What Lucifer really means

The word "Lucifer" in Isaiah 14:12 presents a minor problem to mainstream Christianity. It becomes a much larger problem to Bible literalists, and becomes a huge obstacle for the claims of Mormonism. John J. Robinson in A Pilgrim's Path, pp. 47-48 explains: "Lucifer makes his appearance in the fourteenth chapter of the Old Testament book of Isaiah, at the twelfth verse, and nowhere else: "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 first problem is that Lucifer is a Latin name. So how did it find its way into a Hebrew manuscript, written before there was a Roman language? To find the answer, I consulted a scholar at the library of the Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati. What Hebrew name, I asked, was Satan given in this chapter of Isaiah, which describes the angel who fell to become the ruler of hell? The answer was a surprise. In the original Hebrew text, the fourteenth chapter of Isaiah is not about a fallen angel, but about a fallen Babylonian king, who during his lifetime had persecuted the children of Israel. It contains no mention of Satan, either by name or reference. The Hebrew scholar could only speculate that some early Christian scribes, writing in the Latin tongue used by the Church, had decided for themselves that they wanted the story to be about a fallen angel, a creature not even mentioned in the original Hebrew text, and to whom they gave the name "Lucifer." Why Lucifer? In Roman astronomy, Lucifer was the name given to the morning star (the star we now know by another Roman name, Venus). The morning star appears in the heavens just before dawn, heralding the rising sun. The name derives from the Latin term lucem ferre, bringer, or bearer, of light." In the Hebrew text the expression used to describe the Babylonian king before his death is Helal, son of Shahar, which can best be translated as "Day star, son of the Dawn." The name evokes the golden glitter of a proud king's dress and court (much as his personal splendor earned for King Louis XIV of France the appellation, "The Sun King"). The scholars authorized by ... King James I to translate the Bible into current English did not use the original Hebrew texts, but used versions translated ... largely by St. Jerome in the fourth century. Jerome had mistranslated the Hebraic metaphor, "Day star, son of the Dawn," as "Lucifer," and over the centuries a metamorphosis took place. Lucifer the morning star became a disobedient angel, cast out of heaven to rule eternally in hell. Theologians, writers, and poets interwove the myth with the doctrine of the Fall, and in Christian tradition Lucifer is now the same as Satan, the Devil, and --- ironically --- the Prince of Darkness. So "Lucifer" is nothing more than an ancient Latin name for the morning star, the bringer of light. That can be confusing for Christians who identify Christ himself as the morning star, a term used as a central theme in many Christian sermons. Jesus refers to himself as the morning star in Revelation 22:16: "I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star." And so there are those who do not read beyond the King James version of the Bible, who say 'Lucifer is Satan: so says the Word of God'...." Henry Neufeld (a Christian who comments on Biblical sticky issues) went on to say, "this passage is often related to Satan, and a similar thought is expressed in Luke 10:18 by Jesus, that was not its first meaning. It's primary meaning is given in Isaiah 14:4 which says that when Israel is restored they will "take up this taunt against the king of Babylon . . ." Verse 12 is a part of this taunt song. This passage refers first to the fall of that earthly king... How does the confusion in translating this verse arise? The Hebrew of this passage reads: "heleyl, ben shachar" which can be literally translated "shining one, son of dawn." This phrase means, again literally, the planet Venus when it appears as a morning star. In the Septuagint, a 3rd century BC translation of the Hebrew scriptures into Greek, it is translated as "heosphoros" which also means Venus as a morning star. How did the translation "lucifer" arise? This word comes from Jerome's Latin Vulgate. Was Jerome in error?

Not at all. In Latin at the time, "lucifer" actually meant Venus as a morning star. Isaiah is using this metaphor for a bright light, though not the greatest light to illustrate the apparent power of the Babylonian king which then faded." Therefore, Lucifer wasn't equated with Satan until after Jerome. Jerome wasn't in error. Later Christians (and Mormons) were in equating "Lucifer" with "Satan". So why is this a problem to Christians? Christians now generally believe that Satan (or the Devil or Lucifer who they equate with Satan) is a being who has always existed. Therefore, they also think that the 'prophets' of the Old Testament believed in this creature. The Isaiah scripture is used as proof (and has been used as such for hundreds of years now). As Elaine Pagels explains though, the concept of Satan has evolved over the years and the early Bible writers didn't believe in or teach such a doctrine. The irony for those who believe that "Lucifer" refers to Satan is that the same title ('morning star' or 'light-bearer') is used to refer to Jesus, in 2 Peter 1:19, where the Greek text has exactly the same term: 'phos-phoros' 'light-bearer.' This is also the term used for Jesus in Revelation 22:16. So why is Lucifer a far bigger problem to Mormons? Mormons claim that an ancient record (the Book of Mormon) was written beginning in about 600 BC, and the author in 600 BC supposedly copied Isaiah in Isaiah's original words. When Joseph Smith pretended to translate the supposed 'ancient record', he included the Lucifer verse in the Book of Mormon. Obviously he wasn't copying what Isaiah actually wrote. He was copying the King James Version of the Bible. Another book of LDS scripture, the Doctrine & Covenants, furthers this problem in 76:26 when it affirms the false Christian doctrine that "Lucifer" means Satan. This incorrect doctrine also spread into a third set of Mormon scriptures, the Pearl of Great Price, which describes a war in heaven based, in part, on Joseph Smith's incorrect interpretation of the word "Lucifer" which only appears in Isaiah. A Mormon apologist responds.

