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edit·history·watch·refresh Stock post message.svg To-do list for Devil:

  • Create a section on the cultural background and possible origins of the Devil. (Russell's The Devil: Perceptions of Evil from Antiquity to Primitive Christianity, Forsyth's The Old Enemy: Satan & the Combat Myth, Pagel's Origin of Satan and Wray and Mobley's The Birth of Satan: Tracing the Devil's Biblical Roots can be taken as resources.)
    • Temporary comment: attending the Warburg's Open Seminar 2.12.2011 in London may be useful.
  • Replace the "Religious accounts" section with new sections; "Religious narratives" and "Theological/philosophical beliefs about the Devil". The former should describe how the devil is portrayed in narratives (e.g the temptation of Jesus) with little reference to theology.
  • Create a section on the Devil in modern literature (e.g Paradise Lost, The Devil and Daniel Webster) and expand on the folklore section.
  • Create a section on how the Devil was portrayed in art.

Devil (also see demon).Edit

Devil, is france, de ville (from the village). Demon, is france, de mon (from man).

Devil is usually female, demon, well, usually male.

A girl went to the city to take the farms produce to market.

All asked, from wence did that come? And the reply: de ville (from the village).

After many a trip, months later, she placed the farms produce in the village market, the trip having become a tad too ardeous, her belly clearly showing.

All asked, from wence did that come? And the reply: de mon (from man).

Clearly, this is real, there being quite a few france speakers in the middle east to acknowledge the defacto. A bit of reality ladies and gentlemen. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:58, 6 January 2017 (UTC)

Wikipedia does not use original research, especially when it's just plain wrong. See the etymology sections for Devil, wikt:devil, Demon and wikt:demon for why. Ian.thomson (talk) 02:03, 7 January 2017 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 7 July 2017Edit

Alamo58 (talk) 17:42, 7 July 2017 (UTC)

  Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format.Crboyer (talk) 17:48, 7 July 2017 (UTC)

There are gramatical errors, spelling errors and misinformation in this article. Also, devil is a semordnilap for the word lived; as is the word evil which is the word live spelled backwards. So devil and evil are 2 negative concepts created under false pretences from 2 positive concepts. Error Corrector (talk) 10:16, 23 April 2018 (UTC)

The Devil in JudaismEdit

You write "In mainstream Judaism, there is no concept of a devil as there is in mainstream Christianity and Islam." Then you direct us to an article that has a lot to say about the devil in Rabbinical Judaism. What gives? "Mainstream Judaism" would have to include more than just the Bible. It would have to include medieval and post medieval Judaism, in which (as your own article says) there very much was a concept of the devil or Satan. This article and the other shouldn't contradict each other. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:12, 2 November 2017 (UTC)

The Christian Bible itself is not at all an accurate translation of the Jewish version. Devil is the word lived spelled backwards. Evil is the word live spelled backwards. Error Corrector (talk) 10:04, 23 April 2018 (UTC)

The Christian Bible is a completely nonacurately translated version of the Jewish spiritual text. Also, devil is the word lived, only spelled backwards. Furthermore, evil is the word lived, only spelled backwards. Error Corrector (talk) 10:08, 23 April 2018 (UTC)

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True definition: devil is lived spelled backwards, meaning a living spirit that is no longer residing in a body. Hence the term "catch you on the flip side." Devil has no affiliation with Lucifer. Demon means of (de) man (mon) referencing thoughts or fearful thoughts formed by man.[citation needed] Error Corrector (talk) 10:00, 23 April 2018 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 19 July 2018Edit

change scorpians to scorpions (talk) 16:33, 19 July 2018 (UTC)

  Done Thank you for pointing that out. Ian.thomson (talk) 16:35, 19 July 2018 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 20 July 2018Edit

I would like to change the second paragraph to the following:

"In religious history, often a set of gods become deposed by a younger generation of deities, and later become considered evil. Titans were replaced by the Olympic gods, Teutonic gods demonized the Giants, Roman and Greek deities became devils in Christianity, and in Islam, the pre-Islamic status of Jinn as tutelary deities were reduced to beings subject to the judgment of the Islamic deity and if they do not submit to His law, are regarded as demons.[8]"

This just sounds more grammatically correct to me. 2600:1700:B050:8180:D1D2:5EC6:FEC4:BDA1 (talk) 09:46, 20 July 2018 (UTC)

Yeah, that was not a very well-written paragraph. Should be   Done, feel free to poke me if I got any of the wikilinks wrong. ‑‑ElHef (Meep?) 12:54, 21 July 2018 (UTC)

God vs AllahEdit

MOS:ALLAH states, "'Allah' should be replaced with its translation, 'God', unless used as part of an English-language quote". Wikiprojects consensus are internal to the wikiprojects and need to seek consensus in the article itself with other editors who are not in the wikiproject though. Thinker78 (talk) 04:11, 27 August 2018 (UTC)

Content fork for Satan?Edit

Hello! I may be opening a can of worms here, but I have been thinking about this for a long time and I think that this article is, under its current title, essentially a content fork for our article Satan, which is much better cited, much better written, and is currently listed as a "Good Article." I know that the reason why these two articles are separate is because the article Satan is supposed to deal specifically with the Abrahamic Devil and this article is supposed to deal with other Devil-like figures from various religious traditions across the globe. The problem is that, as far as I can tell, the rather arbitrary distinction between the definitions of the two words is essentially our own invention here at Wikipedia. The word "Devil" originates from a Greek calque (διάβολος) of the Hebrew word sâtan (שָּׂטָן), meaning "accuser" or "adversary." In terms of their origins, etymologies, and historical definitions, the two words are complete synonyms, referring to the same entity.

