The Devil You Don't Know

BOOK: The Origin of Satan - Chapter 1: The Gospel of Mark

April 12, 2022 Don Early Season 2 Episode 1
BOOK: The Origin of Satan - Chapter 1: The Gospel of Mark
The Devil You Don't Know
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The Devil You Don't Know
BOOK: The Origin of Satan - Chapter 1: The Gospel of Mark
Apr 12, 2022 Season 2 Episode 1
Don Early

It’s a book club! We are reading Elaine Pagels’ book The Origin of Satan: How Christians Demonized Jews, Pagans, and Heretics. In today’s episode we cover the introduction and Chapter 1: The Gospel of Mark and the Jewish War. It’s SO Josephus.

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Show Links


  1. Borg, M.J. (2013). Evolution of the Word : the New Testament in the order the books were written. New York: Harperone, pp.424–426.
  2. Pagels, E.H. (1997). The Origin of Satan. London: Penguin, pp.xv–34.
  3. Wikipedia Editors (2022). Development of the New Testament canon. [online] Wikipedia. Available at:

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Rate & Review Our Show!

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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

It’s a book club! We are reading Elaine Pagels’ book The Origin of Satan: How Christians Demonized Jews, Pagans, and Heretics. In today’s episode we cover the introduction and Chapter 1: The Gospel of Mark and the Jewish War. It’s SO Josephus.

 Review our show! 

Show Links


  1. Borg, M.J. (2013). Evolution of the Word : the New Testament in the order the books were written. New York: Harperone, pp.424–426.
  2. Pagels, E.H. (1997). The Origin of Satan. London: Penguin, pp.xv–34.
  3. Wikipedia Editors (2022). Development of the New Testament canon. [online] Wikipedia. Available at:

Support the Show.

Rate & Review Our Show!

Social Media Links!

BOOK - The Origin of Satan: Chapter 1 - The Gospel of Mark

[00:00:00] Don: Before we get started, I wanted to point out a couple of links in the show description. Links to our listings at Podchaser and Apple Podcasts. Uh, please take a moment to rate us and even better, leave us a review. Now let's start the podcast that takes a historical and cultural view of the Devil. This is the Devil You Don't Know. 

[00:00:23] Jeremy: Hey Don. what tacos, does the Devil eat 

[00:00:45] Don: Real spicy ones,

[00:00:47] Jeremy: I'll go

[00:00:48] Don: Ones that burn on the way out.

[00:00:50] Jeremy: <laugh>

[00:00:51] Don: That's what I think

[00:00:52] Jeremy: Evil tacos.

[00:00:53] Don: Evil. Well, I don't know if they're evil. I don't know. I think maybe that's kind of a "Hi how are ya?"

[00:00:58] Jeremy: <laugh>

[00:00:58] Don: Um,

[00:01:00] Emily: <laugh>

[00:01:04] Jeremy: Thanks for the stay bye everyone. 

[00:01:06] Emily: okay. This is a Great podcast. Uh, let's wrap it up. <laugh>

[00:01:11] Don: No, no, we're gonna get started here. Welcome everyone to The Devil You Don't Know. And I am Don and always, I am joined here of course, with Emily 

[00:01:20] Emily: hello? 

[00:01:22] Jeremy: Hey.

[00:01:22] Don: and we are actually continuing our series on the Ancient Origins of the Devil with a book club 

[00:01:31] kinda 

[00:01:32] Jeremy: Woo.

[00:01:33] Don: Sort of, 

[00:01:33] Jeremy: Do book clubs have cheers. I just thought that was a book club. Cheer.

[00:01:36] Emily: I know they have wine.

[00:01:37] Jeremy: There.

[00:01:38] Don: Yeah. Oh yeah. They do have wine 

[00:01:40] and most, book

[00:01:42] Emily: Apparently it's like just a front to get together and drink like bottles and bottles of wine.

[00:01:47] Don: After this book, we're going to need it. 

[00:01:49] Um,

[00:01:50] Emily: After this chapter I needed it. <laugh>

[00:01:53] Don: We are reading the book Origins of Satan: How Christians Demonized Jews, Pagans and Heretics by Elaine Pagels. You know, a book about hope <laugh>

[00:02:05] Emily: <laugh>.

[00:02:06] Jeremy: <laugh>

[00:02:07] Don: Each episode will be a chapter in the book. So if you wanna follow along, go grab your copy. The link is in the description of this episode, if you wanna pick that up.

[00:02:20] So that's the thing you can do. Today we will be covering the introduction of the book and chapter one: Gospel of Mark and the Jewish War. So strap in for that,

[00:02:33] Jeremy: Right. Wow. 

[00:02:34] Don: Upcoming episodes, are gonna be well. So we have. Basically seven chapters

[00:02:40] ish. Uh, so chapter two is the Social History of Satan: From the Hebrew Bible to the Gospels.

[00:02:48] Chapter three is Matthew's Campaign Against the Pharisees: Deploying the Devil. I'm pretty excited about that. One, myself 

[00:02:57] Emily: Ooh.

[00:02:58] Don: Deploying the Devil. It's like submarine talk there. I dunno why I said that chapter four,

[00:03:07] Emily: <laugh> 

[00:03:07] I'm with you. I'm following.

[00:03:09] Don: Luke and John- they had submarines then, right.

[00:03:12] Jeremy: Yep. 

[00:03:13] Don: Chapter four, Luke and John Claim Israel's Legacy: The Split Widens. Chapter five, Satan's Earthly Kingdom: Christians Against Pagans. This reminds me of like a big blockbuster movie, you know, like Aliens versus a Predator.

[00:03:31] Jeremy: That's gonna be an interesting chapter though. I, I love the concept of Christians versus Pagans, because that's almost always a defining split, unless you're a pagan. Right. For, Christians. That, that was a very big catch all when I was a kid of 

[00:03:44] Don: Well, here's the thing though. Back in the day, there were more Pagans than Christians,

[00:03:50] Jeremy: Oh yeah.

[00:03:51] Don: So it's kind of the reverse situation until about the third century CE. But yeah, before that, I mean, Rome, Rome was Pagan during Jesus time. Chapter six, the enemy within demonizing the heretics. And then, we'll do an episode with the conclusion and final thoughts. So, we got a pretty cool road ahead, 

[00:04:18] Jeremy: Agreed.

[00:04:19] Don: And I was reading this book. And I was just so taken back by, how good it was as far as the historical content, the scholarship, I felt like it was a lot more readable than other like actual scholarly books that can be, Ooh, rough.

[00:04:38] I've got one on Jesus, the Exorcist, and it is like reading the back of a sandpaper box.

[00:04:46] Jeremy: Ooh. 

[00:04:46] Emily: <laugh>.

[00:04:47] Jeremy: <laugh>. 

[00:04:48] Don: Which is tough because I wanna know about Jesus. I, I want to know about Jesus, the Exorcist, but I'm gonna slog through that one and we'll get to that episode later. Today we're talking about the Gospel of Mark and the Jewish War.

[00:05:03] And once again, this, there is so much information in this chapter that I just felt like.

[00:05:10] Emily: So much.

[00:05:12] Don: My normal, like I'm gonna do some research and then I'll present it to you. You guys, and you can react. I'm like, I, I can't do that with this book.

[00:05:23] Like it's just so much. and so I'm dragging you on this journey with me,

[00:05:29] Jeremy: <laugh> 

[00:05:31] Don: Kicking and screaming in some, some situations I

[00:05:33] Jeremy: Moaning and drinking mostly, but 

[00:05:35] Don: Yeah, it's it'll work. we have read the chapters, the chapters, cuz the introduction was part of that as well. I realized that I have 20 plus years of biblical criticism study, New Testament scholarship that I've studied throughout the years. I read. Uh, bunch of the new Testament in Koine Greek, you know, cause I took Greek, I was a classical languages, major in college now I never really went in onto the master's degree that would've been cool. this is kind of my jam, but I didn't quite put two and two together, so to speak that, uh, you don't have that <laugh>. And so when I'm reading this, this is like settling in on this bedrock of a lot of context that I already have.

