Scriptural Names or Titles for the Devil

by Brent J MacDonald

The following is a list of identifiers used in Scriptures for the Devil: 

  • Satan (meaning "the adversary" in Hebrew.  Appears 18 times in the Old Testament, 34 times in the New Testament. Used most in Job and Revelation),

  • Devil (from the root "to accuse."  Appears 36 times only in the New Testament, the most uses in Matthew and Revelation),

  • Beelzebul (Matthew 12:24, meaning "lord of the flies"),

  • "tempter" (Matthew 4:3; 1 Thessalonians 3:5),

  • "the enemy" (Matthew 13:39),

  • Belial (2 Corinthians 6:15, meaning "worthlessness"),

  • "power of darkness" (Luke 22:53),

  • "prince of the power of the air" (Ephesians 2:2),

  • "god of this world" (2 Corinthians 4:4; cf. John 12:31),

  • "adversary" (1 Peter 5:8),

  • "deceiver" (Revelation 12:9),

  • "dragon" (Revelation 12:9),

  • "the ancient serpent" (Revelation 20:2; Isaiah 27:1),

  • "father of lies" (John 8:44),

  • "the accuser" (Revelation 12:10),

  • Apollyon and Abaddon (Revelation 9:11, both meaning "destroyer"),

  • "the thief" (John 10:10),

  • "The evil one" (1 John 2:13-14; Matthew 13:38).

None of these Biblical designators is a proper name, a personal name.  This false god is unlike the one true God who reveals Himself personally. God uses His personal name, Yahweh, over 6500 times across over 5500 verses in the Old Testament.  Use of this personal name far exceeds the roughly 4300 additional uses of the title God spanning about 3800 verses in the entire Bible!

Early in Genesis, shortly after Adam and Eve's expulsion from the Garden of Eden (where they could meet directly with God), people began to call on the name of God (using His personal name)...

    Genesis 4:26b At that time people began to call upon the name of the LORD.

Beyond the title God in the New Testament (Theos, 1235 times), the Bible highlights the name above every name (Philippians 2:9; Ephesians 1:20-23), Jesus, which appears 910 times.  (Scriptures also use the personal title "Father" a further 248 times in the New Testament, a title which highlights both Jesus' affiliation in the Trinity and the adopted status of all believers).

    Psalms 148:13   Let them praise the name of the LORD, for his name alone is exalted; his majesty is above earth and heaven.

    Psalms 8:1  O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!  You have set your glory above the heavens.

    1 Chronicles 16:8  Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples!

    Psalms 105:1  Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples!

    Zephaniah 3:9    "For at that time I will change the speech of the peoples to a pure speech, that all of them may call upon the name of the LORD and serve him with one accord. (Also Zephaniah 13:9)

    1Cor. 1:2   To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours.

God's people will call on His name forever. The Adversary's name remains irrelevant and forever forgotten as he perishes in the Lake of Fire (Revelation 20:10).

(c) 2017 Brent MacDonald, LTM/DTI - Cottage Cove Urban Ministries