Furthermore, even in modern everyday usage, the word "Devil" virtually always refers to Satan, the "Abrahamic Devil" as our article would have it. I strongly suspect that the overwhelming majority of the people coming to this article are probably actually looking for the article Satan. I even seriously question how accurate it is to classify some of the figures on this page, such as Set, as a "Devil," since Set also had an important positive role in the Egyptian pantheon, particularly as the protector of the sun-god Ra, and, as far as I am aware, he was never thought of as a source of temptation or sin, which is the Devil's primary characteristic in the Abrahamic religions. Nonetheless, I do think that Devil archetypes and Devil-like figures are an encyclopedically notable subject. (Certainly, Angra Mainyu can be considered a "Devil-like figure" at least; I am sure there are probably at least a few others with legitimate parallels.) However, I think that, to make the subject of this article clear, it should be moved to a more transparent title, like "Devil archetype" or "Devil-like figure" or even just "Devil figure." Then, Devil can be turned into a redirect to Satan, which already lists "Devil" in the first line as a common alternative name. --Katolophyromai (talk) 20:58, 2 October 2018 (UTC)

"The word "Devil" originates from a Greek calque (διάβολος)"
διάβολος as a term predates contact with Christians. The Liddell-Scott lexicon cites use of the term in The Knights (424 BC) by Aristophanes, and "On His Return" by Andocides. Dimadick (talk) 17:32, 3 October 2018 (UTC)
@Dimadick: Yes, I am aware that the word διάβολος itself predates Greek contact with the Hebrews, but it was a generic noun meaning "slanderer" or "accuser"; it did not refer to a specific metaphysical entity, least of all one resembling the Christian Devil. A calque is a term that has been borrowed through literal translation and, obviously, that cannot happen unless you have a word with the same literal meaning as the term you are borrowing. The pre-Christian use of the word διάβολος as a general word for "slanderer" has no relevance to this discussion, unless you have convincing evidence that the ancient Greeks also applied the word to some kind of Devil-like figure. --Katolophyromai (talk) 20:18, 3 October 2018 (UTC)
How can it be a loan word if it predates contact? The Hebrews/Christians simply repurposed an extant term. Dimadick (talk) 20:22, 3 October 2018 (UTC)
@Dimadick: It is not a "loan word" proper; it is a calque, which is the literal translation of a foreign word or phrase using native vocabulary to create a meaning not found in the native language. A calque is a "loan translation," not a "loan word." For instance, the phrase "Devil's advocate" uses solely English vocabulary, but it is a calque of the phrase advocātus diabolī in ecclesiastical Latin. The words "Devil" and "advocate" both existed in English before this phrase was coined, but the meaning of the phrase is imported from Latin. --Katolophyromai (talk) 20:53, 3 October 2018 (UTC)

I would agree to move this article to something like "Devil archetype". I was trying to find sources for non-abrahamic "devil"-concepts and ended up by archetypes and added some information about the devil as "Abstract principle" (it seems that other wikipedians agreed, since nobody objected the added stuff) such as cosmological viewpoints. However many "devil-like creatures" seem to be misplaced, especially since the lines of dualism are blurred in other religions. Many religions, for example Hinduism, have no devil. The only religion with "devils" are Christianity, some Gnostics (such as Mandaean), Manichaeism and Zoroastrism. Judaism and Islam only have the devil as a related figure (Ha-Satan, Samael, Azazil, Iblis ... ), but it is still God, who is the originator of both good and evil. Further in Islam other concepts could be considered as "devil" in the meaning of archtype, such as "Nafs", "the Pharao" (in some works he is equal in evil with Iblis and symbolizes a type of hybris apart from Iblis' hybris), and in more political focused denominations, deities or anti-islamic societies. However, I noticed, that "devil" is sometimes also used in the context of "demons", an evil entity that can also exist in plural. I would like to use this oppoturnity to ask "What is the difference between "devils" and "demons"? I thought it is related to translation (Arabic or Hebrew "Shayatin" translated into "devils" albeit "demons" has the same meaning) If there is a significant difference, the article couls also encompass the "devils" as whole and not just "Satan". If not, I would also agree, that it should move to something like "archtype" especially since 'Devil' suggests that it is synonymous with Satan but still more vague defined.--VenusFeuerFalle (talk) 12:41, 4 October 2018 (UTC)

