As a Christian, a disciple of Jesus, life is all about a relationship of God and part of that is doing His will by applying Jesus’ teaching to every area of life, personally and corporately. But for that to be meaningful and not just following a set of rules, one needs to get to know God and understand Him and His ways. To help us in developing this relationship, we have the Bible. One of the key themes running through the Scriptures are events demonstrating His character and thus His characteristics.
A word that encompasses the many facets of His character is the word ‘Glory’.
Let us first look at some definitions from English dictionaries.
1. very great praise, honour, or distinction bestowed by common consent; renown: to win glory on the field of battle;
2. something that is a source of honour, fame, or admiration; a distinguished ornament or an object of pride: a sonnet that is one of the glories of English poetry;
3. adoring praise or worshipful thanksgiving: Give glory to God;
4. resplendent beauty or magnificence: the glory of autumn;
5. a state of great splendour, magnificence, or prosperity;
6. a state of absolute happiness, gratification, contentment, etc.: She was in her glory when her horse won the Derby;
7. the splendour and bliss of heaven; heaven;
8. a ring, circle, or surrounding radiance of light represented about the head or the whole figure of a sacred person, as Christ or a saint; a halo, nimbus, or aureole.;
9. a height of prosperity or achievement;
10. a distinguished quality or asset.
verb (used without object), gloried, glorying:
1. to exult with triumph; rejoice proudly (usually followed by in ): Their father gloried in their success;
2. obsolete: to boast.
1. also, glory be . Glory be to God (used to express surprise, elation, wonder, etc.).
2. glory days / years, the time of greatest achievement, popularity, success, or the like: the glory days of radio;
3. go to glory, to die. Also, go to one’s glory.
fame, eminence, celebrity, brilliance, refulgence, effulgence, acclaim, accolade, applause, bay(s), credit, distinction, homage, honour, kudos, laud, laurels, props [slang], réclame, sun.
c.1300, “magnificence,” from O.Fr. glorie, from L. gloria “great praise or honor,” of uncertain origin. Gk. doxa “expectation” (Homer), later “opinion, fame,” and ultimately “glory,” was used in Biblical writing to translate a Heb. word which had a sense of “brightness, splendor, magnificence, majesty,” Middle English < Old French glorie < Latin glōria
In the Bible, there are a number of words used for ‘glory’:
kabod – abundance, honour, glory;
eder – glory, magnificence, a mantle, a cloak;
paar – to beautify, glorify, to adorn;
hod – splendour, majesty, vigour;
netsach – eminence, enduring, everlastingness, perpetuity;
shabach – commend;
hadar – an honour, majesty
godel – greatness
atarah – a crown, wreath;
tsbiy – beautiful;
kabowd – glorious;
chuppah – a canopy, chamber;
tqoph – might;
hadarah – beauty;
yaqar – precious, rare;
tohar – purifying;
doxa – worship;
epainos – praise;
doxazó – to bestow;
kratos – strength, might;
kleos – fame;
apaugasma – radiance;
eulogia – praise;
stephanos – a crown, garland, honour, glory;
apokalupsis — by the glory received from God;
ischus – strength, might.