Post by Spokane Flyboy on Aug 25, 2010 13:36:25 GMT -5
I have quite an interesting one, and it comes from an unbeliever that used to be and is very well versed in his Bible knowledge. He's taken Revelations 22:16 and juxtaposed it with Isaiah 14:12. In Revelations, Jesus is the Morning Star. In Isaiah, Satan is the Morning Star. So he's made an argument that they can't both have that title, so either they're one and the same, or it's a sign of the Bible's fallibility. At least, that's his logic process. I'm not quite sure where I'd even start if I wanted to address this topic. I'm kinda interested to know your guys' take.
John Morgan[br][br]"There is a feeling about an airport that no other piece of ground can have. No matter what the name of the country on whose land it lies, an airport is a place you can see and touch that leads to a reality that can only be thought and felt." - [i]The Bridge Across Forever: A Love Story[/i] by Richard Bach
Lucifer was the cherub in charge of everything ... until his pride tripped him up.
Christ is God.
The argument that the same title can't apply to two people is short-sighted. I currently work with over 20 other women who all have the same title of "teacher" and four of us are "Teacher, 4th Grade." We're not the same person and the system isn't messed up because we have the same title. (It's messed up for other reasons, but don't get me going on that.)
Stars are often used to represent both dominion and angels. The title "Son of the Dawn/Morning" can apply to Lucifer because he was the angel in charge of the Earth ... until he blew it. Jesus is the Morning Star because he is the pre-eminent authority and has dominion over everything. He is God.
Can a symbol be used of 2 different things without being contradictory? You bet. Consider the "period" or "decimal." Same mark. It means something altogether different. In math, it represents the difference between whole numbers and fractional powers of ten (tenths, hundredths, thousandths...), and in some parts of the world, the decimal is used not to split whole and fraction but rather to mark series in a long number.
In writing . is the end of the sentence. Or if used it triplicate, it indicates a pause or it indicates missing data in a quote.
I don't know, but it sounds like this fellow is looking for nits to pick so he doesn't have to acknowledge the fact that he's messed up.
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Post by jacoblindaman on Jan 12, 2012 14:30:20 GMT -5
your friend has a great question that is often glossed over by Christians. Christians' inability to provide a satisfying answer comes from their unquestioning belief that anything that says 'Bible' on the cover is actually a Bible. Most English versions of the Bible contain the contradiction that you just stated regarding Jesus and Satan being the morning star.
I direct you to read the way the KJV words it as it tends to be faithful to...well the the truth. I am not a KJV pusher, but it does excel when other word for word translations prove inaccurate.
Revelations 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.
Isaiah 14:12 KJV: 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!
Isaiah 14:12 NIV: 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!
Jacob, I see your point. Interesting.
Either way, Birdnerd's point still stands. Two titles, different people. Lucifer's not the Morning Star anymore. Jesus has that title. Kind of like Saruman the White losing the title of White when Gandalf gets promoted.
Is it sacrilegious to compare LOTR to the Bible? :-)
My art, writing and family blog: [url="http://netraptor.org/blog"]netraptor.org/blog[/url]
I actually see two different titles, even in the NIV. One is the Morning Star; the other is the Bright and Morning Star. Semantics? Maybe, but consider this: on the Mount of Transfiguration, Jesus is glowing like a fresh 100W bulb--he's BRIGHT. But then a "bright cloud" overshadows them. Maybe it's just me, but when you're already in "bright" and something is still describable as "bright," that something must therefore be "brighter", yes? I think the same applies to our discussion here because satan may have been the Morning Star, but Jesus is the Morning Star that's Bright.
It's like the difference between General Smith, who has three stars on his sleeve, and General Jones, who has five. Both are generals in the Army, but one is GENERAL. Germans have a uniquity ( new word?! ) in their language that a person who has more than one doctoral degree is not just "Doctor Soandso" but "Herr Doctor Doctor Soandso." Maybe the same applies here?
Post by jacoblindaman on Jan 13, 2012 9:48:35 GMT -5
birdnerd. Please provide an example of where Scripture uses stars to represent dominion.
You have an interchangable title because there are many who perform your functions. There is only 1 God so the terms ascribed to him are reserved for him. There are not multiple positions open for God or for Morning Star unlike your teacher positions.
Calling Satan the Morning Star is akin to calling a teacher the principal. There is only one principal and the title of principal is reserved for him.
I believe the error lies in faultly translation. If you were the Devil how would you attack God? You can't hit him directly. He may try the same way he tricked Adam and Eve. Get them to doubt God's word. God's word does not change, but the Devil can attack what we consider God's word.
I glanced at another post on this forum that asked if The Message is a legitamate translation. Heck no, I say. It is not a translation at all. At best something like this can provide insight into someonelse's thoughts on Scripture, like a commentary, but it is not Scripture. Considering this Scripture and not questioning it will lead to all sorts of confusion like Flyboy's friend. His friend has a legitimate concern that requires honest reflection on our part.
"I don't know, but it sounds like this fellow is looking for nits to pick so he doesn't have to acknowledge the fact that he's messed up."
Isn't that true of all who have rejected God?
On the specific question at hand... I wasn't aware of that particular one, but I'll research it and get back to you.
... Which should be our answer... all supposed contradictions in scripture are a result of either poor reading comprehension on our part, or translation issues.
And before I go on, let's agree right now not to bash on any translations. That gets us nowhere. Even the KJV has "errors" in it's translation. Greek and Hebrew have words that don't have direct English equivalents, and when that happens the translator has to make a choice. I'm sure that's what has happened here.
Look for a post from me later today with more info...
(Yay! I get to do research! I'm weird....)
- Aaron DeMott, writer of sc-fi and fantasy - http://aarondemott.blogspot.com
Post by jacoblindaman on Jan 13, 2012 10:44:17 GMT -5
yoda47. you have good points especially about greek/hebrew words not having english equivilants. A little liberality is required when doing any translation. But i would caution your guidance when accepting all translations as worthy Scripture. I think God gave us brains and he expects us to use them. Otherwise we fall to the same error that Adam and Eve did when challenged about God's word. They accepted what the Devil said was God's word. I do not want the same thing to happen to us.
having said that i am in no way endorsing one version scripture(funny that we call it a version. which version of the truth we read) over another. i do think there are books that have 'Bible' slapped on the cover that have no business to be even next to a real Bible on the shelf. However, my point is that for flyboy and his friend they should consult other translations to get a better perspective to understand the issue at hand.
i would be curious to know what 'error's you have found in the KJV. Please tell.
Post by Divides the Waters on Jan 13, 2012 11:22:32 GMT -5
I think we need to make sure that this is not a question of "which translation is best/worst." There is no perfect translation, but even if there were, that is not the issue here. God said that he would preserve his word, and there is not a translation out there that can't ultimately lead us to him.
When it comes to Isaiah, you have to be really, really careful that what we have learned is not the same as what the text says. The text is referring to the King of Tyre, and pays homage to a myth about the planet Venus, which is still "rising" in the morning before the sun outshines it and makes it invisible. Does it refer to the "serpent of old?" Possibly, and it certainly provides a good picture of what may have happened at the fall. But God is not addressing The Accuser here. He is addressing the King of Tyre. The Bible was not written in a vacuum, and acknowledging the fact that it alludes to cultural language is not stating that is is not inspired. Rather the opposite; God knew how to speak to people in their language What we have to do is make sure that we know that the language of yesterday is not the language of today, so if we're going to start analyzing deep thelogy and obscure scriptural references, it helps to know something of the context in which they were originally set.
Errors in Translations: That's really a discussion for a diffrent thread. I'd be happy to discuss that that in a diffrent thread, (I don't want to sidetrack the disccusion on this particular "contradiction") but I'm afraid that it'd just start a flame war, and nobody wants that.
- Aaron DeMott, writer of sc-fi and fantasy - http://aarondemott.blogspot.com
First, let's look at the "problem" passages in a few different major translations:
NET: (More on the NET translation at http://www.bible.org) “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star!”
NIV: "I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches, I am the Root and Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star."
KJV: 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.
NASB: “ I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”
ASV: I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things for the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, the bright, the morning star.
ESV: “I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star.”
1599 Geneva Bible: "I Jesus have sent min Angel, to testify unto you these things in the Churches: I am the root and and the generation of David, and the bright morning star."
NET: Look how you have fallen from the sky, O shining one, son of the dawn! You have been cut down to the ground, O conqueror of the nations!
NIV: 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!
KJV: 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!
ASV: How art thou fallen from heaven, O day- star, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, that didst lay low the nations!
ESV: “How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low!
NASB: “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!
1599 Geneva Bible: "How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning? and cut down to the ground, which didst cast lots upon the nations?"
Let's make some surface observations:
Jesus is referred to as the "morning star" in Revelation in ALL of the translations we've looked at. Satan is only called the "morning star" in Isaiah in one translation (and "star of the morning" in one other.) In the rest, he is called, "Day Star", "son of the morning" (in two), and "shining one" in another.
Well, that's interesting. Why the differences? First, we have to acknowledge that the Bible is the true, inerrent, inspired Word of God. (Non-Christians doubt this, but we don't hold this as true to begin with, why are we even having this discussion.) So, if the Bible is without error, why the differences? As I'm sure everyone here knows, the sections of the Bible we're looking at were written in Greek and Hebrew. When something is translated by two different people, we'll get two different translations, and especially so if the translations were done in different centuries, as English (and all languages) change over time. I don't know about you, but I don't know Greek or Hebrew (sadly). So, what can we do. Well, for one, I like the NET (New English Translation) because it has over 60,000 translators notes. For most Bibles, we can't ask the translators why they chose one word over another.
Another option is, when we read a "problem" passage like this one, we can read from several different translations to see how different people translate it. (and learn something from just a quick surface read, as we did above.)
Let's see what the translators of the NET Bible have to say:
Revelation 22:16 notes from the NET Bible: "On this expression BDAG 892 s.v. πρωϊνός states, "early, belonging to the morning ὁ ἀστὴρ ὁ πρ. the morning star, Venus"
Well, not so helpful in this case. Let's check the notes for Isaiah 14:12: "The Hebrew text has הילל בןשׁחר (helel ben-shakhar, "Helel son of Shachar"), which is probably a name for the morning star (Venus) or the crescent moon. See HALOT 245 s.v. הילל ."
That's a little better. Comparing the notes, we see that the Greek in Revelation has the word for "Venus", or "The morning star" (as Venus is still called today.) The section in Isaiah has a Hebrew term that means "Helel son of Shachar". and apparently there is some debate as to what, exactly, that Hebrew term means. Well, that would explain why that term is translated differently right there. So then, why does the NET Bible use the term "Shining one" here? Well, they tell us: "What is the background for the imagery in vv. 12-15? This whole section (vv. 4b-21) is directed to the king of Babylon, who is clearly depicted as a human ruler. Other kings of the earth address him in vv. 9ff., he is called "the man" in v. 16, and, according to vv. 19-20, he possesses a physical body. Nevertheless the language of vv. 12-15 has led some to see a dual referent in the taunt song. These verses, which appear to be spoken by other pagan kings to a pagan king (cf. vv. 9-11), contain several titles and motifs that resemble those of Canaanite mythology, including references to Helel son of Shachar, the stars of El, the mountain of assembly, the recesses of Zaphon, and the divine title Most High. Apparently these verses allude to a mythological story about a minor god (Helel son of Shachar) who tried to take over Zaphon, the mountain of the gods. His attempted coup failed and he was hurled down to the underworld. The king of Babylon is taunted for having similar unrealized delusions of grandeur. Some Christians have seen an allusion to the fall of Satan here, but this seems contextually unwarranted"
Cool! I didn't know that. Reading the rest of the chapter, we see that Isaiah has been (and continues) talking about the Babylonian conquest of Israel, and he prophesies about the coming fall of Babylon. So, the interpretation that the verse isn't actually talking about Satan, but the Babylonian king makes sense. Remember also that the Jews that this was written to would have understood the metaphor from pagan mythology (they kept having problems with idol worship, which makes Isaiah's choice of metaphor rather ironic too.)
