Lucifer (lōˈsĭfər) [key] [Lat., = light-bearing], in Christian tradition a name for Satan. In the Vulgate, Lucifer served as a translation of the Hebrew epithet meaning "Day Star," a name associated with the presumptuous King of Babylon in the Book of Isaiah. Some early Christian writers found a parallel in the Gospel of St. Luke, where Jesus refers to Satan falling like lightning from heaven. On this basis they identified Isaiah's "Day Star" with Satan and concluded that there was scriptural authority for designating him "light-bearer." In antiquity Lucifer was also the name given Venus as the morning star.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.