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Candice Helsing

2007 Research

Abstract: Satan and the Babylonian Exile: The Question of Zoroastrian Influence

Mentors: Dr. Georgia Bazemore, History and Dr. Julia Smith, Anthropology

Certainly, when examining side by side the Zoroastrian faith with the Jewish faith, there are marked similarities. It would be quite handy to attribute the eschatology and the ethical dualism espoused in the post-exilic period to the influence of the Persian religion. The Jews were held indeed captive in Babylon for the most of the sixth century BCE, the latter portion under Chaldaen rule. Accordingly, this paper attempts to establish a viable link between the Satan of Hebrew religion and Zoroastrianism resulting from the sixth century exilic period. In the exhaustive research, however, while the two religions are quite similar, there is no historical evidence to support the ideal that the character of Satan's quick post-exilic evolution exemplified in Zechariah 3:1 and in the Book of Job, had anything to do with Zoroastrian influence Babylonian exile.

2006 Research

Abstract: Satan in the Old Testament: From Common to Diabolical
Mentor: Dr. Georgia Bazemore, History


This paper will examine the evolution of Satan, from common noun to proper noun, in the Old Testament. It will be posited that, prior to the Babylonian Captivity, ca. 568 B.C.E, the ancient Hebrew term "satan" was used as a common noun, descriptive of any random character fitting the role of its root meaning, to "obstruct" or "oppose." It was not used to denote evil in any sense until after the Jews returned from the Babylonian Captivity and intraJewish conflict began to build. After the captivity period, "satan" was used in the Jewish community to malign opposing Jewish factions. Accordingly, by comparing PreExilic versus PostExilic literature, it is clear that "satan" was never the leader of God's opposition in preExilic Jewish theology.
 

Presentations 

10th Annual Research & CW Symposium, EWU, May 16,2007


16th Annual Pacific NW McNair/EIP/GO-MAP Conference: May 1-3, 2008


16th Annual McNair Conference and Graduate Fair, WI, Nov. 2007

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