Baker Academic

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Christopher Rollston, "The Rise of the Satan in Second Temple Judaism"—Chris Keith

Some of the lectures from the 2014 Evil Conference of the Centre for the Social-Scientific Study of the Bible are becoming available on YouTube.  I'll feature some here, starting with this great lecture from Dr. Christopher Rollston from George Washington University on "The Rise of the Satan in Early Second Temple Judaism."  As a teaser, Dr. Rollston suggests here that the Accuser's role in the book of Job should be read much more positively than has typically occurred.


  1. Thanks for this – looking forward to more!

    1. Pretty good Chris - making Satan a good guy in Job, etc. - how does this fit with his role in the rest of the Bible - early (GEN 3) and late (the Gospels and REV)? Your wisdom, God calls foolishness - I COR 1:20. - RC Besteder

    2. Satan isn't mentioned in Genesis. It's a serpent, "the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made." Not a fallen angel, not the devil, a beast of the field. That's what it says.

  2. It's worth noting that "Satan" - the accuser - often worked for the lord.

    Likely the original model for that, were any local legal agents, judges, attorneys that worked for the local "lord"; prosecuting any apparent violators of his "law's. Thus prosecuted persons might pray to the lord, from relief from the Satan.

    There's a modern movie out there that pictures the devil as a prosecutorial attorney, for those who are interested.