are snakes evil in christianity

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gotquestions.orgImage: gotquestions.orgNo, snakes are not evil. The reason that Scripture often uses snakes as a personification of evil is that human beings tend to be afraid of snakes. They are hard to see because they are low to the ground.

Are snakes evil in the Bible?

As amoral creatures, snakes are not “evil” in themselves—but they are a handy metaphor for evil in many passages. It started in the Garden. “The serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made” (Genesis 3:1).

What do snakes symbolize in the Bible?

Ever since Eve’s transgression in the Garden of Eden, snakes in Christian tradition have been associated with lies, evil and temptation. But in other cultures, as far-flung as ancient Greece and Egypt and indigenous North America, snakes symbolize fertility, rebirth, renewal and even immortality.

Is the handling of snakes a religion?

This is the oftentimes dramatic and dangerous history of snake handling in religion. Though it’s now often thought of as a Christian practice, the handling of snakes does in fact show up in other religious and spiritual settings.

What is the first snake mentioned in the Bible?

The first time the Bible mentions snakes is in the garden of Eden. Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made ( Genesis 3:1 ). Satan used the serpent to lie to Eve and deceive her into man’s original sin in the garden.

Why did Satan use the serpent?

In some way, the serpent was used by Satan to lie to Eve and lead her into disobedience. Adam soon followed. As God was meting out punishments, He cursed the snake: “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” ( Genesis 3:14 ).

What is the name of the serpent that led the world astray?

Following a battle in heaven, “the great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him” ( Revelation 12:9 ). We need help in our battle against the “ancient serpent.”.

What did Macbeth say about serpents?

As the wicked King Macbeth discovered, serpents are hard to kill: “We have scotch’d the snake, not kill’d it.”. ( Macbeth, III:ii). In fact, by the time we get to the book of Revelation, the serpent in the Garden has become a raging dragon bent on world domination.

What did Jesus say about the serpent?

Jesus said that He had come to save us all from the serpent’s bite: “Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him” ( John 3:14–15; cf. Numbers 21:6–9 ).

What was the first gospel?

This is the protoevangelium, or “first gospel.”. God promised that the Seed of the woman would crush the serpent’s head—a prophecy that the virgin-born Son of God would win a decisive victory over the power of the devil.

Where in the Bible does it mention snakes?

Snakes show up in Pharaoh’s court ( Exodus 7:12 ), in the wilderness ( Numbers 21:7 ), on the island of Malta ( Acts 28:3 ), and , of course, in the Garden of Eden ( Genesis 3:1 ).

Is a snake evil?

They are almost always pictured as loathsome creatures, associated with poison and craftiness. As amoral creatures, snakes are not “evil” in themselves —but they are a handy metaphor for evil in many passages. It started in the Garden.

What does the Psalms say about the wicked?

The Psalms also hold warnings of the wicked speaking lies and having "venom like the venom of a serpent, like the deaf adder that stops its ear, so that it does not hear the voice of charmers or of the cunning enchanter" ( Psalm 58:4–5 ).

Why can’t we rejoice in the association of the evil serpent?

We can rejoice, because the association of the evil serpent does not have power over us. Jesus arrived and crushed the serpent’s head ( Genesis 3:15 ). We have further hope that when Jesus returns to restore the earth every part of creation will be included—even snakes.

What does the serpent represent in the Bible?

Serpents, often taking the shape of mythical creatures such as dragons, represent Satan in Revelation as well, bookending the Bible’s record. In Genesis, the serpent led man to fall, but in Revelation the "ancient serpent" is "thrown down to the earth" ( Revelation 12:9 ).

How many times does the Bible mention snakes?

The Bible mentions snakes over eighty times! It seems as though snakes were found everywhere in biblical times: in Pharaoh’s court ( Exodus 7:12 ), in the wilderness ( Numbers 21:7 ), on the island of Malta ( Acts 28:3 ), in the garden of Eden ( Genesis 3:1 ). Although snakes themselves are not evil creatures, they almost always carry a crafty …

What does the Old Testament say about evil?

The Old Testament is full of similes and metaphors for evil that presents itself like a serpent. The wicked are compared to those who "hatch the eggs of vipers" ( Isaiah 59:5, NIV) and to those who "shall lick the dust like a serpent" ( Micah 7:17 ).

Why did God curse the snake?

God consequently cursed the snake after punishing Adam and Eve. "The LORD God said to the serpent, ‘Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life" ( Genesis 3:14 ).

Where in the Bible does it mention snakes?

The first time the Bible mentions snakes is in the garden of Eden. "Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made" ( Genesis 3:1 ). Satan used the serpent to lie to Eve and deceive her into man’s original sin in the garden.

Do snake keepers keep venomous snakes?