I want to pause for a moment here and harp about context. Context is important when reading anything, and especially so when reading the Bible. We might read this verse, and think it means one thing, but we associate it with the previous verses, and the previous chapters, and the later chapter, we might come away with a whole other meaning.
So, we have one possible solution. Is it the right one? Maybe. How can we be sure? Well, we can check more translations, and more footnotes to see if they agree with each other. (If we're really dedicated, we can learn Greek and Hebrew, and we would have spotted the different words used right away...)
Let's check some notes form other study Bibles:
In the Notes for the NASB for our passage in Isaiah, they point out: "Heb Helel; i.e. shining one". The other translations we've looked at don't have notes (or they have Strong's numbers, which just point us to other verses that uses the same English words.)
From "The Defender's Study Bible" (KJV Translation): Notes on Isaiah 14:12: "O Lucifer. "Lucifer" means "shining one" and is rendered "day-star" in some translations. This is the only time it occurs in the Bible, but clearly seems intended as a name for Satan and has been so used throughout history. Many New Age and pantheistic cults have adopted Lucifer as their "god.""
Notes on Revelation 22:16: "morning star. Satan had aspired to be "Lucifer, son of the morning" (Isaiah 14:12), where "Lucifer" can also be translated "Day-Star" (Hebrew haylel), the bright star of the dawning. Here, however, Satan has been forever banished to the lake of fire. Christ proclaims that He alone is "the bright morning star." At the end of his Revelation, the Lord is reminding all readers that He, not Satan, is the harbinger of eternal light and life. The great conflict of the ages between Satan and Christ, the old serpent and the promised Seed of the woman, will soon be over. Christ is the true Day-Star, Son of the Morning."
From the 1599 Geneva Bible Notes:
Notes on Isaiah 14:12: "Thou that thoughtest thyself most glorious, and as it were placed in the heaven: for the morning star that goeth before the sun, is called Lucifer, to whom Nebuchadneaar is compared."
Notes on Revelation 22:16: "The second place of confirmation, as I said, is the speech of Christ, ratifying the vocation of S. John, and the authority of his calling and testimony, both from the condition of his own person being God and man, in whom all the promises of God are Yea and Amen, 2 Cor. 1:20: and also from the tesitification of other persons by the acclamation of the holy Ghost, who here as it were an honorable assistant of the marriage of the church as the spouse and of every of the godly as members: and finally from the thing present, that of their own knowledge and accord they are called forth unto the participation of the good things of God, verse 17" (Okay, some notes are more helpful than others.....)
What other resources do we have that we can use to learn more? How about commentaries? I'll admit I don't have a full set, but concise commentaries are available for free from a variety of sources. Let's see if Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary, or Jamieson, Faucet and Brown have anything to say...
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary doesn't have an entry for our specific passage, but it does point out that verses 1-23 are about the destruction of Babylon and the death of it's proud monarch, thus supporting what we've learned from the notes in the Net Bible.
Jamieson, Faucet and Brown says: "Isa 14:12 - 15 . THE JEWS ADDRESS HIM AGAIN AS A FALLEN ONCE-BRIGHT STAR. The language is so framed as to apply to the Babylonian king primarily, and at the same time to shadow forth through him, the great final enemy, the man of sin, Antichrist, of Daniel, St. Paul, and St. John; he alone shall fulfil exhaustively all the lineaments here given. 12. Lucifer--"day star." A title truly belonging to Christ ( Re 22:16 ), "the bright and morning star," and therefore hereafter to be assumed by Antichrist. GESENIUS, however, renders the Hebrew here as in Eze 21:12; Zec 11:2 , "howl." weaken--"prostrate"; as in Ex 17:13 , "discomfit.""
