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Devil (from the Greek word διάβολος; diábolos) means:

  • (physically) "one who throws things around" in the sense of creating the chaos, or
  • (in literature) "slanderer" in the sense of name-calling or "throwing" false accusations.

The physical meaning describes the many bad things which happen by chance: accidents, miscommunications, losing things, etc. The meaning in literature emphasizes the wrongdoing more: false accusations as forbidden by the Ten Commandments. The Bible mentions "devil" 106 times,[1] only 4 of which are in the Old Testament. As explained in the Gospel of John, Jesus said to the Pharisees:

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not.[2]

"Devil" is the name given to the unseen personification of evil. By causing chaos, the devil leads people away from God, their Creator, and sometimes even to curse God. According to Wilhelm Busch, a pastor who was persecuted by Nazis in Germany, it is totally impossible to understand the present state of the world if we have not accepted the fact that behind the scenes are the Devil and the powers of darkness.[3] Acknowledging that the Evil is an active power and educating new generations in this respect helps humans to distinguish between good and evil and live a life in harmony with Natural Law.[4]

During the Three Temptations of Christ, the devil explains how the world is his dominion. This amounts to Biblical scientific foreknowledge, as the world is fundamentally uncertain and chaotic according to quantum mechanics.

The term "devil" is often used synonymously with the term Lucifer or Satan, although Satan has the connotation of a personal evil while the devil is a common name for demons or evil spirits.

Two-time Oscar winner Denzel Washington attributed the angry face-slap by Will Smith of Chris Rock on-stage at the 2022 Academy Awards to the devil.


"Devil" literally means "to throw across." The connotation "to slander" is one inferred meaning in a linguistic sense, but the more obvious physical meaning is to create chaos. Linguists often prefer purely linguistic connotations rather than physical or scientific ones even where, as in the case of "devil", there is no real basis for preferring a linguistic rather than a physical meaning.

Though the meaning "to create chaos" may be more obvious in a physical sense, there is no evidence that any Greek speaker ever used it this way. In fact, in the Greek literature it is never used to indicate "creating chaos".

The concept underlying "devil" is traced by some to the early Hebrews during the Exodus from Egypt.[5]

Devil and Modern Physics

The fundamental uncertainty discovered in quantum mechanics can be understood not as an unmasking of God, but an unmasking of the Devil. The Second Law of Thermodynamics, in describing the inexorable decline into chaos, is consistent with the view of the Devil as creating chaos, frustration, accidents, lost items, and miscommunications.

Devil and Bible

In His parable, Jesus equates Devil to the thief who comes only to steal, kill and destroy,[6] i.e. to disrupt the natural order of the World. Bible also records that first followers of Christ claimed to struggle not against flesh and blood, i.e. against created mankind, which mislead by Devil, often contributes to this disruption, but against these powers of darkness.[7] Bible further claims that a person can be delivered from the dominion of darkness, i.e. from life marked by disordered state, through faith in Christ causing an orderly life to be renewed again, referred to also as a life worthy of the Lord[8] in the kingdom of the Son.[9] Empirically, such experiences are reported by individuals including, for example, Michael Glatze or Jozef Demjan.

Devil and Lack of Time

Bush asserts that the powers of darkness work with a very precise goal in view. They keep us running - and that is why we never have time. Every imaginable device is used by the Devil to hinder us from finding time to think - for if we did we would discover that we can be delivered from his hold.[3]

Devil and Atheism

See also: Atheism and Satanism

Bush further muses that the Devil himself "believes in God" and certainly is no atheist: "The Devil is perfectly aware of the existence of God. Yet, for all that, he is not at peace with God."[3] Humanists in Slovakia, who present themselves as being atheists and often show their Anti-Christian sentiment, surprisingly asked Jaroslav A. Polák, a self-described satanist and rationalist who worships pagan gods, to write an essay on the book The God Delusion by professor Dawkins.[10] In 2006, under the pretext of analysing "believing strange things", Michael Shermer, the founder of The Skeptics Society, presented on the so-called 'TED event' the "hidden messages" that are supposedly there in reverse play of one musical record: "Oh, Here’s to my sweet satan, the one who’s little path would make me sad, whose power is satan". However, no information on discoverer of the alleged text was given.[11]

Atheism and Satan

See also: Atheism and satanic deception

Pew Research reports:

When asked who comes to mind when they think about atheism, though, Americans are much less likely to name a well-known figure. While 6% say Satan, 4% say Richard Dawkins and 4% say Madalyn Murray O’Hair, one-in-ten respondents just name themselves or another personal acquaintance such as a relative, friend or roommate. And roughly half (51%) say “no one” or “don’t know” or do not answer the question.[12]

Charles Baudelaire - atheism and satanic deception

See also: Atheism Quotes

Charles Baudelaire expressed a common belief concerning atheism and satanic deception in his short story The Generous Gambler written in 1864:

He complained in no way of the evil reputation under which he lived, indeed, all over the world, and he assured me that he himself was of all living beings the most interested in the destruction of Superstition, and he avowed to me that he had been afraid, relatively as to his proper power, once only, and that was on the day when he had heard a preacher, more subtle than the rest of the human herd, cry in his pulpit: "My dear brethren, do not ever forget, when you hear the progress of lights praised, that the loveliest trick of the Devil is to persuade you that he does not exist!

