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Demons: What the Bible Really Says about the Powers of Darkness

4.43  ·  Rating details ·  138 ratings  ·  23 reviews
The truth about demons is far stranger--and even more fascinating--than what's commonly believed.

Are demons real? Are they red creatures with goatees holding pitchforks and sitting on people's shoulders while whispering bad things? Did a third of the angels really rebel with Satan? Are demons and "principalities and powers" just terms for the same entities, or are they dif
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published March 25th 2020 by Lexham Press
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Average rating 4.43  · 
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Oct 08, 2020 rated it did not like it
I would like to give this 1.5 stars, but in the absence of halvsies I'm rounding down on this bludgeoning club of a dissertation in search of a purpose.

Here's the tl;dr for this because I read it at the behest of a friend and therefore have a LOT of notes: Heiser uses mostly apocryphal stories to tell a nebulous audience whose main defining characteristic is that they are religious evangelicals that demons are a thing and God spent most of the Bible in spiritual warfare so we should, too.

Now, le
Nov 04, 2020 marked it as to-read
Shelves: non-fiction, religion
See Wedgeworth's review at TGC. ...more
Shawn Durham
Apr 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: theology
Demons, by Michael Heiser

Heiser, in his follow up to “Angels”, speaks of Biblical demonology, and goes in depth about how Old Testament & New Testaments authors alike spoke, not only about “Satan”, but other demonic figures. I found it very interesting how Heiser notes 3 separate demonic rebellions, the first being in Eden, the second being in Genesis 6 (the Sons of God), and the 3rd being at the Tower of Babel. His explanation on the Tower of Babel is very compelling, and to difficult to write
May 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: location-logos
Better than expected, given the title. Heiser does an excellent job covering the thinking and vocabulary that developed around ”Satan” and evil spiritual beings in the Old Testament, the LXX, STP writings, and the New Testament. His references consist of scholarly and peer-reviewed sources.
The Bold Movement
Jun 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Author(s): Michael Heiser
Endorsed By: Tim Mackie, Michael Brown, Gerry Breshears, Frank Turek
Pages: 321
Publisher: Lexham Press
Publication Date: 2020
Price: $19.99

Michael Heiser has written a book on demons. If I am frank, I would have to say this is one of the most thought-provoking books I have ever read. While reading, I raised more questions than I could find answers. I found myself asking professors and pastors about the things Heiser said about demons because they were ideas I had not only n
Ben Franklin
Jul 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Another excellent study from Heiser. He does a great job of demythologizing demons and the pantheon of gods found in most ancient cultures
Jordan Parmer
Sep 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As we study the Bible, one of the questions we have to ask is, "Why do we see demons running amok in the New Testament but hardly ever in the Old Testament? What is going on there?" This has always been puzzling to me and for years I chalked it up to "must have simply been because of Jesus' presence". It's a subject matter I think many are afraid to touch (myself included up to this point) because it seems like a category that borders on a lot of the unknown or influenced too heavily by modern m ...more
Anne Hamilton
Jan 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: christian
As usual, Michael Heiser produces a treasury of accessible information—bringing out of academia a wealth of insight and careful interpretation.

Only right at the end, when he was commenting on spiritual warfare, did I disagree with a few of the points he made and felt they missed the significance of some Biblical incidents. I'd come looking for a book that would explain my experience and that of others I know and, in that, the book shed great light and offered superb insight.

The following are my
Samuel Parkison
Jul 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very informative and convincing. Heiser is meticulous and dogged in his point-proving, which makes this book a dream for those in search of exhaustive answers about Satan and demons. The major strength of this book is that Heiser reclaims the supernatural cosmology the biblical authors were obviously working with. Heiser is not embarrassed by the stark reality of the supernatural realm that Scripture deals with, which makes him exasperating for those locked into the disenchanted metaphysic we’ve ...more
Kenson Gonzalez
Jul 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Satan and demons, a topic that has been of interest within and out of Christian communities, for some such interest results in a kind of obsession whose foundation is disinformation, for others they are non-existent entities, and finally some seek to learn what the Scriptures say to the respect.