[00:06:40] Jeremy: Yeah. 

[00:06:41] Don: And you may not. and by extension the listeners probably don't. So I'm wondering what context do you think we're missing before we really dive into this book? 

[00:06:54] Jeremy: One of the things that they came up was, uh, I was talking with my coworkers about this podcast and that how we are gonna start going into this book and, where I saw several heads nod and go, wow. That sounds interesting. There were two people that came on and like, oh, that's a great book. I was like, you know, it like, oh yeah, I've, I've read it.

[00:07:12] It's, it's pretty intense. And they weren't wrong about it being intense. Like I, because my reading is so slow and I wanna make sure I'm keeping on pace. I did the audio book for this one. And so I listened through the Prologue and when it got a full hour in, I was like, oh, that's gotta be the chapter. And then it said, chapter one, I 

[00:07:29] Emily: Then they start the chapter. <laugh>.

[00:07:31] Jeremy: And um, the reason it feels like such a big deal is that the information is very dense. And the way that this particular author approaches it is very essay-like it's, it's very much a, I have a purpose. This is what we're doing. I'm researching on this element. We're gonna talk about it in this category and this, this bring up.

[00:07:54] And so it, it kind of went into it and I really did fall back on as much biblical knowledge as I had, to kind of dive in and like accept some things. To answer your question though. I think one of the big contextual levels that, was brought up inside the prologue and then throughout chapter one is the context of where the gospels came from.

[00:08:17] Don: Yeah.

[00:08:17] Jeremy: And the fact that these were not Jesus's disciples that were recording what was happening in real time while they were following him. These were storytellers that happened years after Jesus was here to tell their side of the story and, and to use these characters to create that context. I, I think that was,

[00:08:41] Don: Yeah. 

[00:08:41] Jeremy: That's a big element to really hold onto and, and keep in mind while we're going through these.

[00:08:47] Don: I wondered if I should do a New Testament, Historical/Narrative criticism in five minutes kind of thing.

[00:08:55] Jeremy: Can you,

[00:08:56] Emily: Is that even possible?

[00:08:57] Don: I think I can try.

[00:09:00] Jeremy: Are you doing it right now?

[00:09:02] Emily: Yeah. Do, do we set the timer for 

[00:09:03] Jeremy: I'm gonna stay quiet and listen, cuz this sounds fascinating. 

[00:09:07] Emily: And go. 

[00:09:07] Don: Okay. So the new Testament is not written in chronological order. Let's get that right out of the bag. In fact, the order of the Bible in which we have it, particularly the new Testament wasn't set until the third century, actually late. Third century up to fourth century, I should say. when the Vulgate, the Latin translation, the official Latin translation for the Catholic church was translated.

[00:09:35] It's like, this is the set we have. Boom. And from that point on, that is the order of the books. That those are the books that we got in the Bible from there before then we didn't have a collaborated collection. There was no book. Okay. There was a ton of different stories, different writings. we all only know this because, uh, actually recent, recent as in the last hundred years, uh, within the last hundred years, there was a major discovery in the 1940s. In Nag Hammadi where they discovered a whole bunch of other writings about Jesus and about this time and, they just didn't make it into the canon and it's not that the people at the time who were putting that together, didn't know about them. It's just that, process of elimination and whatever was going on at the time, we can probably get into biblical canonization later. But the point is it's not written in chronological order. and the gospels are not, let me, let me back up.

[00:10:50] There are no writings. There is no account that, of anything of Jesus' life that happened while he was alive. Okay. So everything that we have, first of all, we don't have first copies of anything. We don't have any original manuscripts. They are gone. They're long gone. We have copies, we have copies of copies. before anyone get like, oh, well it's bullshit. No, no, there's plenty of things using scientific method and other applications that we can use to get at what's going on. So, the translations that we have always trying to improve them, but these extra writings really gave us a, a lot of, context and verification that was really helpful. so we have this big smattering of different writings that were going on. We have multiple gospels. There is, there is more than four gospels. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, uh, probably the, the most known that kinda came out was the gospel of Thomas. There is a gospel of Mary. I believe there's even a gospel of Jesus. So the other thing is the people that it, that are on the names of these gospels are not the people that wrote them.

[00:12:13] Jeremy: Right.

[00:12:13] Don: So it's called pseudepigrapha which is essentially writing under a false name. we don't know exactly who they are, but we can kind of tell what they're writing about.

[00:12:24] We can get the context and we know when they lived and what they were facing, given how they wrote. so mark is not written by this guy named mark. John is not written by the John, Matthew, Luke, same thing. so we have that next section is. the letters of Paul. So Paul like Galatians, Ephesians, well, maybe some Ephesians the Corinthians letters. Romans these letters were written by Paul who wrote some, I don't know, 15, 20 years after the death of Jesus. and then there are other letters attributed to Paul, but scholars are pretty much in agreement that Paul didn't write them. Um, Paul of course was a, uh, he was a Pharisee I mean, he was, he was a persecutor of Jesus, or Jesus' followers, I should say. he had no firsthand knowledge of Jesus while he was alive. All of his stuff is after Jesus died. And what Paul writes about is what does that mean? What does the death of Jesus mean? That's all his stuff is about. he hardly spends any time about what Jesus actually did and said he spends his time theologically about what Jesus means.

[00:14:02] That's the first stuff we have written in the New Testament. up until we get to mark and mark is, writing 35 years after the death of Jesus. So we're talking like in today's terms, back in the eighties, right?

[00:14:21] Jeremy: Right. But back in that time, you're talking now a full generation. <affirmative> right. Cuz average lifespan was not 70, 80 year old people like this. This was a, this was a full generation passed now.

[00:14:33] Don: I mean, it wasn't unheard of that. People would live that long, but yeah, I mean, it's, it's, we have that and also it's a fucking brutal world. So, but what mark is gonna do is there's a, all this time for 35 years, people are people have the followers of Jesus have collected the parables. I mean, there's a lot of crowds that follow them around and they tell the stories and they, they kind of line em up. And these stories circulate in these different communities. Some of them probably wrote them down. there's a few, thoughts that there are common documents, which doesn't exist, but they must be, there's a common reference.

[00:15:15] That later writers clearly are, are using. So there's a sayings reference. So there's like a collection of Jesus's sayings. There's a collection of his, parables. and so mark takes all of these along with the 35 years of tradition and history that they, they have going on about the death of Jesus.

[00:15:37] And he is now living through this war. and this war that the Jews in Jerusalem are rising up against Rome, the, Romans. And so it's this Jewish revolt against Roman occupation. That's a big deal, you know, that's, that's kind of like the whole. Ukraine thing right now, but on a much smaller scale, as in if it was just a city going against Russia, you know, I mean, <laugh> it, it's not a contest. but they hold their own for four years or so. and so mark is writing in that particular context a few years later, 10 to 15 or so we get Matthew. And one thing about the, I'm just gonna talk about the four gospels right now, Matthew, mark and Luke are known as the synoptic gospels. And that is because Matthew and Luke.

[00:16:44] Definitely use parts of Mark in their gospels. A lot of it is verbatim. a lot of it, they embellish a bit, but they definitely had their own mark. And Luke also use another source, which scholars for years of called Q. And it is collection of sayings, it's in common.

[00:17:07] You can see almost again, verbatim doesn't appear in Mark, but Matthew and Luke say it exactly the same now.

[00:17:17] Jeremy: Okay.

[00:17:18] Don: So synoptic, gospels that's what they mean is that there's, there's a relationship there's copying there's, you know, things happening at the same time. John 

[00:17:27] Emily: Then there's John

[00:17:28] Don: Then there's John, John's writing his own shit.

