transfiguration


transfiguration
The account in the synoptic [[➝ synoptists]] gospels (Mark 9:2–8; Matt. 17:1–8; Luke 9:28–36) of the supernatural transformation into glory of the appearance of Jesus. There is no mention of the event in the gospel of John, but there is a reference at 2 Pet. 1:18. It has been held that the incident has been wrongly placed in the gospels in the ministry of Jesus, and that it was originally the account of a post-resurrection appearance. This, however, is unlikely; the form of the narrative is too different from that of the Easter narratives. It is possible to regard the event as a paranormal experience of luminosity, such as is recorded of some of the saints, which has been given an interpretation by the evangelists by means of the mention of Moses and Elijah (representing the Law and the Prophets [[➝ prophets]]), who bear witness to Jesus; the cloud is a symbol for the divine presence (Exod. 33:7–11). The glory of the Lord once settled on Mount Sinai (Exod. 24:16) and the cloud covered it for six days. Mark says that Jesus took the three disciples up the mount ‘six days’ after the events of Caesarea Philippi, though Luke (9:28) alters the date to ‘about eight days after’, possibly to make the theological point that the Transfiguration was a preview or anticipation of Christ's Resurrection glory—for ‘eight’ pointed to Sunday, the first (or eighth) day of the week. Peter is recorded as thinking it would be appropriate to build three dwellings (or tents, booths), for Jesus, Moses, and Elijah (Mark 9:5)—a reference to the feast of Tabernacles [[➝ Tabernacles, feast of]] when people lived as once the Israelites were believed to have done in the wilderness (Lev. 23:42) and would do so again in the Messianic age. But Peter is rebuked for putting Jesus on a level with Moses and Elijah—‘this is my unique Son’ (Mark 9:7).
The Transfiguration episode must therefore be understood against its OT background, especially with regard to Moses, whose face once shone with the reflected glory of God (Exod. 34:29); on the mount Jesus' figure shone with its own glory, and his clothes were ‘dazzling white’ (Mark 9:3).

Dictionary of the Bible.

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  • transfiguration — [ trɑ̃sfigyrasjɔ̃ ] n. f. • 1265; lat. transfiguratio 1 ♦ Relig. chrét. Changement miraculeux dans l apparence du Christ transfiguré. Fête de la Transfiguration (6 août). 2 ♦ Action de transfigurer, état de ce qui est transfiguré. « À partir de… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Transfiguration — may refer to:* Transfiguration of Jesus, an event reported by the Synoptic Gospels in which Jesus underwent transfiguration * Transfiguration (Raphael), a painting depicting the Transfiguration of Jesus * Transfiguration (in religion), a… …   Wikipedia

  • Transfiguration — • Culminating point of Christ s public life, as His Baptism is its starting point, and His Ascension its end Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Transfiguration     Transfiguration …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • transfiguration — Transfiguration. s. f. v. Changement en une autre figure. Il n a d usage qu en cette phrase. La Transfiguration de nostre Seigneur …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • transfiguration — [trans fig΄yo͞o rā′shən, trans΄figyo͞o rā′shən] n. 1. a transfiguring or being transfigured 2. [T ] Bible the change in the appearance of Jesus on the mountain: Matt. 17 3. [T ] a church festival (Aug. 6) commemorating the Transfiguration …   English World dictionary

  • Transfiguration — (lat.), Verklärung, besonders diejenige Christi auf dem Berge Tabor (Matth. 17), zu deren Andenken die griechische und römische Kirche 6. Aug. ein besonderes Fest feiern. Berühmt ist Raffaels Gemälde in der Galerie des Vatikans; andre… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Transfiguration — (lat.), Umgestaltung, bes. Verklärung Christi …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • transfiguration — index development (progression) Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • transfiguration — (n.) late 14c., from L. transfigurationem, noun of action from pp. stem of transfigurare (see TRANSFIGURE (Cf. transfigure)). In English, originally the change in appearance of Christ before his disciples (Matt. xvii:2; Mark ix:2,3). The non… …   Etymology dictionary

  • transfiguration — transformation, metamorphosis, transmutation, conversion, transmogrification (see under TRANSFORM) Analogous words: exaltation, magnification (see corresponding verbs at EXALT): enhancing, heightening, intensifying (see INTENSIFY) …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • transfiguration — Transfiguration, Transfiguratio …   Thresor de la langue françoyse


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