Is Lucifer the Proper Name for the Devil?

DevilWho is the devil? Everyone knows the story. He was an angel named Lucifer who rebelled against God and was cast from heaven to hell, henceforth being known as the devil or satan.

But is this true?

The Book of Revelation does talk about a battle in heaven (Revelation 12:7), but even then the timing of that battle is disputed. It may be at the beginning of time, during the crucifixion or in the end times.

Even so, much of what Christians believe comes from Isaiah 14. It is here that you will see in the King James Version, the name Lucifer. But is this passage really description of the fall of satan?

“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! You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’” (Isaiah 14:12–14 ESV)

It should be noted that modern translations of the Bible do not include the name Lucifer in Isaiah 14:12. Lucifer first appears in the Latin Vulgate and is today only followed by the KJV. The best translation is day or morning star and it is a reference to the planet Venus. There is nothing in the text that suggests that it is a proper name.

In addition to this, we are told who this passage is about. In Isaiah 14:4, it is clear that this prophecy is about the king of Babylon and not a fallen angel.

So how did Christians come to see this as about satan? Unfortunately, most Christians rely on Dante and Milton for understanding satan rather than the Bible.

For this reason, I never refer to satan as Lucifer. It is always best to stick with the Bible.

If you have found this interesting, you might like this post where I address the also unbiblical idea that satan rules the kingdom of hell.

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4 thoughts on “Is Lucifer the Proper Name for the Devil?”

  1. Excellent observation, Stephen. As a King James user, I’ve seen many KJVO users argue against this point and would say this observation is ‘Bible correcting.’ I think you are exactly correct here. Brilliant!! 🙂

  2. I agree with your assessments. I can never boast of any level of religious studies, just life experiences, my United Church upbringing (which has allowed me freedom of ideas), 29 years on a very healthy Mental Health Unit in which I include every level of staff and patients, the love of my families, and an undeniable and absolute love and belief in God, Jesus and The Holy Ghost. (I don’t have any idea how that relationship works , I just accept it does.) The Bible is a book above all others. All truth? There is truth and there is eons of human “perfecting”. I have one major concern. It is with the second half of the second most important commandment Jesus gave. We are to love each other as we love our selves. That is the issue, I believe we do just that. 29 years on a Mental Health Unit has shown me that nearly every Mental Health illness is linked with a very poor understanding of self love. The grand slam, I call it , of self abuse is: 1) Have you been taking in enough fluids? (No, blank stare) 2). How is your diet, when have you eaten last? What was it? (Do chips or crackers count?) 3) Are you sleeping? How long? (Sometimes, 2-4 hours.) What do do for fun? Not tv. (The blank look tells all.). And this information is given in the first two minutes of an admission. If this is how we love our selves, then it is hopeless for our poor, poor, poor neighbours. That’s all from me. Hopefully this give you a moment of thought. Thanks. Respectfully, Donna

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