[00:17:32] John's got his own agenda and we're gonna get into all of what I just talked about in way more detail, but I've, I figured maybe this is a good time to sort of set this up. and what's even more interesting is that for century or well, for a better part of a century, uh, religious scholarship have said that Matthew and Luke were roughly written around the same time. Luke also wrote acts by the way, the book of acts. So, uh, we often refer to that as Luke-Acts but it's clearly the same author, recent scholarship by Marcus Borg and, some of his, colleagues have taken or had taken, he, Marcus Borg has passed. But one of their projects was to lay out the new Testament in chronological order, the order that it was written.

[00:18:26] And it is a wonderful way to read the New Testament, because you certainly get kind of an interesting thematic context out of the whole thing. Well, in his scholarship, in his work, he actually places Luke and acts much later, like second century, CE

[00:18:52] Jeremy: Oh, wow.

[00:18:53] Don: Hundreds of years after, the death of Jesus, there is some very compelling evidence as to why that is. But that makes me kind of call into the question, the whole sort of understanding around, Q Right. If Luke wrote so much later, he had access to Matthew and Luke and John. So yeah, there's, there's some very interesting stuff, uh, around that.

[00:19:19] And so he actually places, Luke and Acts, significantly later than tradition has said Um,

[00:19:27] Jeremy: Hmm.

[00:19:28] Don: And then, uh, and then there's Revelation, which is its own 

[00:19:32] Jeremy: <laugh> 

[00:19:32] Don: interesting piece of 

[00:19:34] Jeremy: Yeah, it's it's it's for me, it's always been new Testament and revelations.

[00:19:39] Don: Yeah. <laugh> which, uh, again, When you're putting to this story together, it makes a lot of sense. You put revelation at the end, it's kind of poetic in that way. It wasn't written the final book.

[00:19:53] Jeremy: Right.

[00:19:54] Don: So that's prob that's more than five minutes, but, um,

[00:19:58] Emily: I forgive you. That was, that was an excellent, summary,

[00:20:02] Don: Thank you.

[00:20:04] Emily: Uh, summary, the right word, but excellent excellent background. I enjoyed listening to you tell all of that, um, because your enthusiasm came through

[00:20:15] Don: <laugh>

[00:20:15] Emily: And you're clearly passionate about it. It's much more fun to hear you talk about it than sit and read words on a page that are,

[00:20:27] Don: My, my hope is that I'll make this book a lot more fun for you.

[00:20:31] Emily: Yay. I do love history. I just like, I like listening to history lectures and watching documentaries. Like I like, I like reading

[00:20:41] Don: Audiobook is a lecture.

[00:20:42] Emily: Fiction,

[00:20:43] Jeremy: <laugh>.

[00:20:44] Emily: Fun, entertaining stories. So anyway, go

[00:20:47] Don: Okay. So there's some context. Now, when we're talking about historical criticism, one of the things that you have to do in trying to verify history is find sources that are not in the Bible to verify. What other writings do we have simultaneously that were written in other areas, nearby cultures. Does anybody mention this stuff and turns out two very notable things?

[00:21:18] There's probably more, but they're gone. They're lost to history, but there are two authors that are heavily, used in, looking at this and that is, Flavius Jof Josef Josephus

[00:21:32] Jeremy: Flavius Josephus,

[00:21:34] Don: Flavius Josephus

[00:21:36] Jeremy: It's a good drink.

[00:21:37] Don: Um, yeah,

[00:21:38] <laugh>. He is, well, we'll talk about him in a bit. The other one is Philo. He was a Greek writer as well and writer of history, They were both writing for the purpose of documenting history. That does not mean they were objective.

[00:21:55] Jeremy: <laugh>.

[00:21:56] Don: And, historians are able to look at these other writings, and apply the same criticism on those as well. trying to understand why they wrote it the way they did.

[00:22:08] Now what was their motivations, for. presenting this. So we'll get into a bit more on Josephus. Josephus is used a lot in talking about the gospels, because he's able to talk about probably one of the biggest writings he has is the Jewish war. he wrote in Greek, primarily.

[00:22:29] So, it was easy to, uh, read the new Testament and go to Josephus Philo did too as well.

[00:22:36] Jeremy: Did Joseph write in Greek because that was the contemporary 

[00:22:40] Don: Yeah, 

[00:22:40] Jeremy: Of the time. That was the easiest written. Okay.

[00:22:42] Don: <affirmative> Yeah, I don't know. It's very possible or likely that he, did know Latin, but he didn't write it,

[00:22:53] Jeremy: Okay. 

[00:22:54] Don: And the reason why I say that is because, well, first off Josephus was Jewish. So he's gonna know Hebrew,

[00:23:02] Jeremy: Yep. 

[00:23:02] Don: The spoken language of the time was Koine Greek, which is a specific dialect of Greek, and quite a bit less formal. And then, he was also a Roman sympathizer. 

[00:23:16] Jeremy: I definitely got that outta the book.

[00:23:18] Don: Yeah. Anyway, we'll, we'll get more into him in a, in a bit. that's my, before you get into this book, here's kind of 

[00:23:26] Emily: Know this 

[00:23:27] Don: Some,

[00:23:28] Emily: <laugh>. 

[00:23:28] Don: Hopefully that helps because this book kind of relies on at least understanding how that works. You're right in that it's pretty dense. And it is even for me. But it's not so dense, like a dry textbook for me. This scholarship she's written this for a more public consumption I know that's kind of hard to be, 

[00:23:52] you know, 

[00:23:53] Jeremy: <laugh>

[00:23:53] Don: believe 

[00:23:54] Emily: <laugh>

[00:23:54] Don: but, she has of, she has sort of, uh, brought it down to a more, conversational level. So that should give you some idea of what <laugh> the next step up is really. and so I, I really enjoyed a lot of, what she had to say and what her, perspectives Elaine Pagels is, I'm gonna read a little bit from Princeton. That's where she teaches, 

[00:24:17] "Elaine Pagels is a historian of religion, a Harrington spear Paine professor at Princeton university and Aspen Institute Trustee she probably best known for as the author of the Gnostic gospels, the origin of Satan and Adam and Eve and the serpent," which we will also get into that book a little bit later. Her focus really has been in the religions of the Mediterranean in antiquity and sexuality and politics. So, perspectives that are needed especially today. She's widely respected by the religious and non-religious alike. So

[00:24:56] Jeremy: Cool. 

[00:24:57] Don: I'm glad to hear some of the people you've talked to about this have like, oh yeah, I I've, I'm familiar with that 

[00:25:02] Jeremy: Yeah, they, they, they definitely knew her and, and not just knew of her, but knew the work. 

[00:25:06] Don: Mm-hmm <affirmative> 

[00:25:07] Jeremy: They knew the Origins of Satan. They're like, oh yeah, it's a good book. I read it.

[00:25:11] Don: Yeah 

[00:25:11] Jeremy: Recognizable and referenceable

[00:25:14] Don: Okay. So the introduction, she asks us as the readers to consider Satan as a reflection of how we perceive ourselves and those we call Others, quote, unquote, Others. Satan defines negatively what we think as human. I think that's interesting, Satan defines negatively what we think of as human. And then she goes on to talk about human and not human there's like these binary opposites. Right? There's two pairs human versus non-human we versus they. And so the two are often combined, so we are human. They are not, and it's that us versus them and she, does make the point that. It's not that we don't see or people who do this, don't see the humanity in others, it's 

[00:26:21] Jeremy: It's natural is, is what I remember her saying. So is, it's a human nature thing that we, we define in, in those two categories and that we combine them, which I thought was really fascinating when she said that it it's always creating the other

[00:26:35] Don: Mm-hmm <affirmative>

[00:26:36] Jeremy: Right. And having that Otherism because as you have all the way back to.

[00:26:42] "Mine is safe. That is not safe. Those are not safe. Mine is healthy." Right. It's it was always part of the human condition of that. And like, that's not just mark, that's not just in the Bible thing. Like that's history, that's that's human experience that we all do that, which I thought was really interesting.

