Isaiah 14:12 - KJV vs. Modern English Versions

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by CDF, Jan 31, 2010.

  1. CDF

    CDF
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Isaiah 14:21 via the KJV
    12How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!


    Isaiah 14:12 via the NASB
    12"How you have (A)fallen from heaven,
    O (B)star of the morning, son of the dawn!
    You have been cut down to the earth,
    You who have weakened the nations!

    I find it interesting that the NASB, which by many scholars feel it is the most literal and accurate, omits the word Lucifer from the passage entirely. Incidentally, most other modern translations, including the NIV, ESV, and NJB also omit the word. One could reasonably assume then that the term Lucifer either:

    1. Was a mistranslation.
    2. Was added to the KJV text unnecessarily.
    3. Is a conspiracy. (this was a joke)

    Now I am by no means a scholar, but I am a student of history and I have studied the origins of the Bible and its many translations. The KJV, while a great literary work in 1611 AD, seems to be behind the times with accuracy in translation with the current data that has been compiled from thousands of documents since 1611. The big find would be the Dead Sea Scrolls in the mid 20th century.

    I also realize this will open a can of worms from the KJVO crowd.

    The matter at hand is this, based of this particular passage. If Lucifer, whom we all learned is Satan, was a bad translation, then that would bring in to question the accuracy of the KJV, and moreso, Jerome and Eresmus and how they defined Hebrew to Greek to English. The KJV is based off the Hebrew text, but the Dead Sea Scrolls largely agree and support the Septuagint, which is in Greek...and are far older than the Hebrew.

    Incidentally, it is my belief that the entire chapter 14 is referring to a king of Babylon, as is mentioned throughout that chapter, and not Satan, whom an alternate name of Lucifer was given to erroneously.
     
  2. Logos1560

    Logos1560
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2004
    Messages:
    3,127
    Likes Received:
    2
    The word "lucifer" is the rendering of the Hebrew Helel at this verse according to the Latin Vulgate. The Barnhart Dictionary of Etymology affirmed that this word was "borrowed from Latin lucifer the morning star" (p. 613). Gleason Archer noted: "The title Helel, which KJV (following the Latin Vulgate) translates 'Lucifer,' is rendered Hesphoros in the Septuagint (meaning 'Dawn-bringer' and referring to the morning star)" (Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties, p. 268). This LXX rendering was said to be the common Greek name for Venus as the morning star. Henry Thiessen affirmed that "this term [Lucifer] means the morning star, an epithet of the planet Venus" (Lectures in Systematic Theology, p. 202). At Isaiah 14:12, John Wesley gave this note: "Lucifer--which properly is a bright star that ushers in the morning" (Explanatory Notes upon the O. T., III, p. 1985). William Wilson pointed out that the meaning of the Hebrew word according to the Septuagint and Vulgate was "brilliant star, i.e. Lucifer, the morning star" (O. T. Word Studies, p. 261). The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia has at its entry for Lucifer the following: “the morning star, an epithet of the planet Venus” (p. 1934). David Daiches maintained that Lucifer “is the name of the morning star” (KJV, p. 204). John Brown wrote that “the king of Babylon is called Lucifer, or the morning-star, because his glory and power far surpassed those of his fellow-sovereigns (Dictionary of the Bible, p. 483).

    The old 1300’s Wycliffe's Bible made from the Latin Vulgate may have been the first English Bible to introduce the Latin word "lucifer" into English at Isaiah 14:12. The 1395 edition of the Wycliffe Bible had “Lucifer” more than once since it was also used at Job 38:32: “Whether thou bringest forth Lucifer, that is, day star, in his time, and makest evening star to rise on the sons of earth.“ The Oxford English Dictionary pointed out at its entry word Lucifer the following: "The Latin word was adopted in all the English versions down to 1611" (IX, p. 81). This source noted that this word was “used as a proper name of the morning star” (Ibid.).

    The 1534 Luther’s German Bible, which is on the KJV-only line of good Bibles, has “morgen stern” [morning star] at Isaiah 14:12. In his lectures on Isaiah concerning this verse, Martin Luther indicated that the Hebrew word “denotes the morning star, called Lucifer and the son of Dawn” (Luther’s Works, Vol. 16, p. 140). According to this translation of his own comments, Luther’s rendering was likely the result of the influence of the Latin Vulgate or at the very least his rendering “morning star“ was intended to mean the same as “Lucifer.” Of the earlier English Bibles of which the KJV was a revision, the 1535 Coverdale’s Bible first used “Lucifer” at Isaiah 14:12. Coverdale is said to have translated primarily from the German with guidance from the Latin, and he is not known to have had a manuscript copy of the old Wycliffe‘s Bible. Is it possible that Coverdale’s rendering “Lucifer” was his translation for Luther’s German Bible’s “morgen stern?” Does this evidence suggest that the rendering “Lucifer” was first introduced into the English Bible from the direct or indirect influence of the Latin Vulgate?

