The Big Picture: The Devil You Know - Part I

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The Devil You Know - Part I

Think you know all there is to know about Satan?

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Everything You wanted to Know About Satan- but were afraid to ask, another Very interesting one bob, keep being awesome

Some of the older shapes were far more interesting than the current... though maybe it's because the current got old already...

Is it alright if I ask for links to sites or books with more information about the origin of the Christian devil? It seems like a very interesting topic of study.

Well, color me interested. I guess I'll have t check back in next week to see where we go from here...

The thing with Christianity is that to them turning something upside down made it evil, the Wiccan star = Pentagram. But it is always interesting to learn about this stuff and the history of such a prominent figure in human existence.

Does this mean we get to see bob do a round on the magnificent Cthulhu?

I was secretly hoping MovieBob would do an episode like this... Both informative AND fun, but of something that's still relevant to a lot of people. Somehow I get the feeling this will cause some controversy, but on the other hand, what tends to cause controversy on this site usually doesn't line up with this kind of stuff.

Desenova:
The thing with Christianity is that to them turning something upside down made it evil, the Wiccan star = Pentagram.

Not really. There's not really any demonic associations with the pentagram before Eliphas Levi devised one in the mid-19th century. This is also around the time Wicca and other New Age belief systems are first formulated. The upside-down thing is mostly a pop-culture fabrication: Catholicism doesn't really have any negative associations with the upside-down crucifix, there's one on the front door to St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican, because by Catholic tradition that's how Peter was crucified.

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Not a bad synopsis and fun to watch for sure. I would have been a bit harder on Margaret Murray though. To say that there were some holes in her hypothesis is a bit too light of a criticism. I get that your aim here is to talk about popular culture though, not academic criticism of Murray's work. I just think it should be made really clear that a whole lot of unsubstantiated claims were made by Murray, and her work led to a whole lot of biased speculation by others about historical pagan religious practice. Her work continues to influence many people today who read it and do not realize how badly supported many of her claims are.

That whole Michelle Remembers thing sounds pretty similar to the plot of The She-Creature. Would it be perhaps presumptuous to think that this Lawrence Pazder fellow maybe saw the film and thought: "You know, I could probably pull a scam like that..."?

Let's hope next week's episode sees a mention of both Satan in Bedazzled (the Dudley Moore and Peter Cook version) and The Adventures of Mark Twain. They're the best ones.

Desenova:
The thing with Christianity is that to them turning something upside down made it evil, the Wiccan star = Pentagram. But it is always interesting to learn about this stuff and the history of such a prominent figure in human existence.

I'm not sure where you got this idea from, but I don't know of any evidence that supports it. Inverted crosses are a part of Catholic cannon because of Peter's crucifixion. Even the inverted pentagram is far more a pop-culture icon that a religious one.

Edit: Credit to Falseprophet for beating me to it.

Yes, it is interesting how the idea how the christian Bible merely mentions a figure and places that have been translated as hell. I think the most interesting pop culture use was Neil Gaiman's Sandman. The "Devil" is actually made of three figures, Lucifer, Beezelebub, and Azael, seemingly drawing from the different figures mentioned in religious writings. And hell wasn't necessarily a place created for punishment, but perhaps a necessary creation by people for people believing they need punishment for their guilt.

That was a really cool episode, it feels pretty impressive just how much information you compressed down into that time frame. It also felt pretty respectful, to well pretty much everyone

Never really understood why the devil is such a pop cultural icon, he's not a particularly interesting villain and his worship was used as a excuse to burn people alive.

Huh. Was kinda hoping to hear a little bit about where Zoroastrianism comes into all this stuff, but interesting episode nonetheless. Could have also missed a text dump or two somewhere in there.

I always considered the Devil to be a... scape goat... baby.

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You're not gonna talk about Spiderman again are you Bob? There's only so much Marvel madness I can take.

Ah, Paradise Lost, Divina Commedia... Now that brings back memories.

Though I don't really get how Divina Commedia is supposed to have influenced the image of Satan. I mean, yeah, Paradise Lost, it's basically Lucifer's story, but Inferno is more about the nature of Hell than the devil himself - he's barely even in it!

Casual Shinji:
Let's hope next week's episode sees a mention of both Satan in Bedazzled (the Dudley Moore and Peter Cook version) and The Adventures of Mark Twain. They're the best ones.

IMHO The Adventures of Mark Twain Devil is far the most frightening version as he basically says he can't do evil because he doesn't know what evil is.

themilo504:
Never really understood why the devil is such a pop cultural icon, he's not a particularly interesting villain and his worship was used as a excuse to burn people alive.

Depending on your perspective, he is an underdog (after all, its nemesis is God almighty itself) and the original rebel figure. Both characteristics that attract empathy from young people from all ages, especially in times were religion is kind-of not a big deal...

It is pretty common for Christians to take something the locals worship and turn it into cannon to parallel with their own religion and ease evangelism in pagan territories, but it is also a practice of the locals, to show their allegiance to their new creed.

I knew most of this already (especially the early parts about where Satan got his modern appearance from and where people got the idea of a Fire and Brimstone Hell from), still, very interesting.

Now, as an obligatory addition: Name your favorite incarnation of the Devil in pop-culture!

Mine is, and shall forever be, Lucifer from the eponymous DC Vertigo-series. Why? Because he is more based on a "I don't give a fuck about you or your souls I care only about me"-version of Lucifer from Paradise Lost instead of the (frankly boring) "Yarrr I AM EVUL AND I DO EVUL STUFF!".