[00:27:01] Don: Absolutely. I needed to include this quote just right outta the book. which it's a quote that she quotes <laugh> I know how many times can it say quote, but here it is 

[00:27:12] "A society does not simply discover its others. It fabricates them by selecting, isolating and emphasizing an aspect of another people's life and making it symbolize their difference." 

[00:27:29] You just basically said that Jeremy, we create our Others.

[00:27:36] Emily: Yeah, we seek them out.

[00:27:38] Don: We don't just go. Oh, there's an Other <laugh> 

[00:27:42] Jeremy: <laugh> 

[00:27:44] Don: No no we made them an Other

[00:27:47] Jeremy: Yeah. Which is really interesting. 

[00:27:51] Don: To me, if nothing else. I think that's the underlying thread of all this whole Satan business is us versus them. It's that polar binary, situation where my stuff is good. Your stuff is not. and that, again, it's kind of this human natural thing that we seem to do also to our point in our previous conversation though, from the other week that maybe we don't know, if other animals think in terms of good and evil, 

[00:28:30] Jeremy: Oh, right. I remember we say that we were trying to say that that was a distinctly human feature, right? That, that we like, well, that's, that's something we do, but like the truth is we just don't speak as many animal languages as we think we do. And, and that, that may be happening constantly, that there there's always that sense of 

[00:28:49] Don: Yeah 

[00:28:49] Jeremy: Who we are. 

[00:28:50] Don: It's a distinctly human thing. This is true until it's not

[00:28:54] Jeremy: Right.

[00:28:55] Don: <laugh>.

[00:28:55] Jeremy: <laugh>.

[00:28:58] Don: Yeah. The other, uh, quote that she, throws in there in the introduction is a, a quote from Kierkegaard an unconscious relationship is more powerful than a conscious one. And that struck me a lot that the unconscious relationship is more powerful than the one you're aware of that the one you're engaging. what did you take away from that? Or what do you, what do you think of that? 

[00:29:26] Emily: <laugh>

[00:29:28] That, that was my take on it. I, I mean, if you're consciously aware of something you, think on it. Yeah. It's, it's like, This is here. I know it's here. I acknowledge that it enters into my mind on occasion. if there's an unconscious relationship, it's unconscious, you're not even aware of it really.

[00:29:48] And so why you're not thinking on it, in your mind. It's not there. It doesn't exist. Like that's how I took it. So I, I was just like, that's just a bunch of word salad. Let's put some fun words together that will make people think on it. And, but I, I don't for me that didn't,

[00:30:09] Don: Well, let me contextualize you. Let me, let me put it in another way. The Devil you don't know is more powerful than the Devil you do. Examples that come to my mind are like unconscious bias, unconscious discrimination, repressed trauma, maybe, things that you aren't aware of, but you relate to things that you don't even think about. And they can have a significant impact on your life, or others, your bias, your privilege, you can't always know what effect you have on the things that are around you, you know? And it could be incredibly powerful. 

[00:30:50] Emily: That doesn't, but as a rule that it's not more powerful, like the quote says that it's more than the conscious ones. 

[00:31:00] Jeremy: Now see the, the way I heard that, the way I saw it was, great example, you are my friends. I chose you. You chose me. We sought each other out and we have a friendship that we have developed. My children are my children and my parents are my parents. I didn't, I didn't set that up. That that is an unconscious relationship that we have.

[00:31:21] That that is something that we are there. And I might be aware of them in like cultivating that relationship. But that's that bond, that kind of connection that we have together is built good or bad. It's it's built. And, and it's, it seems very, very intent and powerful in all that it is. Whereas something I'm paying attention to and working on, focusing on and, remembering and building is good to have it there, but it doesn't have the same type of, in my opinion, the same kind of gravity or, or weight.

[00:31:50] That's there for something that's always in the back of my mind. It's always, always there, whether I'm consciously thinking about keeping my children alive or keeping them going, it it's happening. They, they, there there's something I'm focused to and I'm, I'm bonded to that.

[00:32:04] Don: Yeah.

[00:32:04] Jeremy: That's how I was interpreting it.

[00:32:07] Emily: Hmm.

[00:32:07] Don: Yeah. I was interpreting it in a terms of like, there is way more unconscious relationships than there are conscious ones. For, for an individual person. For my realization was that, I exist in the world and I have relationships that maybe I don't even know about, whether it's just, being a participant in, one part of this particular, society or whatever. but that also my actions may impact others without me knowing it, to me, that's yeah. Whether you agree with it or not, that's, that's kind of where I went with with that

[00:32:47] Emily: Maybe I'm too literal because the quote is comparing the two and says that one is stronger or powerful than the other. I think. <affirmative> they're, they're both powerful. I, why do you have to pit one against the other and say, this one is stronger. I, I, I don't know.

[00:33:04] Don: Welcome to philosophy. 

[00:33:08] Emily: That's definitely not my thing. But yeah, it just, again, I, I think the quote was just trying to be catchy and using those words, like, I, I don't know. 

[00:33:20] Don: That's Kierkegaard

[00:33:21] Emily: Didn't like it

[00:33:22] Don: He had things to say 

[00:33:24] Emily: Yep 

[00:33:26] Don: Okay. So she says that her book is about how the events of the gospels about Jesus and his advocates and his enemies, how they correlate with the supernatural drama that the writers use to interpret this story. The struggle between God's spirit and Satan.

[00:33:49] I mean, that is so prevalent through you can't have the New Testament without that. she also kind of makes the point that Christians identify with the disciples. We, the humans

[00:34:03] Jeremy: Right. 

[00:34:04] Don: And Christians or Christians identify their opponents, other Jews, pagans heretics with evil and Satan.

[00:34:15] They non-human. So a again, just kind of setting up that whole we versus they, us versus them, human non-human that's the foundation for demonization. Right.

[00:34:29] Jeremy: Right. because it's the non-human within or acting against, because that was the other, doing it to me or against me or whatever that is. 

[00:34:41] Don: Okay. Let's get into chapter one.

[00:34:44] Jeremy: Ooh, we made it into chapter one now. Out of Prologue 

[00:34:46] Emily: Chapter one's much more interesting than the introduction

[00:34:50] Don: All right.

[00:34:50] Emily: To me. Anyway.

[00:34:52] Don: I like that enthusiasm.

[00:34:54] <laugh> 

[00:34:55] Emily: Yay.

[00:34:59] Don: Okay. So we

[00:35:00] Emily: It's not a bad book. I, I, I'm afraid that people are gonna think that I hated this and I didn't hate it. I didn't. 

[00:35:06] Don: It's maybe just not what you're expecting, but I didn't know to set you up for that.

[00:35:12] Emily: Right after reading the introduction and reading those philosophical

[00:35:17] Don: mm-hmm, <affirmative>,

[00:35:18] Emily: BS stuff, uh, I was just like, nah, this is not for me. But then, and then chapter one happened, which was much better.

[00:35:28] Don: Definitely more in the historical realm for,

[00:35:32] Emily: Like facts, this happened, then this happened and then this happened. See, I can get behind that.

[00:35:39] Jeremy: all about the facts

[00:35:41] Emily: Not unconscious relationships

[00:35:43] Don: <laugh>

[00:35:43] Emily: More powerful than conscious ones.

[00:35:46] What does that even mean? That means nothing. It's just throw words together. Go ahead. Sorry. I'm here with you. I even have stuff underlined. Page 14 I've underlined page 15. I've underlined Taken notes. Can we just skip to there?

[00:36:05] Don: So, well, that's kind of what we're gonna do. this book is, dense enough. That to me, my approach is I read it first. Then I go back and read it to underline or highlight. and then I listen to the audio. 

[00:36:19] Emily: Oh see, I, I don't have the audio on it. The library doesn't have the audio one I'm just like audible. 

[00:36:25] Don: If that's all I had, if like Jeremy, if that's all I had, I would have to stop so many times to chew on what the hell was just said.

