The 2001 Translation Translator NotesNote

The ‘Opposer,’ ‘Evil One,’ ‘Slanderer,’ and ‘BeElZebub’

Other Bible translations use words like Satan, Devil, Lucifer, and Beelzebub for this individual. However, this translation says ‘Evil One,’ ‘Opposer,’ and ‘Slanderer.’ Why?

His actual name is never given in the Bible. All of the above ‘names’ are actually just titles or descriptions, just like any other word that can be translated (and one isn’t actually talking about him anyway).

Bad Bible translations mislead readers into thinking that these are names. Modern translators and publishers are unwilling to correct these mistakes because it’s all tradition now. Yet, this hides the meanings of the words from readers! Why aren’t modern translators, you know, translating?

These so-called ‘names’ include:

Satan

This is not a name. It is a Hebrew word meaning opposer, resistor, and/or a wily person who does things to serve his own interests.

It was used to describe the Evil One in the Hebrew Masoretic text because of his opposition to God. Therefore, to keep people from thinking that Satan is a name, this Bible translates the term as ‘Opposer.’

Devil

Also not a name. This is an anglicized Greek word (Diabolos) that is used in the New Testament to describe the evil one.

The first part of the word, dia, means through, and bolos means throw. So, Devil describes someone who throws through. What does that mean? It appears to be an idiom which means to be a Slanderer. Perhaps it is because slandering someone is like throwing an arrow or a spear through someone?

So this Bible translates the term as ‘Slanderer.’

Lucifer

This is a name, but of the wrong person!

It appears once in the King James Bible at Isaiah 14:12. The Hebrew and Greek source texts actually say, ‘the star that arises at dawn.’ The name Lucifer does not appear in any original text. So where did it come from?

Well, in ancient times, the morning star (the first star observed at dawn) was associated with a pagan god called the ‘light bringer,’ (especially when the star was Venus). The name of that pagan god was Lucifer, the son of the goddess Aurora.

So when Augustine of Hippo (354 to 430 CE) came to translate Isaiah into Latin (to create the Latin Vulgate Bible), naturally he just used the common name for that star at the time, which was Lucifer. He was not trying to name the Evil One; he was just using the normal name for the morning star. Later, when the King James Version was translated, the translators just copied the same name.

The great irony in all this, is that the passage was talking about the King of Babylon! Identifying the name Lucifer with the Evil One is just a medieval misunderstanding.

BeElZebub

This is a title, not a name. There are eight references to it in the Bible source texts, and it does refer to the Evil One. BeEl (like BaAl) means Lord, and Zebub appears to refer to flies (the insects).

So, BeElZebub is a descriptive title, and means Lord of the Flies.

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