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How was the devil a “murderer from the beginning”?

Tricky devil.
Tricky devil.
Fair use, to illustrate article's context.

In John 8:44, Jesus made reference to the devil and stated:

“He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie [or, the lie], he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies [or, it; the lie].”

Note the tenses; “He was” past tense “a murderer from the beginning” and “does not” present tense “stand in the truth because there is no” present tense “truth in him” and “Whenever he speaks” present tense “a lie [or, the lie], he speaks” present tense “from his own nature, for he is” present tense “a liar and the father of lies [or, it; the lie].”

So, at present time—that was spoken two millennia ago but there is no indication that it is any different today—the devil birthed lies and promulgates them. Yet, our focus in not present time but the past tense statement about his being a murderer from the beginning.

Many question have been asked about this, such as: What beginning? The beginning of what; the devil, creation, the Earth, etc.? Was he created evil?

Let us consider “What beginning?” as if he was a murderer from his own beginning, right when he was created, then YHVH created the devil and before the words proclaiming YHVH’s creation “good” could be uttered, there went the devil, murdering someone (who; an angel?).

So, it does not seem to be from “the beginning” of the devil’s own existence.

Was it from creation as a whole (the universe) or of the Earth specifically? Again, the question becomes; who did the devil murder before humans were created? We know of no such event.

So, what beginning?

It seems that we find that “the beginning” is not a reference to the moment of creation of someone or something but rather to bereshith. In Jewish tradition the first book of the Torah is simply known as Bereshith as this is the very first word of the Torah, “Bereshith bara Elohim…” In English we generally know this as “In the beginning, God…” In Jewish tradition the book of Genesis is known as “the book of beginnings.”

So, the beginning seems to be pointing us back to the Torah, the beginning of the Bible. And what do we find therein?

Bereshith / Genesis 2:9 states:

“Out of the ground the LORD God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”

Genesis 2:16-17 states:

“The LORD God commanded the man, saying, ‘From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”

Gensis 3:1-4 follows up with:

“Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, ‘Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from any tree of the garden’?’ The woman said to the serpent, ‘From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’’ The serpent said to the woman, ‘You surely will not die!’”

Thus, the devil beguiled Eve, she ate, Adam also ate and the result was a curse which brought about, eventual, death upon them. Thus, in this way, the devil is seen to be a murderer; even indirectly, through his beguiling and in the beginning; of the Bible, of our record of history past, of YHVH’s written word.

Thereafter, after the curse of death and the knowledge of sin (the dichotomy of good and evil, as it were), we find that Cain murders Abel and the rest is history.

The beguilement of Eve appears have been the moment when the devil fell, the moment when he decided to carry out his rebellious plans into actions; this is not only commonsensical but we find that it was this event which brought about YHVH cursing the devil.


For background on the issue of whether lucifer and the devil/satan are the same being, see:

Is lucifer a fallen angel? (contra Jim Brayshaw)


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