[00:36:37] Emily: Yeah. I love audio books for fun, entertaining stories and stuff, but like this a textbook or whatever. I, I need a print copy of it. I, 

[00:36:46] Don: And there are times where I would read a page. A couple of times, because the first time I'm like, what interesting. What does that mean? And I'd get lost in a train of thought and then I'd have to go back and reread it.

[00:37:00] Emily: Oh really? I'd have to read it a couple times because I would just like zone out when I was reading. Cause I was in not, it was not gripping.

[00:37:10] Don: And you call yourself a history nerd.

[00:37:13] Jeremy: <laugh> 

[00:37:14] Emily: I am. No, I, I, I,

[00:37:16] Don: You just don't like to read.

[00:37:18] Emily: His, yeah. I don't reading history is dry, but listening to people who are passionate about history, like talking about it and discussing it, that's fascinating watching documentaries where things play out. That's fascinating, but reading history as someone who loves history, um, I admit it is dry to just read that stuff, let's continue.

[00:37:45] Let's get to page 14. Uh, because page 14 and 15, they were great.

[00:37:51] Don: Yeah.

[00:37:53] Jeremy: <laugh>.

[00:37:53] Don: Uh, I'm gonna jump into, we were talking about Josephus before, so I'm gonna ask you the question who just from your reading, what you, what you gleaned, who is Josephus and why does he matter for this? 

[00:38:08] Emily: He, he was there and he was recording things down, telling history, like he, he is, I don't know 

[00:38:17] Jeremy: Yeah but he was telling history from a particular angle.

[00:38:20] Don: Yeah,

[00:38:21] Emily: Yes, but he, he was there. He wanted to notate things that were actually happening, so that there was a record.

[00:38:31] Jeremy: Yeah.

[00:38:31] Don: Definitely

[00:38:33] Jeremy: And I think a part of that was for his own kind of self-preservation right. He a governor of Galilee. And so the idea of, of very much, there was times that you could see it in, in the way it was showing up in the book that like Josephus is on the wrong side of history. And he very much had to like, no, no, this is what actually happened.

[00:38:52] It wasn't my fault. I didn't do all things. And, and like, these were the bad guys over here. They're in circling them in red, like, look at them. They're really bad. That's why I had to do it this way. I didn't do it. It was very much the, the, uh, creating that other, like, we were just talking about it, right.

[00:39:08] Don: Yeah 

[00:39:08] Jeremy: Not my fault.

[00:39:10] Don: And he has to tote that line too, because he's Jewish.

[00:39:14] Emily: He, changed sides.

[00:39:16] Jeremy: Switched 

[00:39:16] Don: He's pretty much pro Roman, but he's Jewish. And he gets invited to Rome. and he is just taken aback at the resources and the society and the sheer military might, uh, that Rome has. you don't cross these people, you know no one has any chance against the Romans. This

[00:39:43] Emily: If you can't beat, 'em join them.

[00:39:45] Don: Yeah, exactly. So, and then, he's sort of annoyed by his Jewish communities back home who were saying, we don't wanna be under, you know, Roman revolt. See the life of Brian 

[00:40:01] Emily: <laugh> Now this is let let's give the historical bit here. So this is after Jesus's death. This is about three decades after

[00:40:13] Don: 66 CE is when the revolt broke out. But brewing and, she makes the point that, a lot of the sentiment was that, the reason all of this is happening is because of this Jesus nonsense. But Jesus was not a revolutionary.

[00:40:40] Emily: No, he had a very small little following.

[00:40:46] Don: And he, I mean, I mean, he drew crowds. That's, that's pretty well documented, but, and it was very charismatic.

[00:40:57] Emily: He and his followers made up such a small percentage of. The Jewish population.

[00:41:05] Don: Now it's entirely possible that he, said some seditious things. You know, he certainly talked, I'm not gonna get into that. This podcast is about the Devil. I could talk a lot about the political aims of Jesus and that sort of thing, but that's not what we're for. The point is that for the purposes of this chapter, he had more of a beef with the Jewish tradition and the authorities of the time. It was an internal matter.

[00:41:39] Right. It was kind of like Martin Luther with the Catholic church,

[00:41:43] Jeremy: Little bit, right. It it's, that's pretty clear. Like, like when you look at what everything gospels are like, like his, his hatred for the Pharisees and for the hypocrisy that was in there, like that, that shows up a lot.

[00:41:58] Don: <affirmative>. Yeah. But I'm not convinced that Jesus was the spark that caused the disarray and the deciding to wanna revolt against the Romans. I mean, I, I think the, the seeds of that born

[00:42:14] Emily: It was building.

[00:42:15] Don: Long before he was there.

[00:42:18] Emily: Building a long time.

[00:42:19] Don: Yeah. So there's a lot of factions involved. But by the time Josephus is writing this, he documents that there were three main factions in Jerusalem that were dividing the city.

[00:42:33] There was the priestly party that was just working for peace with the Romans. They were, " we don't, we don't want any conflict."

[00:42:42] Emily: Diplomacy

[00:42:42] Don: Um, we'll, we'll ride this out. Then there's the revolutionaries from the countryside.

[00:42:48] Emily: Kill 'em all.

[00:42:49] Don: <laugh>

[00:42:49] Emily: <laugh>

[00:42:50] Jeremy: <laugh>.

[00:42:52] Don: And then Josephus talks about this second anti- Roman party led by essentially elitist Jerusalemites, who wanted to maintain their power against the radicals from the countryside. They didn't want to be grouped in with these. Uh, poor people <laugh> in sort of higher society, higher elite, but still anti Roman still wanted, independence from Roman occupation.

[00:43:20] So, you mentioned that, uh, Joseph was a former governor of Galilee. 

[00:43:26] Yeah. So he was governor of Galilee. There was another prominent, we'll talk about him in, uh, in a little bit more detail, but there was another prominent governor of Galilee. Do you remember who that was?

[00:43:39] Jeremy: Um, not by name off the top of my head. 

[00:43:44] Don: Pontius Pilate

[00:43:45] Jeremy: Oh, sure. I didn't think of him as a governor of Galilee,

[00:43:49] Don: Yeah. That was his title boy, or did we get a different picture of him in this 

[00:43:55] Jeremy: Yeah, that's true.

[00:43:57] Don: Yeah,

[00:43:57] Jeremy: Pretty awesome.

[00:43:59] Don: So, we've of covered a bit of the Jewish War, you know, there's these different factions. Finally, the fire was lit and there was a revolt. And so eventually, the Roman legions are going to come in and, uh, there was a siege and it was pretty awful. And Josephus documents, kind of reporting for the, the Romans. His Jewish communities thought he was a traitor. And then every time that there was a setback for the Romans, the Romans thought they were double crossing him <laugh> or he

[00:44:39] Jeremy: Oh, that's right. Yeah. They, they thought that he was, as soon as something was wrong, they're like, Hey, our spys not doing it. Right.

[00:44:45] Don: Yeah. 

[00:44:46] Jeremy: So was constantly on this balancing act. What a horrible life. Why would you wanna do that?

[00:44:51] Don: Really liking your position.

[00:44:53] Jeremy: Really liking power. Yeah. That's what about right?

[00:44:56] Don: Yeah. Yeah. So this is going on and this war, as you can imagine it's not swift. It drags on for four years. It's brutal and it's brutal in that typically the Romans will seek out any sign of sedition and torture and publicly execute via crucifixion. Mostly. A lot of people don't necessarily make the connection, but one the other really famous character of history who actually lived led a slave revolt, and ended up crucified. As a public demonstration that you don't revolt against the Romans.

[00:45:40] Jeremy: Mm-hmm <affirmative>

[00:45:41] Don: His name was Spartacus This is how the Romans do things.

[00:45:47] And why they do it. You cause trouble that is a threat to the peace of the State. We don't tolerate that at all. and it's brutal. And so, you're gonna have witnesses of Romans coming down on the Jews hard.