Ros777, where are you getting your information about snakes from? Most snake keepers absolutely DO NOT keep venomous snakes. They are illegal to own in a lot of places without a permit or license that requires a lot of hands on experience with a professional venomous snake keeper, such as in a zoo. And very few people even consider ever owning a venomous snake. Also, most python and boa species are completely harmless to humans and any animals larger than a rat. On top of that, there are only a couple large, non-native snakes that can survive in the Florida Everglades. While it is horrible to just dump a snake into the wild, It’s not as common as it’s portrayed to be, and it’s not as dentrimental to the environment as say, Asian carp species, which can survive in most of the fresh water bodies in the U.S., and destroy the area’s natural ecosystem, or the silver carp which infest rivers and jump out at any thing that moves. These have broken people’s spines and limbs, and knocked people off their boats. Basically, it comes down to the fact that a very miniscule percentage of snake species can be dangerous to people or pets, while an overwhelming majority of snake owners wouldn’t even want to own these. I have also never heard anyone use the term gang activity when it came to owning snakes. I am a Christian, and I have 18 pythons in my house. The largest one is about 4 feet long, and I’ve never been bitten by any of them, even though I handle them on a daily basis. I have been bitten by a 9 foot python, and I’ve been bitten by an 18 inch kitten, and I can tell you that I’d rather get bitten by a huge python than a cat, dog, or even a mouse. When you realize that a large snake has the same size mouth as a cat, only with much smaller teeth, you start to understand that they really aren’t dangerous at all. Instead of slamming snakes and people who own snakes as evil, I suggest doing a google search for ball python morphs and corn snake morphs. You’ll quickly discover that most snakes, especially 99% of the ones making up the pet trade are some of God’s most beautiful and amazing creatures.

Is a corn snake dangerous?

Corn snakes are harmless, yeah. Pythons are dangerous to people, pets and wild life.And why would anyone want a dangerous snake for a pet???And breeding snakes for a living: that conjures up a nice picture.Hey, sorry to tread on your toes. I’m not a big fan of snakes, although the harmless ones are helpful for getting rid of rodents.

Can you own a snake?

Im not going to go into details about snakes.. well not too much.If you wish to own a venomous snake you need a licence. 90% of pythons could not severly harm a human. Only some can grow in exess of 20 feet, some stay at around 4 feet.Corn snakes are native in northern america and florida.People can own harmless snakes such as the corn snake, or a royal python and breed them for a living.

Do snakes keep mice down?

Hi Magnum:We used to keep some snakes when I was a boy (about 35-40 years ago). We had common snakes in this area such as milk snakes, little ring necks and whatnot. Later on we had a yellow rat snake which we eventually donated to the Philadelphia zoo. Snakes are basically impulse creatures (not too smart) that remind me of lizards without their legs. However, they do keep the mice down, and we’d feed ours once a week. We once had a cabin in the Pocono mountains and always respected snakes—- we’d bring the none poisonous ones around to place on our land to keep the mice down. If we ever found a poisonous snake on our land, we would not kill it, but scoot it into a pillow case and tie a knot on the top of it. They are helpless in that environment and cannot wiggle out. Then we’d transport them about a half mile away and let them off into the woods.Realistically, a cat will do much better keeping mice down (as I now have 6 of them), but looking at a snake from purely a reptilian point of view, they have their functions in nature, are basically shy, and their backbones are very delicate if mishandled—- and for those of you that know little about snakes, they are not slimy at all. They feel rather good to the touch, like soft silk.

Is a snake evil in the Bible?

Snakes have become a misnomer for some events in the Bible where our English word for "serpent" doesn’t quite fit the bill. You’ll not find any verses that say snakes themselves are evil, because they aren’t. They are God’s creation just as many other more lovable animals are. I’d have to point out that while the image of a snake does often involve evil, God used them in the famous episode of Exodus. Now, I assume you’re asking this question because you want a pet snake. Well, that’s your choice – I’d have to pass – but I hope I’ve covered the Biblical part of things for you.

Can you let a snake go down the toilet?

People that own a python or some other dangerous snake, do act irresponsible when the snake becomes too expensive or too much to take care of. They just let it go; either flushing it down the toilet or dumping it out in the yard or woods.

Is it bad to dump a snake out into the environment?

Yeah, it’s evil to dump a snake out into the environment that can hurt others.

What is the serpent story in the Bible?

One of the most interesting serpent stories in the Bible is found in Numbers 21, where God punishes the Israelites by sending poisonous serpents among them. Moses, following their repentance, made a bronze serpent and set it up on a pole, and whoever was bitten by a serpent could look up at it and live. Even more fascinating is Jesus’ self-comparison with the same serpent in John 3:14-15, foreshadowing his own death on the cross and offer of salvation. Sir William Smith thus sees the serpent as a symbol of wisdom, which, apart from obedience to God, degenerates to cunning and poisons man’s nature, but when subjected to the divine law is the source of healing restoration.

