Glory Mean in the Bible

What Does Glory Mean in the Bible? – Meaning of God’s Glory

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The meaning of “glory” in the Bible communicates the idea of ​​recognizing one’s honor, dignity, importance, excellence, or majesty. This word is used in several biblical passages to speak of the glory of people, places, objects, kingdoms, nature, and, above all, the glory of God. The biblical meaning of “glory” in each of these passages must be understood in light of its context.

In the biblical text, the word “glory” translates from several Hebrew terms and even an Aramaic term in the Old Testament. Already in the New Testament, this word translates some Greek terms. In any case, its most important application concerns the glory of God.

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Biblical Meaning of “Glory” in the Old Testament

In the Old Testament, the term most commonly translated by the word “glory” is the Hebrew kabowd. This term conveys the meaning of “weight”, “burden”, “reputation”, “dignity” or “honor”. When applied to a man, this term indicates that that man is one of the possessions or an honorable person. This is how Joseph, for example, is described in the Bible as a person who had glory in Egypt, referring to his high position and wealth (Genesis 45:13).

This word is also applied in the Bible to speak of places, objects, and nations. For example, the Temple in Jerusalem is portrayed in the Bible as a place of glory (1 Chronicle 22:5). Aaron’s priestly garments were for “glory and ornament” (Exodus 28:2). A kingdom, with its army and people, can be the expression of its glory (Proverbs 14:28; cf. 1 King 10:5).

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Biblical Meaning of “Glory” in the New Testament

In the New Testament, the word “glory” often translates to the Greek doxa. The basic meaning of this Greek term implies the sense of “opinion”, “judgment” or “point of view” concerning something or someone. But this word is also used to communicate the meaning of “reputation”, “fame” and even “splendor”. In fact, this is how the Septuagint — the Greek version of the Old Testament — uses this word to translate the Hebrew kabowd ; and the New Testament applies the word doxa in this sense on several occasions.

For example, the biblical text of John 12:43 contrasts the glory of men with the glory of God. In this text, the word “glory” carries the meaning of “fame” or “reputation”. In Luke 2:9, the glory of the Lord is described as a “brightness” or “brightness.” The idea of ​​the glory of a nation is also maintained in the New Testament (Matthew 4:8; 6:29). The apostle Paul also wrote that converts are the glory of an evangelist (1 Thessalonians 2:20).

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The word “glory” and its most important meaning in the Bible

Undoubtedly, the most essential application of the word “glory” in the Bible concerns the glory of God. In this sense, the word “glory” points to the greatness, magnificence, and unparalleled inaccessibility of God. In fact, in a way glory expresses the divine nature, so that God is the “God of glory” (Acts 7:2).

The book of Psalms records that the glory of God is expressed generally in nature (cf. Psalm 19:1; 63:2). God also decided to reveal his glory in a special way to men. The prophet Isaiah, for example, had an extraordinary experience in which he beheld the Lord seated on a throne high and lifted up, served by seraphim who declared: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is filled with his glory” (Isaiah 6:3). In this context it is easy to see the intimate connection between the glory and holiness of God.

Already in the New Testament, the revelation of God in Christ is the supreme revelation of that glory. The biblical text records how the glory of God marked the birth of Jesus Christ (Luke 2). During Jesus’ earthly ministry, to some extent, this glory was manifested through the signs and miracles wrought by Him (John 2:11).

Even at the lowest point of his humiliation, that is, his death on the cross, divine glory was not absent in the person of Christ so that Roman officials could recognize his divine sonship (Matthew 27:54).

The apostle John summed up well the glory of God revealed in Christ when he wrote: “ And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” ( John 1:14). The writer of the Letter to the Hebrews explained that Jesus Christ is the radiance of the glory of God (Hebrews 1:3); just as James spoke of Jesus as the Lord of glory (James 2:1). By sovereign divine grace, the redeemed are given the privilege of knowing this glory and being able to partake of it (2 Corinthians 3:18; 4:6; 1 Peter 5:4; Revelation 21:23).