New Testament Research Project |
Journal of Biblical Literature
When did angels become demons? The articles attempts to tackle the issue of Christian mythical folklore verses what is actually written as scripture throughout the Old and New Testaments. The author continues with the basis that as the Christian religion accepted the fallen angels which were cast out with Satan as demonic evil impure creatures. Ancient Jews did not have that same thinking on the subject. He later adds evidence to support his view that this was made up by Christian writers later in the 2nd century.
He describes in the article that the Jews thought of angels and demons as two separate species that should not be ...view middle of the document...
The offspring that were born from the unions and became giants and later killed, and their spirits that arose became evil. He asserts they were never considered demons.
In the section title “The New Testament,” the author made the following statement; “Nowhere in the NT are demons equated with angels, fallen or otherwise. And no etiology of demons is supplied” (Martin, 2010, p. 673). He suggest that through reference throughout the New Testament that readers of that era could have made that assumption as well as today.
Reading this article it had never occurred to me that fallen angels were not considered demons. That seems to be the standard Sunday school and Church sermon doctrine taught and preached throughout the Christian religion. However, he author is basically suggesting that through laziness on the part of translators in deciphering the Hebrew language, important meanings were lost.
Not being a theologian I found some parts difficult to understand. It seemed that he never really explained what happened to the angels once they were cast out of heaven. In his argument he tossed around the usage of the terms evil spirits and demons as used in the New Testament. How Mark and Luke referred to the terms differently throughout their letters. Yet the connection between the New Testament and the Torah seemed to be disconnected in his explanation.
While it seems the majority of his research dwelled into analysis of the origin of the word “daimons” used in reference to demons; I thought the article was going to dig deeper into the Churches stand on the fallen angels. What they actually taught the congregations of the 1st through the 4th century’s and beyond. Or if there has been any attempt to come with a consensus with the Jewish Rabbis to establish what happened to the fallen angels and the correct identity of demons. In light of so little references to actual word demon in the New Testament.
The Eerdmans Bible Dictionary is a one volume dictionary with 1094. It is based on the Bijbelse Encyclopedia, which was first published in 1950 F.W. Grosheide. The 1987 copyrighted edition I was able to get at the public library show Allen C. Meyers as the revision editor. The book reflects discoveries in archaeology, biblical, literary, sociological scholarship issues. Focus of the book is still on the biblical scholarly endeavors, but expansion to other areas including the books in the bible to encourage critical thinking were taken into account during revision of this particular dictionary.
It contains the following: preface, contributors, abbreviations, alphabetize text information, and on the inside back cover a transliteration scheme: Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek letters. The dictionary contains almost 5000 items associated with identifying facts, markers, people, and places throughout the bible. All major geographical regions to include, but not limited to the Mediterranean and Near Eastern areas.
Terms and languages were...