Sin and Satan in the Qurʾān and Bible

Satan with Angels and Adam, Bal'ami, Annals of al-Tabari manuscript, 1413-1416, Topkapı Saray Museum, Istanbul, Turkey,
Satan with Angels and Adam, Bal’ami, Annals of al-Tabari manuscript, 1413-1416, Topkapı Saray Museum, Istanbul, Turkey, This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published (or registered with the U.S. Copyright Office) before January 1, 1928.

My term paper is titled “Sin and Satan in the Qurʾān and Bible” for “SARS-1000: The Qur’an: Origin, Application, Interpretations.” This Spring 2022 class was lead by Professor Mahjabeen Dhala, at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley. The paper begins:

In this paper, I consider sin and Satan, with a focus on the stories of Joseph and Job, both in the Qurʾān and in the Bible. I chose this topic because, as a jail Chaplain, I find prisoners are very aware of sin and Satan, and I wanted to learn more. The anthropomorphic personification of Satan is a huge topic, so I have concentrated on a limited set of scriptural verses to keep to term paper length, rather than allowing this to grow into a dissertation. There is much more to be said based on the thousands of scholarly and religious works (many with conflicting opinions) written on these topics over many centuries. I assert that ideas of embodied sin and the personification of Satan evolved over at least a thousand years (between 500 BCE and 610 CE), through Biblical and Qurʾānic stories and exegetical understandings that are sometimes not substantiated by sacred texts. Historical evolution presupposes a starting point, and this paper considers alternatives for the first Biblical mention of sin. 

Read the entire paper here. I also prepared a presentation to go with the paper, with illustrations inspired by both Biblical and Qurʾānic sources. See that presentation here.

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