Posted by: mystic444 | October 23, 2016

“Lucifer”

In the late 19th century, a man named Albert Pike – Sovereign Grand Commander of the Southern Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite Masons – wrote a book entitled Morals and Dogma. One statement within this 861 page book is frequently quoted by denouncers of Masonry to show that Masonry (at least in its higher degrees) is “Luciferian” or “Satanic”. This statement is:

Lucifer, the light-bearer! Strange and mysterious name to give to the Spirit of Darkness! Lucifer, the Son of the Morning! Is it he who bears the Light, and with its intolerable light blinds feeble, sensual or selfish souls? Doubt it not!” (http://www.masonicinfo.com/lucifer.htm)

(In the linked article, the statement does not appear in its entirety in one place. I have combined two partial renderings of the statement. The first partial rendering in the article begins with “Lucifer, the son of the morning” and continues through “Doubt it not!” The second partial rendering – late in the article – begins with “Lucifer, the light-bearer” and contains everything except the ending “Doubt it not!”)

 

The problem with using this quotation to indicate that Mr. Pike was a worshiper of “the evil one” – Satan/Lucifer – is that he was in fact a devout Christian until his dying day! The statement is in reality a Christian protest against, and repudiation of, the use of the wonderful name “Lucifer” (“light bearer” or “light bringer”) to refer to Satan, the “Spirit of Darkness”. He is saying that it is simply absurd to call one whose characteristic is “darkness” by the name “light bringer”.

 

Instead, he says that the real “Lucifer” (light bringer) is “he who bears the Light, and with its intolerable light blinds feeble, sensual or selfish souls” – that is, from his Christian perspective, Jesus Christ himself! Satan may pretend to be the “light bringer”, disguising himself as an “angel (messenger) of light”, but he is a liar and fraud. It is Jesus Christ, according to Christian thinking and teaching, who is the light and who brought that light into the world.

 

What is the source of the word “lucifer”? Is it true that in Christian thinking the word properly applies to Jesus Christ, or is it really the “name” of “the evil one”, the “prince of darkness”?

 

First, the word “lucifer” is Latin, and means “light bearer” or “light bringer”. It is used as a descriptive title/name for the “morning star” (“daystar”) – the planet Venus – because Venus appears in the sky just before dawn, is quite bright, and could be seen as introducing and bringing the Sun into the morning sky. Being Latin, it does not appear in the ‘original’ Biblical writings (which are Hebrew in the ‘Old Testament’ and Greek in the “New Testament”). However, “lucifer” does appear a few times in the Latin Vulgate translation of the Bible. Two of those uses are in Isaiah 14:12 (“Old Testament”) and 2 Peter 1:19 (“New Testament”). Since I’m seeking a “Christian” understanding of who the true “Lucifer” is, I’ll begin with the New Testament use.

 

2 Peter 1:19 reads (King James Version): “We have also a more sure word of prophecy, whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the daystar arise in your hearts”. “Daystar” is clearly a reference to Jesus Christ.

 

The word translated “daystar” is the Greek word “phosphoros” – which is literally “light bringer” or “light bearer”. In other words, the Greek word “phosphoros” is the exact equivalent in meaning with the Latin word “lucifer”; and while it may surprise most Christians, “lucifer” is the word used in the Latin Vulgate to translate the Greek word “phosphoros”! So according to the Latin Vulgate, Jesus Christ is “Lucifer”!

 

Now since the Latin “lucifer” (as also the Greek “phosphoros”) is used as a title/name for “the daystar” and “the morning star” (Venus), Revelation 22:16 is also a testimony that Jesus Christ is “Lucifer”. This verse reads (King James Version):

“I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.”

Although “morning star” here is not “phosphoros” (or “lucifer” in the Vulgate), but the actual two words “morning” (“proinos”) and “star” (“aster”) – or in Latin, “matutina” and “stella” – the meaning is the same since “phosphoros” is the name given to the “aster proinos”  – and  “lucifer” is the Latin name given to the “stella matutina”. It is the same as using “Washington, D. C.” to name “the capital of the U. S. A.”. “Washington, D. C.” is not the same wording as “the capital of the U. S. A.”, but they both refer to the same city, and may be used interchangeably. So “morning star/daystar” is interchangeable with “light bringer” (“phosphoros” and “lucifer”). 2 Peter calling Jesus the “light bringer” (“lucifer”) and Revelation calling him the “morning star” (“stella…matutina”) are saying the same thing with different words.