@VenusFeuerFalle: While the word "Devil" comes from ancient Greek διάβολος (diabolos), the word demon comes from Greek δαιμόνιον (daimonion), which, in the context of the New Testament, means "evil spirit." In the Greek New Testament, διάβολος refers specifically to Satan; whereas daimonion can refer to any evil spirit. Some older English translations of the Bible, such as the King James Version, translated δαιμόνιον as "devil" and διάβολος as "Devil," but most Bible translations made since the beginning of the twentieth century consistently render δαιμόνιον as "demon" and διάβολος as "devil." Devil is sometimes used in English to refer to demons, but it is generally an archaism. If you would like, we could move this article to Devil figure and make Devil a disambiguation page, listing Satan, Devil figure, and Demon as the main subjects the word can refer to. --Katolophyromai (talk) 13:26, 4 October 2018 (UTC)
I don’t see any reason that Wikipedia can’t have both articles. The definitions, according to both, are vastly different. The definition of Devil (in its article) is “personification of evil.” The definition of Satan (in its article) is specifically the Abrahamic entity that “seduces humans.” If scholars use the word Devil as a personification of evil, without meaning the specific Abrahamic entity, and if they then write about it in books, as they do, Wikipedia should maintain that article, which those sources support. The linguistic argument on this talk page regarding the two words, is interesting and valid, and it could exist in sections titled “Linguistics” in both articles. The definition of Devil (in its article) seems to depend on a definition of Evil — a door that leads to all kinds of ideas. The definition of Satan (in its article) is so specific that when it starts describing the many various incarnations of Satan it seems to contradict the specificity of that article’s own first sentence. The problem is that when some Brainy Wikipedia Editor dreams up some kind of absolutist construct, and then tries to shoehorn it into the less-absolute and more democratic Wikipedia, it may not fit. Madisonesque (talk) 16:01, 4 October 2018 (UTC)
@Madisonesque: We currently have no evidence that scholarly sources define the words Devil and Satan differently. In your paragraph above, you cited the definitions given in the Wikipedia articles "Satan" and "Devil." The problem is that the sources used in both of these articles do not appear to support the distinction that the articles are attempting to make between the two. The source cited in the first sentence of this paragraph is Jeffrey Burton Russell, who, for the most part, uses the names "Devil" and "Satan" interchangeably. If you look at the history of this article, you will see that splitting the definitions of "Satan" and "Devil" was essentially just an editorial decision. This article was originally just a redirect to Satan when it was first created on 28 September 2001, but, then, on 24 January 2003, another editor came along and, without citing any sources whatsoever, created a new article which began "The Devil is the name given to a supernatural entity who, in most Western religions, is the central embodiment of evil. This entity is also commonly referred to as Satan, Lucifer, Beelzebub, and Mephistopheles." That definition is not very accurate and it is not based on sources, but that is more-or-less the same definition that this article is still using.
Furthermore, the reason why the article Satan defines Satan as "an entity in the Abrahamic religions that seduces humans into sin or falsehood" is because, while Satan many Christians regard Satan as the personification of all evil, in Islam, he is only considered a figure who incites and induces humans to sin. In Judaism, Satan generally plays little role and is usually considered either a metaphor for the human inclination towards evil or as a minor tempter figure. Christianity is the only Abrahamic religion that almost uniformly sees Satan as the personification of evil. If we define the Devil strictly as "the personification and archetype of evil in various religious traditions" that would actually exclude both the Islamic and Jewish conceptions of the Devil. --Katolophyromai (talk) 16:38, 4 October 2018 (UTC)
I am not acquainted well with Islam thought so I couldn't say about Satan in Islam but if the "Devil" definition as the archetype of evil doesn't fit the definitions in Judaism and Islam of Satan, well, then I guess those entries don't belong in the "Devil" article. Thinker78 (talk) 00:34, 5 October 2018 (UTC)

@Madisonesque: @Thinker78: Both of you took the definition given at the beginning of this article of the Devil as "the personification and archetype of evil in various religious traditions" as accurate, but the whole point of my comments here is that I do not think that definition, or the attempted distinction between "Satan" and "Devil" implied by it, is accurate. Now, in my comments above, I expressed doubt that the definition given in this article or the distinction between the words "Devil" and "Satan" was supported by sources. However, I consulted the page of the source cited to support the definition at the beginning of this article, page 34 of Jeffrey Burton Russell's book The Devil: Perceptions of Evil from Antiquity to Primitive Christianity (1987). This is what Russell says on that page: "I use the term "Devil," as opposed to Satan, to designate the personification of evil found in a variety of cultures... The Devil is the hypostasis, the apotheosis, the objectification of a hostile force or forces perceived as external to our consciousnesses." I was previously familiar with Russell from his book Lucifer: The Devil in the Middle Ages (1984), which I used as a source when working on the article Satan and, in that book, he (at least to my mind at the time) seemed to be using both the words "Devil" and "Satan" in reference to the same entity.

Now that I have read this passage, however, it does appear that the source cited does indeed support the definition given at the beginning of this article. However, Russell's definition of the word "Devil" as applying to many different cultures and the word "Satan" as only applying to the Abrahamic figure is highly idiosyncratic, does not align with common usage (in which the two words are almost invariably synonyms), and is far from universally accepted among scholars. In fact, Henry Ansgar Kelly criticizes Russell's approach to the Devil on pages 3–4 of the introduction to his book Satan: A Biography, a 328-page scholarly monograph on the history of the concept of the Devil published by Cambridge University Press, writing that what Russell has really identified are "devil-analogues" and "Satan-look-a-likes." Kelly continues, "To me, the only true devil is the Christian devil, that is Devil in all his various evolutions." So, even though Russell does support the distinction here, something which I originally doubted, I would still strongly support moving this article to "Devil figure" and turning "Devil" into a disambiguation page, because we cannot expect the average reader to be aware of Russell's distinction, and it is a definition (or rather re-definition) that is not universally accepted, even among scholars. The two words originally meant exactly the same thing and what Russell has essentially done is artificially broadened the meaning of one word while leaving the meaning of the other intact. By moving this page to "Devil figure," we can clear up any ambiguity and make the subject of this article more clear. --Katolophyromai (talk) 04:30, 5 October 2018 (UTC)