[00:46:04] You're gonna see communities of Jews trying to like, not be a part of it, or to try to smooth things over and, and stay neutral ground, maybe even turning fellow Jews over, 

[00:46:18] Jeremy: Yeah.

[00:46:19] Don: And then, and then we get into Mark and the followers of Jesus. And we figure out that the followers of Jesus didn't really think that this whole Roman thing mattered much.

[00:46:33] Jeremy: <laugh>

[00:46:34] Don: You know, I mean it sucked, but their priority was that the end of the world was coming. Real quick. None of this matters because the end of the world is gonna happen within their lifetime. That is definitely one of Jesus's primary teachings is that the kingdom of God is near. Says this a lot in a lot of the other, um, extra what they call extra Testament writings.

[00:47:04] definitely verify or definitely talk about how, you know, he was very much of the mind that the world was going to end cosmically, very, very soon.

[00:47:15] Jeremy: So literally not the figurative sense.

[00:47:19] Emily: is the end of times.

[00:47:21] Don: Yeah. So Mark this gospel is attributed to coworker of one of the disciples, I believe. It was written during the last year of this war or just after the war right around 70 CE. So again, the, the revolt broke out around 66.

[00:47:43] Jeremy: Okay.

[00:47:44] Don: Um, it's, it's anonymous. We don't know where it was written specifically. But we know when. And it's clear that the author takes sides between the Jews and the Romans. And the follower of Jesus versus other Jews. And what's really interesting is that Mark essentially invents a new way to tell a story.

[00:48:07] Jeremy: Hmm.

[00:48:08] Don: He writes like it's a historical documentation or a historical account, but it's theology.

[00:48:17] Emily: <silence> 

[00:48:18] Don: It's a mythology disguised as history and this became quite popular. And, and that's why it sort of gained around it because it lent credence to what it said, because it sounded real. Or it read, like history. That doesn't mean that the, that the readers read it as literal history.

[00:48:42] I think that they definitely, and what APAs talks about is that, you know, the, the readers of Mark's gospel originally, probably are looking to this as, how the hell do we live right now,

[00:48:57] Jeremy: Right,

[00:48:58] Don: And what can we learn from this teacher that died 35 years ago? so I think again, the author takes pains to illustrate that Jesus' followers is not a threat to the Roman Empire.

[00:49:16] They're good.

[00:49:17] Jeremy: Right.

[00:49:18] Don: Jesus was not a threat clearly. Ya killed the shit out of him.

[00:49:24] Jeremy: <laugh>.

[00:49:25] Don: We're good. and he, he doesn't totally exonerate the Romans. He doesn't fully exonerate Pontius Pilate. They are not the focus of the, the conflict, right. For Jesus. Jesus' conflict is with the other Jewish leaders, the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the chief priests and the scribes. And so Mark's beef is with them. these are the people that did not accept Jesus as the Messiah. He's gonna blame them for his execution, which may or may not be true.

[00:50:03] Jeremy: Right. But that's, that's the story element that we're talking about. Right. So, so he's telling it as though or historical, but he's doing his own story of it. So creating that, uh, let's bring in the title, creating that devil 

[00:50:17] Don: yeah 

[00:50:17] Jeremy: in those other people that, that Other

[00:50:19] Don: Yeah .Again, the Romans were absolutely superior. They, so, you know, as you know, the, as we read, the Romans come in after siege, they finally sack Jerusalem. They tear down the temple. They desecrated by worshiping their gods on it. And then they go about the inhabitants of the city and rape and pillage and kill and slaughter as a sign of like dominance.

[00:50:55] Jeremy: It's the worst. 

[00:50:56] Don: <laugh> 

[00:50:58] Jeremy: It's so awful.

[00:50:59] Don: It is terrible. Now we go back to Mark's gospel who probably just witnessed this. Uh the writer is feeling that consequence and writes that essentially Jesus predicted exact thing would happen. He, he writes in his story that, Jesus looks at his disciples cuz they, they went to Jerusalem and they marvel at the buildings and the, and the temple and he says, you know, not let me tell you not one stone will be left on stone.

[00:51:37] Jeremy: Right.

[00:51:38] Don: I, I think that from our eyes, I don't think it's fully comprehended that this is self-fulfilling prophecy. This is easy to write when it's already happened.

[00:51:50] Jeremy: Sure. Yeah. And, and Jesus said, Jesus called it. This is totally gonna happen. You know, before it happened, that it's already happened, 

[00:51:58] He said he was gonna.

[00:52:00] Don: Yeah, So, I, I call this out. Because for two reasons, that's what happened. And, and that's what a lot of this writing is about. A lot of it is retroactively retconning the events to fit the narrative as they're writing it. The MCU does this shit all the time.

[00:52:21] Jeremy: <laugh> Ooh, what do we do about this plot hole? We got it. We got it.

[00:52:27] Multiverse, baby. 

[00:52:28] Don: Let's figure that out. Yeah. New Testament is basically its own multiverse.

[00:52:34] So, I mean, really, so she, she makes that point that, that the Mark gospel's intended to reassure the followers of Jesus. And again, show that they are not a threat to the Romans. And I think the other thing that she points out that I thought was really interesting, and this is kind of where a lot of this is leading to is that, Mark's readers were not just the "Jewish proclaiming that Jesus was the Messiah" followers.

[00:53:03] He was also aware of the growing Gentile, you know, the non-Jewish of Jesus. And that's significant because Paul, the letters of Paul, remember he wrote, 20 years before 10, 15 years before Mark, Paul pretty much is exclusively writing to Gentiles.

[00:53:26] Um 

[00:53:26] Jeremy: Yes,

[00:53:27] Don: He, he is evangelizing to the Greeks. And so the followers of Jesus, prior to Mark, is building. And it's definitely Jewish and non-Jewish. And by the way, just to make it clear, there's not one religion building here, like there's lots of little sects or little cults or, or whatnot that they don't all agree,

[00:53:53] Jeremy: Yeah. They still don't.

[00:53:57] <laugh>

[00:53:58] Southern Baptism versus Presbyterian, right?

[00:54:01] Don: Yeah.

[00:54:01] Jeremy: They're they, they still do it.

[00:54:04] Don: I think it's interesting that she makes a point that, um, that Mark might even be taking into consideration that some Romans might be followers of Jesus and appealing to their point of view or appealing to them, not killing the fuck out of 'em.

[00:54:22] Jeremy: Right.

[00:54:23] <laugh>.

[00:54:23] Soften that blow a little bit.

[00:54:25] Don: Yeah. So, I wanted to back up for one second and just ask the question, you know, we, we've just been talking about historical accounts versus narrative stories. Why do you think it's important to have both, especially when they contradict?

[00:54:41] Emily: Historical versus what now?

[00:54:43] Don: Narrative 

[00:54:45] Emily: Well, narrative would be like telling a story.

[00:54:47] Don: mm-hmm <affirmative>

[00:54:48] Emily: Um, it's I think it's more important to have that you have history for the context, you have narrative for the storytelling aspect and, um, what better way to learn, than that?

[00:55:00] Don: Mm-hmm <affirmative>.

[00:55:01] Emily: History history gives you the background, but I mean, even Jesus, he taught in telling parables, um, people learn by having a, a story to learn from. Even if we go all the way back to, uh, Genesis, the creation of people, Adam and Eve. I most people don't believe that that actually happened, but, but having that story for how everything began in the world is a good starting point to learn of where we come from. Uh, and, and what our purpose is.

[00:55:40] So that's yeah, narrative history. There you go.

[00:55:43] Jeremy: Well, the cynic filmmaker in me takes that one step further and says that you, if you are going to sell something in a commercial, you have to let people know what they don't have. And you have to, you have to make them aware of what they're missing, whether or not they think they are or not. So I think that when a narrative is told, especially in relation to historical context, it is to sell something. It's to give that opinion or to really convince someone of something else other than just, this is a great way to learn. It's all about the, "this is important piece of everything that was happening in the background. Pay attention to this thing," 

[00:56:25] Don: Yeah 

[00:56:25] Jeremy: Which is why they, they put a focus on that.

