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Lucifer is probably not the proper name for Satan

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by The Liturgist, Jun 12, 2020.

  1. The Liturgist

    The Liturgist Traditional Liturgical Christian

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    In reading a thread on whether or not our Lord Jesus Christ is actually St. Michael the Archangel (he isn’t), I came across this post, which I felt interesting enough to warrant a thread, as I believe, as did Martin Luther and John Calvin, that this is a grave mistake and also points to one of the few errors in the KJV translation, which is otherwise my favorite English edition of the Bible.

    No it doesn’t. Luficer is a Latin word, and none of the Latin church fathers of the Patristic age, including those who interpreted Isaiah 14 as referring to Satan rather than Nebuchadnezzar, used the word Lucifer to refer to the devil.

    In fact, there is a fourth century Christian saint named Lucifer! St. Lucifer of Cagliari was the Bishop of Cagliaria in Sardinia, who is venerated in Sardinia for his stance against the Arian heresy. And St. Jerome, the translator of the Vulgate, had a major beef with St. Lucifer over Origen, whom the Sardinian bishop admired and Jerome regarded as a heretic, but never took a low blow against St. Lucifer for that.

    Lucifer was not an uncommon name among Romans and I recall reading of a Christian martyr in the second century who was also named Lucifer.

    In the middle ages, Roman Catholic demonologists who only used the Vulgate Bible, which by the way does not use Lucifer as a proper noun, since the word literally is the Latin word for “morning star” and was translated correctly by St. Jerome, proposed that Lucifer was a proper name for Satan. Others took the view that Lucifer, Beezlebub and Satan were three different entities.

    In the Canaanite religion and several other Semitic Pagan religions had a story of a god or goddess associated with the morning star trying to seize the throne of Baal and being cast down; in Canaanism the deity who attempted this, Attar, failing to assume the thrown of Baal, descended to and ruled the underworld. These stories are likely examples of how the devil spreads confusion by creating religions similiar to Nicene Christianity, or in its pre-incarnational form, the congregation of Israel, and these stories pop up centuries or millenia later to cause confusion. More recent examples of false religions superficially similiar to Christianity are the Bahai Faith, Unitarianism and the Unitarian Universalist Association, the New Church (Swedenborgianism), Spiritualism, the Moonies, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and worst of all, the People’s Temple (Jim Jones, of Jonestown, who poisoned the kool-aid).

    So, Dante in his Inferno decided to call the devil Lucifer, and Milton, doubtless referencing that, in his work Paradise Lost employed the same name. Milton also was doubtless influenced by the one of the few major mistakes in the King James Version, which was the translation of “Morning Star” from the Hebrew into Lucifer, instead of “Morning Star”, a rare example of the King James translators departing from the principle of textual equivalence in favor of dynamic equivalence.

    This error on the part of the KJV translators has been a disaster, because it has propagated the false belief that Isaiah 14 refers to the devil (due to Milton and Dante), which was rejected by both Martin Luther and John Calvin, not to mention a number of church fathers. It also makes no sense, because why translate from Hebrew into Latin? We can say for certain that even if Isaiah 14 does refer to the devil, Lucifer is not the proper name of the devil, but rather, a mere translation of the name.

    Rather, if Luther, Calvin, and numerous church fathers are wrong, and Origen and Tertullian, both anathematized heretics, and the Bogomils and Cathars* (who were Gnostic heretics who also believed that the devil was named Lucifer), are right, then the most correct translation of this alleged original name of Satan would be Helel ben Shachar, because that is the phrase in Isaiah 14 translated as Lucifer. It certainly would not be a word from a language that the early Church did not even use in worship, or bother translating the Bible into, until the second century.**

    I would note the only legitimate Church Father who was not a heretic who considered Isaiah 14 to refer to the devil was St. Augustine of Hippo, who was greatly admired by Luther and Calvin, who nonetheless disagreed with him on this and many other issues, but Augustine never referred to the devil as Lucifer. And why not? Because St. Augustine, being a scholar, would have read Isaiah as much from the Greek Septuagint as from the Vulgate, and also knew the Vulgate was not using Lucifer as a proper noun, but was a mere translation of the Hebrew. And St. Augustine had an even more compelling reason to not refer to the devil as Lucifer, more compelling than respect for St. Lucifero the Martyr and St. Lucifer the Bishop of Cagliari, the fact that John the Baptist and indeed our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ are referred to as the morning star in various ancient Latin hymns, thus, calling them Lucifer, including Aeterne rerum conditor a hymn written by St. Ambrose of Milan, which refers to our Lord Jesus Christ as the Morning Star, as Lucifer. St. Ambrose of Milan was St. Augustine’s mentor and catechist, who persuaded him to convert to Christianity from Manichaean Gnosticism, and who baptized him into the Church; the two great Latin fathers even wrote a hymn together, the famed Te Deum Laudamus, which is one of the most popular hymns and is also one of the canticles sung in Morning Prayer in the Church of England.

