Words Have Meaning: Devil, Diábolos, Slanderers, and False Accusers

Words Have Meaning / “Devil”

Devil, διάβολος, diábolos, dee-ab’-ol-os; from G1225; a traducer; specially, Satan (compare H7854):—a calumniator, false accuser, slanderer; prone to slander, slanderous, accusing falsely, (Aristophanes, Andocides (), Plutarch, others): 1 Timothy 3:11; 2 Timothy 3:3; Titus 2:3; as a substantive, ὁ διάβολος, a calumniator, false accuser, slanderer, (see κατηγορέω, at the end) (Xenophon, Ages. 11, 5; (Aristotle, others)): the Sept. Esther 7:4; Esther 8:1.

From: διαβάλλω diabállō, dee-ab-al’-lo; from G1223 and G906; (figuratively) to traduce:— to accuse. Properly, to throw over or across, to send over, (τί διά τίνος). Very often, from Herodotus down, to traduce, calumniate, slander, accuse, defame (cf. Latinperstringere, German durchziehen, διά as it were from one to another; see Winer, De verb. comp. etc. Part v., p. 17)), not only of those who bring a false charge against one (διεβλητο πρός αὐτόν ἀδίκως, Josephus, Antiquities 7, 11, 3), but also of those who disseminate the truth concerning a man, but do so maliciously, insidiously, with hostility (cf. Lucian’s Essay de calumn. non temere credend.) (Daniel 3:8, the Sept.; Daniel 6:24 Theod.).

Bottom-line: In civil, and honest discourse, we should be able to restate each other’s views, discuss them, and even critique them (in right manner, with the right motive) without resorting to lies, slander, logical fallacies (e.g. straw men and red herrings), misquotations, mischaracterisations, scriptorture (as in, really bad eisegesis), altering the narrative, etc. When people resort to such things, repeatedly, and unrepentantly, they are literally behaving like devils, diabolos in the Greek. This ought not be amongst Christians. This is why it is important to quote actual statements, abstain from imputing false motives, and ask, question, verify before jumping to conclusions. This is, again, how you engage in calm, civil, honest, and open discourse. You do more harm to your own position by mischaracterising others than you do to theirs (in the eyes of those who know better, which is admittedly a dwindling number, sadly). If you and your arguments have legs upon which to stand, speak honestly, truthfully, and avoid the lies. Such is good in God’s sight.

  3 comments for “Words Have Meaning: Devil, Diábolos, Slanderers, and False Accusers

  1. December 16, 2018 at 1:53 pm

    Reblogged this on From guestwriters and commented:
    In Christendom there are lots of pepole who give a totally different meaning to the words satan, diabolos, sheol, hades and gehenna. Those who call themselves Christian but believe those human teachings about spirit beings called devils or Satan and Lucifer, and make peopel afraid with torture fire in purgatory or even eternal torture in hell, are the most violent opponents of those in Christianity who proclaim the loving God and His coming Kingdom.

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    • February 10, 2019 at 9:30 pm

      In Christendom, there is a world of opinion, false teachings, and false prophets. A thousand people can give a thousand different nuanced arguments, with only one being right (if that). What matters is “what saith the Scriptures.” Universalism is a lie; annihilationism is a lie; the denial of the spirit world, when analysed carefully, is a lie. Now I’ve asserted this but my words alone are not proof. One would have to test the spirits, try all things, comparing scripture with scripture, to see if what I said was true. As time, and God’s guidance allows, maybe I can address these points in further detail at another time.

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      • February 14, 2019 at 2:22 pm

        We also advice people to check everything with the bible at hand. The Word of God in infallible and does not tell lies; as such in the book of books we can find most answers to our questions about faith, God and gods and humankind’s way of life.

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