Transfiguration of Jesus
Overview
 
The Transfiguration of Jesus is an event reported in the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

 in which Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

 is transfigured and becomes radiant upon a mountain. The Synoptic Gospels
Synoptic Gospels
The gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke are known as the Synoptic Gospels because they include many of the same stories, often in the same sequence, and sometimes exactly the same wording. This degree of parallelism in content, narrative arrangement, language, and sentence structures can only be...

 (Matthew 17:1-9, Mark 9:2-8, Luke 9:28-36) describe it, and 2 Peter 1:16-18 refers to it.

In these accounts Jesus and three of his apostles go to a mountain (the Mount of Transfiguration
Mount of Transfiguration
One of the unknowns of the New Testament is the identification of the mountain where Jesus underwent his Transfiguration. The Matthew account of the Transfiguration is as follows....

). On the mountain, Jesus begins to shine with bright rays of light, the prophets Moses
Moses
Moses was, according to the Hebrew Bible and Qur'an, a religious leader, lawgiver and prophet, to whom the authorship of the Torah is traditionally attributed...

 and Elijah appear next to him and he speaks with them.
Encyclopedia
The Transfiguration of Jesus is an event reported in the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

 in which Jesus
Jesus
Jesus of Nazareth , commonly referred to as Jesus Christ or simply as Jesus or Christ, is the central figure of Christianity...

 is transfigured and becomes radiant upon a mountain. The Synoptic Gospels
Synoptic Gospels
The gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke are known as the Synoptic Gospels because they include many of the same stories, often in the same sequence, and sometimes exactly the same wording. This degree of parallelism in content, narrative arrangement, language, and sentence structures can only be...

 (Matthew 17:1-9, Mark 9:2-8, Luke 9:28-36) describe it, and 2 Peter 1:16-18 refers to it.

In these accounts Jesus and three of his apostles go to a mountain (the Mount of Transfiguration
Mount of Transfiguration
One of the unknowns of the New Testament is the identification of the mountain where Jesus underwent his Transfiguration. The Matthew account of the Transfiguration is as follows....

). On the mountain, Jesus begins to shine with bright rays of light, the prophets Moses
Moses
Moses was, according to the Hebrew Bible and Qur'an, a religious leader, lawgiver and prophet, to whom the authorship of the Torah is traditionally attributed...

 and Elijah appear next to him and he speaks with them. Jesus is then called "Son
Son of God
"Son of God" is a phrase which according to most Christian denominations, Trinitarian in belief, refers to the relationship between Jesus and God, specifically as "God the Son"...

" by a voice in the sky, assumed to be God the Father
God the Father
God the Father is a gendered title given to God in many monotheistic religions, particularly patriarchal, Abrahamic ones. In Judaism, God is called Father because he is the creator, life-giver, law-giver, and protector...

, as in the Baptism of Jesus
Baptism of Jesus
The baptism of Jesus marks the beginning of Jesus Christ's public ministry. This event is recorded in the Canonical Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. In John 1:29-33 rather than a direct narrative, the Baptist bears witness to the episode...

.

The Transfiguration is one of the miracles of Jesus
Miracles of Jesus
The miracles of Jesus are the supernatural deeds of Jesus, as recorded in Gospels, in the course of his ministry. According to the Gospel of John, only some of these were recorded. states that "Jesus did many other things as well...

 in the Gospels. This miracle is unique among others that appear in the Canonical gospels, in that the miracle happens to Jesus himself. Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas, O.P. , also Thomas of Aquin or Aquino, was an Italian Dominican priest of the Catholic Church, and an immensely influential philosopher and theologian in the tradition of scholasticism, known as Doctor Angelicus, Doctor Communis, or Doctor Universalis...

 considered the Transfiguration "the greatest miracle" in that it complemented baptism and showed the perfection
Perfection of Christ
The perfection of Christ is a principle in Christology which asserts that Christ's human attributes exemplified perfection in every possible sense....

 of life in Heaven
Heaven
Heaven, the Heavens or Seven Heavens, is a common religious cosmological or metaphysical term for the physical or transcendent place from which heavenly beings originate, are enthroned or inhabit...

.

In Christian teachings, the Transfiguration is a pivotal moment, and the setting on the mountain is presented as the point where human nature meets God: the meeting place for the temporal and the eternal, with Jesus himself as the connecting point, acting as the bridge between heaven and earth.

New Testament accounts

In the Synoptic Gospels
Synoptic Gospels
The gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke are known as the Synoptic Gospels because they include many of the same stories, often in the same sequence, and sometimes exactly the same wording. This degree of parallelism in content, narrative arrangement, language, and sentence structures can only be...

, (Matthew 17:1-9, Mark 9:2-8, Luke 9:28-36) the account of the transfiguration happens towards the middle of the narrative. It is a key episode and almost immediately follows another important element, the Confession of Peter: "you are the Christ
Christ
Christ is the English term for the Greek meaning "the anointed one". It is a translation of the Hebrew , usually transliterated into English as Messiah or Mashiach...

