1. Welcome to Religious Forums, a friendly forum to discuss all religions in a friendly surrounding.

    Your voice is missing! You will need to register to get access to the following site features:
    • Reply to discussions and create your own threads.
    • Our modern chat room. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!
    • Access to private conversations with other members.

    We hope to see you as a part of our community soon!

Featured Was the Serpent a Literal Snake?

Discussion in 'Scriptural Debates' started by Magdalene, Feb 24, 2021.

  1. Magdalene

    Magdalene New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2021
    Messages:
    7
    Ratings:
    +4
    Religion:
    Roman Catholic
    If so, where is he slithering about today?

    Revelation 12:9
    And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent,
    called the Devil, and Satan,
    which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth,
    and his angels were cast out with him.

    Or, is there a spiritual understanding?

    CF: Revelation 20:2
    And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years.
     
  2. epronovost

    epronovost Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2019
    Messages:
    2,726
    Ratings:
    +2,493
    Religion:
    Atheist/non-religious
    I believe that in these particular passages, ''serpent'' is meant metaphorically as the serpent was a popular symbol for cunning and wisdom at the time and the area. The serpent in Genesis though, is meant more as a literal serpent who got cursed for revealing the truth to Adam and Eve.
     
  3. Magdalene

    Magdalene New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2021
    Messages:
    7
    Ratings:
    +4
    Religion:
    Roman Catholic
    Ok, so what is the metaphor there for?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. 101G

    101G Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2019
    Messages:
    259
    Ratings:
    +16
    Religion:
    Holy
    Was the Serpent a Literal Snake? no, because as you said, it's a spiritual understanding. this is a metaphor for a fork tongue, that mix truth with lie. and in Revelation chapter 12, it's the event surrounding the Birth of Christ, and not the Garden of Eden.
    if one would keep one hand on Revelation chapter 12, the first part, and the other on Matthews chapter 2 the same events are recorded.

    PICJAG
    101G.
     
  5. Magdalene

    Magdalene New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2021
    Messages:
    7
    Ratings:
    +4
    Religion:
    Roman Catholic
    Ok, Revelation 12:11 states, "And they overcame HIM (the dragon), by blood of lamb, word of testimony, AND (they always leave this part out) they loved not their souls unto the death"

    Usually you hear people say "And they overcame by" - they leave out "him" who is the old serpent, the devil and satan.
     
  6. cOLTER

    cOLTER Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2020
    Messages:
    1,038
    Ratings:
    +275
    Religion:
    Disciple
    No, it was a fallen celestial being, the "prince of this world" who was the resident spiritual administrator of our planet.
     
  7. Twilight Hue

    Twilight Hue The gentle embrace of twilight has become my guide

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2009
    Messages:
    33,761
    Ratings:
    +14,103
    Religion:
    Philosophical Buddhism
    Well cursed to crawl on its belly and people wacking you on the head seems to point out a snake.

    Interesting though, how it lost its implied legs.

    Kind of takes the thunder out of animal 'kinds'.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. 101G

    101G Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2019
    Messages:
    259
    Ratings:
    +16
    Religion:
    Holy
    is it more that they overcame their own desires?. the fight is not with the devil but within you.

    PICJAG
    101G.
     
  9. cOLTER

    cOLTER Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2020
    Messages:
    1,038
    Ratings:
    +275
    Religion:
    Disciple
    BTW, the "serpent" wasn't something the resembled a "snake" until AFTER the punishment. Before that is was a "crafty beast".

    “Cursed are you above all livestock
    and all wild animals!
    You will crawl on your belly
    and you will eat dust
    all the days of your life.
     
  10. Brickjectivity

    Brickjectivity Veteran Member
    Staff Member Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2012
    Messages:
    31,028
    Ratings:
    +11,820
    Religion:
    liber-scripta grim Christian
    I think there are layers to this. This story borrows items from Egyptian stories (but is not Egyptian) and is written using Egyptian symbols, creatures and images, writing in opposition to Egyptian accepted myth. I don't know all of the Egyptian myths. All I'm saying is they are far older than any Torah scroll and are readable, preserved in tombs, not unknown. You can read them, some on papyrus; and they use the symbols from Genesis to tell a different story. The age of the tombs are absolutely older than any known Torah scroll, and these Egyptian stories in these tombs while similar show no knowledge or prescience of Torah...as far as I am aware. What I know is that there is a lot which can be said about this story, a lot of information which can be gathered which we don't presently have here in the experts on this site.

    On a positive note: Because of the above -- because the Egyptian stories have been unearthed we have the advantage of multiple ways to look at the story of Genesis. Its good, not bad. We find that rather than a picture of a diamond we have an actual three dimensional object which can be turned and examined from new perspectives showing new sparkles.

    So what is the dragon? Why isn't the serpent considered a holy protective spirit akin to the vulture, as it would be in an Egyptian tale? This is one more question that gets added to the mix. Its a new layer to consider. Genesis is written counter to these other tales. In Egyptian tales the serpent is the protector of Pharoahs, but in the Jewish story the serpent deceives. Now suppose an Egyptian reads this story. To them the implication is that the Pharoahs are deceived by their own guardians.
     
  11. Nakosis

    Nakosis crystal soldier
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2011
    Messages:
    17,537
    Ratings:
    +8,025
    Religion:
    Atheist Libertarian
    The serpent may refer to the Canaanite creation myth about a sea monster.

