The History of the Devil and the Idea of Evil by Paul Carus

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FINAL RATING: ««

Pros of this book:

-Has an interesting concept

-Tries to be diverse and talks about all the parts of the world and how these religions and tribal groups worshipped/revered the devil.

Cons of the book:

Holy HELL this book has a crapload of problems and inaccuracies that have been debunked today.

Let me give one example: There is a part of the book where’s he’s talking about “devil worship” in Mesopotamia. He uses this plaque to prove this point. Above this review is a photo of the plaque.

Alight, remember this.

Here’s what this author claims to be a plaque of:

He claims that this plaque resembles the world and the lion-faced monster holding the plaque is the Chaldean devil, who wants to destroy the world. The figure in the middle on the bottom standing on the horse/donkey is the god, Elippu. This plaque was created by Chaldeans to show the world was going to end and how the devil was going to be in full control.

What the plaque ACTUALLY means:

The plaque is actually a scene of protection. The demon holding the plaque (with the lion face) is not the Chaldean devil, but is actually the SW wind demon Pazuzu, who was the bearer of drought but also protected children and pregnant women. The bottom plaque is actually him trying to pursuade his wife Lamashtu (the figure on the horse/donkey who Paul Carus thought was Elippu) to return to the Underworld, since she was the demon/goddess of miscarriage. Instead of the plaque being the world, it actually represents a group of demons and a room where the sick/dying/pregnant victim is. I have read the translation of what is written on this plaque and have read many books on it, so I Know this is the correct one.

There are many, many other mistakes like this in the book, such as mixing up on of the incarnations of the Hindu god Lord Shiva with being a devil figure. One of the other main problems with this book is mixing up demonic (mostly pre-Christian) figures with the devil, when the devil is actually, in reality, a Christian entity. You see, the devil was created by the Christian church to scare pagans/heathens into their religion. They did this by incorporating old pagan gods such as Pan, Cernunnos, and Dionysus and claimed them to be “evil”, especially Pan, who possessed goat horns and goat legs. I guess this tactic worked well enough, as it incorporated millions into the church. Well, that and threatening to torture and kill those who didn’t convert. So that right here is the real history of the devil. I really would not recommend this book. It’s very interesting but it’s very flawed.

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