". The Transfiguration narrative acts as a further revelation of the identity of Jesus as the Son of God
Son of God
"Son of God" is a phrase which according to most Christian denominations, Trinitarian in belief, refers to the relationship between Jesus and God, specifically as "God the Son"...

 to some of his disciples.

In the Gospels, Jesus takes Peter
Saint Peter
Saint Peter or Simon Peter was an early Christian leader, who is featured prominently in the New Testament Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles. The son of John or of Jonah and from the village of Bethsaida in the province of Galilee, his brother Andrew was also an apostle...

, James, son of Zebedee and John the Apostle
John the Apostle
John the Apostle, John the Apostle, John the Apostle, (Aramaic Yoħanna, (c. 6 - c. 100) was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus. He was the son of Zebedee and Salome, and brother of James, another of the Twelve Apostles...

 with him and goes up to a mountain, which is not named. Once on the mountain, Matthew (17:2) states that Jesus "was transfigured before them; his face shining as the sun, and his garments became white as the light." At that point the prophets Elijah and Moses
Moses
Moses was, according to the Hebrew Bible and Qur'an, a religious leader, lawgiver and prophet, to whom the authorship of the Torah is traditionally attributed...

 appear and Jesus begins to talk to them. Luke is specific in describing Jesus in a state of glory, with Luke 9:32 referring to "they saw his glory".

Just as Elijah and Moses begin to depart from the scene, Peter begins to ask Jesus if the disciples should make three tents for him and the two prophets. This has been interpreted as Peter's attempt to keep the prophets there longer. But before Peter can finish, a bright cloud appears, and a voice from the cloud states: "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him". The disciples then fall to the ground in fear, but Jesus approaches and touches them, telling them not to be afraid. When the disciples look up, they no longer see Elijah or Moses.

When Jesus and the three apostles are going back down the mountain, Jesus tells them to not to tell anyone "the things they had seen" until the "Son of Man
Son of man
The phrase son of man is a primarily Semitic idiom that originated in Ancient Mesopotamia, used to denote humanity or self. The phrase is also used in Judaism and Christianity. The phrase used in the Greek, translated as Son of man is ὁ υἱὸς τοὺ ἀνθρώπου...

" has risen from the dead
Resurrection of Jesus
The Christian belief in the resurrection of Jesus states that Jesus returned to bodily life on the third day following his death by crucifixion. It is a key element of Christian faith and theology and part of the Nicene Creed: "On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures"...

. The apostles are described as questioning among themselves as to what Jesus meant by "risen from the dead".

In addition to the principal account given in the Synoptic Gospels; in 2 Peter 1:16-18, Apostle Peter describes himself as an eyewitness "of his sovereign majesty." The Gospel of John
Gospel of John
The Gospel According to John , commonly referred to as the Gospel of John or simply John, and often referred to in New Testament scholarship as the Fourth Gospel, is an account of the public ministry of Jesus...

 may also briefly allude to the same episode in John:1-14.

Elsewhere in the New Testament, Apostle Paul's reference in 2 Corinthians 3:18 to the "transformation of believers" via "beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord" became the theological basis for considering the Transfiguration as the basis for processes which lead the faithful to the knowledge of God.

Significance

Christian theology
Christian theology
- Divisions of Christian theology :There are many methods of categorizing different approaches to Christian theology. For a historical analysis, see the main article on the History of Christian theology.- Sub-disciplines :...

 assigns a great deal of significance to the Transfiguration, based on multiple elements of the narrative. In Christian teachings, the Transfiguration is a pivotal moment, and the setting on the mountain is presented as the point where human nature meets God: the meeting place for the temporal and the eternal, with Jesus himself as the connecting point, acting as the bridge between heaven and earth.

The Transfiguration not only supports the identity of Jesus as the Son of God
Son of God
"Son of God" is a phrase which according to most Christian denominations, Trinitarian in belief, refers to the relationship between Jesus and God, specifically as "God the Son"...

 (as in his Baptism
Baptism of Jesus
The baptism of Jesus marks the beginning of Jesus Christ's public ministry. This event is recorded in the Canonical Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. In John 1:29-33 rather than a direct narrative, the Baptist bears witness to the episode...

), but the statement "listen to him", identifies him as the messenger and mouth-piece of God. The significance of this identification is enhanced by the presence of Elijah and Moses, for it indicates to the apostles that Jesus is the voice of God "par excellence", and instead of Elijah or Moses, he should be listened to, surpassing the laws of Moses by virtue of his filial relationship with God. 2 Peter 1:16-18, echoes the same message: at the Transfiguration God assigns to Jesus a special "honor and glory" and it is the turning point at which God exalts Jesus above all other powers in creation, and positions him as ruler and judge.

