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Asher Anderson
Asher Anderson

Lucifer vs Satan: Are They the Same or Different?

However, despite being considered a perfect, beautiful, and glorious being by countless angels, Lucifer was extremely proud and rebelled against his Father after refusing to bow down to Adam and Eve, whom he deemed unworthy of worship because he had been created from the divine light of the Creator, while Adam and Eve were created from dust. Therefore, Lucifer is known as the first sinner, the devil and the adversary.

Although it is not confirmed in the Bible that Lucifer and Satan are the same person, it is currently mostly accepted in the media that Satan's real name was or is Lucifer. The name was also used in several works and series that used the name Lucifer and the figure of the devil as the same entity. Some people theorize that Lucifer is not exactly a name but a title of great merit, which is why Jesus Christ is called the Morning Star (which is Latin for Lucifer) in the book of Apocalypse.

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The metaphor of the morning star that Isaiah 14:12 applied to a king of Babylon gave rise to the general use of the Latin word for "morning star", capitalized, as the original name of the devil before his fall from grace, linking Isaiah 14:12 with Luke 10 ("I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven")[74] and interpreting the passage in Isaiah as an allegory of Satan's fall from heaven.[75][76]

Considering pride as a major sin peaking in self-deification, Lucifer (Hêlêl) became the template for the devil.[77] As a result, Lucifer was identified with the devil in Christianity and in Christian popular literature,[3] as in Dante Alighieri's Inferno, Joost van den Vondel's Lucifer, and John Milton's Paradise Lost.[78] Early medieval Christianity fairly distinguished between Lucifer and Satan. While Lucifer, as the devil, is fixated in hell, Satan executes the desires of Lucifer as his vassal.[79][80]

Augustine of Hippo's work Civitas Dei (5th century) became the major opinion of Western demonology including in the Catholic Church. For Augustine, the rebellion of the devil was the first and final cause of evil. By this he rejected some earlier teachings about Satan having fallen when the world was already created.[92] Further, Augustine rejects the idea that envy could have been the first sin (as some early Christians believed, evident from sources like Cave of Treasures in which Satan has fallen because he envies humans and refused to prostrate himself before Adam), since pride ("loving yourself more than others and God") is required to be envious ("hatred for the happiness of others").[93] He argues that evil came first into existence by the free will of Lucifer.[94] Lucifer's attempt to take God's throne is not an assault on the gates of heaven, but a turn to solipsism in which the devil becomes God in his world.[95] When the King of Babel uttered his phrase in Isaiah, he was speaking through the spirit of Lucifer, the head of devils. He concluded that everyone who falls away from God are within the body of Lucifer, and is a devil.[96]

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Adherents of the King James Only movement and others who hold that Isaiah 14:12 does indeed refer to the devil have decried the modern translations.[97][98][99][100][101][102] An opposing view attributes to Origen the first identification of the "Lucifer" of Isaiah 14:12 with the devil and to Tertullian and Augustine of Hippo the spread of the story of Lucifer as fallen through pride, envy of God and jealousy of humans.[103]

Protestant theologian John Calvin rejected the identification of Lucifer with Satan or the devil. He said: "The exposition of this passage, which some have given, as if it referred to Satan, has arisen from ignorance: for the context plainly shows these statements must be understood in reference to the king of the Babylonians."[104] Martin Luther also considered it a gross error to refer this verse to the devil.[105]

Lucifer is regarded within the Latter Day Saint movement as the pre-mortal name of the devil. Mormon theology teaches that in a heavenly council, Lucifer rebelled against the plan of God the Father and was subsequently cast out.[112] The Doctrine and Covenants reads:

After becoming Satan by his fall, Lucifer "goeth up and down, to and fro in the earth, seeking to destroy the souls of men".[114] Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints consider Isaiah 14:12 to be referring to both the king of the Babylonians and the devil.[115][116]

Luciferianism is a belief structure that venerates the fundamental traits that are attributed to Lucifer. The custom, inspired by the teachings of Gnosticism, usually reveres Lucifer not as the devil, but as a savior, a guardian or instructing spirit[117] or even the true god as opposed to Jehovah.[118]

During the Second Temple Period, when Jews were living in the Achaemenid Empire, Judaism was heavily influenced by Zoroastrianism, the religion of the Achaemenids.[34][8][35] Jewish conceptions of Satan were impacted by Angra Mainyu,[8][36] the Zoroastrian spirit of evil, darkness, and ignorance.[8] In the Septuagint, the Hebrew ha-Satan in Job and Zechariah is translated by the Greek word diabolos (slanderer), the same word in the Greek New Testament from which the English word "devil" is derived.[37] Where satan is used to refer to human enemies in the Hebrew Bible, such as Hadad the Edomite and Rezon the Syrian, the word is left untranslated but transliterated in the Greek as satan, a neologism in Greek.[37]

