Is Lucifer a Biblical name for Satan?


#1

I began researching this question several years ago. This is what I found:

See Lucifer (Hebr. helel; Septuagint eosphoros, Vulgate Lucifer) in The Original Catholic Encyclopedia: Link to Lucifer, History of the Term: oce.catholic.com/index.php?title=Lucifer

The Latin word Lucifer seems to have been carried over from the Latin Vulgate to the KJV in Isaiah 14:12, and became a Protestant proof text for the fall of Satan. Though one can see Satan behind the actions of the king; Isaiah 14:12 seems to be speaking of a Babylonian king.

King James Version:
Isaiah 14:12: 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!


The word Lucifer is found in the Latin Vulgate 3 times, and is used as a description of Christ in 2 Peter 1:19. The word luciferum appears 2 times in the Latin Vulgate.

Latin Vulgate:
**2 Peter 1:19 **(Latin Vulgate) “et habemus firmiorem propheticum sermonem cui bene facitis adtendentes quasi lucernae lucenti in caliginoso loco donec dies inlucescat et lucifer oriatur in cordibus vestris”

Isaiah 14:12 (Latin Vulgate) “quomodo cecidisti de caelo lucifer qui mane oriebaris corruisti in terram qui vulnerabas gentes”

Job 11:17 (Latin Vulgate) “et quasi meridianus fulgor consurget tibi ad vesperam et cum te consumptum putaveris orieris ut lucifer”

Job 38:32 (Latin Vulgate) “numquid producis luciferum in tempore suo et vesperum super filios terrae consurgere facis”

Psalms 109(110):3 (Latin Vulgate) “tecum principium in die virtutis tuae in splendoribus sanctorum ex utero ante luciferum genui te”


The word Lucifer is found in the Douay-Rheims once in Isaiah 14:12.

Douay-Rheims:
Isaiah 14:12: How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, who didst rise in the morning? how art thou fallen to the earth, that didst wound the nations?


The word Lucifer is not found in the RSV or the NRSV.

Revised Standard Version
Isaiah 14:12 How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low!

New Revised Standard Version
**Isaiah 14:**12 How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low!


There was actually a bishop named Lucifer, known as Lucifer of Cagliari. He was born in the early part of the 4th century and died in 371 A.D. Link: newadvent.org/cathen/09410b.htm

The word lucifer is also used in Roman Rite liturgy’s Exultet chant in praise of the paschal candle and refers to Christ as the Morning Star (in Latin, lucifer, with lower-case initial): ". . . . . .Flammas eius lucifer matutinus inveniat:Ille, inquam, lucifer, qui nescit occasum:Christus Filius tuus,qui, regressus ab inferis, humano generi serenus illuxit,et vivit et regnat in saecula saeculorum."
Link: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucifer
Catholic Link: unamsanctamcatholicam.blogspot.com/2009/04/exsultet.html


From the research I have done, it appears that the Latin word lucifer actually became associated with Satan outside the Bible in works like Dante Alighieri’s Inferno and Milton’s Paradise Lost. Though, some ECF’s did adopt the association of lucifer with Satan.

So, I do not believe lucifer is a true Biblical name for Satan, though I could be wrong. Do you agree or disagree?

Please explain your answer and cite your sources. :slight_smile:

Peace,
Anna


#2

The angelic being referred to as Lucifer became Satan through his fall. So, the name Lucifer really refers to him before he turned on God. Satan is what he became. So naturally, people are going to associate the name Lucifer with Satan, even if it's not correct.

It's like calling the monster Frankenstein when that was the name of his creator. The name Frankenstein has come to be associated so strongly with the monster instead of Victor Frankenstein that it's become synonymous with it in every day speech.

It is unfortunate that the name Lucifer, which means Morning Star, came to be synonymous with Satan, but it has and most people do think of it that way.

You can try to fight it, but it's not a theological hill on which I'd choose to die. There are much bigger battles to be fought, but you have a valid point. I'm just not sure what good it would do to make an issue of it--who would it benefit? Just saying.


#3

[quote="Della, post:2, topic:249116"]
The angelic being referred to as Lucifer became Satan through his fall. So, the name Lucifer really refers to him before he turned on God. Satan is what he became. So naturally, people are going to associate the name Lucifer with Satan, even if it's not correct.

It's like calling the monster Frankenstein when that was the name of his creator. The name Frankenstein has come to be associated so strongly with the monster instead of Victor Frankenstein that it's become synonymous with it in every day speech.

It is unfortunate that the name Lucifer, which means Morning Star, came to be synonymous with Satan, but it has and most people do think of it that way.

You can try to fight it, but it's not a theological hill on which I'd choose to die. There are much bigger battles to be fought, but you have a valid point. I'm just not sure what good it would do to make an issue of it--who would it benefit? Just saying.

[/quote]

As you go through the bible you will find a lot of name changes... Saul became Paul. Abram became Abraham. Just to name a few.

So Lucifer and Satan are the same -- Only with a change in attitude.


#4

[quote="Will_B, post:3, topic:249116"]
As you go through the bible you will find a lot of name changes... Saul became Paul. Abram became Abraham. Just to name a few.

So Lucifer and Satan are the same -- Only with a change in attitude.

[/quote]

Those name changes are explained in Scripture. What is your source for the name change of lucifer to Satan (Scripture, ECF's, etc.)?

And---how did the word lucifer go from a reference to Christ to a name for Satan????

Latin Vulgate:
*2 Peter 1:19 * "et habemus firmiorem propheticum sermonem cui bene facitis adtendentes quasi lucernae lucenti in caliginoso loco donec dies inlucescat et lucifer oriatur in cordibus vestris"

Douay-Rheims
2 Peter 1:19 ** And we have the more firm prophetical word: whereunto you do well to attend, as to a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn and the **day star arise in your hearts.

If lucifer is a name for Satan, why is it used in Roman Rite liturgy's Exultet Chant in praise of the paschal candle which refers to Christ as the Morning Star (in Latin, lucifer, with lower-case initial): ". . . . . .Flammas eius lucifer matutinus inveniat:Ille, inquam, lucifer, qui nescit occasum:Christus Filius tuus,qui, regressus ab inferis, humano generi serenus illuxit,et vivit et regnat in saecula saeculorum."
Link: unamsanctamcatholicam.blogspot.com/2009/04/exsultet.html

Peace,
Anna


#5

[quote="Della, post:2, topic:249116"]
The angelic being referred to as Lucifer became Satan through his fall. So, the name Lucifer really refers to him before he turned on God. Satan is what he became. So naturally, people are going to associate the name Lucifer with Satan, even if it's not correct. . . . .

[/quote]

Della,

I appreciate your comments. What is the source?

Thanks,
Anna


#6

[quote="Della, post:2, topic:249116"]
. . . .It is unfortunate that the name Lucifer, which means Morning Star, came to be synonymous with Satan, but it has and most people do think of it that way.

You can try to fight it, but it's not a theological hill on which I'd choose to die. There are much bigger battles to be fought, but you have a valid point. I'm just not sure what good it would do to make an issue of it--who would it benefit? Just saying.

[/quote]

Della,

I agree that there are bigger issues; and it's not a theological hill on which I'd choose to die, either.

It's just part of that search for truth, I suppose; and more importantly, I find it disturbing that lucifer is associated with both Christ and Satan.

Thanks for your comments. :)

Peace,
Anna


#7

A non-personified reference for "lucifer" - morning star/ light bearer / light bringer / personified: eosphorus/phosphorous, is the planet Venus, which was around before the Bible was written, and Venus was and is visible in certain geographical areas temporarily only before dawn and after dust. In Greek mythology, Hesperus is the personified evening star. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hesperus

In my opinion, it might be plausible that in language use at that time "morning star*, son of the dawn" [Isaiah 14:12 - NIV], or similar, referred (also) to 'celebrities'.

"How you have fallen from heaven,
morning star*, son of the dawn!
You have been cast down to the earth,
you who once laid low the nations!"

In more modernish history, it reminds me of A. Hitler, in reference to the Babylonian king and his reign.

If the word "star*" was used describe 'celebrities' or such, "day star*" (respectivly, the original Hebrew word) might have been a reference similar to "one day fly".

In itself, Isaiah 14:12, "day star*", or "morning star*", without any personification, seems to be a clear reference to the Sun and a summary reflection of / poetic inspiration from the Sun's way in the sky from dawn until dust (from on-Terra perspective).

*Just found this:
franknelte.net/Mistranslated_Scriptures/ISA14-12.htm
"How are you fallen from heaven, YOU INCREDIBLY ARROGANT AND MAD BOASTER, son of the morning (i.e. Jesus Christ, the Morning Star, created you); how are you cut down to the ground, who weakened the nations! (Isaiah 14:12) "

"The Greek language LXX had incorrectly translated "heylel" as "eosphoros" ... When Jerome made his Latin language Vulgate translation, instead of correctly translating the Hebrew "heylel", he simply translated the incorrect LXX Greek "phosphoros" into Latin as "lucifer"."

The reason for the mentioned mistranslation might have been that a form of "halal" was used to describe also Venus (in the morning), albeit that wasn't the intended meaning in Isaiah 14:12.

So or so, the identification/association of personified Lucifer as satan (and/or devil) seems to be Christian folklore (in this case, misled by mistranslation of one word).

Also regarding this topic: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucifer

And this issue isn't just a theological hill. All those Bibles in print with mistranslation, where 'satan', respectivly the Babylonian king, is called day star, or morning star! And some would probably argue that "lucifer" is the correct translation, eg.
creationconversations.com/forum/topics/proof-that-lucifer-is-correct


#8

[quote="Will_B, post:3, topic:249116"]
As you go through the bible you will find a lot of name changes... Saul became Paul. Abram became Abraham. Just to name a few.

So Lucifer and Satan are the same -- Only with a change in attitude.

[/quote]

He didn't change his name but had two names.Saul was His Hebrew name Paul was his Roman Name.
I could be mistaken but I think there were only four people who had their named changed.
Abraham, his wife Sarah, Jacob and Peter.


#9

I always was under the impression that the understanding of the name Lucifer referring to the devil before his fall was strictly an Anglophone thing.


#10

[quote="Cavaradossi, post:9, topic:249116"]
I always was under the impression that the understanding of the name Lucifer referring to the devil before his fall was strictly an Anglophone thing.

[/quote]

Cavaradossi,

Well lucifer is a Latin word, so I don't see how it could be an "anglophone thing". Could you elaborate?

Peace,
Anna


#11

I voted..."I am not sure...." since "Lucifer" is a Latin translation the name/title given to both Christ and the figure which eventually came to be known as "the satan"..."the advesary"....this figure did not take on a more "personal" character until after the return from the Exile which the Jews adopted from Zorastrian influence while in Bayblon/Persia....by the time of Jesus of Nazareth, "Satan" had taken on a "persona' all his own and became....at least in the popular mind...the "anti-God"....a dualism which Judaism...and later Christianity and Islam adopted.


#12

I believe "lucifer" is a Biblical name for Satan but that it is not exclusive to him.

The term "lucifer" means light bearer. Satan WAS Lucifer in the sense that he was a glorious angel, but he fell and became Satan. So Lucifer is a Biblical equivalent to Satan in the sense that it describes the same being. However, Lucifer is more commonly used to describe who Satan was, whereas "Satan" more commonly describes who he is now.


#13

[quote="Ladervijd, post:7, topic:249116"]
A non-personified reference for "lucifer" - morning star/ light bearer / light bringer / personified: eosphorus/phosphorous, is the planet Venus, which was around before the Bible was written, and Venus was and is visible in certain geographical areas temporarily only before dawn and after dust. In Greek mythology, Hesperus is the personified evening star. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hesperus

[/quote]

Ladervijd,
I'm aware of the morning star being a reference to Venus.

