Satan: Old vs New Testament

The claimis made is that Satan in the OT is only a shadow of the Satan in the NT. In between, it is said, some outside influences (usually Persian religion, it is said) transformed Satan from a prosecution attorney intoto the incarnation of evil.

Is this the case? Not really.

Out data pool from the OT will be from Job alone. 1 Chr. 21:1 we will discard as we maintain that the "Satan" here may not be the personal being but another adversary. We will also leave out Gen. 3, for though I think the serpent was indwelt by Satan, Gen. 3 would add little to the data pool not already found in Job.

Ps. 109:6 will be ignored for the same reason, and Zec. 3:1-2 add nothing not found in Job. (A secondary idea, that Job itself is from the Persian period, we do not consider viable, but it is beyond the scope of this article.)

Our process will be to identify where Satan is found in the NT, then see if what he does is any different than what is in the OT. We will find that all of the cites are answered in one of two ways:

  1. They show a distinct parallel to what is found in Job.
  2. They show what is actually a universal motif for ANY evil being or any person doing evil, whether the Persian devil Ahriman, Screwtape, or Jesse James.

Now for relevant NT citations.

So in conclusion, there is no need to go wandering around to Ahriman or any other being to explain Satan's (non-)differences in the NT. The Satan of the OT is the same figure -- the NT is simply more theological in orientation and has a great deal more ideological space to talk about him.

Objection: What was Satan doing in the presence of a holy God, making requests at that?

Satan makes no "request" in Job but issues a challenge of honor, and there is nothing at all, Biblically, against Satan being able to be in God's presence at this point in history, any more than it is a problem that sinful men can be in the presence of the Shekinah.

-JPH