    Since the Hebrew word in this verse occurs only once in the whole Old Testament, it was perhaps easy for English translators to follow this interpretation of the Latin translators. Lucifer was the Latin name for the planet Venus when it appears as the morning star. The Liberty Annotated Study Bible confirmed that "the name Lucifer is actually the Latin designation for the morning star" (p. 1038). The 1968 Cassell's New Latin Dictionary indicated that the Latin word "lucifer" comes from two root words meaning "light-bearing, light-bringing" and that it would be translated into English as "Lucifer, the morning star, the planet Venus." According to the English-Latin section of this dictionary, the translation of "morning-star" in English is given as "lucifer" in Latin. The Oxford Latin Dictionary gave two definitions for lucifer: “light-bringing, light-bearing” and “the morning star” (p. 1045). The Oxford Dictionary of Word Histories affirmed that Lucifer is “a Latin word originally, meaning ’light-bringing, morning star” (p. 309).

    At the end of Isaiah 14, the 1549 edition of Matthew’s Bible has some notes that include these words: “Lucifer, the morning star, which he calleth the child of the morning, because it appeared only in the morning.” The marginal note in the 1560 and 1599 editions of the Geneva Bible for this word included the following: "for the morning star that goeth before the sun is called Lucifer." These two notes from two pre-1611 English Bibles that are on the KJV-only view’s line of good Bibles provide clear credible evidence concerning the meaning of the word "Lucifer" in English in the 1500's. The 1657 English translation of the 1637 Dutch States-General Version and Dutch Annotations also indicated this meaning with its rendering "O morning-star" at Isaiah 14:12.

    What did the KJV translators themselves mean by the choice of the word "Lucifer" in Isaiah 14:12? The 1611 KJV gives in its margin the literal meaning or acceptable alternative translation for "Lucifer" as "daystar." The KJV translators were aware of the marginal note in the Geneva Bible, and they would have recognized that their marginal note at this verse would have associated this meaning “daystar” or “morning star” with this rendering “Lucifer.“ D. A. Waite seemed to suggest that alternative translations in the marginal notes of the 1611 N. T. were “merely synonyms of words that could have been used rather than the ones chosen to put into the text itself” so would he say the same about the marginal notes of the 1611 O. T.?” (Fundamentalist Distortions, p. 18). In a sermon, KJV translator Lancelot Andrewes referred to "St Peter's Lucifer in cordibus [daystar in your hearts]" (Hewison, Selected Writings, p. 112). Clearly, Andrewes used the word Lucifer in his sermon with this understood meaning “daystar.“ Daystar is Old English for morning star. A 1672 edition of the KJV has the following note at Isaiah 14:12: “for the morning-star that goeth before the sun is called Lucifer.“ Thus, several credible sources from the 1500’s and 1600’s clearly establish how this word “Lucifer” was commonly used and understood in that time period.
     
  3. CDF

    CDF
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Actually...

    Jerome translated the Hebrew phrase: "הילל בן־שׁחר" as "lucifer qui mane oriebaris." The Hebrew means "morning star, son of dawn," while the Latin means "morning star that used to rise early." Jerome's Latin translation, which has been widely accepted to mean Lucifer (Satan), is still not accurate, as given above. There was no word in Hebrew for lucifer, but the word itself is Latin and Jerome "borrowed" the word for the passage, albeit erroneously.

    Furthermore, Jesus is often referred to as day star (dawn star) and the name lucifer would imply the same meaning, but since Jerome used the Latin term to mean Satan, translators very well couldn't use it to mean Jesus.

    Greek to Hebrew to Latin to English 101...
     
  4. John of Japan

    John of Japan
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    12,208
    Likes Received:
    192
    This is a little mixed up. First of all, Jerome revised the Old Latin from the Hebrew and Greek, and Erasmus edited a Greek NT, not a Hebrew OT. Secondly, not just the KJV, but also almost all other English OTs are also "based off the Hebrew." And the Dead Sea Scrolls are also Hebrew, but don't necessarily "agree and support the Septuagint" any more than the Masoretic Hebrew OT does. Finally, the Dead Sea Scrolls being themselves Hebrew could not be "far older than the Hebrew."

    I hope this helps. Welcome to the BB. :wavey:
     
  5. Johnv

    Johnv
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    21,321
    Likes Received:
    0
    They don't "omit" the word, because the word doesn't appear in the original source texts. The KJV translators chose to transliterate the word "Lucifer" from previous rentitions, as previousle noted. Most other translations chose to fully translate the phrase in its original context.
     
  6. Trotter

    Trotter
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/6412.jpg>

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2003
    Messages:
    4,815
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ya beat me to it. :D

    Another old argument, but it already has an obvious and correct answer as Johnv has so aptly shown. The "modern versions" got it right... who would have thunk it? ;)
     
  7. robycop3

    robycop3
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2000
    Messages:
    7,573
    Likes Received:
    10
    The KJVOs don't consider the other uses of "morning star" in Scripture, such as Job 38:7 or Rev. 2:28. Instead, they focus upon Rev. 22:16, ignoring those other Scriptures, in their desperate search for something...ANYTHING...to support their doctrine, no matter how untrue it is.
     
