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Maidservant

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  1. We are at the point of view of history and religious thought thousands of years from when passages were initially thought, believed, and preserved. What we know or think we know about the Garden of Eden story is a mix and match and full of add-ons (warranted and unwarranted, who am I to say) beyond what is there. For example, if you take the OT story as we have it in King James Genesis, Satan is NOT there. The serpent is there. To say that the serpent is Satan is an add-on. (Again--warranted? unwarranted? I think a NT add-on.) Also the idea that Satan is the lord of evil is not a Hebrew idea, but a Greek-informed one, when we started mashing Hades (lord of the underworld) and essentiality of evil (see Greek thinker Plotinus and others--later Greek philosophy that coincided with the establishment and cultivation of Christianity was convinced of absolute essences like evil and good) in with old testament stories. For ancient Hebrews, Satan, or the Accuser, is a servant of God. He is always doing God's work. And to say Accuser is not so much a tempter (again--that is later Christianity) but the one who administers the test. That's like calling the LSAT proctor the devil incarnate. (Oh, wait.) The LSAT is the test, yes, but the test to greater gifts and a gate to another world. Metaphor earth life/eternal life. To come to earth to receive challenges and the treasure from them IS God's work and Satan actually embodies that great work, so that work is very sacred. To say 'opposition' is not to say 'evil'. These are different things. I am not advancing these things as LDS but I think this is what the original OT is going for when Satan is brought up. Later writings (Christianity and then Joseph Smith's movement) continued to engage with the material and ended up in a different place. So as you will.
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