Hmm, interesting. This commentator acknowledges that the section is talking about the Babylonian king, but also sees that Isaiah is telling us that it's about Satan too, in this case, that Satan is attempting to usurp Christ's rightful title of "Morning Star", referencing the section in Revelation as evidence.
Other resources: I have a book called "Demolishing Supposed Bible Contradictions, Vol 1" ... unfortunately it doesn't cover this particular one.
Further general information on Bible "Contradictions":
Conclusion: Through Bible Study, we've found two possible explanations for this supposed contradiction, and better yet, both of these explanations can be true at the same time without contradicting each other!
I want to leave you with a quote from the "New Answers Book 2" Chapter 27:
"Some years ago, I was participating in an Internet forum discussion on this topic. Another participant kept insisting that the Bible couldn’t be true because it contradicts itself. Eventually, I challenged him to post two or three contradictions, and I would answer them for him. He posted over 40 alleged contradictions. I spent four hours researching each one of those points and then posted a reply to every single one. Within 30 seconds, he had replied that my answers were nonsense. Obviously, he had not read my answers. He was not interested in the answers. He already had an a priori commitment to believing the Bible was false and full of contradictions. It is instructive to note that after a quick Google search, I discovered that his list of supposed Bible contradictions had been copied and pasted directly from a website. This anecdote shows that, for many people, the belief that the Bible contains contradictions and inaccuracies is an excuse for not believing. Many such people have not actually read the Bible for themselves. Still fewer have analyzed any of the alleged contradictions. It has been my experience that, after a little research, all the alleged contradictions and inaccuracies are explainable. If you, the reader, are prepared to look at these answers with an open mind, then you will discover that the excuse of supposed inaccuracies does not hold water. If, however, you have already convinced yourself that such an old book as the Bible just has to contain errors, then you may as well skip this chapter. Like my Internet forum opponent, nothing (apart from the work of the Holy Spirit) is going to convince you that the Bible is 100 percent reliable—especially not the facts!"
- Aaron DeMott, writer of sc-fi and fantasy - http://aarondemott.blogspot.com
Post by This Baron of Mora on Jan 13, 2012 21:54:25 GMT -5
And wonderful job explaining by the yoda47 and several others, yet still adding to this I looked up a few translations and notes and here is what I have to add:
I have always liked a good bit of wordy King James 1611 but not finding much difference I went to the NIV read it and went into the notes. Here it discussed many of these "controversies" but most importantly it said and I quote directly,
""Morning star, son of dawn" could be names used to worship the kings of Assyria and Babylon. More likely, it means they (meaning Satan/the kings) will fade like the morning star when the sun rises."
Whomever it refers they all have/shall fade (and thank the Lord for that!).
“These are the days when the Christian is expected to praise every creed except his own.”[br][br]-Chesterton[br][br][b][url=http://www.creeds.net/ancient/]The Apostle's Creed Link[/url][/b]
I have studied Greek and Hebrew for years, and I noticed when I looked at the Hebrew of Isaiah today that it had helel (pronounced Hay-Layl) which many translations were turning into "morning star." That word is a [skipping fancy term] which means "only appears once in this form." There is a homonym that means howl, but it comes from a different root verb. This one comes from halal which means "shine" and is commonly used of heavenly bodies. That word appears 4 times in scripture, all in Isaiah (13:10) and Job (Job 29:3; 31:26; 41:10). Since "son of the dawn" follows, I think it is plausible to understand helel as being a star [ed. Very possibly, a proper name of a specific star, like Sirius or Polaris]. Shachar ("dawn") is used 23 times in the OT and is translated as dawn, day break, morning, etc. 22 of those times.
