In Isaiah 14:12 did the King James translator make a mistake using the term Lucifer to describe morning star?

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KJV Isaiah 14:12

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!

NRSV Isaiah 14:12

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!

If Isaiah was written in Hebrew and the text was translated into English the word “Lucifer”, which is Latin, wouldn’t be there. It would simply say “morning star”. Adding Lucifer to the translation would be like me translating the Japanese word for the color “red” into English using English and Spanish versions of that word.

“Lucifer” may be an accurate translation of “morning star” into Latin but why include a Latin word in an English translation? It adds something to the text which isn’t in the original which changes the meaning and leads us to assume things that we wouldn’t otherwise if we could read Hebrew.

In Isaiah 14:12 is it true that including or adding the word “Lucifer” here was a mistake or embellishment by the King James translator? If this passage isn’t about the devil then it changes what I think I know about him.

2 Comments

  • Reply March 13, 2017

    Lawrence Johnson

    Phone about dead according to strongs the def. Hebrew meaning of lucifur is morning star. Every other version I compared it to says son of light morning star something to that nature nkjv and kjv only versions that says lucifur according to strongs though it’s correct

  • Reply January 16, 2019

    Kevin Simpson

    1. The name of this site, Pentecostal Theology, are you saying the bible is only correct in so much as it is properly interpreted by a Pentecostal? What makes you any different than Joseph Smith and his Mormon Theology? Shouldnt we be good Bereans? and study the bible as the Holy Spirit reveals it?
    2. The question above about Isaiah 14 was written by myself on another site and you do not give credit to the writer. Plagiarism is theft.
    3. Reply to Lawrence Johnson- “nkjv and kjv only versions that says lucifur according to strongs though it’s correct” You say the KJV is correct… based on what? Strongs is a concordance of the KJV…. it is derivative work of the KJV Not the other way around. Strongs simply lists all the words that are used in the KJV of the scriptures. If you are a good Berean and study the subject for yourself you will find that St. Jerome did make a mistake. A latin word does not belong in an english translation from Hebrew.

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