Prove WP:COMMONNAME. Thinker78 (talk) 08:03, 5 October 2018 (UTC)
@Katolophyromai: I agree with you and thank for clearing me up. I would support moving this page to something like "devil archtype" or "devilish figures", since most readers regard "devil" and "Satan" interchangeable and the idea of "devil" is mainly a Christian idea (that means, the Christian Satan). As archetype however, "devil" can also be adapted to Yetzer Hara (Judaism), Nafs and "Shaitan" (the concept not the alternative name for "Iblis") (Islam), Ahriman (Zoroastrism) and even the gnostic notion of the Creator-Deity as "devil" (or embodiment of evil). Further we can add psychological apporaches of the "devil-figure". If not used interreligious, it would be equal to the Satan article. (Before the Satan article became GA, they were both almost equal).--VenusFeuerFalle (talk) 15:18, 5 October 2018 (UTC)
Katolopyromai, I need to correct you: I did not say that I take the definition as accurate, as you claim I did — I didn’t weigh in one way or the other. I took the definition as “supported”, which it is. Changing the title of this article from “Devil” to “Devil figure” would be opposed by two Wikipedia policies: Wikipedia:NAMECHANGES and Wikipedia:UCRN. “Devil Figure” is an obscure expression. A change to that wouldn’t contribute anything, but would muddy the waters. To change a title, and give an article a different meaning seems disrespectful at best to editors who have already contributed here. It would make their past contributions look foolish — as if they didn’t know the topic they were contributing to. The ideas that you have on this topic can probably be added to this article — as long as you find reliable sources and report them accurately.Madisonesque (talk) 18:02, 5 October 2018 (UTC)
@Thinker78: Merriam-Webster lists the very first definition of the word "Devil" as "the personal supreme spirit of evil often represented in Christian belief as the tempter of humankind, the leader of all apostate angels, and the ruler of hell —usually used with the —often used as an interjection, an intensive, or a generalized term of abuse." This entry does not use the word "Satan," but it is obvious here that that is the entity it is describing, by the references to "Christianity," "apostate angels," and "Hell." gives the first definition of the word "Devil" as "the supreme spirit of evil; Satan." They literally define the "Devil" as "Satan"! I think that these, combined with the quotation above from Kelly's Satan: A Biography, amply demonstrate that, in popular usage and in scholarly usage outside of Russell, the words "Devil" and "Satan" are synonyms. Sure, maybe a few people who have already read Russell's book will search for the word "Devil" expecting to find an article about Devil figures around the world, but that is precisely the reason why I am proposing that Devil be a disambiguation page, which would list Satan, Devil figure, and Demon as the three primary definitions. It is a solution that rules out any possibility of ambiguity.
As for @Madisonesque:, I do not see how changing the title of the article to a less ambiguous title that more accurately describes the current contents of the article would in any way be "disrespectful" to the users who have previously edited this page in the slightest, nor would it imply that those users' contributions are in any way "foolish." We change titles of article to more accurately reflect their contents all the time. In fact, not too long ago, I myself proposed a name change to an article for which I was the primary contributor after another user Intro sentence|made me realize that a different title would be more accurate given the content of the article. Indeed, it is worth pointing out that one of the main contributors to this article, VenusFeuerFalle, has already voiced support for my proposal. The purpose of my proposal is not to "muddy the waters" as you have asserted above, but rather for precisely the opposite reason: to prevent confusion, since, as the passages and definition I have quoted above indicate, Russell's distinction between "Devil" and "Satan" as having two distinct meanings is not widely accepted among laypersons nor among scholars.
As for the two policies you cite, neither of them support what you are arguing. WP:NAMECHANGES is about when a country, organization, or individual changes its name to something different, then the article about that country, organization, or individual should only change if the new name becomes more commonly used than the original in reliable sources written after the name change. In this case, however, the names "Devil" and "Satan" have both existed concurrently for over two millennia, so this clearly is not a case of a "name change," but rather two different names existing concurrently. As for WP:UCRN, that policy actually supports my proposal, because it states that "an article title is a natural language word or expression that indicates the subject of the article" and "Ambiguous or inaccurate names for the article subject, as determined in reliable sources, are often avoided even though they may be more frequently used by reliable sources." The word "Devil" is ambiguous, as evidenced by the fact that Russell's definition for it is completely different from Kelly's, or Merriam-Webster's, or's. It makes most logical sense to have "Devil" be a disambiguation page to clear up possible confusion and make sure that readers find the article they are looking for. --Katolophyromai (talk) 19:30, 5 October 2018 (UTC)

Katolopyromai, you don’t agree with the reliable sources, and you don’t agree with the content of the articles as they stand now, so it’s not certain what the article you are imagining might look like. But if a person is researching the topic “devil”, then that person would search for “devil”. That is why the title it has now is best. On the page that I linked to (Wikipedia:Article titles) it says: that a good Wikipedia article title should have recognizability, the title should be a name or description of the subject that someone familiar with will recognize. “Devil” makes sense. “Devil figure” is an obscure phrase, and it is not clear what it refers to. It could be anything from a the number 666 to professional wrestling move. The title should be one that readers are likely to look or search for and that editors would naturally use to link to the article from other articles. Such a title usually conveys what the subject is actually called in English. “Devil” makes sense; your phrase, being obscure fails in this way. The title should unambiguously identify the article's subject and distinguish it from other subjects. It does not do this either. No one would predict what exactly it means. The title you are suggesting is vague and obscure and is completely different and does not identify the topic. It should have conciseness and identify the article's subject and distinguish it from other subjects. It fails here, also, because it is a change in subject, and it has gone away from the meaning. It should be consistent with the pattern of similar articles' titles. Your suggestion is not consistent. Your suggesting fails all of those criteria, and a good title, according to the policy I linked to, should achieve all of them. All five. On the same page it says, the title should be a natural language word or expression that indicates the subject of the article: as such the article title is usually the name of the person, or of the place, or of whatever else the topic of the article is. Your suggestion fails here also, if a person is researching the topic “Devil” then they will probably want to find an article with that title. All of that is from the page that I linked to.Madisonesque (talk) 20:44, 5 October 2018 (UTC)

