7.0 Putting the New Testament together:
A composite portrait of Satan in canonical order
Now it is time to go back over the books of the New Testament and see what we have. But rather than rehearsing the various snapshots of Satan that we have glimpsed in the different writings that make up the Christian Scriptures, let’s try something different. Let’s pretend that just after the New Testament was put together in the order in which we have it–say, at the end of the second century–we, as ideal readers of the time, pick up the whole collection of twenty-seven “books” and try to find out what we can about Satan, with glances at the Old Testament where appropriate.
Let’s agree that we know the Greek Bible as well, and we assume the Divine inspiration of both Old and New Testaments, and the consequent interconnectedness and coherence of everything. In other words, we take each thing that is said about Satan as true, and as fitting with everything else that is said about him. We accept, therefore, that Satan exists as a real supernatural person who can be described from what is said about him in the Word of God.
In the course of this exercise, I will refer to previous chapters simply by giving a number parenthetically in boldface, e.g., “(5.2)”.