The purpose of this series is to give a detailed, scholarly study of the texts in these epistles which shed light on the early church's understanding of ho diabolos, the devil. At the same time, the intention was to survey and critique Christadelphian exegesis of these passages. Christadelphian literature on the devil which was consulted for this purpose included Robert Roberts' Christendom Astray, Peter Watkins' The Devil - the Great Deceiver, Jonathan Burke's Satan and Demons: A Reply to Anthony Buzzard, Duncan Heaster's The Real Devil, Harry Tennant's What the Bible Teaches, Fred Pearce's Do you believe in a Devil?, and Alan Hayward's The Real Devil.
Below is a brief synopsis of each of the papers, with a PDF download link. Alternatively you can go to http://www.dianoigo.com/publications.html
Whether you are a Christadelphian or anyone else interested in what the earliest Christian communities believed about the devil, I hope you will find these papers enlightening and that they will spur you to further reflection on this important biblical topic.
|A study of the single reference to the devil in the Epistle to the Hebrews, as well as the testimony of this epistle concerning Jesus' experience of temptation. Particular attention is paid to Christadelphian interpretations of these texts, since they are used as proof texts for the Christadelphians' figurative understanding of the biblical devil.|
Key biblical texts: Hebrews 2:14; Hebrews 2:18; Hebrews 4:15
|A study of the two closely related references to the devil in the Epistle of James and the First Epistle of Peter respectively. Particular attention is paid to Christadelphian interpretations of these texts and showing why they are best understood to refer to a personal supernatural being. This paper also discusses James 1:13-15 since Christadelphians infer from this passage that James could not have believed in a personal devil.|
Key biblical texts: James 1:13-15; James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8
|A study of the texts in the First Epistle of John which refer to the devil, reading them in the context of early Christian satanology as well as the apocalyptic Jewish worldview characterized by modified dualism and cosmic conflict. The conclusion reached is that the writer understood the devil to be a personal supernatural being.|
Key biblical texts: 1 John 2:13-14; 1 John 3:8-12; 1 John 4:4; 1 John 5:18-19
|A study of the puzzling reference to the devil in Jude 9. Zechariah 3:1-2 is also studied as part of the literary background to this text. An investigation of the source of Jude's allusion is undertaken, which provides the key to identifying the meaning of 'the devil' in this text. Christadelphian interpretations of this passage are described and critiqued.|
Key biblical texts: Zechariah 3:1-2; Jude 9