What does a serpent represent?

Related to the idea of two-sided wisdom, serpents may also be seen to represent shiftiness and the expression of dual natures. Jonathan Pageau, editor of "Orthodox Arts Journal," sees that duality in the same story from Numbers, where the serpent is both the disease and cure. Similar to the way that a vaccine is made from the disease, …

What does the snake mean in the Bible?

The Meaning of the Snake or Serpent as a Christian Symbol in the Bible. The serpent is a fascinating biblical symbol. While more than 40 species of snakes are found in Syria and Arabia today, Sir William Smith, British lexicographer and editor of "Smith’s Bible Dictionary," notes that serpents were not particularly abundant in Palestine …

How many names are there for serpents in the Bible?

There are 11 Hebrew and four Greek names used for serpents in the Bible, according to James Orr, late professor of theology at Free Church College and general editor of the "International Standard Bible Encyclopedia," and nearly every reference occurs in passages where poisonous character is expressed or implied.

What does Jesus compare the serpent to?

Sir William Smith thus sees the serpent as a symbol of wisdom, which, apart from obedience to God, degenerates to cunning and poisons man’s nature, but when subjected to the divine law is …

What does the Bible say about the snake on the rock?

The last descriptor seems to stand out from among the list; the author of Proverbs in Chapter 30, verses 18 and 19, lists “the way of a snake on a rock” as something that is too amazing or wonderful for him to understand. Indeed, the wide variety of metaphors and symbolic language associated with serpents in the Bible does lead to an appreciation …

Where in the Bible does it say that the serpent is Satan?

Matthew George Easton, Scottish Presbyterian preacher and editor of "Easton’s Bible Dictionary," says the first biblical reference to a serpent is found in Genesis 3 , where Adam and Eve are tempted by a serpent in the Garden of Eden and ultimately fall victim to sin. While the serpent is not expressly linked with Satan in the Genesis story, a number of New Testament authors both directly and indirectly state that it was Satan who seduced Adam and Eve into sin. Smith notes that the serpent became the emblem of the spirit of evil throughout the East as a result of the tradition of the fall of mankind, and so the wicked and enemies in general are often likened to venomous serpents in the Psalms.

What snakes do the snakes put in their mouths?

During the multi-day ritual, which is aimed at encouraging rainfall and fertility for the land, male dancers from the Snake Clan put live snakes—ranging from small garter snakes to rattlesnakes—in their mouths and around their necks.

What does a snake symbolize?

But in other cultures, as far-flung as ancient Greece and Egypt and indigenous North America, snakes symbolize fertility, rebirth, renewal and even immortality. The ouroboros, the ancient symbol of eternity that was famously depicted on King Tut’s tomb in the 14th century B.C., is a serpent devouring its own tail.

Why did Job use the word "leviathan"?

Either way, the Book of Job employed both Leviathan and Behemoth to demonstrate to Job God’s power of creation, and the futility of questioning Him. Later, the word “leviathan” would be applied more generally to mean a giant whale (most memorably the great white whale in Moby Dick) or other massive sea creature.

What tribes held snakes between their teeth?

Men handling poisonous rattlesnakes, one even holding a snake between his teeth, for the snake dance of the Native American Hopi tribe.

What tribes do the Hopi Snake Dance belong to?

For thousands of years, members of the Hopi Native American tribe of northern Arizona have performed the ritual known as the Snake Dance.

What is the name of the god that devoured a human being?

Quetzalcoatl. A detailed view of Aztec art depicting the god Tez-Calipoca and Quetzalcoatl (right) devouring a human being. Among the most prominent deities in Mesoamerican cultures, Quetzalcoatl, or “Feathered Serpent,” was a mix of bird and rattlesnake ( coatl is the Nahuatl word for serpent).

How many paces did Thor kill the serpent?

In their climactic confrontation, Thor slew the serpent with his mighty hammer, Mjolnir, but only made it nine paces before falling dead himself, poisoned by the serpent’s deadly venom. WATCH: Full episodes of Swamp People: Serpent Invasion online and tune in Thursdays at 10/9c for all-new episodes.

Why haven’t all bitten snake handlers died?

Though it’s technically possible for people to handle snakes without being bitten, it’s still a practice that many outside of these church services strongly discourage. That’s because, seemingly regardless of someone’s faith or the weakness of an individual snake, it’s still possible to be bitten by an agitated and very venomous snake. Kentucky pastor Jamie Coots certainly said that it happened on multiple occasions in his church, according to NPR. Yet, he and other pastors have claimed that many people have walked away from the strikes, oftentimes declining emergency medical attention and antivenin. What’s more, they say, many have survived (it’s worth noting again that Coots himself died of a rattlesnake bite delivered during a 2014 church service, per ABC News ).

