Living merrily ever after

Question 107 – from ER and BR, United Kingdom

ER: Is there wine in heaven?
BR: If so, is it alcoholic, as some people say that ‘wine’ in the Bible was merely grape juice?

While the Bible is never fully clear on the subject of what ‘heaven’ is like, there are references to eating and drinking. In Luke chapter 22, verse 18, Jesus is reported as saying of a cup of wine that “I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” Whether this is a reference to his appearances after the resurrection, or in heaven is hard to know. However as he was (more…)

Lucifer being called the angel of music

Question 106 – from LM, USA

Where in the bible is Lucifer referred to the angel of Music?

There is no Biblical reference to Lucifer as the ‘angel of music’. Other articles on freelance theology have covered the development of various beliefs about the devil, although the origin of this particular idea seems to be obscure.

Certainly the popular idea that Lucifer was a prominent angel in the heavenly court, who then rebelled and was cast out of Heaven, has been embellished over the centuries. It is certainly possible that one of these additions to the basic story is that Lucifer was the director of music. This could be because of the many Biblical references to angels singing worship to God. In Job chapter 38, verse 7 the ‘morning stars’ or are identified with ‘sons of God (often translated as ‘angels’).

‘Lucifer’ is actually the Latin for ‘lightbringer’ and was a word used for Venus, the Morning Star, which often shone out shortly before dawn. When Isaiah ironically used the Hebrew term ‘daystar’ to describe the ambitious King of Babylon in Isaiah chapter 14, this was then translated as ‘Lucifer’ in the Latin translation of the Bible (the Vulgate). There has been a long history of associating Isaiah’s ‘Lucifer’, who is ‘cast down from heaven’, with Satan’s ‘fall from Heaven’ that Jesus claimed to have seen in Luke chapter 10, verse 18. If the singing angels in Job are all ‘morning stars’ it follows that Satan/Lucifer is the morning star, i.e. the leader.

The stories that have grown around the troubling character of Satan in Christian theology are varied and complex. While there are many who would still adhere to a belief in a literal personal being called Satan, this mythological belief system has been heavily criticised for lacking a Biblical basis. It’s popularity owes more to the pre-modern superstitious world that Christianity grew up in and eventually outgrew.

It is interesting though that Satan’s involvement with music is also ingrained in popular culture. The devil is said to ‘have all the best tunes’, although this comment can actually be traced to the founder of the Salvation Army, William Booth, who firmly believed in appropriating the ‘devil’s tunes’ and setting Christian evangelistic hymns to them.