Satan - the word itself is a sort of fast and loose transliteration (letter for letter, not conveying idiomatic meaning, i.e., translation) of the Semitic word meaning “adversary,” who shows up first and foremost in the Book of Job (arguments for this being the first book of the Old Testament (OT) to have been written are pretty compelling). The funny (ironic?) thing is that throughout the OT, Satan is not really the antithesis of God so much as a sort of prosecutor (or persecutor) on His behalf. For instance, the serpent in the Garden of Eden is never properly identified as Satan in Genesis, and it’s really not until the Tynsdale translation (circa 1526) that this is heavily implied to the point that most folks in the English (and German) speaking worlds now simply assume this to have been the case. All Abrahamic religions posit Satan as the supreme evil spirit (the Evil One from which we pray to be saved in the Our Father), who tempts humanity into sin and rules over Hell (for more on this, revisit last week’s entry). When we refer to the Devil (not to be confused with devils, themselves which are more or less interchangeable for demons for our purposes), it is helpful to point to the words of St. John of Damascus, which you can find here.