@Madisonesque: Did you read anything that I wrote above? The word "Devil" originally and primarily refers to Satan, but Russell, and consequently this article, have taken it to refer to any personification of evil in any culture around the world. The problem with this definition is that it is not what a person is likely to be looking for when searching for the word "Devil" because it is not a commonly used definition of that word. As for your assertion that I "don't agree with the reliable sources," that is not true. I am merely saying that we should not use an obscure and idiosyncratic definition of the word adopted by a single author, when the term clearly is not commonly used in that way and other reliable sources, such as Kelly, do not use it that way at all. Your primary objection the use of the term "Devil figure" is that it is "obscure"; the problem is that there is not a less obscure phrase we could use that would still accurately describe the subject of the article in a way that would not lead to confusion. (Remember: WP:UCRN states, ""Ambiguous or inaccurate names for the article subject, as determined in reliable sources, are often avoided even though they may be more frequently used by reliable sources.") The term "Devil," as I have already shown using multiple sources, has several possible definitions, which are all very different from each other. It primarily and originally refers to Satan, but it can also be used as a somewhat archaic word for "demon" or, as Russell uses it, as a word for any personification of evil in any culture around the world. The title of "Devil" for this article fails the criteria of "Naturalness" and "Precision," because the article is not about the figure that its title is most commonly applied to and the same title could be applied to a variety of different articles with very different subjects.
The definition of "Devil figure," by contrast, is not obscure or confusing; it is self-evident from the name: "a figure that is like the Devil (i.e. Satan)." This is also the most concise and accurate description of what this article currently talks about: figures in cultures around the world that are like the Devil (Satan). I am not really objecting to the content of this article, but rather the article's title, which is not a clear or accurate description of what the article is about. Your assertions that "Devil figure" could also apply to "the number 666 [or] to [a] professional wrestling move" is completely unsupported and, in my view, ridiculous. If you are going to make claims like this, please provide reliably sourced evidence that the term "Devil figure" has ever been applied to anything other than a "figure that is like the Devil (i.e. Satan)." Despite your apparent insinuations to the contrary, I certainly have no objections against the title or content of the article Satan in any way and I am, in fact, the primary author of that article. The ambiguity of the title of this article (i.e. Devil), however, is something that has bothered me considerably for a long time and that is the reason why I am making this proposal now. --Katolophyromai (talk) 21:25, 5 October 2018 (UTC)
Katolophyroma, when you misrepresent what a reliable source is saying, which I assume you did with what you considered good intentions, and it was good of you to admit the misrepresentation after it was pointed out; and when, in that case, you are by inference also advancing a falsely-based criticism of the article itself, and of your fellow editors, it diminishes the discussion to have all that “falsely based” stuff cluttering it up, and it makes it less interesting to carry on. But since I was the one that pointed out your misstatement you can’t really claim that I didn’t read what you said. So now you’re suggesting that you want me to go find some reliable sources to support what is in fact my own opinion? I suspect you say such a funny thing to liven this page up with a bit of humor. Much appreciated. Madisonesque (talk) 12:21, 6 October 2018 (UTC)

I would agree with that "Devil-like figures" would be too vague and give too much space for arbitrary deities and demons. But I think a name such as "Devil (archetype) would be suitable. Otherwise, if we just mean "Teh Devil" as "The Satan" it would be merely a fork of the "Satan" article. It is just NOT a fork because it is more about the Archetype. For example in Islam-section. It is not limited to Satan (Iblis) but deals witht he subject of "evil" itselves (nafs, shaitan, Iblis, probably we can later add the "pharao", if we change it to "archetype", since, unlike Iblis, the pharao represtens (according to a source I found but didn't added here first) haughtiness in ones ego, while Iblis represtens the haudghtiness of someone who "knows God" (or something of the like I remember). And as I mentioned, we could add psychological explanations, gnostic vies (especially impirtant to clear the "god as the devil-section", now it looks like a blog-entry).--VenusFeuerFalle (talk) 15:41, 7 October 2018 (UTC)

This article doesn’t really qualify as a “fork” of any other article. For example, this article and the one on Satan each have different meanings, which is shown by the first sentences and the leads of each. It’s not wrong to have to articles that overlap, Wikipedia can have an article on both hammer and mallet. I think that editors should try to make each article the best it can be. A “devil archetype” has a specific meaning in Jungian psychology, and probably should have an article of it’s own, and perhaps a subheading in this article. To use it here would cause confusion with the Jungian meaning, and would not match the meaning contained in this article. This article is important and interesting. The title we have for it, Devil, is a good title. It achieves the all of the five criteria mentioned in the article Wikipedia:Article titles. Those criteria I think should be understood and respected. I think that every decent encyclopedia has an article on this topic; The Encyclopedia Brittanica, the Columbia Desk Encyclopedia, and The World Book Encyclopedia all do. For Wikipedia to be the only encyclopedia not to have such an article seems wrong. People certainly come to Wikipedia and search for this article and want to find it. Madisonesque (talk) 03:49, 8 October 2018 (UTC)
Although I am aware of the existance of Jungian archetyp, I didn't now that it is a specific term already in use. Therefore, I would withdraw my support until we find a better article name. Or otherwise, if "devil" is clear for "evil" in general, we could keep it thatway. (But I am still open minded to alternative names, since I think most people would use "devil" as synonym for Satan)--VenusFeuerFalle (talk) 17:05, 10 October 2018 (UTC)

"as a word for any personification of evil in any culture around the world" Something similar to Ahriman, the fictional demon from Highlander: The Series? In his speech he claims to have many names and to personify evil:

  • "I am Set!"/"I am Ahriman!"
  • "I am everything your people call demons and devils."
  • "I am anger I am the dark!!"/"I bring chaos and fear. Doubt and anarchy."
  • "I existed before time began and I will exist when time has ended."
  • "For you, all that matters is that you cannot stop me."
  • "I'm your friend. I'm not your friend."

