Monday, July 4, 2011

Word Survey: Glory

No fewer than 25 Hebrew words are rendered by doxa in the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament. Of these 25 words, 7 are more common, the most important being kabod. This Greek word doxa of the Greek translation of the Old Testament, and the doxa of the New Testament, are usually rendered “glory” in the English versions, a translation of the Latin gloria. If we first look at the Hebrew Old Testament, we find that kabod has usually been rendered “honour” when applied to man, but rendered “glory” when applied to our Heavenly Father.
Je-Zeus with a halo

Why were they so keen to apply the word “glory” to our Mighty One? What is the meaning of the word “glory”? Funk & Wagnalls, New Standard Dictionary of the English Language, under “glory,” gives the religious symbolic meaning, “In religious symbolism, the complete representation of an emanation of light from the person of a sanctified being, consisting of the aureole and the nimbus;” and further on, “The quality of being radiant or shining; brilliancy; brightness; luster; as the glory of the sun;” and further on, “A sunburst; any ring of light; a halo.”

John Ogilvie, The Comprehensive English Dictionary, under “glory,” explains it as, “splendor, as of the sun.” Similar statements are made by The Oxford English Dictionary and Webster’s New International Dictionary. The latter states, “glory is the general term of the aureole and the nimbus” - aureole being the halo or ring round the sun, and the nimbus being the sun-disc.

This meaning, as well as the word itself, would be acceptable if the commonly used Hebrew words of the Old Testament, and the Greek word doxa, have had the same meaning of sun-radiance or circles of light. However, we do not find any trace of sun-radiance or emanation of light in the most common word used in the Hebrew text, namely kabod, or in the Greek doxa.

Once more we are rudely awakened to the fact of the adoption of Sun-worship into the Church, the merger of Sun-worship with the Messianic Belief. In the Dictionaries, encyclopedias and ecclesiastical books, we find many illustrations of our Saviour, the Virgin, and the saints, encircled with radiant circles or emanations of light around them.

Kabad literally means to be heavy or to make weighty, and esteem in its figurative sense, and its noun is kabod. The Greek word doxa simply means opinion, estimation, esteem, repute, coming from the verb dokeo, which means “to seem.”

Thus, the ecclesiastical symbolic meaning of the word “glory,” being that of radiance or emanation of light as from the sun, is strong evidence of the Church’s solarization of our Messiah and of his Father. The Church identified Elohim with the Sun-deity, which was the prevailing deity of the Roman emperors, the Roman capital and its empire.

However, not only does the concept of “glory” stem from Sun-worship, but we also find proof of “glory” (Gloria) as having been a Roman goddess, discovered in the form of an icon personified by a woman, the upper part of her body almost naked, holding a circle on which are the zodiac signs.

Pauly-Wissowa also defines Gloria as a personification of fame, the word being found very frequently on the coins of Constantine and his successors. Besides the frequent occurrence of the word Gloria on the coins, the image of this goddess is found on two coins, one of Constantius II and one of Constantine II.

We should therefore eliminate the word “glory” from our religious vocabulary for three reasons:

1.      We have been commanded in Exodus 23:13 to “make no mention of the names of other mighty ones, nor let it be heard from your mouth”- especially in our worship, applying these names to the One we love, and His Son.
2.      The concept of the word “glory” in religious symbolism, as we read in Funk @ Wagnalls Dictionary, is that of the emanation or radiance of light, as of the sun. This is proof of the solarization of our beloved Saviour, identifying Him, as well as His Father, with the Sun-deity.
3.      The Hebrew word kabod as well as Greek word doxa, do not carry the meaning of sun-radiance or sunlight at all. Therefore, the word “glory” is an incorrect rendering of those words.

What then should we use instead of the word “glory”? Simply when the Hebrew words and the Greek word mean: “esteem,” or “high esteem” or “repute.” These words carry the meaning of the Scriptural words and do not stem from the names of deities as far as we know, and should be used wherever our versions have “glory.”

(This is an excerpt from the book "Come out of her my people" by Dr. Chris Koster)

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