The Second Book of Enoch, also called the Slavonic Book of Enoch, contains references to a Watcher called Satanael.[48] It is a pseudepigraphic text of an uncertain date and unknown authorship. The text describes Satanael as being the prince of the Grigori who was cast out of heaven[49] and an evil spirit who knew the difference between what was "righteous" and "sinful".[50] In the Book of Wisdom, the devil is taken to be the being who brought death into the world, but originally the culprit was recognized as Cain.[51][52][53] The name Samael, which is used in reference to one of the fallen angels, later became a common name for Satan in Jewish Midrash and Kabbalah.[54]

The most common English synonym for "Satan" is "devil", which descends from Middle English devel, from Old English dēofol, that in turn represents an early Germanic borrowing of Latin diabolus (also the source of "diabolical"). This in turn was borrowed from Greek diabolos "slanderer", from diaballein "to slander": dia- "across, through" + ballein "to hurl".[71] In the New Testament, the words Satan and diabolos are used interchangeably as synonyms.[72][73] Beelzebub, meaning "Lord of Flies", is the contemptuous name given in the Hebrew Bible and New Testament to a Philistine god whose original name has been reconstructed as most probably "Ba'al Zabul", meaning "Baal the Prince".[74] The Synoptic Gospels identify Satan and Beelzebub as the same.[72] The name Abaddon (meaning "place of destruction") is used six times in the Old Testament, mainly as a name for one of the regions of Sheol.[75] Revelation 9:11 describes Abaddon, whose name is translated into Greek as Apollyon, meaning "the destroyer", as an angel who rules the Abyss.[76] In modern usage, Abaddon is sometimes equated with Satan.[75]

During the Early Modern Period, Christians gradually began to regard Satan as increasingly powerful[154] and the fear of Satan's power became a dominant aspect of the worldview of Christians across Europe.[145][147] During the Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther taught that, rather than trying to argue with Satan, Christians should avoid temptation altogether by seeking out pleasant company;[157] Luther especially recommended music as a safeguard against temptation, since the Devil "cannot endure gaiety."[157] John Calvin repeated a maxim from Saint Augustine that "Man is like a horse, with either God or the devil as rider."[158]

The early English settlers of North America, especially the Puritans of New England, believed that Satan "visibly and palpably" reigned in the New World.[163] John Winthrop claimed that the Devil made rebellious Puritan women give birth to stillborn monsters with claws, sharp horns, and "on each foot three claws, like a young fowl."[164] Cotton Mather wrote that devils swarmed around Puritan settlements "like the frogs of Egypt".[165] The Puritans believed that the Native Americans were worshippers of Satan[166] and described them as "children of the Devil".[163] Some settlers claimed to have seen Satan himself appear in the flesh at native ceremonies.[165] During the First Great Awakening, the "new light" preachers portrayed their "old light" critics as ministers of Satan.[167] By the time of the Second Great Awakening, Satan's primary role in American evangelicalism was as the opponent of the evangelical movement itself, who spent most of his time trying to hinder the ministries of evangelical preachers,[168] a role he has largely retained among present-day American fundamentalists.[169]

Belief in Satan and demonic possession remains strong among Christians in the United States[178][179][180] and Latin America.[181] According to a 2013 poll conducted by YouGov, fifty-seven percent of people in the United States believe in a literal Devil,[178] compared to eighteen percent of people in Britain.[178] Fifty-one percent of Americans believe that Satan has the power to possess people.[178] W. Scott Poole, author of Satan in America: The Devil We Know, has opined that "In the United States over the last forty to fifty years, a composite image of Satan has emerged that borrows from both popular culture and theological sources" and that most American Christians do not "separate what they know [about Satan] from the movies from what they know from various ecclesiastical and theological traditions."[164] The Catholic Church generally played down Satan and exorcism during late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries,[181] but Pope Francis brought renewed focus on the Devil in the early 2010s, stating, among many other pronouncements, that "The devil is intelligent, he knows more theology than all the theologians together."[181][182] According to the Encyclopædia Britannica, liberal Christianity tends to view Satan "as a [figurative] mythological attempt to express the reality and extent of evil in the universe, existing outside and apart from humanity but profoundly influencing the human sphere."[183]




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