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May 15 2000 The Symbolism of the Serpent The most prominent serpent story in our culture is of Christian tradition that story happens to be the creation story of Adam and Eve It is often suggested that the serpent is symbolic of the devil or evil in Genesis Assuming that the serpent exemplifies evil one may then safely ask the question Why do bishops crooks have serpents on them Looking around at other cultures it is also relevant to question why the Romans often kept serpents in their homes Simon and Schuster 370 Many other questions arise but by opening ones mind and looking at other possibilities one can find the answers It is true that the serpent can be symbolic of evil however the serpent is also representative of among many other things eternity wisdom and healing From the beginning of time to the present the serpent has had multiple meanings for different cultures By looking at the serpent as simply evil in the creation story or any other story one fails to exhaust the rich background that the serpent has accumulated through time The serpent and their offspring have generally thought to be cursed by God for its actions in the Garden of Eden According to the New Catholic Encyclopedias beliefs it was sentenced to crawl on its belly suggesting that at one point serpents had limbs and eat the dirt of the earth Even the fear women have of snakes is explained by the sly deception of the serpent so very long ago 121 Serpent as a symbol of Chaos Evil and the Underworld the ancient serpent who is called the Devil and Satan who deceived the whole world accuser of the brethren Rev 12 9-10 The most familiar symbolism of the serpent is evil In the Western civilization this is mostly brought about by the deception of the serpent in the Garden
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