    “In that day the Lord with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea” (Isaiah 27:1). That is nearly verbatim to what an anonymous Canaanite bard has to say about Baal: “When you killed Litan, the fleeing serpent, annihilated the twisty serpent, the potentate with seven heads."
    Genesis of Genesis: Where did the biblical story of Creation come from?
     
    • Useful Useful x 1
  12. epronovost

    epronovost Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2019
    Messages:
    2,726
    Ratings:
    +2,493
    Religion:
    Atheist/non-religious
    Communicate an emotion and a concept in a pleasant and efficient manner.
     
  13. IndigoChild5559

    IndigoChild5559 Loving God and my neighbor as myself.

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2018
    Messages:
    5,724
    Ratings:
    +2,478
    Religion:
    Judaism
    It depends on whom you ask. As you know, Jews do not accept the addition of the New Testament to the Scriptures, so Revelation has no authority to us. We rely on Genesis alone, in which the snake is simply a snake.
     
  14. 74x12

    74x12 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2017
    Messages:
    4,372
    Ratings:
    +1,187
    Religion:
    Itiswhatitis
    He is an immortal being from heaven. Is he a literal serpent? By what definition? No he isn't a snake like on earth but that doesn't mean he isn't a serpent. Ultimately even though he is identified as a serpent/dragon they are shapeshifters ... for example in 2 Corinthians 11:14 Satan is able to transform his appearance into an angel of light.

    According to the scripture he is apparently usually on earth and "goes about like a roaring lion" seeking whom he may devour. So, we can surmise that he travels around the world continuously in an attempt to destroy as many people as possible. He's not omnipresent like God is so he must continuously travel around in order to keep his kingdom in place on earth. Meanwhile he has demons under him who he has set up in more or less permanent locations. These are called principalities.
     
  15. Deeje

    Deeje Avid Bible Student
    Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2009
    Messages:
    13,732
    Ratings:
    +7,605
    Religion:
    Christian JW
    Since the Bible itself identifies the devil with serpentine creatures (snake, dragon) it occurs to me that it is probably his character that is defined by his appearance. Even his names are not personal names but identifications of what he is...a murderer and a slanderer.

    Since angels have the ability to materialize in human form, perhaps they have the ability to transform themselves into any form they wish. God's ancient servants were visited by angelic messengers who were in human form. They visited Abraham and Daniel and also Mary.

    In Noah's day rebel angels materialized in human form to indulge in the pleasures of the flesh. After the flood, which destroyed their monstrous children and sent their errant fathers back to the spirit realm, God took away their ability to materialize. They were put under restraint, but not entirely. There is no mention of them ever materializing again.

    So was the snake literal? I have no reason to believe that it wasn't a real snake that Eve encountered. But was it a creature that God made? Perhaps not.....or maybe he was just a good ventriloquist? :shrug:
     
  16. URAVIP2ME

    URAVIP2ME Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2009
    Messages:
    14,209
    Ratings:
    +2,304
    Yes, the Serpent in the Garden of Eden was a literal snake ( in the grass ).
    Revelation lets us know that literal Serpent was used by Satan the Devil in the same way a ventriloquist uses his dummy.
    We know Serpents don't talk, so Satan could have made it appear to Eve that the animal was speaking to her.
    Yes, then there is a spiritual understanding, a Scriptural understanding.
    Satan was cast out of Heaven and is in the vicinity of Earth, but for a limited time - Psalms 37:10; Psalms 104:35; Proverbs 2:22.
    Revelation I.D.'s the Serpent, and that 'snake-in-the grass' Satan will come to a final end when Jesus destroys Satan - Hebrews 2:14 b
     
  17. URAVIP2ME

    URAVIP2ME Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2009
    Messages:
    14,209
    Ratings:
    +2,304
    I see there is a connection to 'Leviathan' at Job 41:1-34.
    Could very well be a powerful crocodile.

    To me, Not where did the biblical story of Creation come from, but where did the Canaanite bard come from.
    Came from the people who migrated away from the Tower of Babel long after Eden and long after earth's creation.
     
  18. URAVIP2ME

    URAVIP2ME Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2009
    Messages:
    14,209
    Ratings:
    +2,304
    In Scripture God created serpents, and that ' serpent ' who spoke to Eve was Not to blame.
    That serpent would Not know it was being manipulated by Satan, and Not understand God's adverse judgement.
    In its natural environment 'crawling on its belly and it tongue as if to lick dust' fittingly then symbolized Satan's debased condition.
    If we think about it, a literal serpent might wound a man's heel, Satan in his fallen position, so to speak, would bruise the heel of God's 'seed' (Messiah) -Genesis 3:15.
    Satan, with his symbolic serpent head will be permanently crushed or destroyed by Jesus - Romans 16:20; Hebrews 2:14 B.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  19. URAVIP2ME

    URAVIP2ME Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2009
    Messages:
    14,209
    Ratings:
    +2,304
    I don't see a connection to Jesus being born and Revelation 12:5-6
    To me this ' woman ' stands for something Not Mary.
    Revelation is set for our day, our time frame and Not the first century - Revelation 1:10
    Notice what comes to pass at Revelation 12:10 but the Kingdom of God - Revelation 11:15 did Not happen in the first century.
    The Kingdom of God (Daniel 2:44; Daniel 7:13-14) did Not come to pass in the first century.
    We are still being directed by Jesus to ask for God's kingdom to come ( thy kingdom come....)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  20. URAVIP2ME

    URAVIP2ME Veteran Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2009
    Messages:
    14,209
    Ratings:
    +2,304
    Are Adam and Eve alive on Earth today? if Not then the lie (Not the truth) is what Satan told at Genesis 3:4
     
Loading...