"I'm the man you can't kill." Dimadick (talk) 13:53, 10 October 2018 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 12 October 2018Edit

Change the first word from "A" to "The", the title of the book referenced is "The' Devil: Perceptions of Evil from Antiquity to Primitive Christianity Satans Botty (talk) 04:09, 12 October 2018 (UTC)

Why does it matter? The article doesn't have to copy or repeat a source title word for word, does it? Inside the source book it uses the "a" on page 22 and page 26 and other pages. Ykemp (talk) 05:12, 12 October 2018 (UTC)
  Done. I have never read or heard a claim that there would be several devils. L293D ( • ) 12:48, 12 October 2018 (UTC)
And I've reversed that, as this page isn't specifically about one figure (The Devil), but about devil figures throughout multiple religions. — The Hand That Feeds You:Bite 15:58, 12 October 2018 (UTC)


@Moxy: Once again, I do not see why you are so opposed to my changes to the hatnote. Your baseless accusation that I am "trying to make us lose readers" is ridiculous; I am trying to clarify what each of these articles is about and help the readers find the article that they are looking for. That is the whole reason why we have hatnotes to begin with. Currently, however, the hatnote for this article does absolutely nothing to tell the readers what the article is about. The problem is that, in English, the word "Devil" most commonly either refers to Satan, the specific figure in the Abrahamic religions, or to demons (i.e. evil spirits) in general. The definition that we have adopted for this article, in which "Devil" refers to various personifications of evil in cultures around the world, is not a very conventional one, nor is it even really intuitive. You keep insisting that the hatnote is "ridiculously" long, but it is not even two full lines, which is shorter than many of the hatnotes we already have in other articles. Furthermore, the hatnote has to be that long because we need to list the articles Satan and demon and clarify what it is that each of the three articles is about, since the titles alone do not do that. I will admit that the one I added to the article Heaven was rather excessive, but I do not consider the hatnote for this article or the one for Satan even remotely excessive, but rather absolutely necessary for clarification purposes. --Katolophyromai (talk) 15:41, 28 October 2018 (UTC)

Your adding paragraph notes all over...Not sure how a giant overly detailed and western centric paragraph before articles even starts is helpful for our readers. WP:ONESHORTHAT is pretty clear on adding giant paragraphs like this. We don't add a paragraph before the beginning because most people only read the first paragraph.... we're trying to keep readership not lose them or direct them to 17 different articles before they've even started this article.--Moxy (talk) 15:40, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
@Moxy: The hatnote is not a "paragraph"; it is not even two lines. I do not know any world in which something that is not even two lines counts as a "paragraph." The hatnote is shorter than many of the hatnotes we already have for other articles. Furthermore, it only contained links to two other articles, both of which are the most common and intuitive definitions of the word "Devil." Maybe you should actually read the hatnotes I modified before reverting my changes to them. Your accusation that I am "trying to make us lose readers" is ridiculous; I am trying to clearly and concisely clarify what each of these articles is about so that readers can find the article they are looking for. That is the whole reason why we have hatnotes. Furthermore, we are an encyclopedia; our primary goal is to help people find and access information. Retaining readership is only a secondary goal that should not come at the cost of tricking readers into reading an article that they were never looking for to begin with instead of guiding them to the article they actually were looking for. --Katolophyromai (talk) 15:54, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
read me ....then get others involved. Will need consensus to go against our protocols.--Moxy (talk) 15:59, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
@Moxy: It is not a "go[ing] against our protocols" because WP:ONESHORTHAT states that hatnotes "should generally be as concise as possible", but qualifies this saying that a title may be reasonably listed "if the other article could be reasonably expected by a significant number of readers to be at the title in question." In this case, that is clearly the case, because, when most people speak of "the Devil," they virtually always mean "Satan" and when people speak of "devils,' they virtually always mean "demons." I think that very few people searching for the word "Devil" are going to actually be looking for Devil-like figures in different cultures around the world, including ones that are virtually never referred to as "the Devil" in common speech. --Katolophyromai (talk) 16:28, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
That's a lot of assuming... and guess work at what readers think.... think it's best I explain some more.... the note is there as an afterthought after readers read the first paragraph or even just the first sentence and realize they're at the wrong's a link of convenience. its not designed to draw readers in and lead them to other articles off the bat. We must also assume that readers know nothing about the topic when they arrive here... thus we should have no desire to lead them in a direction until they know what this is about..... again kiss.....don't make readers have to scroll before the article starts - Moxy (talk) 16:12, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
@Moxy: The hatnote I wrote does not "make readers have to scroll before the article starts"; even on my phone, I still did not have to scroll to get to the first sentence of the article. I was not trying to "draw people in" with the hatnote either. I was using it to clarify the arbitrary distinction that Wikipedia has made between the words "Devil" and "Satan," since they both originally had the exact same meaning and are virtually always used as synonyms in everyday speech. The only reason we even have two separate articles is because of an arbitrary distinction that a scholar named Jeffrey Burton Russell made in a book published in 1987. Wikipedia decided to follow his decision to use the word "Devil" to refer to any Devil-like figure in any culture around the world, while reserving the word "Satan" for specifically the Abrahamic Devil. If there is a problem here, then it is that we are using a highly nuanced and idiosyncratic distinction made by one academic thirty years ago to determine what to call the two articles, which inevitably makes it difficult and complicated to distinguish between what the two words mean under those definitions. My first proposal was to move the article currently titled "Devil" to Devil figure and make "Devil" a disambiguation page between Devil figure, Satan, and Demon, which I still think would be the best solution. The problem is that that proposal faced strong opposition from people who apparently really liked Russell's definition of the word "Devil" and were obstinately opposed to any efforts to clarify what the article "Devil" is really about. Since we cannot clarify with a disambiguation page, we are forced to do it using hatnotes, which means that hatnotes simply have to be as long as the ones I wrote. There is really no way we can make them any shorter without losing clarity. --Katolophyromai (talk) 16:55, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
never assume what you see is what others see
All. this should be in the article if you believe it's a point of confusion... not a hatnote detailing everything.. that again may cause others to scroll before they even have a chance to read a sentence. Best ask for third opinion.--Moxy (talk) 17:05, 28 October 2018 (UTC)