[00:56:27] Don: That's a good point. I think that's a good segue because why did Mark write this? You know, he's, he's writing at the end of this overwhelmingly, you know,

[00:56:44] Emily: Destructive four years, yeah.

[00:56:46] Jeremy: Yeah.

[00:56:46] Don: And so I, I, she breaks it down nicely. She says, reflecting on 35 years and, and especially the, the Jewish War that just was decimated. How do followers of, this Jesus guy who was brutally executed as a seditionist, as a traitor, or an enemy of the State. No one refutes that that's why he was executed that, his followers and his enemies alike agree on that was the charge. Whether or not it was true or whether or not what he, but that was the charge, is that he was a seditionist.

[00:57:25] How is it that they're Messiah, that God's Chosen One was fricking brutally executed as a traitor of the State. And then for 35 years, his followers are scattered to the Hills. 

[00:57:39] Jeremy: Persecuted, hunted. 

[00:57:41] Don: Executed, hunted, often meeting in secret so they don't get found out. And then you've got, you know the threat of the, other Jews having it really fed up with Roman occupation and this giant, massive, horrible war.

[00:57:56] How do you make sense that any of this matters? How can he still be the Messiah? How can we still hang onto that? That's what he's selling. He's selling a reason why Jesus is still the Messiah, that this, this is nothing compared to what's coming. And that's the theological aspect of it.

[00:58:19] Jeremy: Hmm.

[00:58:20] Don: It's the theodicy. It's trying to answer, how the hell can God, our good God, who sent us this amazing Messiah, allow this brutality to happen to his chosen followers. <laugh>, 

[00:58:36] <affirmative> 

[00:58:37] And Pagels presents that Mark's answer is because Satan intervened and tried to defeat Jesus. Tried defeat God's Anointed One, and, and his followers and his movement. The forces of evil led by Satan, orchestrated and led to Jesus' execution and influenced all of the enemies of his followers to crush them. And Satan's the one Satan's to blame,

[00:59:05] Jeremy: And, and that's and just to be clear, that's Pagels interpretation of Mark's writing. not Pagels adding that in, right. Cuz mark. One that said that there was the Satanic conflict and that Satan was causing this.

[00:59:18] Don: Yeah. I'm and, but this isn't unique to Pagels. She's pointing out what's already there.

[00:59:24] It's interesting that instead of in the face of all of this atrocity, the real truth that Mark brings or Mark is selling is that, this is actually a cosmic battle between God and the Devil.

[00:59:43] That we can see that God's Anointed One, The Chosen, God's Spirit came down and entered Jesus at his baptism. That's like the first event that happens in Mark's gospel. So we're already setting up that Jesus is, the, the God infused human. 

[01:00:02] Yeah. Uh, and then he goes off and with, the devil and angels and wild animals and stuff, you know, in the wilderness. There's no human beings in sight for 40 days.

[01:00:14] So it's this cosmic thing. And because he's died, Mark sort of influences or, or writes how Satan influences, the Pharisees or hardens their heart or, the crowds that call for his execution. 

[01:00:31] Jeremy: I like that it's, I mean, it's, it seems very Josephus in that, like, he took a very solid note from them, like, okay. So fun fact, it's not your fault that Jesus died. It's not even your fault that Jesus died, Jews versus Romans. It's it's Satan. Everybody. You are, you are attacked and your mind was possessed by the Satan guy. You didn't even know you were doing it. So good job everyone. I think we'll call it a truce. 

[01:00:59] Yeah, we're good? 

[01:01:00] <laugh> 

[01:01:02] Don: Isn't that the brilliance of it?

[01:01:04] Jeremy: Yeah. 

[01:01:04] Emily: How you said, "that's so Josephus."

[01:01:07] <laugh>

[01:01:12] Oh, my favorite part so far. That's so Josephus.

[01:01:15] Jeremy: <laugh>

[01:01:16] Don: <laugh>

[01:01:18] So, I mean and put that into perspective, right? Okay. So it's not my fault. It's not your fault. It's, it's Satan's fault. It's the devil's fault. What's happening? The end of times is happening. 

[01:01:32] Jeremy: Right 

[01:01:33] Don: Shit is happening. All this stuff. There's signs that the end is coming. The worst things get, the surer it becomes. You know, none of this or for Jesus followers, none of this mattered, none of this, you know, Roman conflict thing. They're just trying to prepare for being taken up.

[01:01:52] Jeremy: Right. It's it's the small battle, not the war

[01:01:55] Don: Yeah. 

[01:01:55] Jeremy: That's, that's the part of it. <affirmative>

[01:01:58] Don: And she makes a point that the gospels, and she even goes through the other four or the other three, they never, none of them ever associates Satan with the Romans. Satan is always associated with Jesus' enemies. Judas Iscariot in particular. Even as Satan appearing as Judas Iscariot, which I thought was interesting.

[01:02:21] So then there's Pontius Pilate. Pontius Pilate who is this guy?

[01:02:26] Emily: Uh, I found it quite funny when she was saying he got bullied a bunch.

[01:02:32] Don: <laugh>

[01:02:33] Yeah. 

[01:02:34] Emily: Push over, uh, 

[01:02:37] Don: He's like, oh, well he does kind of get pushed over and get, you know, tossed up to the emperor and

[01:02:43] Emily: Not in good favor. Right. And so he doesn't want a bunch of people going and tattling on him like "this guy's over here doing all this shit."

[01:02:53] Don: yeah, 

[01:02:53] Emily: um, 

[01:02:55] Don: yeah, 

[01:02:56] Jeremy: Off someone in Rome. They're like, "you know, where are you going? You're going to Jerusalem. Congratulations. You got the Galilee trap. You're like, oh no, no, no. Oh God."

[01:03:04] Don: I mean, I think that's probably something that he would've said. I mean, he, it is clear from historical documents that, Pilate was not a fan. He was very, very, irritable

[01:03:17] <laugh>.

[01:03:17] in the kindest way, to his Jewish communities. So in the gospels, we get this very reluctant, you know, thinking that Jesus might even be, you know, falsely accused. His hands are tied, the, the crowds are demanding a, an execution and

[01:03:37] Emily: Yeah. he's definitely a sympathetic character, the way he's portrayed like that.

[01:03:43] Don: And the, all of the gospels mimic that and amplify it. But history, you know, Josephus and Philo have very different accounts and there's actually, she goes on to talk about other records that they had, uh, where Pilate, the actual Pilate was, absolutely a tyrant. He, he would, swindle from the temple treasury. He , you know, he would, uh, often hold executions without trial. Most of them 

[01:04:19] Jeremy: Most of the Jews, most of them seditionists.

[01:04:21] Don: Yeah.

[01:04:22] Jeremy: That like that, that seemed to be his rubber stamp. Like if he got three, you had sedition approved, denied, and it just like, all right. Sedition, 

[01:04:30] Don: yeah 

[01:04:31] Jeremy: <laugh> just like run 'em through.

[01:04:32] Don: Yeah. Yeah. And I mean, and, and they tell a story, how the Garrison would bring in this, uh, banner and, in Jerusalem, it was very well known that, you don't bring in, you don't fly a banner with symbols or likenesses of the emperor or anyone else that might be considered idolatry.

[01:04:54] Right. There's a very big Jewish concept. And even on the coins, they, uh, they would not print, during certain, you know, occupations or whatnot. They, they were at least trying to be sensitive to the Jewish way of life, to not put graven in images and you know, all the coins and but Pilate at night wrapped up in, in blankets, whatnot, marches this Garrison in and unfurls this banner that is flying Caesar's image, uh, as a giant Fuck You to the, the Jewish communities and they protest and so on and so forth. But he's known for these kind of 

[01:05:39] Jeremy: Shenanigans. Great use of that word. A hundred percent 

[01:05:44] Pontius Pilate.

