To many Christians Lucifer of Isaiah 14 (not to be confused with Satan) is considered a visually beautiful, Rock n' Rolling cherub who fell from heaven to deceive mankind. And according to a few websites (e.g. Vigilant Citizen) he is the heroic demigod who gave man knowledge of good and evil Prometheus style, and is revered and worshiped by the media and politicians.

What did Martin Luther and John Calvin think of this character?

  • 2
    Beautiful? Rock n' Rolling? Omnipotent? Heroic? Feared and hated only by "many" Christians? What an odd lead-in to your question --- but it does leave clear what you think of Lucifer's character. Personally, I know him to be the father of lies.
    – JBH
    Jul 29, 2017 at 15:04
  • 2
    For the purpose of this question are you equating Lucifer with Satan?
    – bradimus
    Jul 29, 2017 at 16:21
  • @JBH I'm actually talking about a different character than Satan. Satan is in the Bible. When I think of Satan I think of 1 Kings 22:22. When I think of Lucifer, I think of this on the Christian side (check it out it's pretty interesting really) and this for the media.
    – Cannabijoy
    Jul 30, 2017 at 2:18
  • 4
    Questions about Mick Jagger do not belong on Christianity.SE. Jul 30, 2017 at 6:11
  • 1
    This question should really ask how they read Isaiah 14 going by the self answer you've given.
    – curiousdannii
    Jul 30, 2017 at 8:05

1 Answer 1


Although Calvin and Luther most certainly believed in an entity called Satan, they deny that Isaiah 14:12 has any connection with the devil or that Lucifer is his name. In Calvin's commentary of Isaiah 14, he says:

How art thou fallen from heaven! Isaiah proceeds with the discourse which he had formerly begun as personating the dead, and concludes that the tyrant differs in no respect from other men, though his object was to lead men to believe that he was some god. He employs an elegant metaphor, by comparing him to Lucifer, and calls him the Son of the Dawn; (220) and that on account of his splendor and brightness with which he shone above others. The exposition of this passage, which some have given, as if it referred to Satan, has arisen from ignorance; for the context plainly shows that these statements must be understood in reference to the king of the Babylonians. But when passages of Scripture are taken up at random, and no attention is paid to the context, we need not wonder that mistakes of this kind frequently arise. Yet it was an instance of very gross ignorance, to imagine that Lucifer was the king of devils, and that the Prophet gave him this name. But as these inventions have no probability whatever, let us pass by them as useless fables.

In Franz Delitzsch commentary of Isaiah, he quotes Martin Luther, saying:

Lucifer, the name of the devil, is derived from this passage, the reference of which to Satan is designated by Luther as insignis error totius papatus; but it is found already in Jerome and other Fathers.

According to Delitzsch, Luther believed the designation of this passage to Satan to be insignis error totius papatus or a noteworthy error of the papacy. 1


Neither Martin Luther nor John Calvin believed there was such a character named Lucifer. They respectively blamed this error on the Catholic church and referred to this notion as nothing more than fairy tales and fables.

  1. Source and translation from Davïd's excellent and much more thorough answer to Why is Isaiah 14:12-15 interpreted by some to refer to Satan? at BH.SE
  • I suspect that you are as old as I am, in that you appear to enjoy talking to yourself. It's OK, at least the wisest one in the room is your partner in conversation. :) Jul 30, 2017 at 6:12
  • @KorvinStarmast Haha, no I just wanted to answer the question because everyone thought I was praising Lucifer, when I don't even believe he exists.
    – Cannabijoy
    Jul 30, 2017 at 6:24
  • Have you seen the movie "The Usual Suspects" lately? :-) Jul 30, 2017 at 6:26
  • 1
    But when passages of Scripture are taken up at random, and no attention is paid to the context, we need not wonder that mistakes of this kind frequently arise - This describes about half of the questions that come in to this SE. :p Jul 30, 2017 at 6:28
  • 1
    You don't seem to have answered what they thought of "the beautiful, musically inclined, Rock n' Rolling, omnipotent fallen angel that is feared and hated by many Christians, and the heroic demigod who gave man knowledge of good and evil" so it would be very fair to flag this as Not An Answer.
    – curiousdannii
    Jul 30, 2017 at 8:07

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .