Highlight the different names and descriptions used for demons in the Bible – Demonology


In the Bible, various names and descriptions are used for malevolent spiritual entities, often referred to as demons or evil spirits. These entities are depicted in different ways across various passages. Here are some of the different names and descriptions used for demons in the Bible:

  1. Unclean Spirits:
    • This term is commonly used in the New Testament to describe malevolent spirits that possess or afflict individuals.
    • Example: “And whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, ‘You are the Son of God.'” (Mark 3:11)
  2. Evil Spirits:
    • Similar to “unclean spirits,” this term is used to denote malevolent supernatural entities.
    • Example: “Now the Spirit of the Lord departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him.” (1 Samuel 16:14)
  3. Demons (Derived from the Greek “daimonion”):
    • While the term “demon” itself is not used extensively in the Bible, it has become the standard term in Christian demonology to refer to malevolent spiritual beings.
    • Example: “And when he came to the other side, to the country of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men met him, coming out of the tombs, so fierce that no one could pass that way.” (Matthew 8:28)
  4. Legion:
    • In the Gospels, there is a specific reference to a group of demons that possessed a man, and they identified themselves as “Legion” because they were many.
    • Example: “My name is Legion, for we are many.” (Mark 5:9)
  5. Beelzebul:
    • Beelzebul, also known as Beelzebub, is a name that appears in the New Testament and is often associated with the prince of demons or a chief demon.
    • Example: “But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, ‘It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons, that this man casts out demons.'” (Matthew 12:24)
  6. Belial:
    • Belial is a term used in some Old Testament and intertestamental texts to refer to wickedness or lawlessness, often associated with malevolent spiritual forces.
    • Example: “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? What accord has Christ with Belial?” (2 Corinthians 6:14-15)
  7. Familiar Spirits:
    • This term is used in the context of consulting or seeking guidance from evil spirits, which is explicitly forbidden in the Bible.
    • Example: “And when they say to you, ‘Inquire of the mediums and the necromancers who chirp and mutter,’ should not a people inquire of their God? Should they inquire of the dead on behalf of the living?” (Isaiah 8:19)
  8. Powers and Principalities:
    • In some New Testament passages, references are made to spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms, often described as “powers” and “principalities.”
    • Example: “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)

These are some of the names and descriptions used for malevolent spiritual entities in the Bible. It’s important to note that the terminology and understanding of these entities may vary between different biblical texts and theological interpretations.