The Satan and Hell myths have always been among the most disreputable and primitive anachronistic baggage and garbage to poison the well of Christianity's core message of love. Tragically, neither of these additions were even original, but further cases of plagiarization from pagan religions that preceded Christianity.
For example, "Hell" had long been intertwined and promoted in the Mithraic tradition for Persian Mithraism. While no literal “Book of Mithras” persists – there have been segmented texts referred to as “pagan epistles” which were known originally as the Izeds (28 in number) appearing in The Zendavesta. The Zendavesta, literally "text and comment," is the doctrine of Zoroaster (Zarathrustra), comprised in eight parts, written at different periods, but of which the earliest have been assigned to the date of B.C. 1200-1000.
Aspects of Mithraism - such as "Hell" and "Shaitan" or Satan - that later filtered in the Graeco-Roman world undoubtedly came from this text (the Izeds, wherein “Mithras” was chief and ruler) as well as others likely destroyed with the burning of the library at Alexandria. (See, e.g. J.M. Robertson’s ‘Pagan Christs’, 1966) Since Mithraism was a secret cult or mystery religion, this wouldn’t pose too much of a problem since its precepts, rituals were held in confidence anyway – as a secret society would. (Much like today’s FreeMasons who maintain absolute silence as regards their rituals.)
More authoritative texts-sources include: 'The Origin Of Mithraic Mysteries: Cosmology and Salvation in the Ancient World', Oxford Univ. Press, 1989, Origin of All Religious Myths- The New Testament Exposed, by James B. Pullen, Jr. and Ancient Christian Gospels: Their History and Development, by Helmut Koester.
All of them point to the fact that Christians copied at will from ancient books that predated Christianity by a thousand years or more. Christian Fathers, for their part, regularly and uniformly lost it whenever they encountered those predated references from Mithraism - whether to "the Last Supper", or the "virgin Birth", or Mithra's crucifixion, or his Ascension into heaven. It infuriated them because they desired such accounts be solely in reference to the Christian Savior (who they actually confabulated from Mithraic descriptions)
By way of example, after describing the “Lord’s Supper’ as told by and for Mithraists, Church Father Justin Martyr evinces outrage as he writes :
“WHICH THE WICKED DEVILS HAVE IMITATED IN THE MYSTERIES OF MITHRA, COMMANDING THE SAME THING TO BE DONE.”.
Tertullian also bears this out, scolding:
“The Devil, by the mysteries of his idols, IMITATES EVEN THE MAIN PARTS OF THE DIVINE MYSTERIES. HE ALSO BAPTIZES HIS FOLLOWERS IN WATER THAT PURIFIES THEM OF THEIR SINS”
While a careless Christian may still infer (after Justin Martyr) that the Mithraists copied from the Christians instead of the other way around, the reading of more of Justin Martyr's works dispels this. Martyr expressly argues that:
"the demons anticipated the Christian mysteries and prepared parodies of them beforehand".
The use of term "anticipated" clearly shows Justin recognizes the Mithraist mysteries occurred BEFORE the mysteries portrayed in the Gospels. If he knew this, the question remains of why he simply didn't refer to imitation alone, rather than introduce "demonic anticipation"? Tertullian also records such anticipatory recognition.
Again, what strikes a person is the desperate need to preserve these as exclusively Christian.
As to the origins of Hell, we know up to the time of the 2nd Council of Constantinople the general doctrine was one of metempsychosis a form of reincarnation taught by Clement of Alexandria and Origen of Adamantius. These doctrines were rejected by the 2nd Council, however, because they were believed to "give Man too much time to seek God".
Thereby Hell was seized from the scriptures- Izeds of the Mithraists and put to work in the Christian format. If then Hell could be pushed as the "end" for unbelievers, for the "one life to live" paradigm, then the Church might garner far more converts in a shorter time.
Alas, it didn't work out that way, and the evil in the world merely seemed to multiply as the Inquisition and Crusades showed.
Satan was also borrowed as the primary tender and Manager of "Hell" and he also arrived by way of earlier Mithraic texts. There is nothing in any of the earliest scrolls or Christian documents that singularly refer to a "Satan" which were not already plagiarized from the Mithraists.
So why keep using these primitive and deceitful creations? Because the latter day Christians - Fundies mainly -possess such a meager and bankrupt faith that they have no other options to try to drive the unwilling into their tent. The true fact here, as Bertrand Russell once pointed out (Why I Am Not A Christian) is that once a religion succumbs to dignifying fear, by exploiting it in brazen ways to grab converts- it loses the battles for heart, minds and would-be souls.
The reason is that the only ones who will belong to such a discredited faith will be those prepared to sacrifice their integrity and minds, or those who are in some way already insane. At least now there has emerged a site dedicated totally to exposing the basis of the Hell and Satan myths and the regressive minds that have always embraced them. One can find that site here: