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Transfiguration: What is the Transfiguration? What Does the Bible Say?


Jesus' Transfiguration

Jesus' Transfiguration

What is Transfiguration?:

The “Transfiguration” refers to the appearance of Jesus Christ in a “glorified form” to his disciples. This is recorded in the synoptic gospels when Jesus took Peter, James and John to the top of a mountain where he appeared to them alongside Moses and Elijah. At this time a voice was heard which declared Jesus to be the “beloved son” and commanded the disciples to listen to him. After Jesus returned to his normal form, he told the disciples to keep silent about what they saw.

Theology of the Transfiguration:

Theologically, the Transfiguration story places Jesus on the same level as the Law (Moses) and the Prophets (Elijah), making him the true source of divine truth for those who are willing to heed him. Scholars disagree on the origins of this story — some regard it as a misplaced resurrection narrative while others think it might be a report of a mystical experience which some disciples had while in Jesus’ presence.

Witnesses to the Transfiguration:

Jesus’ Transfiguration reveals something important about him, but only to Peter, James, and John. Why were they singled out for special, insider information that they couldn’t even reveal to the other nine apostles until after Jesus had risen from the dead? This story would have given a boost in prestige to whomever was associated with those three in the early Christian church.

Understanding the Transfiguration:

What does the Transfiguration reveal about Jesus? Some have argued that the Transfiguration allows Jesus “true,” divine nature to break through his human form. Others have argued that the Transfiguration offers a glimpse of the glory of God at Parousia.

Celebrating the Transfiguration of Jesus:

Both the Eastern and Western churches celebrate a feast to commemorate the Transfiguration on August 6. However, while the East has done so since 1000, the West has only done so since 1456.

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