Devil and Humor

In his The Screwtape Letters (1942), C.S. Lewis quotes Thomas More who claimed that “The Devil, the proud spirit, cannot endure to be mocked…”[13] Martin Luther wrote in his Tischreden (Table Talk) that “The best way to drive out the devil ... is to jeer and flout him ...”[14]

Other names for the devil

There are many pseudonyms used for the Devil, sometimes to clarify his nature and other times with the effect of obscuring his evil:

  • Beelzebub (Hebrew: ba'al zevuv בעל זבוב; "Lord of the Flies")
  • Baphomet, originally a Templar image, portrayed by a goat-headed man
  • Ba'al
  • the Prince of Darkness
  • Old Nick, from a character in The Devil and Tom Walker
  • Pazuzu, ancient Sumerian and Babylonian demon-god, best known for its appearance in the film The Exorcist (1973).



  1. King James Version. In contrast, the modern English Standard Version (ESV) mentions "devil" only 33 times.
  2. John 8:44-45
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Wilhelm Busch (2001). Jesus our destiny. Brunen Publishing, 35, 209. ISBN 0-86347-024-6. 
  4. Gabriele Kuby. Globálna Sexuálna Revolúcia. Strata Slobody v mene Slobody. (Global Sexual Revolution. The loss of Freedom in the name of Freedom.) (in Slovak). Bratislava, Slovakia: Lúč. ISBN 978-80-7114-922-4. “The title in German original is “Die Globale sexualle Revolution.”” 
  5. The local religions they encountered when they entered into Canaan included tales of the demon spirits (sa ir שעירים, "hairy ones" or "saytrs", Isaiah 13:21) of the desert, whose influence could be averted due to sacrifice. Despite being told to "...put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD," (Joshua 24:14) many had accepted this superstition and sacrificed goats on the Canaanite and other altars. From this came the Hebrew word ha-satan שָׂטָן, the root word of "Satan".
  6. New International Version (NIV). John 10:10. BibleGateway.
  7. New International Version (NIV). Ephesians 6:12. BibleGateway.
  8. New International Version (NIV). Colossians 1:10. BibleGateway.
  9. New International Version (NIV). Colossians 1:13-14. BibleGateway.
  10. Odviatie vetrom - alebo ako to redakcia neustála (Taken by wind, or how the publisher changed the mind) (Slovak). Retrieved on February 1, 2015. “Nie tak veľmi dávno sme si o autorovi recenzie knihy Delúzia Boha mohli prečítať: Citácia: …racionalista, ktorý uspokojuje svoju potrebu iracionálna praktizovaním pohanských kultov: člen Prvého Česko-Sloveského chrámu cirkvi Satanovej a občianskeho združenia Dávny obyčaj. Po následnej diskusii: scirocco napísal(a): AntropologickaKonstanta - Tvoj osobny nazor nikoho nezaujima. Ale to ze na dostava priestor aj "člen Prvého Česko-Slovenského chrámu Cirkvi Satanovej" a aj stari bolsevici povazujem za divne aj ja. Wink sme sa dozvedeli: Citácia: Redakcia si stojí za tým, že čo je tam uverejnené, a vie, že je to ich zodpovednosť. ( resp. o intelektuáloch s "s nezvládnutou traumou z totality". Jednako nie je úplne jasné kam sa podel neochvejne pevný postoj redakcie, žeby údaj o autorovi prestal byť aktuálny v dôsledku jeho možného prejdenia na inú formu uspokojovania svojej potreby iracionálna alebo že by sa táto potreba úplne vyparila? Jaroslav A. Polák v (Novopohanství a satanismus) napísal(a): Já, Jaroslav A. Polák známý též jako Kojot, vzývám pohanské bohy a současně jsem satanista. A jsem na to patřičně hrdý!”
  11. Michael Schermer (February 2006). Why people believe weird things ca 10min:30sec. Retrieved on February 1, 2015.
  12. When Americans think about a specific religion, here are some of the first people who come to mind, Pew Research
  13. C.S. Lewis (September 28, 2014). The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis: Letters from a senior Demon Screwtape to his nephew Wormwood, a Junior Tempter. Amargo. 
  14. compiled by Arend Smilde. Quotations and Allusions in C. S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters. Retrieved on February 1, 2015.

See also