I am working on a paper for one my classes and I routinely run into the question of whether or not jewish individuals believe in view Satan in the same way Christians do. More specifically, are the Serpent, Lucifer, and Ha-Satan the same Satan as seen in Christianity. Several questions have addressed these individually but I have yet to find a comprehensive answer on this.
Also, if anyone could indicate a book going over this issue in greater depth, please let me know the title and author of the book.
Many of the comments in this forum have asked for clarification regarding terms so I will elaborate on the terms I am using to make sure we are using the same vocabulary.
I have been told that jewish and christian individuals have fundamentally different conceptions of Satan. These views change depending upon whom one is talking to. Some college professors, religious and non-religious have different views. Some rabbis differ with other rabbis. I am looking for the answer that 51% of Jewish individuals will agree with.
When describing Lucifer, Lucifer was referenced in the Nevi'im specifically in the Prophet Isaiah. Depending upon which jewish person one talks to this could refer to one of three different being: Satan (as the christains understand him), the king of Babylon, or HaSatan. Some individuals say this refers to the King of Babylon only. The word Lucifer appeared as a mistranslation and/or a christian reinterpretation of the text. These views are not mutually exclusive. Some individuals say that this text explicitly refers to the King of Babylon but is also a metaphor for Lucifer.
Which is the correct interpretation? Who is Lucifer?
In regards to the serpet, the serpet was referenced in the Torah, specifically in Genesis. Depending upon which jewish person you talk to this could refer to: a talking snake, HaSatan, or Satan (as Christians understand him). I had a professor who studied in Israel. This professor insisted that the serpent was a talking snake and nothing more. The serpent was no HaSatan, and the serpent was not Satan. There are others who argue that the serpent is HaSatan. In this context, the serpent is an accuser. This may or may not be the same accuser spoken of in Job. Some professor says that there are multiple Ha-Satans, whereas other suggest that there is only one accuser, that being Satan as the Christians understand him.
Which interpretation is correct? Who is the serpent?