The Jews who translated the Septuagint identified helel with a star. They translate the first part of Isaiah 14:12 as "How has eosphoros, that rose in the morning, fallen from heaven!" (Rose in Is 14:12 is a verb, not a noun.) A form of eosphoros appears in 2 Peter 1:19, "until the day dawns and the morning star arises in your hearts."
I can see how the translators are getting to morning star in Isaiah 14. They aren't just pulling it out of the air, they do have a reason.
Then I thought I would check the Targums, Aramaic translations/paraphrases. Here is how I translated the first part of the verse: "How then have you fallen from heaven*, you who were distinguished among the sons of 'Unasha, within the star of dawn." The last part was kinda messy and different copies have different words here but it does appear that the proper name of a star is used, Cocbay. One of the copies has "like Cocbay," another has "like Cocab."
*Interestingly, the word can also mean "pride."
So that's my take on it. I can see how they got to morning star/shining one, and I would likely take the same route myself. We have early translations into Greek and Aramaic that use "morning star."
Edit: I would also point out to your friend that the same, unique title can apply to two different people at different times. For example, President of the United States. 4 Years ago that was Bush. 12 years ago that Clinton. Today, it's Obama. All of the President of the United States and not a single contradiction in calling them that.
I have some more resources that I might look at tonight. I've missed this kind of discussion.
I did some more digging tonight. The first thing I saw is that the phrase translated "morning star" in Rev 22 is not the same as the word in 2 Peter which is from the word the Septuagint uses to translate Helel in Is 14. Instead of phosphoros (2 Pet 1:19, a form of eosphoros), Rev uses ho astra ho lampros ho proinos, lit. "the star, the bright the morning," which we smoothen into "the bright and morning star."
I also read in one of my commentaries, Keil and Delitzsch's Commentary on the Old Testament, Vol 7, Isaiah. They translate the phrase as "star of light." They note that it is the name of a star that is seen just before dawn (and in the footnote note that a similar Arabic word signifies the new moon, which is seen at sunrise, as if born out of the dawn). They state that Lucifer as a name for the Devil comes from this passage by the fathers but "without any warrant whatsoever." They state it is a perfectly acceptable appellation for the King of Babylon because of the early date of Babylonian culture (back to the twilight of human history) and its predominant astrological character. Also, the Babylonian king had declared himself a god. In this he was a type of antichrist.
Interestingly, Walter Kaiser in Hard Sayings of the Bible links it to both Satan and the King of Babylon. He claims it is like the prophecies about Christ that are fulfilled once near to the prophet but later ultimately in Christ. Though I very much like Kaiser and have several of his books on my shelf, I think this reads too much into the text. The king is a type of antichrist yes but the context of the passage sticks with the king and not with the angelic rebellion.
In conclusion, I would translate it as "morning star."
Flyboy, several things for your friend.
1. Two different phrases for "morning star" even after you account for the Hebrew and Greek. The Greek trans. of Is 14 uses a word that a form of is used in 2 Pet while Rev uses an entirely different word (a phrase actually). 2. The translations that use "Lucifer" (following the Latin Vulgate) do not refer to the being in question as "morning star." The translations that use "morning star" do not identify the being with Satan. If you are going to declare a contradiction, the conflict needs to appear in one translation. 3. Even if Is 14 did refer to Satan (which I am concluding it does not), two people can have the same title at different times.
I hope this helps, Flyboy.
True holiness comes when we loathe sin not when we loathe getting caught.
One of the next things I need to get is one of those Hebrew bibles for idiots that don't know Hebrew.
And I'm planning on homeschooling my kids, and I think they're going to learn Greek and Hebrew instead of Spanish... more worthwhile in the long term. Studying the Hebrew words used is fascinating.
Oh! Just remembered, (can't believe I didn't think of this before), for those of us that are Hebrew challened, Rabbi Lapin (www.rabbidaniellapin.com) covers a lot of the Hebrew words and meanings in his different products/resources. Kind of of side note, but it's related to the Hebrew part of what we're talking about...
- Aaron DeMott, writer of sc-fi and fantasy - http://aarondemott.blogspot.com