[gthomas] Allegory and the Gnostic worldview
- At 05:54 PM 12/6/99 , jim bauer wrote:
>Literary critic Harold Bloom was much impressed with _A Voyage to Arcturus_The word Lucifer is Latin for LUCIS = LIGHT, and FERRE = bringer or
>and wrote his own story, _The Flight to Lucifer_, loosely based on Lindsay's
>book--though the term "plagiarized" has often been used as well, He also
>drew heavily from Hans Jonas' _The Gnostic Religion_. I used to own a copy
>of the book, but my devout Catholic mother threw it behind my back. In
>spite of the title, Lucifer is not present as "the Devil," it's the name of
bearer. LUCIFER means LIGHT
BEARER.) The name is originally associated with the planet Venus. This is
because Venus, thought of as the "morning star" , is often visible before
sunrise. Thus it was thought of as the light bearer, in the sense that it
brought the light before the sun. As early as around 350 AD, "Lucifer" was
a respectable name in the early church. An early bishop who fiercely
opposed Arianism bore this name. The association between Lucifer and the
devil is described by the Catholic Encyclopedia:
The name Lucifer originally denotes the planet Venus,
emphasizing its brilliance. The Vulgate
employs the word also for "the light of the morning" (Job
50:17), "the signs of the zodiac" (Job
38:32), and "the aurora" (Psalm 109:3). Metaphorically, the word
is applied to the King of Babylon
(Isaiah 14:12) as preeminent among the princes of his time; to
the high priest Simon son of Onias
(Ecclesiasticus 50:6), for his surpassing virtue, to the glory
of heaven (Apocalypse 2:28), by reason
of its excellency; finally to Jesus Christ himself (II Petr.
1:19; Apocalypse 22:16; the "Exultet" of
Holy Saturday) the true light of our spiritual life. The Syriac
version and the version of Aquila derive
the Hebrew noun helel from the verb yalal, "to lament"; St.
Jerome agrees with them (In Isaiah
1:14), and makes Lucifer the name of the principal fallen angel
who must lament the loss of his
original glory bright as the morning star. In Christian
tradition this meaning of Lucifer has prevailed;
the Fathers maintain that Lucifer is not the proper name of the
devil, but denotes only the state from
which he has fallen (Petavius, De Angelis, III, iii, 4).
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