I have just recently learned that the name Lucifer means "light-bringer" or "shining one." How is it that Christians have erroneously interchanged the name Satan with Lucifer? Why can I not find a reference to the name Lucifer in my NIV Bible? -- Talia Dykes (St. Louis)

The word Lucifer appears in the Latin Vulgate translation (c. 400 AD) in three locations, two of which refer to dawn and the third to the King of Babylon (Isaiah 14:12). In the KJV (1611 AD), the word Lucifer appears only once, in Isaiah 14:12. In Latin it means "light-bearer." Since it appears in no original Hebrew/Aramaic O.T. manuscript, it has been dropped by the modern versions.

So, to answer the question, Christians (inter)changed nothing. The word Satan, which appears in both New and Old Testaments, has been retained wherever it appears. The king of Babylon, however -- whose fall resembles that of Satan, even though the fall of Satan is not the primary subject of Isaiah 14 -- is rightly called "morning star" (NIV) or "day star" (RSV).

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