When hatnotes are created the editor should respect Wikipedia’s guidelines. The hatnote that the user Katolophyromai is trying to apply ignores the guidelines — it is not short or concise, it is too long. Hatnotes should generally should only list disambiguation pages. A hatnote should not contain discussions about various articles. A hatnote should not be used to lead readers away from content they are after that can be found on this page. That is the opposite purpose of a hatnote. Content on “Satan” belongs on this page, and Katolophyromai appears to be trying to lead readers to another page that also has content on the same topic. That is an incorrect use of a hatnote and violates the guidelines. (See: Wikipedia:Hatnote). The lengthy explanation the Katolophyromai gives about why there is an article about Devil and Satan is off-topic. The editor is welcome to hold forth on fringe opinions, but they are not appropriate here, and would be okay on his own user page. It is not helpful to load this talk page up with a lot of off-topic opinions. This talk section appears to be an extension of a previous talk section on this page “Content fork for Satan?" and a lot of the same ideas are being raised once again. Madisonesque (talk) 17:44, 28 October 2018 (UTC)

@Moxy: @Madisonesque: I am not "hold[ing] forth fringe opinions" and I am not trying to "lead readers away from content they are after"; I am trying to remove ambiguity in what this article is about. My discussion of the definitions of the words "Satan" and "Devil" is not off-topic in the slightest; the entire problem here is that we have adopted one scholar's unconventional and unintuitive definition of the word "Devil" rather than actually using the word as it is commonly used and as it is defined in the dictionary. As I have already explained in the section above, Merriam-Webster lists the very first definition of the word "Devil" as "the personal supreme spirit of evil often represented in Christian belief as the tempter of humankind, the leader of all apostate angels, and the ruler of hell —usually used with the —often used as an interjection, an intensive, or a generalized term of abuse." This entry does not use the word "Satan," but it is obvious here that that is the entity it is describing, by the references to "Christianity," "apostate angels," and "Hell." gives the first definition of the word "Devil" as "the supreme spirit of evil; Satan." They literally define the "Devil" as "Satan"! Furthermore, I have, once again, already quoted Henry Ansgar Kelly's criticism of Russell's approach to the Devil on pages 3–4 of the introduction to his book Satan: A Biography, a 328-page scholarly monograph on the history of the concept of the Devil published by Cambridge University Press. Kelly writes that what Russell has really identified are "devil-analogues" and "Satan-look-a-likes." He continues, "To me, the only true devil is the Christian devil, that is Devil in all his various evolutions." Clearly, it is Russell's definition of the word "Devil" that is less widely used and accepted, yet, for some reason, we have written this entire article based solely on his definition. --Katolophyromai (talk) 18:00, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
Now you have added different definitions to the lead and not the article ...thus the lead does not summerizers the article per say but hatches out a debate between ideas while naming and link people that have very little value to the topic at hand. can we move this to the body were it should be?--Moxy (talk) 18:54, 28 October 2018 (UTC)

Naming scholars in leadEdit

Jeffrey Burton Russell is the only source I know who defines the word Devil as "the personification of evil found in a variety of cultures" and yet that definition is the one that this entire article is based on. I first suggested disambiguation, but no one was willing to accept that as a possibility, so then I proposed merely using a hatnote, but no one would even accept that, so now I am forced to include an explanation of the how Russell's definition differs from those adopted by most other sources in the first paragraph of the lead. We simply have no choice but to include his name in the lead, since this entire article is based on his unique definition of the word.

I am seriously tired and frustrated over arguing about all this. I have wasted over half my day arguing with a bunch of people online who will not even listen to anything I say over a basic issue of clarification that seems to me like it ought to be a complete no-brainer. It is days like this one that really make me wish I had never started editing Wikipedia at all. The whole reason I logged on this morning was because I was planning on working on the article Gorgias, since I found some more scholarly sources about him last night, but I have been so caught up in all this relentless squabbling and this whole game of insults that I have not even had a chance to start improving that article and it is already past 3:00 in the afternoon. --Katolophyromai (talk) 19:10, 28 October 2018 (UTC)

