They Beheld Jesus’ Glory

Posted by David Barron September - 4 - 2011 - Sunday

In God and Christ: Examining the Evidence for a Biblical Doctrine I provided exegetical reasons to reject the common interpretation of John 12:41 as a reference to Isaiah 6. John’s use of “because” to provide the basis for Isaiah having said what he said refutes the connection to Isaiah 6 and instead points directly to Isaiah 52-53.

Glory can refer to a visual manifestation, but also to one’s actions. In the aforementioned discussion I specifically noted God’s glory in John 11 as a reference to his miraculous works. So Isaiah’s prophetic foresight (on the use of eiden in this manner cf. John 8:56) of Jesus’ salvific work prompted him to say the words recorded at Isaiah 53:1.

One reference not included within the discussion was of John 1:14. John speaks of having beheld Jesus’ glory, yet as a man upon the earth this would not refer to some visible sight manifest to the eyes. Instead, it would have referred to his works, both in miraculous signs and, most importantly, in the redemption brought with his death. George Beasley-Murray sees the same:

The Evangelist will have had in mind the glory of the Christ which the witnesses saw in the signs he performed (e.g., 2:11), in his being lifted up on the cross (19:35), and in the Easter resurrection (20:24–29). It was a revelation of glory such as could proceed alone from the “μονογενής from the Father,” – Beasley-Murray, George R.: Word Biblical Commentary : John. Dallas : Word, Incorporated, 2002 (Word Biblical Commentary 36), S. 14

There is at a minimum overlap between the glory John claims he and others beheld and that which Isaiah saw when he was prompted to say the words at Isaiah 53:1.

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