with his position after a time, becoming corrupted by his beauty and his intellect above the other angels. He began to hope for higher things, no longer wanting to be ‘just’ an angel of God but rather wanting to be equal to Him.
His falling is meant to have been the first sin, the temptation of Eve (And the origin of his name as ‘the Serpent’) occurring after this.
Revelations consists of many visions concerning Satan and the war in Heaven and it is where we get the illustration of the dragon from.
In Islam, Satan takes on other connotations and the story of his coming into being is also very different. Here he is known as Iblis and was created out of smokeless fire according to the Qur’an. He made ‘jinn’ in the same way, and these creatures are meant to have the capacity for good, evil or neutrality.
Iblis’ was considered equal in rank to an angel.
Iblis and the other angels were commanded to ‘prostrate to Adam’ by Allah, but Iblis refused. He said he was better than Adam, ‘Thou didst create me from fire, and him from clay.’
Iblis was meant to have requested respite from his fate in Hell until the day of judgment, and he vowed to devote his time to leading us astray to join him there. This goes hand in hand with the Christian notion that Satan has a deep-seated loathing for humankind.
After this, Iblis became Shaitan (Similar in origin to ‘satan’) and he and his minions now urge men to commit sin, planting the seeds of evil in their hearts.
The jinn were a third race created by God with the free will, as we have, to choose between good and evil.
“The sons of God saw the daughters of man, and that they were good; and they took them for wives, all of which they chose…The Nefilim were upon the earth in those days, and thereafter also, when the sons of the gods cohabited with the daughters of Adam, and they bore children unto them. They were the might ones of eternity – the people of the shem.” Genesis, chapter 6.
This refers to a race known as the Nephilim of whom there are many varying theories. It seems universally agreed that they were some nature of human and fallen angel hybrid race.
This ties into the meaning of the term ‘sons of men’, as not all agree to whom this term refers. Some believe it refers to angels, some believe it refers to men; some believe it refers to the God-fearing lineage of Seth, and some simply say that they were higher authorities that chose any woman they wanted as a partner.
Things I have missed can almost certainly be explained here
For the full debate download the show below or from iTunes…
The Music on the Show:
The Truths : Speed of Life : Fear is the Key : Against Perfection
Raising Days : Craving : It’s About Time
Callel : Gallus
ADDITIONAL NOTES that may be of interest
The Library of Ashurbanipal
Ashurbanipal was the last great king of the Neo-Assyrian Empire.
The so-called library which is given his name was first discovered around 1849 and consists of a series of thousands of clay tablets; many broken and incomplete. The tablets were initially over looked and treated as waste until the linear markings upon them were recognised by archaeologists.
The tablets and their associated writings are dated at around 7BC and amongst its texts we find the Epic of Gilgamesh.
The excavations which yielded these records were found in Kouyunjik (then ancient Nineveh, capital of Assyria) in northern Mesopotamia. The site is in modern day Iraq.
Ashurbanipal was literate, and a passionate collector of texts and tablets. He sent scribes into every region of the Neo-Assyrian Empire to collect ancient texts. He hired scholars and scribes to copy texts, mainly from Babylonian sources.
The fragments from the royal library include royal inscriptions, chronicles, mythological and religious texts, contracts, royal grants and decrees, royal letters, and various administrative documents. Some of the texts contain divinations, omens, incantations and hymns to various gods, others relate to medicine, astronomy, and literature. The epic of Gilgamesh a masterpiece of ancient Babylonian poetry, was found in the library as was the Enûma Eliš creation story, and myth of Adapa the first man…
Adapa was a mortal from a godly lineage, a son of Ea (Enki in Sumerian), the god of wisdom and of the ancient city of Eridu, who brought the arts of civilization to that city (from Dilmun , according to some versions). He broke the wings of Ninlil the South Wind, who had overturned his fishing boat, and was called to account before Anu . Ea, his patron god, warned him to apologize humbly for his actions, but not to partake of food or drink while he was in heaven, as it would be the food of death. Anu, impressed by Adapa’s sincerity, offered instead the food of immortality, but Adapa heeded Ea’s advice, refused, and thus missed the chance for immortality that would have been his.
Parallels can be drawn to the story of Genesis, where Adam and Eve are expelled from the Garden of Eden by God, who feared that they might eat from the Tree of Life, thus becoming immortal and divine
The Epic of Gilgamesh as reported from the Ashurbanipal library is best considered as a collection of Sumerian and Babylonian poems some of which date back to 2100BC – 2000BC.
The story revolves around a relationship between Gilgamesh, the King of Uruk, and his close male companion, Enkidu.
Enkidu is a wild man created by the gods as Gilgamesh’s equal to distract him from oppressing the citizens of Uruk. Together they undertake dangerous quests that incur the displeasure of the gods. Firstly, they journey to the Cedar Mountain to defeat Humbaba, its monstrous guardian. Later they kill the Bull of Heaven that the goddess Ishtar has sent to punish Gilgamesh for spurning her advances.
The latter part of the epic focuses on Gilgamesh’s distressed reaction to Enkidu’s death, which takes the form of a quest for immortality. Gilgamesh attempts to learn the secret of eternal life by undertaking a long and perilous journey to meet the immortal flood hero, Utnapishtim. Ultimately the poignant words addressed to Gilgamesh in the midst of his quest foreshadow the end result: “The life that you are seeking you will never find. When the gods created man they allotted to him death, but life they retained in their own keeping.” Gilgamesh, however, was celebrated by posterity for his building achievements, and for bringing back long-lost cultic knowledge to Uruk as a result of his meeting with Utnapishtim.
