Does the devil really exist?
The devil embodies the contradiction to God.
The devil is portrayed in the Bible as an opponent of God. His goal is to destroy people and God's creation. He embodies the contradiction to God.
Another word for devil is "Satan". This comes from the Hebrew and originally means "enemy". It means someone who stands up against someone else and wants to prevent him from doing his thing (1 Kings 11:14, 23:25). “Satan” is also a proper name in the Old Testament. Satan accuses people before God. He is the one who accuses people of judgment before God's throne. Also in the book of Job he tries to make people and the world bad before God. He wants to stir up Job against God (Job 1,6; 2,1).
The Greek word for devil is diabolos, which comes from the verb "to confuse". It appears frequently in the New Testament alongside "Satan". The devil wants to prevent God from setting up his kingdom. He encounters Jesus, for example, as a tempter (Mt 4,1-11) and as an enemy (Rev 12,9). Jesus casts out many demons who were seen as servants of the devil (Mk 5: 1-20; Mt 8:16). In John's Gospel, the devil is the one who rules the world (Jn 12.31 [KC8]), but is ultimately overcome and defeated by God.
Belief in the devil determined the first centuries after Christ and was particularly strong in the Middle Ages. Even the reformer Martin Luther was sure that he had seen the devil with his own eyes. Today most Christians no longer believe that there is a visible and physically tangible devil. However, there is still evil in the world.
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Is there a devil only in the Catholic Church, or is there also in the Protestant Church?
Answer: For Martin Luther, the devil was a reality. He threatened the world and people. Faith in God was salvation. Luther, however, turned against the idea that one had to work for this salvation. He came to the realization that God meets people with grace and one does not have to work for faith. So it was clear to him that all people who believe are safe from the clutches of the devil. Luther also assumed that there are still evil forces in the world. For example, he thought the Pope or the Turks attacking Europe to be the Antichrist.
The Antichrist is a figure that appears mainly in the letters of John. It is associated with the so-called end times, i.e. the time in which Jesus Christ comes again (second coming of Christ). At this time the Antichrist is the adversary of Christ, that is, the one who tries to prevent God's work at the last minute. However, Luther also used the word “antichrist” in the literal sense: In his opinion, the fact that there is a Pope was not Christian. It harmed Christianity.
There is evil in the world. Since the Enlightenment it has been questionable whether evil can be personified, i.e. whether evil can take shape in a being like the devil. In the Middle Ages the devil had a face, he had a concrete form, horns, a horse's foot and so on. He even got a kind of biography: It was said that he was an angel who had rebelled against God and was therefore rejected by him. He then reappeared as a snake in paradise and seduced people. This picture is no longer represented in today's theology. Today it is believed that evil is a reality that transcends individuals. For example, evil can be hidden in structures of action and systems that destroy life. It is not always clear where exactly. In the 20th century, however, more and more Christian currents appeared again, which view concrete events - such as the world wars, atheistic communism or worldwide diseases - as the works of the devil.
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