The author of The Polytheism Of The Bible And The Mystery Of Lucifer, F.T. DeAngelis, comments on this page as follows "It seems minor, but - the actual term used in the Greek Septuagint version of Isaiah 14:12 (given that there is no ONE way of accurately transliterating) is Eo(u)s phoros, morning star/DAWN god of light. Eos or Eous phoros [not Heos (as your website claims) or phos phorus (as a Christian website I visited shows)] - although there is a Greek term and English... phosphoro(u)s. Your [site] is pretty accurate. The actual name, "Lucifer," goes back to the Greeks, before the Romans. Socrates and Plato talk about this "god of light"; surprisingly, not in the context of Eos (god of Dawn), but -- as a morning star -- juxtaposed with the sun (Helios) and Hermes. This information can be found in Plato's Timaeus (38e) and in Edith Hamilton's Mythology."

On a lighter note, Arthur Clarke, in his fictional book 2061 correctly uses the word "Lucifer". He uses it as a name for a new sun in the solar system which is correct since the new sun is a second 'morning star' of 'original' 'light-bearing' substance--not some evil being of religious mythology. David Grinspoon comments on the historical aspects of the word as follows: "The origin of the Judeo-Christian Devil as an angel fallen from heaven into the depths of hell is mirrored in the descent of Venus from shining morning star to the darkness below. This underworld demon, still feared today by people in many parts of the world, is also called Lucifer, which was originally a Latin name for Venus as a morning star." (Venus Revealed p. 17) Actually, Grinspoon should just refer to the "Christian Devil" since the Jews never believed in such a creature and still don't to this day.

The Devil's in the detail


Just what does the Devil look like? It's a question that's perplexed people for centuries and no one seems able to come up with a definitive ....... until now. With today being the neighbour of the beast and excitement and fear rising among occult worshippers and Christians about tomorrow's 6/6/06 date (although many seem to forget Old Nick failed to show up on June 6, 1906), we can present you with what graphic artists think is the face of Beelzebub. The artists have been working on the image for a satellite TV show being screened tomorrow called 666: Searching For Satan, which investigates the many cultural forms the Devil has taken through history including incarnations of him as man, dog and beast Six images have been created from six stories that led to the composite; most would agree it looks surprisingly similar to the Satan we would expect. But when looking at the image, remember one thing: many people believe the Devil's greatest trick is convincing people he does not exist.
1. Goatman:
Maryland in the US has a forest legend,the goatman,a beast that looks similar to the Greek god Pan.

2.Possessed eyewitness account: In the aptly named town of Wilder, Kentucky, Bobby Mackey's Music World is a nightclub that many think houses the gateway to hell. The club was once a slaughterhouse and a basement tunnel would pour blood from dead animals into a nearby river,while a group of Satanists would practise rituals on the site. Carl Lawson,a former resident caretaker of the club,believes he was possessed by the Devil while working there,saying: " I firmly believe the spirits were in me.Satan would make me stay up for days on end. I could see his face in the bar mirrors. He had piercing red eyes." Lawson was later exorcised by a priest.

3.The Dog: The question of whether the Devil can take on any living form has raged for years. Son of Sam serial killer David Berkowitz,whose bloody reign terrorised New York in the late 1970s,seemed to think so. He claimed his neighbour's dog was a messenger of the Devil that drove him to murder. His attorney,Mark Jay Heller,says: "The dog's howling was a sign to David.He felt he was an instrument of a greater power." Before he was captured,Berkowitz taunted police with notes saying: "I am the monster,I am Beelzebub."

4.Charles Manson: The man widely regarded as Satan in human form instructed his followers - The Family - to kill five people,including Roman Polanski's pregnant wife Sharon Tate on August 9,1969.Manson's followers described him as "having magical and hypnotic powers" and he often referred to himself as both Christ and the Devil. According to other Family members,Manson's right hand man,Charles "Tex" Watson,exclaimed: " I am the Devil and I have come to do the Devil's work" while on the murder spree.Manson's name has since become synonymous with evil in popular culture.