  8. CDF

    CDF
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    The Dead Sea Scrolls are not just "Hebrew." They are written in Aramaic, Hebrew and Greek, and yes they do largely support the Septuagint, although for multiple accounts they support the Masoretic Hebrew Text as well. The DSS and the LLX are older than the Masoretic. Stories are going to be similar, but for accuracy, go to the source or as close as possible.

    Jerome did indeed take the Old Latin Vulgate and rewrite it into his The Latin Vulgate [snipped]. His primary source was from the Masoretic Hebrew. This is evident in The Latin Vulgate.

    This is where Bible scholars "lose ground" to history majors...

    The ancient Jews, one group in particular, resented the notion that Jesus was the Messiah. Heck, the Sanhedrin (Jewish judicial body) were part of the arrest and execution of Jesus. Even after His death, Christianity grew and the Jews tried to stop it. They not only openly attacked Christians, but they eventually came to falsifying documents to try and make the Christian translations corrupt. I won't give you the full history lesson on it, but it's there if you care to research it (look between 300-800 AD).

    The Masoretic Hebrew Text of that time comes into question as to how much corruption happened between it and the Latin translation. Unfortunately for Jerome and others, they did not have much to go on as far as resources. Even the Old Latin Vulgate was based off the Greek, not the Hebrew.

    Fast forward to the 20th century and you land in an era of technology. Through computer aided language translation, thousands instead of dozens of resource text, and teams of scholars, you wind up with the translations we have today.

    There is a REASON most versions of the Bible now come from the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia & Septuagint for the OT, and the Novum Testamentum Graece for the NT, which incidentally are not the sources for the KJV.

    It does not really matter what you use so long as you get the message, but if you want accuracy...
     
    #8 CDF, Feb 1, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 1, 2010
  9. Rippon

    Rippon
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Messages:
    17,404
    Likes Received:
    328
    ...don't rely on the KJV alone.
     
  10. RAdam

    RAdam
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Messages:
    2,100
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yep, the poor saints that lived in the 1700's just didn't have an accurate translation. It's too bad as this was one of the greatest periods of Christianity.
     
  11. Trotter

    Trotter
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/6412.jpg>

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2003
    Messages:
    4,815
    Likes Received:
    0
    So, what does the Hebrew actually say? [Hint- it's not "Lucifer"... ]
     
  12. Johnv

    Johnv
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    21,321
    Likes Received:
    0
    It was also the greatest period in Christianity of the non-English speaking world, whose native translations didn't have this issue. In fact, most KJVO arguments fall completely apart when taking foreign language Christians of the day into consideration, and this is one of those arguments that likewise falls apart.
     
  13. RAdam

    RAdam
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Messages:
    2,100
    Likes Received:
    0
    First of all, I'm not a KJVOnlyist, I just get mad when people say the KJB isn't accurate. It is. If you want to use a modern bible, go right ahead, be my guest. But to say the KJB is inaccurate and that one cannot have a good understanding of scripture without looking at other versions is just ridiculous and needs to be dropped ASAP.

    Now, the passage in question is using the king of babylon to speak to Lucifer. This is quite evident. It is much the same as Ezekiel 28 and the king of Tyrus. The KJ translators put Lucifer in the text and daystar in the margin (center column). Oh no, that's just terrible, throw away your KJ bible. Good grief.
     
  14. Johnv

    Johnv
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    21,321
    Likes Received:
    0
    It's reasonably accurate, but it's by no means perfect. There are several inaccuracies in the KJV that are due simply due to customs of translating in the 1600's as well as the nature of the English language having changed significantly in the last 400 years.

    You might find that assertion ridiculous, but it is an accurate and honest assertion of the KJV.
     
  15. RAdam

    RAdam
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Messages:
    2,100
    Likes Received:
    0
    What do you mean by inaccuracy?
     
  16. Trotter

    Trotter
    Expand Collapse
    <img src =/6412.jpg>

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2003
    Messages:
    4,815
    Likes Received:
    0
    Be that as it may, "Lucifer" is not in the Hebrew... anywhere... ever. Like it or not, using "Lucifer" is flat out wrong and it has been since way back when, center-column or not. At least the original translators were honest enough to put it in the footnotes, but it should have been in the text to begin with.

    No need to "throw it out"... just like there's no need to throw out whatever is not the KJV. No translation is perfect, but God and His word always will be.
     
  17. Johnv

    Johnv
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    21,321
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would have assumed that, since you've voiced opposition to using the phrase in regards to the KJV, that you've know what's being referred to.
     
  18. RAdam

    RAdam
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
    Messages:
    2,100
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think people should spend more time studying the bible and less time (or no time) fixing it.
     
  19. Johnv

    Johnv
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    21,321
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree, but you don't seem to be applying that across the board version-wise. You seem to be holding the KJV to a different standard than non-KJV versions.
     
  20. John of Japan

    John of Japan
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2005
    Messages:
    12,208
    Likes Received:
    192
    Care to share with me which of the Dead Sea Scrolls were Greek or Aramaic mss of the Bible? And it is the Bible we're talking about here, right?
    Whew! I certainly wouldn't want to point out any errors a history major made! :rolleyes:
     

Share This Page

Loading...