The Doxa of God

R. Gustason, 17 Dec 2009

What is happening in John 17? Here is a classic pericope of mis-interpretation. We have Jesus praying to the Father, and with an improper understanding of the Word, all too often people jump to conclusions assuming this is proof or evidence of the Trinity. Let me attempt to best explain this prayer. The word glory is doxa, which means magnificence, excellence, preeminence, dignity and grace. The man Christ was asking God the Father to glorify [doxazo= to honor, do honor to, hold in honor] him with the same magnificence dignity and grace that God held as an attribute or characteristic of His godliness before the creation of the cosmos. God’s Word [Logos=thought, idea or expression of thought] that was a part of Him in the beginning was exalted by His name. That name is YHWH which in turn is transliterated as Jehovah … Jesus means Jehovah-Savior coming from Yah (Je) which is a shortened form of YHWH and yâsha‛ (sus) which is Hebrew for saviour. All in all, this passage is dealing with the man Christ Jesus talking to the deity of God. In verse 12 we see Jesus saying that He kept them in God’s name. This was symbolic of keeping them in the truths of the attributes of God. One of these attributes was the oneness of God. Jesus goes on to say ’sanctify them in truth. Thy word is truth.’ What we see is a prayer of the man Christ Jesus asking for God to protect those whom He must leave behind soon, until the comforter comes to lead them and guide them into that truth. The word is truth. The logos is truth… the logos was a characteristic or attribute that made God who He is. This was inseparable from God for it is a part of His identity. It was interwoven along with many other attributes of God forming who God is. Several other examples of His attributes include His omnipresence, omnipotence and omniscience.

Filed under: christology, theology