The Greek doxa in the NewTestament and theophanic-messianic splendour in Christian Literatures.

 

 

 

The Greek doxa in the NewTestament and theophanic-messianic splendour in Christian Literatures.Christianity and the glorious latter-day theophany : The radiant theophanic splendour ( “glory” ) of the glorious eschatological doxophany.

  • The New Testament, the second coming and the glorious latter-day doxophany.
  • The theophanic parousia with  dynamis  (power)  and              doxa  (glory)  
  • Eschatological hopes  and the radiant doxophany.

                       ADD THEMES  AND MOTIFS

Baha'i Perspectives on Intimations of Bahā’ in the New Testament and Christian literatures..

The Arabic word bahā' obviously does not occur directly in the Greek New Testament. Its theological equivalent is the Greek word doxa = radiant "glory" which translates the Hebrew kabôd (in one sense also, radiant "glory"). [12]   Some millennial or more old (early medieval, probably pre-9th century CE?) Christian uses of the word bahā' can be found in various medieval (or earlier, perhaps pre-Islamic) Arabic writings. In, for example, Arabic recensions of an originally Syriac work, The Book of the Cave of Treasures  (Me'ârath Gazzê, original Syriac c. 4th cent. CE?; see Bezold, Die Schatzöhle),   ; namely, in the  "Book of the Rolls" (Kitāb al-majāll).  [13]  This work includes an account of the story of Adam and Eve. Reference is made to the First Man's pre-fall "mighty glory" (bahā' al-aīm,  Bezold Vol. 2:14); his  "wondrous glory" (al-bahā' al-`ajīb,  Gibson, Apocrypha, 6). According to the "Book of the Rolls" the first couple were both clothed in glory and "splendour" (bahā')" (Gibson, 7). [14]  

 The Arabic word bahā' is, however, found at certain points in Arabic versions of the New Testament and in other Arabic writings. A good example occurs in Revelation 21:23 where John of Patmos predicts,

"And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God (= Bahā’-Allāh) is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb."

In one of his Tablets to a Jewish Bahā'ī, Bahā’-Allāh cites this verse in Arabic exactly as it was printed in the London 1858 (1671) edition of the William Watts Arabic Bible for the Eastern Churches.    

It has been noted that Bahā’-Allāh associated the word "Father" with the "greatest name". Several verses of the Gospels speak of the return of Christ "in the glory of his Father" (Matt. 16:27 Mark 8:38 cf. Luke 9:26). Both the words "glory" (Greek doxa) and "Father" (Greek pater, Hebrew Bible 'A b, Arabic Bible Āb) could be regarded as alluding to the "Greatest Name" Bah ā'. In the New Testament the word "Father" occurs over 200  times -- as opposed to around 15 times (as 'A b) for "God" in the Hebrew Bible. It is found in the two versions of the so-called `Lord's Prayer' (see Luke 11:3-4 & Matt. 6:9-13). This prayer begins: "Our Father which art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come..". The "Father" referred to here is primarily the Godhead but could also be understood to refer to Bahā’-Allāh Who has ever existed (in his pre-existent Reality) in the "heaven" of the Will of God. The "hallowed be thy name" verse might be understood to be an allusion to the "glory" of the "Greatest Name" Bahā'; to One whose kingdom has been long awaited by Christians expecting the return of Christ in the glory of the "Father".

 Numerous Christians have written volumes upon the subject of the multi-faceted Biblical concept of the "Glory"/ the "Glory of God". Christ's return "in the glory of the Father" has been meditated upon, prayed for, and variously interpreted for many centuries. Some have focused upon the mystery of the Biblical "glory" (kabôd / doxa)  or related expressions of the Divine splendour. A somewhat eccentric Protestant Christian example of this, is the Rev. H. A. Edwards' pamphlet, The Glory of the Lord, An Investigation into the significance of the Shekinah [= "Glorious Dwelling"] Presence, the Reasons for its Withdrawal and the Prophecies Concerning its Future Return.  More recent and much more important volumes have been written which contain valuable information about the glorious Divine Presence in history and eschatology; about the Kabôd and the Doxa.  Details cannot be gone into here. It must suffice to quote a few sentences from the entry  DOXA  ("Glory") in Rahner and Vorgrimler's (Catholic) Concise Theological Dictionary,

 THE NEW TESTAMENT AND CHRISTIANITY.

