Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
An Excellent Example of Why We Need to Think Clearly and Consistently About the Bible
09/02/2009 - James WhiteI received the following e-mail a few days ago through our contact link on the aomin.org website:
I just want you to know straight forward this is not an attack, but,
a legitimate concern.
I've been doing a lot of research about the occult recently and I must say that the newer versions give lots of breathing room for the Isaiah 14:12 debate. Here's a link to a pro HP Blavatsky page. As you're probably well aware, HP Blavatsky is one of the HUGE names of the occult. Please read the text on the upper right of this page.
Notice how she connects Jesus with Lucifer as being the same person. Remember that Satan said in his heart that he will ascended into heaven. Why is it that 99% of the versions drop Lucifer, son of the morning and replace it with "morning star" like the NIV or the "bright morning star" in the CEV or "daystar" in the Amplified Bible,
which is one of Jesus' titles in 2 Peter 1:19, and in Rev 22:16.
I'm sure you know how much the occult is impacting our culture these days and people in Wicca and other witch cults, and occult organizations like Freemasonry read the Bible. Being a person from a High School with several practicing witches in it, I can honestly tell you that one of these neo pagans scoffingly, said directly to me that the bible was translated from pagan sources. I quickly answered them and said, "Maybe if you read the NIV". This guy was usually argumentative, but, he had nothing to say back. Don't you see this as being a huge problem with our younger Christian people? How will they defend themselves?
You won't be able to make such an occult connection in the KJV. Again I'm not attacking you or anyone that reads the modern bible versions. BTW, I watched some of your videos with your friend LaneCH and enjoyed them.
This is one of the best examples I've seen of someone thinking with their heart, not with their head. Don't get me wrong, I fully understand someone's desire to defend the truth, but you do not translate the Bible based upon your fear that someone might misinterpret it or misuse it. The most perfectly accurate translation will still be abused and twisted by false teachers. God has not seen fit to wipe false teachers from the face of the earth, so as long as the church exists we will have to teach with clarity and refute those who contradict.
Now, here are my comments on the disputed text from The King James Only Controversy, 2nd ed., pp. 180-182:
Jerome and Lucifer
How deeply we are influenced by our traditions can be seen in Isaiah 14:12:
KJV NASB NIV 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! How you have fallen from heaven, O star of the morning, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the earth, You who have weakened the nations! How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!
The term "Lucifer," which came into the biblical tradition through the translation of Jerome's Vulgate, has become so entrenched (even though it does not come from the original authors of Scripture) that if one dares to translate the Hebrew by another term, such as "star of the morning" or "morning star" (both of which are perfectly acceptable translations of the Hebrew word), one will be accused of removing Lucifer from the Bible! Such a change surely preaches well, and this example is often used as the capper to prove the true intention of the devilish modern versions.
Yet, a person who stops for a moment of calm reflection might ask, "Why should I believe Jerome was inspired to insert this term at this point? Do I have a good reason for believing this?" Given that Jerome's translation is certainly not inerrant itself, one would do well to take a second look and discover that the very translations being accused of hiding Lucifer's name refer to Satan, the accuser, the old serpent,the devil, each and every time the terms appear in Scripture. Again, the inconsistency of the argument is striking.
But, someone is sure to retort, isn't Jesus the morning star at Revelation 22:16? Yes, He certainly is. So doesn't translating Isaiah 14:12 with morning star identify Jesus with Lucifer? Aren't the modern translations trying to connect Jesus with the devil? Only if one does not read things in context very well. The person under discussion in Isaiah 14 is obviously not the Lord Jesus Christ, and how anyone could possibly confuse the person who is obviously under the wrath of God in that passage (note verse 15) with the Lord Jesus is hard to imagine. Further, aren't the terms being used in Isaiah 14 sarcastic in nature? Didn't this person claim lofty titles that were proven to be misapplied? Doesn't the Scripture speak of his pomp (v. 11) and his inward boasting (v. 13)? Should we not recognize that the terms that are applied to him in verse 12 are meant to be taunts rather than actual descriptions of his person? And doesn't this differ dramatically from the personal description that Jesus applies to himselfin Revelation 22? All of these considerations make it obvious that there is no logical reason to take offense at the proper translation of Isaiah 14:12 in the NIV or NASB.
So the issue is this: do you accurately translate the Hebrew term הֵילֵ֣ל or, out of fear of someone misusing the text by ignoring sound principles of interpretation and exegesis, insert another term to "help out"? I think the answer is clear, plain, and obvious.