Satan was the seductive and devious snake who enticed Adam and Eve to eat the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil (Genesis 3). He is a supernatural opponent of God, a creature whose constant objective is to tempt us to commit “sin.” Milton, in Paradise Lost, makes Satan a fallen angel, a rebel against God, the guise under which he is generally represented in the art of religion and folklore. This angel became known by many names, including Lucifer, Beelzebub, and Satan. Banished from heaven, Satan became the adversary of God and evil incarnate.
Satan is the primary source of evil in the world, responsible for luring humans toward “sin” and causing them to turn away from God.
Other than references to Satan in holy books such as the Bible and the Qur’an, there is no evidence for the existence of Satan. Significantly, precursors to Satan can be found in much earlier mythological works. The Greek god Poseidon, for example, is famous for carrying a trident, a widely accepted Satanic accessory. Hades, lord of the underworld in Greek mythology, also displays some of the characteristics associated with Satan. Most notably, his realm is beneath the Earth and includes the pit of Tartarus, reserved for souls of the damned, much akin to the Christian concept of Hell, where Satan is held to reside.
These considerations suggest that the idea of Satan – though not wholly copied from earlier mythologies – evolved out of earlier gods, such as Poseidon, Hades, Anubis, and Pluto.
Given the lack of empirical evidence for the existence of Satan, the availability of natural explanations for “Satanic” events, and the fact that precursors to Satan are found in fictional works that predate the Bible, it is reasonable to conclude that Satan is a mythological figure.