Wednesday, May 14, 2014

"The glory of Yahweh"

In my reading today I came across a particularly great statement from Gerhard von Rad on the glory of man and of Yahweh. I salted it through a dozen or so verse-notes in my BibleWorks, and share it with you:
If in relation to man כָּבוֹד [glory] denotes that which makes him impressive and demands recognition, whether in terms of material possessions or striking gravitas, in relation to God it implies that which makes God impressive to man, the force of His self-manifestation. As everywhere attested in the OT, God is intrinsically invisible. Nevertheless, when He reveals Himself, or declares Himself, e.g., in meteorological phenomena, one may rightly speak of the כְּבוֹד יְהוָֹה [glory of Yahweh], of a manifestation which makes on man a highly significant impression. The more seriously religious reflexion took the idea of Yahweh’s invisibility and transcendence, the more this expression for the impressive element in God became an important technical term in OT theology. [Gerhard von Rad, art. δόξα (glory), in Kittel, G., Bromiley, G. W., & Friedrich, G. (Eds.). (1964–). Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.]

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