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It derives from the Greek diabolos, slanderer, and according to Isaac Asimov it denotes "evil spirits that slander God in man's ears." What word is it?




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Answer: devil

The word devil derives from the Old English deofol, evil spirit; it penultimately derives from the Greek diabolos , slanderer or accuser, which in turn is a Septuagint loan-translation of the Hebrew word satan , adversary.

Note that St. Jerome re-introduced the name Satan into the Vulgate. English translators, thus, could pick and choose which word to use.

However: In Leviticus 17:7, the word devils is a translation of the Hebrew sairrim , wild goats. The JPS translates the word as goat-demons.


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