I encountered this word in the book entitled "The Devil", I forgot the name of the author. it said Tertullian called Satan the "ape of God" but offer very little explanation.

We know from the bible references Satan was attributed to the serpent, roaring lion and ancient dragon.. This description is supported by biblical references in Genesis, Revelation and 1Peter5:8.

But to call satan "the ape of God, is there a sound Catholic biblical perspective on this, or perhaps an early Church writing explaining the soundness of this phrase?

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    Not being Catholic, I won't post an actual answer, but you may consider this quote: Satan was called by Augustine Simius Dei, the ape of God, because he counterfeits the work of God. Many verses demonstrate Lucifer's counterfeit, the most obvious being 2 Cor. 11:14, "for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light." – JBH Jun 26 '18 at 7:42
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    It's probably using the inferior sense of "imitator", rather than that of the animal. – curiousdannii Jun 26 '18 at 7:42
  • One definition of "ape" is unrefined imitation. I would assume this is the meaning meant. "The devil apes the divine". – 3961 Oct 13 '18 at 15:55

“The Ape Of God” is a medieval reference to the trickster archetype, or the devil. The trickster archetype is associated with the following characteristics as described by C.G. Jung: “A fondness for sly jokes and malicious pranks, His power as a shapeshifter, his dual nature, half animal, half divine, his exposure to all kinds of torture, and – last but not least – his approximation to the figure of a savior.”

See: The Ape of God (Catholic Register)

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