Our continued study in great words of the Bible.

Leona Glidden Running, Andrews University. 

In earliest Greek litera­ture doxa meant "hope" or "expectation." Later it devel­oped a subjective meaning of "notion," "opinion," "judg­ment," "conjecture," as op­posed to "truth" and "knowl­edge." The philosophers used doxa as "opinion," "axiom," and "maxim," and also for "illusion," as the Hindus used maya. But the main meaning in classical Greek was objective—"reputation," "honor," "fame," et cetera.

In the LXX doxa in the objective sense is applied to both God and man. The dis­tinctively Biblical usage first appears in con­nection with God's awe-inspiring manifestations to the Israelites. Of 25 Hebrew and Aramaic words translated in the LXX by doxa, the word kabod is the bridge from classical to Biblical meanings. In using doxa for kabod the LXX translators gave it the meanings of kabod—"brightness," "splen­dor," "majesty," "magnificence," et cetera. Kabo'd and doxa mean "the very character or noblest part of man," and when applied to God, His character and attributes.

In the New Testament the objective meanings "honor" and "reputation" con­tinue, as well as the Shekinah-type of dazzling appearance. There is even more emphasis upon the ideas of "character" and "attributes in action or in manifestation," with "recognition" of these.

Doxa reaches its highest point in con­nection with the economy of the plan of salvation. God is light, love, and life; it is a manifestation of His doxa to impart these to men. In return, men have a responsibil­ity to live so that they bring doxa to God—"honor," "recognition of His character and attributes"—and guard His "reputation."

Usages of Doxa in the New Testament

The word doxa is found 167 times in the New Testament. Twice it is translated by the KJV as "dignity," six times "honour," four times "praise," once "worship," six times "glorious" when used in the genitive case, once "glorious" when it is in the geni­tive case with the preposition dia, and three times "glorious" when it is used with the preposition en. The rest of the in­stances, 144, have the translation "glory." In addition, the word "glory," appears in the KJV in the conclusion of the Lord's prayer in Matthew 6:13, but this conclusion is not found in the best manuscripts. About one fourth of the occurrences of the word are in the Gospels, and about one half of them are in Paul's writings.

In addition, cognate words are used many times. The verb doxazo is translated "glorify" fifty-four times, "honour" three times, and "magnify" once. In its passive form it is used three times, meaning "be made glorious" or "have glory." Its parti­cipial form is used once in 1 Peter 1:8 and is translated "full of glory." The compound verb sundoxazei appears once, in Romans 8:17, and is translated "be also glorified together." The adjective endoxos appears four times, being translated with "honour­able" in I Corinthians 4:10, and "glorious" in Luke 13:17 and Ephesians 5:27. Keno­doxos is translated "desirous of vain glory" in its appearance in Galatians 5:26. The investigation of the uses of such related words in both the Old and the New Testa­ment lies, however, outside the scope of this study.

The distinctive contribution of New Tes­tament usage to the significance of doxa lies in its amplification of the usage already found occasionally in the LXX, for "charac­ter," "essence," and "attributes in manifes­tation."

Doxa as Related to the Godhead

The Father. In the sense of magnificent splendor and brilliance of appearance, as of the Shekinah in the Old Testament, doxa is used of God's glory in Luke 2:9, at the time of the birth of Christ: "And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them," with the same result that often occurred with the Shekinah in the tabernacle and the Temple—"they [the shepherds] were sore afraid." A comparison with the Shekinah is evident in Revelation 15:8, of the temple in heaven as seen by John in vision: "And the temple was filled with smoke from the glory of God, and from his power; and no man was able to enter into the temple, till the seven plagues of the seven angels were ful­filled." As in the Old Testament, the "smoke," or dark side of the cloud, indicates His wrath, in connection with which the seven last plagues are poured out upon un­repentant humanity.

The Father's doxa is referred to in con­nection with a vision in other texts. In John 12:41, "These things said Esaias, when he saw his glory, and spake of him," it is an ob­vious reference to Isaiah 6, the record of the call of Isaiah and his vision of God's splen­dor and majesty. In Stephen's speech, re­corded in Acts 7, he said (verse 2): "Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia . . ." In verse 55, Stephen himself received such a revela­tion: "He, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God." In these instances the predominant idea is of the brilliant splen­dor and overwhelming, radiant majesty of God—"that outward brightness cognizable by the sense of sight, whereby it pleased God of old to give a sign of His more immediate presence."

While it ignored the precise senses of appearance and opinion, the NT usage, following that of the LXX, accepted the classical and LXX development of outward appearance (rather than opinion) into reputation, and affords abundant instances of the LXX nonclassical expansion of the same idea into outward splendour or manifested excellence. . . . These senses in NT are common and undisputed, as is also the closely related sense of majesty or mag­nificence of king or ruler.3

In the sense of bringing "honor" and "praise," doxa is used of the Father in John 7:18, where Christ makes a contrast: "He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true." Moffatt uses "credit" for both words, and Goodspeed has "honor" for both. Luther's German translation is consistent in both Old and New Testaments in using Ehre (sometimes Preis or Lob) for the sense of "honor" that one can give to another ("recognition" for what that other is or does; "praise," "esteem," "reputation"), and using Herrlichkeit (sometimes Klar­heit) to designate that "glory" that emanates from God's essence and is "splendor," "majesty," "brightness," et cetera, when made visible to men. In this text, the Ger­man has Ehre. Paul counseled in Romans 15:7: "Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God" —thereby honoring God.

