The Geryne of Satan (from the ONA)

This brief essay will outline a few interesting facts about the terms Satan and Satanism (and thus Satanist), including their historical usage in the English language, and thus may guide the sagacious to an understanding of the geryne [1] of Satan: that the mysterious secret of Satan is the simple heretical, japing, and confrontational reality of being or becoming a Satan.

The scribes of the Septuagint mostly rendered the Hebrew טןָש ָׂas ὁ διάβολος/τω διάβολω – and which Greek term implies someone who is an adversary and who thus is pejoratively regarded (by those so opposed) as scheming, as plotting against them; that is, the sense is of ἐπίβουλος – scheming against/opposed to (the so-called ‘chosen ones’). Someone, that is, who stirs up trouble and dissent. Only in a few later parts – such as Job and Chronicles – does the Hebrew seem to imply something else, and on these occasions the word usually occurs with the definitive article: Hasatan – the Satan: the chief adversary (of the so-called ‘chosen ones’) and the chief schemer, who in some passages is given a fanciful hagiography as a ‘fallen angel’.

Now, given that the earliest known parts of the Septuagint date from around the second century BCE – and thus may well be contemporaneous with (or not much older than) the composition of most of the Hebrew Pentateuch (the earliest being from around 230 BCE) – this rendering by the scribes of the word Satan as ὁ διάβολος/τω διάβολω is very interesting and indicative given the meaning of the Greek, and supports the contention that, as originally used and meant, Satan is some human being or beings who ‘diabolically’ plot or who scheme against or who are ‘diabolically’ opposed to those who consider themselves as ‘chosen’ by their monotheistic God, and that it was only much later that ‘the Satan’ became, in the minds of the writers of the later parts of the Old Testament, some diabolical ‘fallen angel’.

Thus, it is generally accepted by scholars that the Hebrew word Satan (usually, a Satan) in the early parts of Old Testament means a human opponent or adversary (of God’s chosen people, the Hebrews) [4] or someone or some many who plot against them.

Now, as has been mentioned in several previous ONA texts, in heretical contradistinction to others and especially to contradict the majority of modern self-described Satanists, the ONA asserts that the word Satan has its origin in Ancient Greek.

That is, that it is our contention that the Hebrew word derives from the old (in origin Phoenician) word that became the Ancient Greek αἰτία/αἴτιος – as for example in the Homeric μείων γὰρ αἰτία (to accuse/to blame) or as in “an accusation” (qv. Aeschylus: αἰτίαν ἔχειν) – and that it was this older Greek form which became corrupted to the Hebrew ‘Satan’ and whence also the ‘Shaitan’ of Islam. Furthermore, in the Greek of the classical period αἰτία and διαβολή – accusation, slander, quarrel – were often used for the same thing, when a negative sense was meant or implied (as in a false accusation) with the person so accused becoming an opponent of those so accusing, or when there was
enmity (and thus opposition, scheming, and intrigue) as for example mentioned by Thucydides – κατὰ τὰς ἰδίας διαβολὰς.

Given that, for centuries, טןָש ָׂas described in the Old Testament of the Hebrews was commonly written in English as sathans [5] and thus pronounced as sath-ans (and not as say-tan) it is perhaps easy to understand how the Greek αἰτία – or the earlier Homeric αἴτιος – could become transformed, by non-Greeks, to טןָשָׂ. In respect of this God and this ‘fallen angel’, as mentioned in another ONA text: ” There is good evidence to suggest that, historically, the writers of the Old Testament drew inspiration from, or adapted, older stories, myths and legends about a Persian deity that came to be named Ahriman, who could thus be regarded as the archetype of the Biblical Satan, and also of the Quranic Iblis. Similarly, there is evidence that the God – Jehovah – of the Old Testament may have been based upon myths and legends about the Persian deity who came to be named Ahura Mazda.” A Short History and Ontology of Satan

Furthermore, despite claims by some Hebrew and Nazarene scholars, it is now becoming accepted that the oldest parts of the Old Testament were probably written between 230 BCE and 70 BCE, and thus long after the time of Greeks such as Aeschylus and long after Greek word aitia was used for an accusation. It is also interesting that there is an early use, in English, of the plural term Satans as adversaries, which occurs in the book A paraphrase on the New Testament with notes, doctrinal and practical published in London in 1685 CE and written by the Shropshire-born Richard Baxter: ” To hinder us in God’s work and men’s Salvation, is to be Satans to us. O how many Satans then are called reverend Fathers, who silence and persecute men for God’s work.” Matthew, xvi. 23
In an earlier work, published in 1550 CE, the chyldren of Sathan are corralled with heretics: “Dyuers Bysshoppes of Rome beynge Annabaptystes, heretyques, scismatiques, & chyldren of Sathan.” John Coke. The debate betwene the heraldes of Englande and Fraunce. 1550, g. Givv [Débat des hérauts d’armes de France et d’Angleterre. Paris, Firmin Didot et cie, 1877

Thus, Satan/Sathan/Sathanas as a term – historically understood – describes: (1) some human being or beings who diabolically plot or who scheme or who are opposed to those who [6] consider themselves chosen by their monotheistic God; and/or (2) some human being or beings who are heretical and adversarial, against the status quo, and especially, it seems, against the religion of the Nazarenes.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.