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Biblical Bad Guy

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"Like unthinking animals they do whatever their instincts tell them, and so they bring about their own destruction. What sorrow awaits them! For they follow in the footsteps of Cain, who killed his brother. Like Balaam, they deceive people for money. And like Korah, they perish in their rebellion."

The bad guys from The Bible are often well known and as such don't require introduction, and everyone knows they are evil. The really handy thing is that many of them are regularly theorized to be cursed with immortality as part of their punishment for being bad guys, providing a decent reason for them to show up in any time period.

Note: Satan, God Is Evil, Cain, The Pharaoh of the Exodus and the Horsemen of the Apocalypse have their own tropes — as do the Nephilim, who aren't always evil but often are. Because the Bible also features a few gods of other traditions as demons or even other names for Satan himself - figures like Dagon and Baal - this may overlap with Mesopotamian Monstrosity.

Note 2: Sharing a name with any of these absolutely is symbolic, but not enough for a character to qualify. They have to actually be the same person as the one in the Bible to be this trope. If the name is the only connection, see Names To Run Away From: Biblical Names. See also the Name of Cain and The Descendants of Cain. For an Abrahamic baddie who originated in The Talmud instead of the Bible, see Lilith.

Not to be confused with Churchgoing Villain.


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    Anime & Manga 

  • The Sin: The woman is Eve who, in the Abrahamic religions, is responsible for introducing original sin to mankind. Here, she has accepted it so thoroughly, she's tempting the viewer.

    Comic Books 
  • As of the New 52 of DC Comics, it has been revealed that The Phantom Stranger is Judas Iscariot. In this case, he's actually repented since then and has spent the past two thousand years helping people from the shadows as penance. It's not known if this is continued in Rebirth.
  • Ghost Rider (2011) features Adam as one of its key villains. He felt bad about the whole original sin thing, so plotted to use Ghost Rider's powers to burn sin out of the world.
  • Vampirella:
    • In one of the 90s Harris stories Vampirella fights the "Black Pope of the Vampire Church", who turns out to be Judas Iscariot.
    • The Blood Red Queen of Hearts was a body-hopping demoness who was identified as the Whore of Babylon.
    • Lilith, the first wife of Adam, also used to be a malevolent figure who gave birth to many demonic races and monsters. But she has since repented and turned into The Atoner. Or so she has lead others to believe and remained evil as ever.

  • The Librarian has Judas as the first vampire.
  • In Dracula 2000, Dracula is Judas, who is also the Wandering Jew, a legend of a man forced to Walk the Earth very clearly based on the story of Cain. Interestingly, the way to kill him is to re-create the conditions of the incomplete hanging that caused him to be trapped between life and death.

  • Not a direct example, but The Knights of the Blackened Denarius in The Dresden Files get their powers from 30 silver coins, each with a fallen angel inside. The coins are heavily implied to be the Thirty Pieces of Silver that Judas was paid to betray Jesus. Nicodemus, leader of the Knights, also wears the noose Judas hung himself with as a necktie; it offers him protection from anything. Except, as Harry finds out when he tugs on the end of it, itself.
  • Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm a Supervillain gives us Lucyfar, a sorceress who claims to be the Archangel Lucifer, Princess of Darkness. Most people think she's crazy or lying, but she is surprisingly powerful when she gets serious. The crown of black fire, especially, is the kind of thing that makes you re-evaluate your assumptions.
  • Nightside: John Taylor has an Oh, Crap! moment when he realizes he's delivered the Unholy Grail to Judas Iscariot himself. Subverted when Judas reveals himself to be The Atoner and breaks the bowl's power by using it for Communion.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Kamen Rider Gaim: DJ Sagara is implied at one point to be the serpent who tempted Adam and Eve to eat the Forbidden Fruit.
  • Lucifer (2016):
  • Supernatural: Biblical bad guys make up about 90% of the villains on Supernatural, with Lucifer being the bad guy for two seasons and various demons and angels making up the rest. Archangel Michael, while technically a Well-Intentioned Extremist, was actually just as bad as Lucifer. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse were also major villains, with the character of Death recurring every other season or so. Death wasn't a bad guy, but the other three definitely were. Cain makes a guest appearance at one point. Even the Whore of Babylon makes an appearance as a Monster of the Week.
  • Wynonna Earp: During the final episodes of Season 3, Bulshar (the Big Bad of that season and Greater-Scope Villain of the series up to that point) is revealed to have originally been the Serpent of Eden.

  • Jesus Christ Superstar deconstructs Judas Iscariot as a tragic and remorseful villain and deuteragonist of the musical, and Pontius Pilate as a world-weary authority figure who doesn't understand why Jesus must die, but must uphold the law as governor of Judea. King Herod, however, is portrayed as a Sissy Villain who condemns Jesus for not performing what amounts to magic tricks for him.
  • Ralph Vaughan Williams's adaptation of The Pilgrim's Progress adds two New Testament villains to the Vanity Fair sequence. Judas Iscariot appears among the crowd of vendors, boasting about his old silver-piece deal. When the Pilgrim defiantly tells them that he buys the truth, and the crowd jeers, Pontius Pilate puts his words in: "What is truth?"

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 
  • On Command & Conquer, Kane is heavily implied to be the Biblical Cain, showing off the tomb of Abel in Renegade, and having a right-hand man named Seth. The Brotherhood of Nod is named after the land Cain went to to build a city.

  • Both the title of The Letters Of The Devil and some passing comparisons to Lucifer imply that the mysterious "L" is the Devil. Whether this is literal or figurative is not yet clear.

    Web Original 
  • The SCP Foundation features an interesting take on this trope. SCP-073 "Cain" and SCP-076-2 "Able" are the biblical Cain and Abel, but their roles are inverted. Cain is a Nice Guy who voluntarily works with the Foundation as a biological backup drive. He still suffers from the Mark of Cain put upon him by god, causing plant material to crumble at his touch (doesn't work on animals) and his wounds to be imparted on his attackers. Able, on the other hand, is an Ax-Crazy, immortal killing machine who seems utterly incapable of doing anything that doesn't involve violence. The Foundation tried to weaponize him once in the ill-fated Pandora's Box project but wisely decided to scrap it. It's implied that 6000 years of bitterness made Able into a murderous monster, while Cain has gone through the same amount of Character Development, mellowing out his harsher traits.
    • While it depends on the writer if they're a villain or not, there's an organization rivaling the Foundation known as the Serpent's Hand, which is based in an interdimensional library containing every story, which, according to the Serpent's Hand, was created and ruled by the Serpent of Eden. Note that the Library (and thus presumably the Serpent) considers the Hand to be superfluous, and only indulges them because they are no threat.

    Western Animation