How, then, did “Lucifer” come to signify “the Devil” or “Satan” in Christian thinking? It would seem to be rather ‘blasphemous’ to refer to “the evil one” by a name/title belonging properly to “the true light, which gives light to everyone” when he came into the world (John 1:9)!

The answer to that question is: a very faulty understanding of Isaiah 14:12. In the King James Version, this reads:

“How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which did weaken the nations!”

Although the King James Version translated the word “light bringer” into the English “Daystar” in 2 Peter 1:19, the Latin translation of “Lucifer” was used instead of an English rendering in Isaiah 14:12. One might wonder why the KJV was not consistent, but the answer is obvious: having decided to use “Lucifer” as the personal name for Satan (which they believed to be the meaning of Isaiah 14), they could not “confuse” the readers by letting on that the Latin translation used that “name” to refer to Jesus Christ in 2 Peter!

However, Isaiah 14 has nothing whatsoever to do with a fallen supernatural being (angel), and everything to do with a Babylonian king who, from a Jewish viewpoint, was proud, arrogant, corrupt, and “fallen”. This is made clear in verse 4 (New International Version now):

“You will take up this taunt against the King of Babylon: How the oppressor has come to an end! How his fury has ended!”

Verses 16 and 17 make it clear that this “King of Babylon” is not some supernatural being directing and controlling the actions of the human king:

“Those who see you stare at you, they ponder your fate: ‘Is this the man who shook the earth and made the kingdoms tremble, the man who made the world a wilderness, who overthrew its cities and would not let his captives go home’”?

Everything in the passage refers only to an earthly king who would die like his fellow men and fellow kings, but would not enjoy the stately burial his fellow kings and rulers had (at least according to “Isaiah”).

The Hebrew word which the Latin translates as “Lucifer” is “heylel”, and its primary meaning is “to shine” and “brightness”. Just like the Greek “prosphoros” and the latin “lucifer”, it was used as a name/title for “the morning star/daystar” – Venus; therefore the church “father” Jerome did not hesitate to use “lucifer” to translate “heylel”.

The Jewish translators who gave us the Greek translation of the “Old Testament” (the Septuagint) used the Greek word “heosphoros” (or “eosphoros” without the ‘breathing mark’ indicating the ‘h’ sound). This word means “dawn bringer” – the “eos” being derived from the Greek goddess of the Dawn, Eos. It is almost an exact equivalent of “phosphoros” – one of my resources claims it’s simply an older form of “phosphoros”. “Eosphoros”, like “phosphoros”, was used as a name/title for “morning star/daystar”. Therefore, “heylel”, “heosphoros”, “phosphoros”, and “lucifer” are all equivalents, referring to Venus – the “morning star”.

In Isaiah 14, “daystar”/”Lucifer” is being used in a mocking, derisive way. The Jewish author (whether or not it was a ‘prophet’ named Isaiah) was ridiculing the King of Babylon for his pride and arrogance in considering himself the brightest ‘luminary’ among the kings and rulers of earth. The author was certainly not claiming that the King actually was the “morning star” either literally or metaphorically – and even more certainly he was not claiming this distinction for an evil supernatural being!

If the English translators of those early English translations (such as Wycliffe, the Geneva Bible, the King James Version, and the Catholic Douay-Rheims edition) had actually translated into English rather than simply using the Latin rendering here, all of this confusion over the name “Lucifer” would have been avoided! All of the English versions I have consulted (both ‘old’ and ‘new’) actually translated 2 Peter 1:19 as either “daystar” or “morning star”. They should all have done so also in Isaiah 14:12. The ‘new’ English versions are correct in giving such renderings as:

“Look how you have fallen from the sky, O shining one, son of the dawn!…” (New English Translation).

Or “How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn!…” (New International Version)

Such renderings make it clear (especially in context) that a human King is mockingly being called “shining one” or “morning star”, without any reference to a “fallen angel” with the personal name of “Lucifer”!

Albert Pike was correct: it is absurd to call a “Spirit of Darkness”, and “evil one”, by the name of “light bringer” (“Lucifer”); and from a Christian perspective this title belongs rightly to Jesus Christ as the author of 2 Peter said.

Wake up, Christians! According to your Scriptures, it is Jesus Christ who is “the true light” which “is already shining” (1 John 2:8). Cease giving that delightful designation to one whom you consider to be a “Spirit of Darkness”!

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