 The Arabic word bahā' obviously does not occur directly in the Greek New Testament. Its theological equivalent is the Greek word doxa = radiant "glory" which translates the Hebrew kabôd (in one sense also, radiant "glory").11 The Arabic word bahā' is however, found at certain points in Arabic versions of the New Testament and in other Arabic writings. A good example occurs in Revelation 21:23 where John of Patmos predicts,

"And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine upon it, for the glory of God (= Bahā’-Allāh) is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb."

 In one of his Tablets to a Jewish Bahā'ī, Bahā’-Allāh cites this verse in Arabic exactly as it was printed in the London 1858 (1671) edition of the William Watts Arabic Bible for the Eastern Churches.

The Syriac Cave of Treasures and the Arabic "Book of the Rolls" (Kitāb al-Majāll).

 A decade or so ago I noticed some millennium or more old (early medieval, probably pre-9th century CE?) Christian uses of the word bahā' in Arabic recensions of an originally Syriac work, The Book of the Cave of Treasures  (Me'ârath Gazzê, original Syriac c. 4th cent. CE? 12 ); namely, in the  "Book of the Rolls" (Kitāb al-Majāll). 13   This work includes an account of the story of Adam and Eve. Reference is made to the First Man's pre-fall "mighty glory" (bahā' al-azīm,  Bezold Vol. 2:14); his  "wondrous glory" (al-bahā' al-`ajīb,  Gibson p.6). According to the "Book of the Rolls" the first couple were both clothed in glory and "splendour" (bahā')" (Gibson, 7).14 

 It has been noted that Bahā’-Allāh associated the word "Father" with the "greatest name". Several verses of the Gospels speak of the return of Christ "in the glory of his Father" (Matt. 16:27 Mark 8:38 cf. Luke 9:26). Both the words "glory" (Greekdoxa) and "Father" (Greek patār, Hebrew Bible  'Ab, Arabic Bible Āb) could be regarded as alluding to the "Greatest Name" Bahā'. In the New Testament the word "Father" occurs over 200  times -- as opposed to around 15 times (as 'Ab) for "God" in the Hebrew Bible. It is found in the two versions of the so-called `Lord's Prayer' (see Luke 11:3-4 & Matt. 6:9-13). We will recall that this prayer begins: "Our Father which art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come..".  The "Father" referred to here is primarily the Godhead but could also be understood to refer to Bahā’-Allāh Who has ever existed (in his pre-existent Reality) in the "heaven" of the Will of God. The "hallowed be thy name" verse might be understood to be an allusion to the "glory" of the "Greatest Name" Bahā'; to One whose kingdom has been long awaited by Christians expecting the return of Christ in the glory of the "Father". 

 Numerous Christians have written volumes upon the subject of the multi-faceted Biblical concept of the "Glory"/ the "Glory of God". Christ's return "in the glory of the Father" has been meditated upon, prayed for, and variously interpreted for Ma’idihny centuries. Some have focused upon the mystery of the  Biblical "glory" (kabôd / doxa) or related expressions of the Divine splendour. A somewhat eccentric Protestant Christian example of this, is the Rev. H. A. Edwards' pamphlet, The Glory of the Lord, An Investigation into the significance of the Shekinah [= "Glorious Dwelling"] Presence, the Reasons for its Withdrawal and the Prophecies Concerning its Future Return. 15 More recent and much more important volumes have been written which contain valuable inforMa’idihtion about the glorious Divine Presence in history and eschatology; about the  Kabôd and the Doxa. Details cannot be gone into here. It must suffice to quote a few sentences from the entry  DOXA ("Glory") in Rahner and Vorgrimler's (Catholic) Concise Theological Dictionary,

 "In principle, man has already acquired a share in God's eschatological [end time] doxa  through the self-communication of God to Ma’idihn which has occurred in Christ (the bestowal of the Spirit..).. but, under this soteriological aspect, that  doxa  is still essentially a hidden thing, to be revealed only when the sufferings of this age are over (Rom 18:18)." (p.136).     

 Worth noting at this point is an interesting Islāmic tradition related by the sixth Shī'ī Imām, Ja`far al-Ṣādiq (d.765 CE). He stated that the child Jesus, explaining the first letter, the letter "B"  of the basmala  to his bewildered schoolteacher, had it that, "The letter "B" signifieth Bahā 'u'llāh". This tradition is quoted in many Islāmic sources as it is by `Abdu'l-Bahā in his own commentary on the Basmala (see Makātib `Abdu'l-Bahā  Vol.1:46) 16