5.Jersey Devil: As featured in metro_files recently,the Jersey Devil has been described as a bat/dog/goat hybrid that roams the Pine Barrens of the American state of New Jersey.Witnesses have reported hearing blood-curdling screams in the night and bizarre unexplained footprints have been found.

6.Pazuzu: Pazuzu is an Assyrian demon on which The Exorcist was based.He is said to have the body of a man,the head of a lion,talons instead of hands and a scorpions tail. Nico Claux a convicted Parisian murderer,necrophile and cannibal,firmly believes he is one of Pazuzu's servants,saying: "Cannibalism is a communion with the Devil.When I die,I will go to hell and sit on his left side. People say I am the Devil but I am not,I am just a tool in his hands." Disturbingly,after serving eight years for murder,Claux is now not only free but has also been declared legally sane.



Bad omen: Damien is back
Bad omen: Damien is back

SCHOLARS argue over why the number 666 is thought to represent the Devil.Many theologians believe 666 was used in the Bible as a coded reference to a Roman emperor who killed Christians. Others believe the number indicates that the beast is the sum of all bad things. Fears of 666, long believed to be the mark of Satan, are based on misinterpretation of a chapter in Revelation - appropriately, chapter 13- in which the number is discussed, according to some. Hexakosioihexekontahexa- phobia is the fear of 666. And it's not only Hell in Michigan. There is Hell in Nord-Trondelag, Norway. The name Hell stems from the Norse word hellir, which means overhang. In the Cayman Islands, Hell is situated in the north-west of Grand Cayman in the form of jagged black rocks, about which a local official exclaimed: 'This is what Hell must look like.' To top it all off, classic 1976 horror film The Omen has been given a £30million makeover and is re-released tomorrow.

6.6.6...a particularly profitable day inHell

Quiet town cashes in on its ties with devil BY JOHN HIGGINSON

Hell's angels: people in the town are planning to celebrate tomorrow's date - 6.6.06
Hell's angels: people in the town are planning to celebrate tomorrow's date - 6.6.06

THINGS are hotting up in Hell as residents gear up to celebrate 6.6.06. Those who live in the hamlet of Hell, Michigan - 100km west of Detroit - are hoping to mark tomorrow with a bang. Tourists from throughout the US are expected to visit the town, which has just 72 residents.
Souvenir shop owner John Colone, who is also the mayor, said: 'I've got "666" T-shirts and mugs. I'm only ordering 666 (of the items) so, once they're gone, that's it. 'Everyone who comes will get a letter of authenticity saying, "You've celebrated June 6, 2006, in Hell".'

Most of the 60-year-old's goods are on sale for $6.66 (£3.50), including deeds to one square inch of Hell. A fancy dress contest is also planned. Mike 'Smitty' Hickey, owner of the Dam Site Inn, said: 'We're all about having fun here. 'I don't think we're going to get the cult crowd, the devil worshippers or anything like that.'
But not all residents are happy with the town marking the day. Jason LeTeff, said: 'Here I am living in Hell, taking my kids to church and trying to teach them the right things - and the town I where we live is having a 666 party.' Sign of tne times: Welcome to Hell
There are two theories about how Hell, Michigan, got its name. The first is that two German travellers stepped out of a stagecoach one sunny afternoon in the 1830s, and one said to the other, 'So schön hell' - which roughly translates as, 'so bright and beautiful'. Apparently, some locals overheard and the name stuck. The second idea is that the town founder George Reeves was asked what he thought the unnamed hamlet should be called after Michigan was made a state in the late 1930s. He is said to have replied: 'I don't care, you can name it Hell if you want to. The name was officially changed on October 13,184l.

Look of horror: Mr Colone reads a comic outside his souvenir shop
Look of horror: Mr Colone reads a comic outside his souvenir shop

Citation Station: Number of the devil


Mar 13th 2007

"• Due to a slight mistranslation, Revelation 13:18 is usually written as "the number of the beast ... is 666", instead of the correct "... is 6 by 6 by 6." Hence, the number of the beast is actually 216, not 666."

Although it is true that the number of the devil is not 666, it is not 216, but 616. The BBC (UK) TV program QI says so.

Where death comes to life


Skeleton Service:The Internet can even tell you when you'll die

Nothing is certain except death and taxes,' said Benjamin Franklin. If he'd lived in the age of the information super highway, he would have added:'... and the exploitation of both on the lnternet.' Sure, death may be a rather depressing subject but that doesn't mean it can't be fun and informative, as these sites prove....