Where is snake handling practiced?

Though it’s been linked to other cultures and religions, snake handling is now almost universally thought of as a product of the oftentimes remote communities of Appalachia. According to NCPedia, this practice is especially prominent in southern Appalachia. It may have arisen there due to a confluence of pre-existing religious belief, relatively isolated churches, and a certain amount of happenstance. George Went Hensley, who’s often credited with introducing snake handling to protestant churches there and who clearly had a hand in popularizing it, first started it in Tennessee. Perhaps if Hensley had lived somewhere different, we’d link snake handling to intensely devoted religious communities in, say, rural Maine or the Pacific Coast.

What is the practice of speaking in tongues?

According to Britannica, this can include glossolalia, more popularly known as "speaking in tongues." People who utter these seemingly unintelligible words and phrases do so in an ecstatic state. They may also claim that they are communicating with heavenly spirits or acting as a conduit for divine revelation.

Can churches handle snakes?

In many states, the practice has been banned outright after numerous deaths, including a Tennessee law that was passed in 1947 after numerous churchgoers were felled by snakes in just a few short years (via ABC News ). Even if it’s part of a sincere devotion and generally accepted by a church’s congregation, snake handling can still put someone on the wrong side of the law.

Did Hamblin have a legal challenge?

That doesn’t mean that legal challenges don’t arise, of course. According to ABC News, pastor Andrew Hamblin was charged with illegally possessing dangerous animals in November 2013, after state wildlife officials seized an estimated 50 venomous snakes from the preacher. Hamblin pleaded not guilty and argued that the state was violating his First Amendment right. However, as the case was eventually dismissed, the legal challenge remained unsolved. The debate over the legality of snake handling is, for some, still very much ongoing.

Can you be distracted by snakes?

If you were to attend a snake handling service, you may be distracted by the reptiles, especially if you’re not particularly fond of slithery, venomous creatures. But, if you could tear your eyes away from the ecstatic spectacle for a moment, chances are pretty good that you would notice it’s accompanied by any number of boundary-pushing charismatic practices.

Is snake handling legal?

According to The First Amendment Encyclopedia, snake handling has been subject to various legal challenges and laws throughout the years. While most laws and lawmakers acknowledge that freedom of speech and religious belief are indeed protected under the U.S. Constitution, they also argue that regulating a person’s actions in the interests of public health and safety are a different matter.

What was the triple plague?

According to a medieval Scottish monk named Jocelyn (via the Irish Times ), "Ireland since its first habitation had been pestered with a triple plague, namely, a great abundance of venomous reptiles, with myriads of demons visibly appearing with a multitude of magicians.".

Why are there no snakes in Ireland?

Everyone’s heard the basic story: There are no snakes in Ireland because St. Patrick drove them away. While that’s not entirely true, both the full legend and the science behind Ireland’s distinct lack of snakes is fascinating stuff. Medieval legend and lore says it wasn’t just snakes that St. Patrick drove from the Emerald Isle.

Why didn’t snakes come to Ireland?

National Geographic says the real reason snakes never colonized Ireland goes back to the last ice age. The entire country would have been way too cold for reptiles, and when the climate started to warm, Ireland was cut off from everything around it by rising sea levels and melting glaciers. Snakes — who are slow to spread to new areas — simply never made it to Ireland before it became an island but did make it to Britain. They were connected to mainland Europe for about 2,000 years longer than Ireland, and have three native snake species.

What is the only reptile native to Ireland?

As a strange footnote to the story, there’s only one reptile native to Ireland: the viviparous lizard. (It was only in the 1970s that the Irish Times reports a type of legless lizard was discovered flourishing in the Burren, likely a newcomer.)

Did the snakes represent evil?

One theory is that since snakes were often symbols of evil in Judeo-Christian tales, they simply represented something else. Patheos says it’s sometimes claimed the "snakes" were early pagans, and St. Patrick drove them out of the country and converted others to Christianity. But some historians have offered pretty powerful arguments about why that just couldn’t be true: Ireland’s conversion from pagan worship to Christianity had already begun before St. Patrick arrived, and it continued for centuries after he left. Some scholars even date the "final" push of Christianity into Ireland to the 14th century.

Who was the leader of the demons?

The demons had a leader named Crum Dubh, who lived on Cruach Phadraig (a mountain in what’s now County Mayo). After praying — a lot — St. Patrick went head-to-head with the demon and cast him, his minions, his snakes, and his magicians out of the land. The snakes were supposedly hurled into Log na nDeamhan, a lake at the base of the mountain, …

Did Ireland have snakes?

That’s extra strange because scholars had been writing about Ireland’s lack of snakes since at least the third century, and Monaghan says that after looking through thousands of years of Irish fossil records, he found there were never any snakes in Ireland to begin with. There was "nothing for St. Patrick to banish."