    St. Hilary of Poitiers, another church father, who is considered along with St. Athanasius of Alexandria to be one of the two staunchest opponents of the heresy of Arius, who denied the deity of Jesus Christ and considered him a creature, wrote the hymn Lucis largitor splendide, which also refers to our Lord Jesus Christ as the Morning Star, in Latin, and thus as Lucifer, which St. Augustine would also have been familiar with, given that the Church during Augustine’s career as a writer in the 5th century regarded Athanasius of Alexandria and Hilary of Poitiers as heroes for their role in fighting Arianism, almost by themselves, during the dark years following the death of Emperor Constantine, when Arianism replaced Christianity as the state religion of the Roman Empire and Athanasius was exiled from his native Egypt to Trier, then the main base of the crumbling Western Empire’s increasingly unsuccessful military operations against invading Germanic tribes, and Hilary of Poitiers was his only deeply committed faithful friend and supporter who absolutely refused the idea of any compromise with the Arians.

    In conclusion, based on the entirety of the evidence, we can say that Scripture does not reveal the original name of Satan to be Lucifer. It is possible his name was Helel ben Schahar, but not Lucifer, a Latin word referring to the Morning Star, which was used by two of the most pious Christians of the fourth century, St. Ambrose of Milan and St. Hilary of Poitiers, to refer to our lord and savior Jesus Christ, and a word which St. Augustine, the only orthodox Church Father who believed Isaiah 14 referred to the devil, and not Nebuchadnezzar, did not use when discussing that passage. Because indeed he was catechized and baptized by St. Ambrose, who did refer to our Lord as the Morning Star in a Latin hymn. Rather, as Martin Luther and John Calvin insisted, Isaiah 14 refers to Nebuchadnezzar and has nothing to do with our adversary the evil one, “the prince of the power of the air.”***

    Does the devil even have a name? Satan, the accuser, is not really a name. Perhaps one could argue the evil one, having rejected God, has destroyed his person to the point where he has no name, only job descriptions.

    * The Bogomils had a false Gnostic Gospel, which survives, in which the devil is referred to as Lucifer: Book of the Secret Supper - Wikipedia This book was adopted by the Cathars, who were Gnostics who abhorred marriage (a Cathar who received the Consolamenum and became a member of the Perfecti, their spiritual elite, as all who were unmarried were encouraged to do, vowed to not marry, as procreation was a sin in the Cathar faith, a view common to other Gnostic sects such as Manichaeanism.

    ** The Church in Rome worshipped in Greek until the reign of Archbishop Victor in the late second century AD, who, to reach the less educated Romans, the city’s poor, who did not know Greek, very commendably instituted Latin worship and commissioned the original Latin Bible, known today as the Vetus Latina. This translation was directly translated from the Greek Septuagint and the Greek New Testament and was written in exquisite Classical Latin, and phrases from it remain in use in Christian worship in the Western churches to this day, most notably, Gloria in Exclesis Deo. There were known errors in the Vetus Latina, and as a result St. Jerome was commissioned by his Archbishop of Rome (an office later styled as Pope), to translate a more accurate Latin Bible; Jerome did this, translating directly from Hebrew and Aramaic texts where they were available. His Vulgate is translated into the somewhat more vernacular Latin of the fourth century, which was already in the process of breaking up into four languages which would be the ancestors of French and Waloonian, Spanish and Portuguese, the numerous languages of Italy, and Romanian, Dalamatian and Arromanian. An example of the stylistic decline of the Vulgate vs. the Vetus Latina is demonstrated by it rendering “Glory to God in the Highest” as Gloria in Altissimus Deo, rather than Gloria in Excelsis Deo.

    *** In some Eastern Orthodox monasteries, this is interpreted literally, and the brethren are strongly discouraged from gazing at the sky, because of the risk of falling into delusion due to the activities of the devil.
     