Dr. Michael Heiser, presents a challenging and enriching work on the subject of demons, starting from the literature of the Old Testament, LXX, writings of Judaism of the Second Temple, and the New Testam
Alan Fuller
Jun 02, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: religion
Heiser makes no allowance for natural philosophy or general revelation. He sees the ancient worldview as mythological or superstitious.
"...reflect the biblical worldview that the threats of the natural world were somehow tied to a cosmic struggle involving the spiritual world." loc 712

"God had created humankind as his imagers and tasked them with bringing the rest of the world outside Eden under control— in effect, expanding Eden through the God had created humankind as his imagers and tasked t
Mark Enlow
Jun 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
A more scholarly work (heavily foot-noted) that delves into the “powers of darkness“ that fills out Heiser’s biblical worldview he portrays in, another book he authors, Unseen Realm. It is not a book that lays out the specificity, or mechanics of the dark side of reality. But, rather, shows how through biblical and extra-biblical literature, up through Second Temple Judaism, authors and audiences would have understood demons, principalities, and powers of darkness.

I wouldn’t recommend this as a
Caleb Watson
Oct 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is the best exploration demonology that I have come across. Heiser meticulously maps out Old Testament data points concerning rebellious supernatural entities, then tracks how 2nd temple period Jews, as well as the NT authors connect these data points.

As is always the case with Heiser’s work, the strength of this volume is not only in the linguistic sensitivity but also in the abundance of interaction with non-canonical texts of the relevant periods. One can be confident (the footnotes mak
Colm Alton
Dec 09, 2020 rated it liked it
This was a book on the biblical theology of demons looking at it from an ancient Near Eastern and second temple Judaism perspective. I found the book interesting in terms of highlighting the origins of demons and also differentiating the different kinds of dark powers in the world. I found the survey of Old Testament references to demons interesting and will help me read the Old Testament a little bit better. However the book was quite complex in terms of understanding the literature behind Hebr ...more
Ken Brown
Jun 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
If you really want to understand more about the “bad guys” of the Bible, this is the book for. Dr Heiser systematically covers ground dealing with the world of the fallen ones and the fact that they were defeated by Jesus with His death and resurrection. Some items I learned in Bible school were either confirmed, in some cases, or thrown away in others. By the way, I am in full agreement with throwing away non fact based preconceptions of the evil side of the unseen realm. This is an excellent b ...more
Vance Gatlin
May 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It makes the Bible make more sense with a better interconnectedness. The world feels alive and vibrant with the contrasting perspective of evil supernatural beings and good ones from his previous book, Angels (which I also recommend).

Whatever Heiser writes will make you think.
Trey Roberts
Dec 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most important theological books for lay people in charismatic traditions everywhere in the West. Get this book and ground yourself in what the text can sustain and be suspicious of anyone who makes claims that the bible simply cannot prove or refute.
Karen Jaunarajs
Oct 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Another awesome, well-researched book! Loved the Q and A at the end.
David Bruyn
Dec 04, 2020 rated it liked it
Brown makes a decent case for a distinction between demons and the dark principalities, arguing that demons are the disembodied spirits of Nephilim. Very interesting inter-testamental material.

This is a great, scholarly walk through a topic most people probably don’t know much about... that includes me. Dr. Heiser has done a masterful job.
Philip Vallone
Dec 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Michael Heiser, has a gift to take difficult biblical content and make it understandable to ordinary people. Well done Michael.
Oct 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Outstanding. Could not put it down.
A book every Christian should read along with 'Unseen Realm'.
Tiffany Valdez
Jun 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tiffany
Always blowing my mind and reframing how I interpret scripture.

Heiser continues to challenge my Western worldview and my lens for scripture understanding. This is an amazing “research paper” on the theology of demons supported by the worldview of Biblical writers.

It’s not a how-to reference on deliverance but rather an exegesis of “who” and “what” the Christian enemy truly is.
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Mike Heiser is a scholar in the fields of biblical studies and the ancient Near East. He is the Academic Editor of Logos Bible Software. Mike earned the M.A. and Ph.D. in Hebrew Bible and Semitic Languages at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2004. He has also earned an M.A. in Ancient History from the University of Pennsylvania (major fields: Ancient Israel and Egyptology). His main research ...more

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