In a large number of texts the thought of doxa is "praise" and "recognition" to be given to God for His character and attri­butes, as shown in His dealings with men, and regard for His reputation. For instance, Luke 17:18: "There are not found that re­turned to give glory to God, save this stranger"; and John 9:24: "Give God the praise: we know that this man is a sinner." Herod was smitten by the angel of the Lord "because he gave not God the glory" (Acts 12:23). Paul questions (Rom. 3:7): "For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie [the gospel I preach] unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner?" Of Abraham, Paul says (Rom. 4:20): "He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God"—recognizing God's attributes of love and power in con­trast to the human weakness and inability of himself and Sarah, for the next verse continues: "And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform." Paul's counsel to the be­liever (1 Cor. 10:31) is "Whether there­fore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory [reputation] of God." Paul means, "Whatever you do, bear in mind the reputation of God." In 2 Corin­thians 1:20 he says that "all the promises of God in him [Christ] are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us." This thought that men can bring honor and praise to God is repeated in 2 Corinthians 4:15: "For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God," and in Philippians 1:11: "Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God," and Philippians 2:11:

"Every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

Doxa is one of the key words of the Reve­lation. In chapter 4:9, the "beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne," and in verse 11 the twenty-four elders cast their crowns before the throne and say, "Thou art worthy, 0 Lord, to re­ceive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created." (Other verses make it clear that Christ was the direct agent at Creation, yet in the Revelation the One sitting upon the throne is distinct from the Lamb before the throne.) The result of the earthquake mentioned in Revelation 11:13 is that seven thousand men were slain "and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory ["recognition," "honor"] to the God of heaven." When the plagues were poured out (16:9), "men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory." But the opposite is true of the redeemed (19:7): "Let us be glad and rejoice, and give hon­our to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready."

A number of other texts are purely dox­ologies—ascriptions of praise and honor and recognition to God for what He is and what He has done. The familiar doxology of the Lord's Prayer (Matt. 6:13), "For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever," is not found in most of the Greek manuscripts. When the angels ap­peared to the shepherds at the birth of Christ (Luke 2:14), they sang, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." The same expres­sion, "glory in the highest," appears in Luke 19:38 as a doxology to Christ, riding into Jerusalem as a king before He was cruci­fied.

Paul has a number of doxologies to the Father: Romans 16:27: "To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen" (also Gal. 1:5; Eph. 3:21; Phil. 4:20; 1 Tim. 1:17). The apostle Peter writes such a doxology in 1 Peter 5:11. John in his apocalyptic visions hears the angels and "much people in heaven" giving honor, praise, and recognition to the Father in such moving doxologies as found in Reve­lation 7:12: "Blessing, and glory, and wis­dom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen." See also chapters 14:7 and 19:1. In chapter 5:13 the doxology in­cludes the Father and the Son: "Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever."

The divine attributes of the Father are involved in the usage of doxa in a number of verses. In Romans 6-4 Paul says, "There­fore we are buried with him [Christ] by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." Obviously, here it is a mat­ter of Divine Omnipotence in action; as Weymouth translates it, His "glorious power." Christ was not resurrected by flash­ing beams of light, but by the Father's attribute of Omnipotence. This is the use of doxa as an expression of a reality, not the reality itself. One understands the underly­ing reality by what it did—it raised up Christ.

The doxa of God in connection with res­urrection is also brought out in the story of Lazarus. As in the case of healing the man blind from birth, Christ had. said, "Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made mani­fest in him" (John 9:3), so in the case of Lazarus (chap. 11:4) He said, "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God [to manifest the works of God], that the Son of God might be glorified thereby." This miracle would bring glory—honor, praise, and recognition—to God, but in another sense it was done by divine glory—the attri­bute of power, for Jesus asked Martha (verse 40): "Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?"

Natural impossibilities cannot prevent the work of the Omnipotent One. . . . As He speaks, divinity flashes through humanity. In His face, which is lighted up by the glory of God, the people see the assurance of His power.

As in so many instances, the glory of the Father and that of the Son are here blended together.

Several verses in Paul's writings bring out various attributes of God by the use of doxa. In Colossians 1:11 he speaks of be­lievers in their character and conduct, being "strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power [literally, "might of his glory"], unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness." This is God's goodness in the economy of the plan of salvation—His manifestation in carrying through that plan. In Ephesians 1:6, Paul speaks of "the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved," and in verses 12 and 14 the phrase is "to the praise of his glory." The expression "riches of his glory" is found in Romans 9:23 and Ephesians 3:16 in connection with man's salvation and sanctification. In Philippians 4:19 Paul affirms, "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus," and in Colossians 1:27 is found that unforgettable definition: "To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory (Goodspeed, "promise of glorification")." This leads to a considera­tion of doxa as related to the second person of the Godhead.

(To be continued)

1 Robert Young, Analytical Concordance to the Bible, p. 66 of "Index-Lexicon."

2 John Henry Blunt, Dictionary of Doctrinal and Historical Theology, p. 292.

3 j, Massie, "Glory (NT)," A Dictionary of the Bible, ed., James Hastings, vol. 2, p. 186.

4 Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, pp. 535, 536.

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Leona Glidden Running, Andrews University. 

February 1963

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