It appears you are vandalizing the lead, Katolophromia. Please get a consensus on on the talk page before you make huge changes to the lead. Madisonesque (talk) 19:17, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
@Madisonesque: I was not "vandalizing" the lead. WP:VANDALISM defines vandalism as "editing (or other behavior) deliberately intended to obstruct or defeat the project's purpose, which is to create a free encyclopedia, in a variety of languages, presenting the sum of all human knowledge." Vandalism is when someone types obscenities into the article or deliberately changes the information in the article to be inaccurate or engages in some other behavior deliberately intended to damage the encyclopedia. That is not what I was doing, nor was it what I was trying to do. I was trying to improve the encyclopedia by explaining and clarifying the definition of the word "Devil" and how different sources define it differently. I even cited a book published by the Cambridge University Press. You should never accuse another user of vandalism unless it is absolutely clear that that user had malicious intent. Now, since it is abundantly clear that no one here is willing to allow this article to include any other definition of the word "Devil" other than Jeffrey Burton Russell's, I am leaving. I am removing this article from my watchlist and never coming back to this article or, if I do come back, it will not be for a very long time. --Katolophyromai (talk) 19:28, 28 October 2018 (UTC)
By no point is @Katolophyromai: vandalizing here. He made good arguements why this article, that is based on "Russell's The Devil: Perceptions of Evil from Antiquity to Primitive Christianity"s definition, should not beused this way. To sum up the backgrounds (maybe it is not clear):
  • We had almost identical articles ("Satan" and "Devil") until Katolophyromai started to clean the "Satan" article, which was once (like many articles about the Abrahamic religions) "bad" (many primary source, more cliche than scholary chaotic and so on...). Then Katolophyromai started to edit the Satan article and prepared it for GA. I and another user supoorted him as much as we could and finally, the article "Satan" made it to GA.
  • Afterthat I decided to, at least, improve the "devil" article a bit more. Especially since there are suggestions on its talkpage, I decided to read the literature (including "Russell's The Devil: Perceptions of Evil from Antiquity to Primitive Christianity") there I found a definition, that clearly seperates the concept of "devil" and "Satan".
  • I made some changes, based (!) on the concept of "Russell's The Devil: Perceptions of Evil from Antiquity to Primitive Christianity" and also touched by other books (however often just called "devil-like" since many other books just stated that "Ahriman for example" were merely the basis for the devi, but not the "devil" himself), that was quite easy for me, since I frequently read about "the devil in Islam" (including Iblis, nafs, shaitan, and figures touching this matter such as jinn, demons and so on) and about "gnosticism" (which also incorperates and emphazises the concept of the devil, although NOT as "Satan" but as the demiurge) The idea to make abstract philosophical viewpoints (already removed now) was also my idea, based on the terminilogy of "The Gnostic Bible" (that explained different concepts for the "personification of evil, such as mitigated dualism, absolute dualism and so on").
  • Afterthat, this section was removed. I am fine with that, since it seems to be, no standart idea to explain the "devil" by different cosmological viewpoints, although it supported the idea of the "devil" as an philosopical approach to the devil as archetypical concept.
  • Then, Katalophyromai suggested, the article should be changed to distinguishes it from the "devil" as "Satan" and the whole discussion we see here started.
The question here can be summed up as followin I guess: Is the definition given my "Russell's The Devil: Perceptions of Evil from Antiquity to Primitive Christianity" appropriate? Since, yes, the changes I made (and I was the one who first made some major changes after I saw that the "Satan" article can be dinstinguished from "devil") the article actually IS based on the thought, that Russels definition can be widely accepted. But IF (and thats probably an issue here, since English is not my mother tongue, I do not know how most people speak English, I just knew it from books and definitions and I trusted "Russels" here and noticed that Satan seems to be a proper name, turning towards the idea that the "devil" is for Englishspeakers an abstract cosmological concept just as Russel stated, when "Satan" and "Devil" are probably synonyms. and IF they are synonyms in for the common English speakers (just as Katolophyromai frequently showed us), when this article should not e about Russels notion of the devil. Another issue I observed is found in literature about Islam: "Iblis" who is "Satan", the term "devil" is sometimes unquestioningly applied to him (however he CONCEPT of devil just limitedly suits his role. The idea of "nafs" sames closer to the "devil" as Russel defines it (and also the term "shaitan" is applied to "nafs" but not "iblis" to "nafs"). Thus, we must find a consens that this article is EXACTLY about. Is it about "devil" (as synonym of Satan) or is it about a braoder concept of personification of evil (such as Russel stated)? If it is the former, we must consider Katolophyromais objection, that Russel is obviously alone with his definition, and maybe we must really rename the article to "Devil-like figures" (but not "Archetype devil", since, as objected prior, the term is in use by Jungian psychology). I hope I can clear up, and even if Kat's edits may be interupting, I am sure he is not vandalzing (since vandalizing needs the purpose to harm an article and if his objection, he supported with good reasons find no ear, he is right about editing as good as he can). I would suggest, we first clear the issues here, before making further edits. --VenusFeuerFalle (talk) 22:19, 28 October 2018 (UTC)

Editing the leadEdit

I have edited the lead section to improve it's serving as an introduction to the article and a summary, see this article: Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Lead section. I have moved some content out of the lead and into sections inside the article where it seemed appropriate. Madisonesque (talk) 01:06, 29 October 2018 (UTC)


I added some tags for reasons stated in the section above (Content Fork for Satan). I feel like the concerns expressed above were not adequately addressed. It seems editors have taken Russell's definition of devil and his inclusion of the god Set as if it is universality accepted. In addition, the inclusion of Mara is clearly OR as the source does not call him a "devil" or "devil-like" about merely compares a story involving him and the Buddha with the story of Jesus and Satan. LittleJerry (talk) 22:46, 14 February 2019 (UTC)

Requested move 3 March 2019Edit

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review after discussing it on the closer's talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: procedural close; the proposed target is occupied. This is not a move request under the process set out at WP:RM. If you think the article should not exist, it might be worth considering a discussion at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion instead. Dekimasuよ! 06:44, 3 March 2019 (UTC)

DevilSatan – This article basically covers the same ground as Satan. The rational for giving it its own article is based entirely on one source Jeffrey Burton Russell's book The Devil: Perceptions of Evil from Antiquity to Primitive Christianity (1987), which state that a devil is any "personification of evil as it is conceived in many and various cultures and religious traditions." This does not appear to be universally accepted as can be seen in pages 3–4 on the introduction to Satan: A Biography. In addition, the inclusion of other beings that are not Satan as "devils" are either based on Russell or are WP:OR. For example, for Mara, the source does not call him a "devil" or "devil-like" but merely compares a story involving him and the Buddha with the story of Jesus and Satan. Since devil is synonymous with Satan, the article should redirect there. LittleJerry (talk) 05:30, 3 March 2019 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Merging of ReferencesEdit

References 1 and 11 and References 14 and 15 need to be combined.Malcolmlucascollins (talk) 03:47, 4 April 2019 (UTC)

Return to "Devil" page.