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  2. eleos1954

    eleos1954 God is Love Supporter

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    Hebrew Lucifer

    helel: a shining one
    Original Word: הֵילֵל
    Part of Speech: Noun Masculine
    Transliteration: helel
    Phonetic Spelling: (hay-lale')
    Definition: a shining one
    NAS Exhaustive Concordance
    Word Origin
    from halal
    Definition
    a shining one
    NASB Translation
    star of the morning (1).

    Hebrew To Latin


    When this Hebrew term was translated into Latin, the word lucifero was used. Lucifero basically means "to shine." Therefore, if this term is understood to be a proper name of the king of Babylon, that name, in Latin, would be Lucifer.

    Thank you for the interesting post
     
  3. timothyu

    timothyu Well-Known Member

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    Satan is not the proper name for satan. Satan means Adversary. In the OT we had satans (adversaries to the will of God) but the chief figure in the OT was the Tempter whose job it was to test. Gentiles formulated their own concept of Satan based on a mish mash of previous characters ( even Peter was called a satan as he spoke adversarially to the will of the Father).
     
  4. The Liturgist

    The Liturgist Traditional Liturgical Christian

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    Right, I don’t think Satan has a proper name any more; whatever name he had before rejecting God has not been revealed to us.
     
  5. timothyu

    timothyu Well-Known Member

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    We rejected God also and prefer self interests rather than the will of God, so we might as well use our own names. Time to quit looking for outside sources to blame for our adversarial attitudes. The recent events on the streets should show how that works, seeking to blame others instead of taking responsibility for our own lives.
     
  6. Albion

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    Aw shucks. And just like that you've destroyed one of the favorite accusations of people who think that Freemasonry is about worshipping Lucifer.

    :D
     
  7. Refirened

    Refirened New Member

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    In both secular and Bible dictionaries the name Lucifer is known as another name for Satan/the devil. Entire sects of people worldwide worship the entity known as Lucifer which ultimately is another name for the Devil.


    KJV Dictionary Definition: lucifer

    LU'CIFER, n. L. lux, lucis, light, and fero, to bring.

    1. The planet Venus, so called from its brightness.


    2. Satan.

    And when he falls, he falls like Lucifer, never to hope again.

    lucific
    LUCIF'IC, a. L. lux, light, and facio, to make.

    Producing light.

    LUCIFER - Definition from the KJV Dictionary


    Lucifer

    Lu·ci·fer | \ ˈlü-sə-fər \
    Definition of Lucifer

    1—used as a name of the devil

    2: the planet Venus when appearing as the morning star

    Definition of LUCIFER Merriam Webster Dictionary
     
  8. The Liturgist

    The Liturgist Traditional Liturgical Christian

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    Did you even read my post, about how definition 1 came to be inaccurately used because of a mistranslation of Isaiah, where Isaiah is likening Nebuchadnezzar to the Morning Star?

    Because the present dictionary definition is there because people have developed an incorrect understanding of scripture due to an error in the KJV, coupled with misuse of the name Lucifer by Dante and Milton.

    Also, “Bible dictionaries” tend to be biased towards a denominational perspective.

    The fact remains Calvin and Luther said this interpretation was wrong.
     
  9. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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    Dictionaries ordinarily include as a definition the way a word is commonly used, even if that usage is technically incorrect.
     
  10. The Liturgist

    The Liturgist Traditional Liturgical Christian

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    Precisely, my Anglican friend.

    By the way as an aside what BCP version are you?
     
  11. Albion

    Albion Facilitator

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  12. Refirened

    Refirened New Member

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    The facts I have stated from factual sources as opposed to your theory. Are you denying that entire sects of People worldwide worship a spiritual being that they call Lucifer ?

    It's interesting that you preach the same ideology of Lucifer not being the devil. An entire sect of people worshiping an entity that is not Jesus Christ somehow thinking that spiritually Satan is not behind.

    Description

    Luciferianism is a belief system that venerates the essential characteristics that are affixed to Lucifer. The tradition, influenced by Gnosticism, usually reveres Lucifer not as the devil, but as a destroyer, a guardian, light bringer or guiding spirit to darkness, or even the true god as opposed to Jehovah.
     
  13. The Liturgist

    The Liturgist Traditional Liturgical Christian

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    No, you quoted dictionaries, which as I and @Albion told you, necessarily reflect current popular usage of a word, even if that usage is incorrect. Roman Christians did not use the word Lucifer to refer to the devil.