Arqus_Zed:
Ah, Paradise Lost, Divina Commedia... Now that brings back memories.

Though I don't really get how Divina Commedia is supposed to have influenced the image of Satan. I mean, yeah, Paradise Lost, it's basically Lucifer's story, but Inferno is more about the nature of Hell than the devil himself - he's barely even in it!

He said Inferno is the canon version of Hell, not Satan. It is truth: Inferno barely has Satan in it, and he is pretty contrary to the popular idea of the character.

Bbleds:
Yes, it is interesting how the idea how the christian Bible merely mentions a figure and places that have been translated as hell. I think the most interesting pop culture use was Neil Gaiman's Sandman. The "Devil" is actually made of three figures, Lucifer, Beezelebub, and Azael, seemingly drawing from the different figures mentioned in religious writings. And hell wasn't necessarily a place created for punishment, but perhaps a necessary creation by people for people believing they need punishment for their guilt.

Hell was created for the fallen angels and became the place where souls separated from God by sin went. In this incarnation, Hell serves as the ultimate stick in contrast to the ultimate carrot of eternal life. As far as what Hell is like, that differs depending on how you interpret the Bible. The idea of a fiery place of eternal torture is more an amalgamation of several different ideas from different parts of the Bible and contrasts heavily with the idea of simple separation from God. In short, there is no unified idea of Hell even within the Bible and so I think it is hard to pin down a single interpretation of what the place is supposedly like or what purpose it serves.

Thank you Movie Bob for that informative and respectful video. As a student of Christian theology I am glad to see you treat the Scriptures so well. You put some serious research and work into this one. It is very unfortunate that so many who call ourselves Christians are woefully uneducated in our own Scriptures, history, and theology.

Oh boy, I am hoping with all my strength that next week Bob will mention Arthur C. Clarke's "Childhood's End" at some point...

Quite an interesting and informative video if I do say so myself. Though the most interesting thing about Satan to me is that he's not actually the 'bad guy', he's just massively exaggerated to be one.

Bob, not sure on your sources on the Witchhunts and persecution.
Terry Jones gave a much better and more logical explanation in his Medieval Lives: The Damsel.

The important bit comes in at about 19 minutes into the video.
The rest is also interesting, but that's where the point is.

Glad Bob mentioned Dante's Inferno. It's the larger foundation on what western "Hell" is percieved as, despite very little in the way of scripture support. Just like how Satan's image has been largely twisted by time, so has the concept of hell/purgatory.

God, angels, spiritual beings etc are all described as looking remarkably just like normal human beings. I imagine Satan probably looks the same. No epic goat horned, bat winged, red monster, but just a normal looking fellow. If anything, a bit dissapointing compared to the myth.

That said, Robot Devil from Futurama is best depiction of the devil in any medium, I will give the usually cut devil in the claymation Mark Twain movie a very close 2nd though.

Gregory Wollf:
Thank you Movie Bob for that informative and respectful video. As a student of Christian theology I am glad to see you treat the Scriptures so well. You put some serious research and work into this one. It is very unfortunate that so many who call ourselves Christians are woefully uneducated in our own Scriptures, history, and theology.

Sadly, I've found most that swear by it don't even understand how the various books and writings that make up the Bible were compiled, let alone educate themselves on the finer nuances of it :(

Notably,the Devil's angel origin is referenced as "Helel/Heylel" which is a Canaanite word for the Morning Star. In Latin, the Morning Star is called Lucifer, Light Bringer in English. Something that is really just a random Canaanite deity, like Baal or Beelzebub were.

Double post, sorry.

Bob, the 6-boobed snake-legged Satan from Megaten better appear next week.

I think he's more along the Paradise Lost Satan.

Yozozo:
Glad Bob mentioned Dante's Inferno. It's the larger foundation on what western "Hell" is percieved as, despite very little in the way of scripture support. Just like how Satan's image has been largely twisted by time, so has the concept of hell/purgatory.

God, angels, spiritual beings etc are all described as looking remarkably just like normal human beings. I imagine Satan probably looks the same. No epic goat horned, bat winged, red monster, but just a normal looking fellow. If anything, a bit dissapointing compared to the myth.

That said, Robot Devil from Futurama is best depiction of the devil in any medium, I will give the usually cut devil in the claymation Mark Twain movie a very close 2nd though.

Gregory Wollf:
Thank you Movie Bob for that informative and respectful video. As a student of Christian theology I am glad to see you treat the Scriptures so well. You put some serious research and work into this one. It is very unfortunate that so many who call ourselves Christians are woefully uneducated in our own Scriptures, history, and theology.

Sadly, I've found most that swear by it don't even understand how the various books and writings that make up the Bible were compiled, let alone educate themselves on the finer nuances of it :(

I think this trend has a lot to do with us becoming more culturally Christian than religiously so. While a great many claim to be a member of certain faiths, this seems to point more to general belief than actual participation in religious practice. It has become more and more difficult to get people to even come to Church, let alone do any in-depth research on the matter.

There are some VERY specific verses to the appearance of Satan in the Bible as he is the "covering cherub" and the most beautiful of all the angels, his pride in appearance being one of the leading things in his fall. So the whole red horns and goat evil looking thing was created in the WRONG direction and is contrary to the very description provided..... you kind of missed a main point there sir... What you were saying about the description of Satan being adopted as part of the pagan and other religious merger literally reversed the appearance of the devil.

Ezekiel 28:6-19

Satan, Lucifer, the Devil, what have you is an interesting character in Biblical literature. I also like the depiction of the topic in "Supernatural."

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