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The Satan
How God's Executioner Became the Enemy

PAPERBACK; Published: 7/9/2019
ISBN: 978-0-8028-7250-0
Price: $ 41.99
304 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6 x 9
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Many people today think of Satan as a little red demon with a pointy tail and a pitchfork—but this vision of the devil developed over many centuries and would be foreign to the writers of the Old Testament, where this figure makes his first appearances. The earliest texts that mention the Satan—it is always “the Satan” in the Old Testament—portray him as an agent of Yahweh, serving as an executioner of evildoers. But over the course of time, the Satan came to be regarded more as God’s enemy than God’s agent and was blamed for a host of problems.

Biblical scholar Ryan E. Stokes explains the development of the Satan tradition in the Hebrew scriptures and the writings of early Judaism, describing the interpretive and creative processes that transformed an agent of Yahweh into the archenemy of good. He explores how the idea of a heavenly Satan figure factored into the problem of evil and received the blame for all that is wrong in the world.

The Journal of Theological Studies
“The book may well induce a paradigm shift on the function of the Satan in early Jewish literature.”
Society for Old Testament Study Book List
“[Stokes] has produced a valuable study that is both informative and highly readable.”
Calvin Theological Journal
The Satan is an excellent, authoritative guide for those studying the historical development of Satan, and a must for pastors and professors teaching on the biblical texts that mention the Satan in the Old and New Testaments.”
Review of Biblical Literature
“The book is extremely valuable for the study of Satan, and the contents highlight and bring together helpful insights from a wide range of Jewish texts.”
“This is an excellent monograph, and an important update to earlier works, especially in looking at the origins of the Satan character in the pre-Christian context.”