    Not at all ... there are devil worshipping sects, and these devil worshippers are stupid. I mean, lets face it, how dumb do you have to be to actually want to worship the devil? So the fact they use an incorrect but popular name for the devil is to be expected.

    It actually makes their sin worse, in this regard: since the Roman Christians in the fourth century called Jesus Christ Lucifer in their hymns, and these hymns remain in use today in the Anglican, Lutheran and Roman Catholic churches, they are actually commiting a further act of blasphemy by worshipping the devil using an appelation used by St. Hilary and St. Augustine and many other ancient hymnographers to refer to our savior Jesus Christ, who is the Light, the Truth, and the Way, and also to the Forerunner St. John the Baptist, who made straight the paths and called the world to repentence before the arrival of Christ our King.
     
  14. JackRT

    JackRT Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Isaiah 14:12 ”How you have fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!” There is a very common perception that the 'Lucifer' in this verse refers to Satan, the supernatural personification of evil. I think that this misconception comes from two sources. The first is wishful thinking in the sense that it is nice to think that 'the Enemy' will get his come-uppance eventually. The second has to do with the old caution that scripture is to be read only 'in context'. This requires going back and reading all of Isaiah 13 and the earlier verses in Isaiah 14. When this is done we suddenly realize that scripture is not speaking of a supernatural Satan at all but of a Babylonian king with an immense ego. Read Isaiah 14:4 “You will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon:" What follows is a long rant against this oppressive king filled with numerous references to his human nature like Isaiah 14:16 “Those who see you stare at you, they ponder your fate: Is this the man who shook the earth and made kingdoms tremble, 17 the man who made the world a desert, who overthrew its cities and would not let his captives go home?" This passage is in no way a reference to Satan or the devil. That anyone would draw that conclusion is, to me, somewhat naive.

    It is also interesting to note that the Jews never connected Satan to the serpent in the Garden of Eden. It was the second-century Christian martyr, Justin of Samaria, who was first to argue that Satan appeared as a serpent to tempt Adam and Eve to disobey God. It was also the third-century Christian philosopher Origen of Alexandria who was the first to suggest that Lucifer actually was Satan or the devil.
     
  15. Refirened

    Refirened New Member

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    The devil doesn't appear as a devil though does he as the Bible says he transforms himself into an angel of light which is why occultists call Lucifer the light bearer. He appears as Lucifer to the multitudes of people around the world who are worshiping a spirit being they call Lucifer instead of worshipping Jesus Christ. Helena Blavatsky was a freemason who worshiped this spirit being because its the devil which dictionaries rightfully acknowledge as has church history.


    Lucifer was a publication edited by the influential occultist Helena Blavatsky.
     
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  16. The Liturgist

    The Liturgist Traditional Liturgical Christian

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    Thats actually not entirely true, Orthodox Jews do regard the serpent as being diabolical and connected with the devil.

    However, whereas it is untrue that all Jews do not associate the serpent with the devil, it is true that Karaite Jews not only do not associate the serpent with the devil, but they also deny the existence of the devil.

    That said the rest of your post is basically what Luther and Calvin were arguing
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2020
  17. The Liturgist

    The Liturgist Traditional Liturgical Christian

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    Helen Blavatsky was a liar and a fraud, and as I said, devil worshippers call the devil Lucifer because theyre profoundly stupid people and think the name is appropriate. They are committing blasphemy.

    Also Blavatsky was not a Freemason; only men can be Freemasons, and Eastern Star and CoFreemasnry AFAIK did not exist while she was alive. @Albion might know more
     
  18. timothyu

    timothyu Well-Known Member

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    Yet according to the Encyclopaedia Judaic satan means adversary to God and devil means false accuser. Rather generic and easily applicable to man also. The only Lucifers we have today are celebrities and politicians.
     
  19. Refirened

    Refirened New Member

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    Multitudes worldwide are worshiping a being called Lucifer. In the context of the Scripture
    the being Lucifer who desires worship is leading people to worship Lucifer instead of Jesus Christ. somehow you cannot connect the dots that if you worship Lucifer that's satanic.

    In the context of this Scripture who fell from heaven ?



    Isaiah 14:12-15

    12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

    13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:

    14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.

    15 Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.​
     
  20. timothyu

    timothyu Well-Known Member

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    Satanic (being adversarial to God) is anyone who does not do His will regardless of how they go about it.
     
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