Near Death Experiences And The Afterlife

Some people have the good grace to just die some die get brought back from the brink and then tell everyone on the Web what a thoroughly amazing experience it was and how they're thinking of going back there on holiday next year .Webmaster Kevin Williams says: 'The purpose of this website is to help people understand the importance of unconditional love - the main message of the near-death experience (NDE). Those who experience an NDE learn that loving others is the way to heaven, not religion.' The site, and its creator, is full of Jesus so there's plenty of religious references that prove both heavy going and that the guy has a clear agenda. The site is, however, a definitive resource for this area, including masses of NDE testimonies, reams of scientific research and a page of afterlife jokes and death facts - did you know that Henry Ford captured Thomas Edison's dying breath in a bottle? Thought not.  www.near-death.com

I Am Dead

Anyone who's soon the film Things To Do In Denver When You're Dead will be familiar with the premise of I Am Dead. 'Say -bye before you die,' proclaims the home page, inviting you to leave messages for loved ones, family and friends to be delivered after you snuff it. You can create a free virtual wallet, containing the names of everyone you know who needs to be notified of your demise and all pertinent info concerning who holds your will, bank account details etc. For an annual subscription fee (£30 for the first year; £15 for every subsequent year) ,trustees will be appointed to manage your estate and you get to record personal voice messages, which will get fired off after a prescribed amount of time to people you once knew. The site features some pukesome examples of such messages as well as a handy How To Avoid Death section, which points you in the direction of affiliates such as Holmes Place.  www.iamdead.co.uk

The Death Clock

It's been going for a while but The Death Clock is still worth a visit. Type in your age, body mass index and your smoking status and a nifty programme will gobble up the data and spit out your estimated date of departure and how many seconds you have until checkout. I am due to snuff it on December 6, 2051 but, annoyingly, if I ate a dozen pies a day and smoked as many snouts as a French air-traffic controller, apparently I'd only live 10 fewer years. The site also offers hardy links to help you extend your life and information about treatments for everything from erectile dysfunction to osteoporosis. The site's designer claims he's not a Satanist but adds: 'I use many Microsoft products so I will probably be going to Hell anyway. Does The Death Clock offend some fundamentalists out there? Sure, but these are the same people who get offended by the Teletubbies, rap music and independent thought.'  www.deathclock.com

The  Lee Atwater Invitational Dead Pool

'This is The Home Of The Celebrity Dead Pool. Stiffsville,Death Central. We make fun of famous people and the people who make them famous (ie you) and our instrument of ridicule is our contest.' making money out of misery - it's an age-old pursuit that shows no sign of dying (snarf) thanks to the Internet. At stiffs.com, and at a host of other death pool sites, gamblers are invited to take part in a morbid-sweepstake - pick ten famous people you think are likely to die this year and whoever predicts the most correct deaths wins the pot. This year, the entry fee is $15 and total prize money $2,005. It's only May but the current leader has already lost half his team, despite leaving Pope John Paul II on the bench. But It's the dark hurnour that sets Stiffs.com aside from others of its ilk, especially its one-time obits for the dearly departed (Arthur Miller: Death of a playwright, who just happened to have spent five years boning Marilyn Monroe).  www.stiffs.com

The  Death:The Last Taboo

A part of the Australian Museum Online this fact-heavy site 'explores what happens to us when we die and the different ways we deal with death'. It's a very thorough resource for anyone researching anything to do with what it terms 'the last taboo' - from exploring different definitions of death you'd think there was only one - you'd be wrong) to explaining the process of decomposition, types of burial and mourning. The site also features some excellent movies and multimedia elements, including a wonderful if rather bizarre interactive autopsy (pictured). You get to click and drag various organs from the body, weigh them and watch a virtual corpse being 'stitched up like a baseball'.A little movie also explains that the brain is very soft and therefore hard to cut. Nicely done,if you've got the stomach for it.  www.deathonline.net

Scientists bring dead back to life


Horror fiction: From Dawn of The Dead ZOMBIES rising from the dead sound like the stuff of horror films and nightmares - but it could soon be reality. Scientists have discovered a way to bring dead dogs back to life. Using a so-called suspended animation technique, they emptied the dead animals veins of blood and filled them with ice cold saline solution to preserve the tissues and organs. The animals had no heartbeat or brain activity and were classed as being clinically dead. The saline solution was then replaced with fresh blood and electric shocks were used to restart the heart. The dogs appeared unharmed by their suspension and had suffered no brain damage.Scientists at the Safar Centre in Pittsburgh hope to use the technique on humans within a year and are in talks with hospitals about trials on trauma patients. They believe it could save the lives of people who have suffered massive blood loss, such as battlefield casualties or stabbings victims. 'The results are stunning. They have these dogs with complete cardiac standstill for three hours and they recover to normality,' said trauma surgeon Dr Howard Champion.

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