The character if Enkidu in the Gigamesh epic is a wild-man raised by animals and ignorant of human society until he is bedded by Shamhat. She uses her attractiveness to tempt Enkidu from the wild, and his ‘wildness’, civilizing him through continued sexual intercourse. Unfortunately for Enkidu, after he enjoys Shamhat for “six days and seven nights”, his former companions, the wild animals, turn away from him in fright, at the watering hole where they congregated. Shamhat persuades him to follow her and join the civilized world in the city of Uruk, where Gilgamesh is king, rejecting his former life in the wild with the wild animals of the hills. Henceforth, Gilgamesh and Enkidu become the best of friends and undergo many adventures
Enkidu embodies the wild or natural world, and though equal to Gilgamesh in strength and bearing, acts in some ways as an antithesis to the cultured, urban-bred warrior-king. Enkidu then becomes the king’s constant companion and deeply beloved friend, accompanying him on adventures until he is stricken ill. The deep, tragic loss of Enkidu profoundly inspires in Gilgamesh a quest to escape death by obtaining godly immortality.
The Anunnaki (also transcribed as: Anunna, Anunnaku, Ananaki and other variations) are a group of Sumerian, Akkadian, Assyrian, and Babylonian deities.
The name is variously written “a-nuna”, “da-nuna-ke4-ne”, or “da-nun-na”, meaning something to the effect of “those of royal blood” or ‘princely offspring’.
]Their relation to the group of gods known as the Igigi is unclear — at times the names are used synonymously but in the Atra-Hasis flood myth they have to work for the Anunnaki, rebelling after 40 days and replaced by the creation of humans.
The Enûma Eliš is the Babylonian creation myth (named after its opening words). It was recovered by Austen Henry Layard in 1849 (in fragmentary form) in the ruined Library of Ashurbanipal at Nineveh (Mosul, Iraq), and published by George Smith in 1876.
The Enûma Eliš has about a thousand lines and is recorded in Old Babylonian on seven clay tablets, each holding between 115 and 170 lines of text. Most of Tablet V has never been recovered, but aside from this lacuna, the text is almost complete. A duplicate copy of Tablet V has been found in Sultantepe ancient Huzirina, located near the modern town of Şanlıurfa in Turkey.
This epic is one of the most important sources for understanding the Babylonian worldview, centered on the supremacy of Marduk and the creation of humankind for the service of the gods. Its primary original purpose, however, is not an exposition of theology but the elevation of Marduk, the chief god of Babylon, above other Mesopotamian gods.
The Enûma Eliš exists in various copies from Babylon and Assyria. The version from Ashurbanipal’s library dates to the 7th century BCE. The composition of the text probably dates to the Bronze Age, to the time of Hammurabi or perhaps the early Kassite era (roughly 18th to 16th centuries BCE), although some scholars favour a later date of ca. 1100 BCE.
|When the sky above was not named,|
|And the earth beneath did not yet bear a name,|
|And the primeval Apsu who begat them,|
|And chaos, Tiamat, the mother of them both,|
|Their waters were mingled together,|
|And no field was formed, no marsh was to be seen;|
|When of the gods none had been called into being.|
The epic names two primeval gods: Apsû (or Abzu) and Tiamat. Several other gods are created (Ea and his brothers) who reside in Tiamat’s vast body. They make so much noise that the babel or noise annoys Tiamat and Apsû greatly. Apsû wishes to kill the young gods, but Tiamat disagrees. The vizier, Mummu, agrees with Apsû’s plan to destroy them. Tiamat, in order to stop this from occurring, warns Ea (Nudimmud), the most powerful of the gods. Ea uses magic to put Apsû into a coma, then kills him, and shuts Mummu out. Ea then becomes the chief god, and along with his consort Damkina, has a son, Marduk greater still than himself. Marduk is given wind to play with and he uses the wind to make dust storms and tornadoes. This disrupts Tiamat’s great body and causes the gods still residing inside her to be unable to sleep.
They persuade Tiamat to take revenge for the death of her husband, Apsû. Her power grows, and some of the gods join her. She creates 11 monsters to help her win the battle and elevates Kingu, her new husband, to “supreme dominion.” A lengthy description of the other gods’ inability to deal with the threat follows. Marduk offers to save the gods if he is appointed as their leader and allowed to remain so even after the threat passes. When the gods agree to Marduk’s conditions he is selected as their champion against Tiamat, and becomes very powerful. Marduk challenges Tiamat to combat and destroys her. He then rips her corpse into two halves with which he fashions the earth and the skies. Marduk then creates the calendar, organizes the planets, stars and regulates the moon, sun, and weather.
The gods who have pledged their allegiance to Tiamat are initially forced into labor in the service of the gods who sided with Marduk. But they are freed from these labors when Marduk then destroys Tiamat’s husband, Kingu and uses his blood to create humankind to do the work for the gods. Babylon is established as the residence of the chief gods—the chief gods who made much babel or noise. Finally, the gods confer kingship on Marduk, hailing him with fifty names. Most noteworthy is Marduk’s symbolic elevation over Enlil, who was seen by earlier Mesopotamian civilizations as the king of the gods