[01:05:44] Emily: <laugh> 

[01:05:45] Jeremy: Asshole shenanigans.

[01:05:46] Don: Asshole shenanigan. Right

[01:05:50] Emily: Such a ne'er do well.

[01:05:53] Jeremy: <laugh> 

[01:05:53] Don: <laugh> 

[01:05:56] Emily: <laugh> 

[01:05:56] Jeremy: Somebody better talk to him.

[01:06:00] Don: Well, and as the story goes, they, they went over his head to the emperor and emperor spanked him and you're going somewhere else now. 

[01:06:09] Jeremy: Yeah

[01:06:10] Don: Right so, the gospel of Mark, even though there's so much, uh, talk, you know, the beef is with the Jewish leaders. Uh, the story reads like that.

[01:06:22] Not so much the Romans. Pagels takes pains to say that Mark is not anti-Jewish and he is not anti-Semitic by any stretch. I mean, most of his characters are Jewish. He's Jewish. But the conflict here is within the community of the Jewish, you know, way of life.

[01:06:43] it's it's more like a, like I say, a reformation or whatnot. The, "the figure of Satan as it emerged of the centuries in Jewish tradition is not a hostile power, assailing Israel from without, but the source and representation of conflict within the community." That's a quote from the book, of the last page of the chapter.

[01:07:07] So it wasn't intended to be antisemitic. It was talking about this, this internal affair that they were trying to, to handle, but as time goes on, and as that Christian community, as the followers of Jesus became more and more Gentile, more and more not Jewish, that context gets kind of lost.

[01:07:32] And, and for those who don't understand, you know, the Jewish way of life, this kind of reads like it's the Jews' fault. And even Luke, this is where some of that discussion of why they think Luke was written significantly later is how he, talks about the Jews. Um, it's just so commonplace for him. That it's more, more common for second century than it would've been, um, in earlier. But it's easy to see how, when you lose that Jewish context that it can be used for antisemitism.

[01:08:15] Jeremy: Sure. Absolutely. Because, because that's what you're looking at is those must be the bad guys. You're already using your own Otherism that that's showing up for you because they have been separating themselves from you for so long. And now inside the narrative, they're also acting on Satan's behalf or, or whatever it is. And so obviously those are all bad. Totally see how that can get factored in that way.

[01:08:40] Emily: Mm-hmm <affirmative>.

[01:08:41] Don: Yeah, and, and, and the farther you get away from the event, the easier it is to read something else, move forward with that. So let's wrap this up, shall we?

[01:08:55] Jeremy: Okay.

[01:08:56] We did it. We, we got the, through the prologue and chapter 

[01:08:59] Don: And

[01:08:59] chapter one 

[01:09:01] Jeremy: as long as actually listening to the book.

[01:09:03] Don: <laugh>

[01:09:04] Jeremy: <laugh>

[01:09:04] Don: That means there's a whole lot we didn't talk about, but, I think we hit the main points anyway, you know, uh, Satan defines negatively what we think of as human. We talked about, We /Human, They /Not So Much. Mark creates this new form of narrative, the gospel. Reads like history but conveys a theology, like a mythology and a narrative.

[01:09:30] And this was a context of a Jewish rebellion, which just saw the destruction of the temple and the desecration,

[01:09:39] Jeremy: Yeah.

[01:09:39] Don: Yeah,

[01:09:40] Jeremy: There's a big deal. Still a big deal. Right?

[01:09:42] Don: Still a big deal. And I think, you know, for Mark Satan is this source and representation of the conflict again, within the Jewish community, not some outside cosmic force assailing, you know, everything else. So my final thoughts are, are this: 

[01:10:02] Decades after their teacher was rounded up and executed for sedition Jesus' followers rather than face the uncomfortable truth that the end Jesus predicted still hadn't come yet. They placed their current plight of suffering upon a narrative of a cosmic struggle between good and evil.

[01:10:22] Jesus received God's Spirit as his baptisms infused in, in divine energy. And those who did not see God's Spirit in him were obviously agents of Satan.

[01:10:37] Jeremy: Obviously

[01:10:39] Don: While Satan won this skirmish by killing the fuck outta Jesus and, causing a whole bunch of terribleness in the years that followed, uh, the cosmic war had just begun and God had already conquered Angra Mainyu wait, I mean, Satan,

[01:10:58] um

[01:10:59] The writers, trying to make sense of what has happened, has demonized the Other while trying not to get annihilated by the Romans. As followers, again, get further and further away from history, uh, of when the gospel is written, the original intent is distance and favored of deeper demonizing and eventually antisemitism.

[01:11:20] So.

[01:11:21] Jeremy: Yeah.

[01:11:23] Don: The question has come up before, um, is not in this podcast, but in my conversations with others. Is the creation of ? Also just born out of the creation of antisemitism? This is a claim that a lot of critics have they've levied that, that the devil is, was born out of or hate for the Jews. So far, what do you think?

[01:11:50] Emily: No. 

[01:11:51] Jeremy: I don't think so. I, I mean, even the general context of, of Satan as the adversary, right? Knowing it's its original term and usage. Um, I don't believe that the Satan themselves was pointed at Jews or, or that hatred of Jews was because of the Satan or other way around. I, I don't, I don't see that being there. I, I think there, anyone can draw lines right, and create a bridge between the two, for sure. But even in just the context of the way Mark was writing it, Satan is something other than the Jews. It's something other than the Romans, it is a cosmic battle and Jews are not cosmic. That's, another part of what he was just describing. Right. This is our little thing. We're just people. Uh, so I, I would not say that that was the creation of, it was for the sake of Jew hatred.

[01:12:43] Don: Yeah, I'm with you. It led to it, it was.

[01:12:47] Emily: with that.

[01:12:48] Don: It wasn't um, the original intent. I agree. And we're gonna get a lot more context about that, about Satan from the Hebrew Bible in this next episode, on chapter two, the Social History of Satan: From the Hebrew Bible to the Gospels. So

[01:13:08] Jeremy: Okay. Buckle 

[01:13:10] Don: until

[01:13:10] Emily: Chapter two baby

[01:13:13] Don: we have just started on this journey and, uh, I'm gonna, we're gonna see it through, this is, this is gonna be good.

[01:13:19] Jeremy: all right. We'll watch you see it 

[01:13:20] Emily: <laugh>.

[01:13:21] Don: <laugh>

[01:13:25] Emily: So Josephus.

[01:13:27] Jeremy: <laugh> 

[01:13:29] Don: You are listening to the Devil You Don't Know podcast. If you haven't already please subscribe. It's right there in your podcast app. No, not that I, yeah, that one. Links to the show notes and full transcript of this episode is right there in the episode description. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram @thedevilpodcast. And our website is where you can find all of our episodes and links and other cool stuff. 

[01:14:03] We do have a Patreon at For just a dollar a month or more, you can get access to the show before it releases, an invite to our Discord server, and have input into show's content. We thank all of our Patreon supporters and we really truly couldn't make this show without you. 

[01:14:27] Thank you so much. This next episode, we tackle chapter two of The Origins of Satan. So stay tuned and thank you so much for listening. 

[01:14:38] Next on The Devil You Don't Know:

[01:14:40] Emily: And then the ass talks again, the talking ass. "Am I not your ass that you have ridden all your life to this very day? Did I ever do such things to you? And he said, no,"

[01:14:55] Jeremy: He said no.

[01:14:56] Don: And he said no. 

[01:14:56] Emily: He said, no,

[01:14:57] Don: Nope. It's just such an interesting story. " 

[01:15:05] Emily: I just also, and with so many Bible stories, I just, I just think, there are easier ways to teach a lesson.

[01:15:15] Jeremy: Yes.

The Origin of Satan: Ch.1 - The Gospel of Mark
Don's Biblical History Summary
TOS - Introduction
Kierkegaard Quote Discussion
Chapter 1 & Josephus
The Gospel of Mark
Pontius Pilate
Review & Wrapup