Also, Jesus called himself, the "bright morning star."
Revelation 22: 16 "I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star."

And of course, lucifer means morning star/day star.

As to some of the other links you posted; I tend to stay away from the more extreme websites like those that promote King James only and creationism. I've read through of number of these site before. They seem to make a lot of claims without convincing support--at least from my perspective.

I do appreciate your comments, :)
Anna


#14

[quote="Della, post:2, topic:249116"]
The angelic being referred to as Lucifer became Satan through his fall. So, the name Lucifer really refers to him before he turned on God. Satan is what he became. So naturally, people are going to associate the name Lucifer with Satan, even if it's not correct. . . .

[/quote]

[quote="smichhertz, post:12, topic:249116"]
I believe "lucifer" is a Biblical name for Satan but that it is not exclusive to him.

The term "lucifer" means light bearer. Satan WAS Lucifer in the sense that he was a glorious angel, but he fell and became Satan. So Lucifer is a Biblical equivalent to Satan in the sense that it describes the same being. However, Lucifer is more commonly used to describe who Satan was, whereas "Satan" more commonly describes who he is now.

[/quote]

Could one of you provide a source for lucifer being a Biblical name for Satan before his fall?

Thanks,
Anna


#15

[quote="Publisher, post:11, topic:249116"]
I voted..."I am not sure...." since "Lucifer" is a Latin translation the name/title given to both Christ and the figure which eventually came to be known as "the satan"..."the advesary"....this figure did not take on a more "personal" character until after the return from the Exile which the Jews adopted from Zorastrian influence while in Bayblon/Persia....by the time of Jesus of Nazareth, "Satan" had taken on a "persona' all his own and became....at least in the popular mind...the "anti-God"....a dualism which Judaism...and later Christianity and Islam adopted.

[/quote]

Publisher,
Interesting comments. Thanks for voting. :)

Peace,
Anna


#16

A) Great question! I voted no.

B) Lots of unsubstantiated religious folklore out there! :)

I think this idea comes from people linking the Isaiah text you cite to Luke 10:18 ("I saw Satan fall...etc.") Because the language in Luke is reminiscent of Isaiah 14, people have linked the Latin "Lucifer" in Isaiah to the Semitic "Satan" in Luke.

I have had students ask me why Satan is always portrayed as a goat! I have some theories, but not quite sure :)


#17

Another good question is Lucifer even correctly interpreted by Jerome? St Jerome did do a fantastic job with interpretation. But there does seem to be a bit of controversy over Isaiah and Lucifer.


#18

[quote="Anna_Scott, post:14, topic:249116"]
Could one of you provide a source for lucifer being a Biblical name for Satan before his fall?

Thanks,
Anna

[/quote]

...? You provided it yourself many times:

[BIBLEDRB]Isaiah 14:12-15[/BIBLEDRB]


#19

[quote="Dave_Noonan, post:16, topic:249116"]
A) Great question! I voted no.

B) Lots of unsubstantiated religious folklore out there! :)

I think this idea comes from people linking the Isaiah text you cite to Luke 10:18 ("I saw Satan fall...etc.") Because the language in Luke is reminiscent of Isaiah 14, people have linked the Latin "Lucifer" in Isaiah to the Semitic "Satan" in Luke.

I have had students ask me why Satan is always portrayed as a goat! I have some theories, but not quite sure :)

[/quote]

Dave,

Interesting comments.

If you don't mind my asking (and your are not obligated to answer); what do you teach?

Peace,
Anna


#20

[quote="GaryTaylor, post:17, topic:249116"]
Another good question is Lucifer even correctly interpreted by Jerome? St Jerome did do a fantastic job with interpretation. But there does seem to be a bit of controversy over Isaiah and Lucifer.

[/quote]

Hi Gary,

That's a good question. Have you read anything on St. Jerome's translation of the word? Just curious about sources.

I definitely agree that there is a controversy over Isaiah and lucifer. I think the evidence points to lucifer not being a reference to Satan.

Thanks for your comments. :)

Peace,
Anna


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