There are many facets of early Israelite theology needed to understand why Satan was added into Biblical tradition, but in my opinion, Satan was introduced because the lack of desire for a theodicy that had a sole deity who purposely caused evil in the world. Before Satan entered as an explanation for why there was evil in the world, there were a few other unsatisfying justifications, such as the coincidence of opposites and ritualistic purity. To begin, the coincidence of opposites is the belief that God within himself contained both good and evil, wrath and mercy. There are a few verses from scripture that show these two sides to God. One is quoted within the book The Problem of Evil in Western Tradition written by Joseph Kelly: “The book of Isiah puts these words in the mouth of God (45:7): ‘I form the light and create darkness, / I make weal and create woe; / I the Lord do all these things’” (11). This dualistic belief of the deity may be a deceptively simple concept, but in the evolving views of the Israelites, the explanation of a just and merciful god who would smite and bless on a whim was not sufficiently reasonable. The pagan-like qualities that God possessed at this period were because of the influences surr...
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...ned away” (53). He speculated that Satan must have sinned at the very moment of his creation, because that would be the only way that he could logically fall from the grace of God. With this in mind, Augustine’s theodicy of Original Sin is a better explanation than the world becoming full of evil because of an angel that fell the instant of his creation and then God letting him roam around since then.
While Satan might have helped clear up some of the issues that the ancient Israelites faced with their monotheistic views, he also brought along with him problems that would need a great deal of theorizing to explain away. Through Augustine’s theodicy, we can see how Satan was eventually woven out of Biblical theology for these complications. Overall, the issues with his falling and with God’s omnipotence are what caused Satan to lose his status in Western Tradition.
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