The emphasis on demons and satan in the New Testament, compared to the Old Testament

Question 213, from Ben, United Kingdom

Why are demons and exorcisms so common in the Gospels but appear to be sparse or even non-present in the majority of other books in the Bible?

The development in Jewish thought of angelology and its counterpart, demonology, is of note. There are very few explicit references to satan* in the Old Testament. The most noteworthy passage where satan features by name is in the beginning of Job (chapters 1 and 2), which is thought because of the words used in the original Hebrew to be a later addition to Job’s story. The serpent in Genesis chapter 3 is never explicitly called satan in the text – this is a later interpretation applied by at least one New Testament writer (Revelation chapter 12, verse 9). (more…)