Satan is a Hebrew word that means adversary. The New Testament is written in Greek.

So I guess not.

It seems that they have another word. Diabolos or something that means the devil.

Is that devil the same guy as Satan?

2 Answers 2


Yes. The Hebrew שָׂטָן (śāṭān) is frequently transliterated into Greek as σαταν (satan) or σατανᾶς (satanas) — 36 times in the New Testament. The word διάβολος (diabolos) is also used (37 times).

Diabolos is technically an adjective meaning “slanderous”, and it is occasionally used attributively, describing people (e.g. 1 Tim 3:11). However, like satan(as) — which in the Hebrew Bible generally refers to a/the a/Adversary — the more common NT usage is as a designation of a particular transcedent evil being.

Most English translations reflect the distinction between these words by using “Satan” for [ho] satan(as) or “the devil” for [ho] diabolos. (Both occur most often with the article ho.) For instance, in Matthew 4:1-11, the story of the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness, the narrator uses ὁ διάβολος (ho diabolos) repeatedly; Jesus addresses the same character as σατανᾶ (satana, vocative from satanas) in verse 10:

ὕπαγε, σατανᾶ·
Be gone, Satan! (ESV)

Revelation 20:2 also makes it clear that the referent is the same:

καὶ ἐκράτησεν τὸν δράκοντα, ὁ ὄφις ὁ ἀρχαῖος, ὅς ἐστιν Διάβολος καὶ ὁ Σατανᾶς, καὶ ἔδησεν αὐτὸν χίλια ἔτη

and he seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil (Διάβολος, diabolos) and Satan (ὁ Σατανᾶς, ho satanas), and bound him for a thousand years (ESV)

The preferred term in the Septuagint for translating the Hebrew śāṭān from into Greek is diabolos. See, for instance, Job. The only usages of the Greek transliteration satan I find are two appearances in 3 Reigns 11:14, corresponding to 1 Kings 11 vv. 14 and 25 in the Hebrew/English numbering. These refer to Hadad the Edomite and Rezon the son of Eliada - each “an adversary” raised up by God against Solomon and Israel, respectively.

Why the New Testament authors often preferred to use the transliterated Hebrew term despite the established Septuagint usage in of diabolos as a translation of śāṭān is beyond me, and probably beyond the scope of this question, but it is an interesting one.


While the Hebrew word השׁטן (saw-tawn') occurs 23 times in the OT, rendered as Satan a total of 17 times in the NET (Job 1:6-12; 2:1-7; Zech 3:1-2), with the other occurrences being translated variously as accuser, adversary, enemy, or to oppose, the Greek words σατάν and σατανᾶς occur 36 times in the NT, rendered every time as Satan in the NET.

  • What's the transliteration of σατάν
    – user4951
    Commented Jul 2, 2015 at 7:38
  • ......... satan
    – Susan
    Commented Jul 2, 2015 at 7:41

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