The Transfiguration also echoes the teaching by Jesus (as in Matthew 22:32) that God is not "the God of the dead, but of the living". Although Moses and Elijah had died centuries before, they could live in the presence of the Son of God, implying that the same return to life can apply to all who face death.

Historical development

The theology of the Transfiguration received the attention of the Church Fathers
Church Fathers
The Church Fathers, Early Church Fathers, Christian Fathers, or Fathers of the Church were early and influential theologians, eminent Christian teachers and great bishops. Their scholarly works were used as a precedent for centuries to come...

 since the very early days. In the 2nd century, Saint Irenaeus
Irenaeus
Saint Irenaeus , was Bishop of Lugdunum in Gaul, then a part of the Roman Empire . He was an early church father and apologist, and his writings were formative in the early development of Christian theology...

 was fascinated by the Transfiguration and wrote: "the glory of God is a live human being and a truly human life is the vision of God".

Origen
Origen
Origen , or Origen Adamantius, 184/5–253/4, was an early Christian Alexandrian scholar and theologian, and one of the most distinguished writers of the early Church. As early as the fourth century, his orthodoxy was suspect, in part because he believed in the pre-existence of souls...

's theology of the Transfiguration influenced the patristic tradition and became a basis for theological writings by others. Among other issues, given the instruction to the apostles to keep silent about what they had seen until the Resurrection
Resurrection of Jesus
The Christian belief in the resurrection of Jesus states that Jesus returned to bodily life on the third day following his death by crucifixion. It is a key element of Christian faith and theology and part of the Nicene Creed: "On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures"...

, Origen commented that the glorified states of the Transfiguration and the Resurrection
Resurrection
Resurrection refers to the literal coming back to life of the biologically dead. It is used both with respect to particular individuals or the belief in a General Resurrection of the dead at the end of the world. The General Resurrection is featured prominently in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim...

 must be related.

The Desert Fathers
Desert Fathers
The Desert Fathers were hermits, ascetics, monks, and nuns who lived mainly in the Scetes desert of Egypt beginning around the third century AD. The most well known was Anthony the Great, who moved to the desert in 270–271 and became known as both the father and founder of desert monasticism...

 emphasized the light of the ascetic experience, and related it to the light of the Transfiguration - a theme developed further by Evagrius Ponticus
Evagrius Ponticus
Evagrius Ponticus , also called Evagrius the Solitary was a Christian monk and ascetic. One of the rising stars in the late fourth century church, he was well-known as a keen thinker, a polished speaker, and a gifted writer...

 in the 4th century. Around the same time Saint Gregory of Nyssa
Gregory of Nyssa
St. Gregory of Nyssa was a Christian bishop and saint. He was a younger brother of Basil the Great and a good friend of Gregory of Nazianzus. His significance has long been recognized in the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Catholic and Roman Catholic branches of Christianity...

 and later Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite
Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite
Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite, also known as Pseudo-Denys, was a Christian theologian and philosopher of the late 5th to early 6th century, the author of the Corpus Areopagiticum . The author is identified as "Dionysos" in the corpus, which later incorrectly came to be attributed to Dionysius...

 were developing a "theology of light" which then influenced Byzantine
Byzantine
Byzantine usually refers to the Roman Empire during the Middle Ages.Byzantine may also refer to:* A citizen of the Byzantine Empire, or native Greek during the Middle Ages...

 meditative and mystical traditions such as the Tabor light
Tabor Light
In Eastern Orthodox theology, the Tabor Light is the light revealed on Mount Tabor at the Transfiguration of Jesus, identified with the light seen by Paul at his conversion.As a theological doctrine, the uncreated nature of the Light of...

 and theoria
Theoria
For other uses of the term "contemplation", see Contemplation Theoria is Greek for contemplation. It corresponds to the Latin word contemplatio, "looking at", "gazing at", "being aware of".- Introduction :...

. The iconography
Iconography
Iconography is the branch of art history which studies the identification, description, and the interpretation of the content of images. The word iconography literally means "image writing", and comes from the Greek "image" and "to write". A secondary meaning is the painting of icons in the...

 of the Transfiguration continued to develop in this time period, and there is a sixth century symbolic representation in the apse
Apse
In architecture, the apse is a semicircular recess covered with a hemispherical vault or semi-dome...

 of the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare in Classe
Basilica of Sant'Apollinare in Classe
The Basilica of Sant' Apollinare in Classe is an important monument of Byzantine art near Ravenna, Italy. When the UNESCO inscribed eight Ravenna sites on the World Heritage List, it cited this basilica as "an outstanding example of the early Christian basilica in its purity and simplicity of its...

 and a well known depiction at Saint Catherine's Monastery, Mount Sinai.

Byzantine
Byzantine
Byzantine usually refers to the Roman Empire during the Middle Ages.Byzantine may also refer to:* A citizen of the Byzantine Empire, or native Greek during the Middle Ages...

 Fathers often relied on highly visual metaphors in their writings, indicating that they may have been influenced by the established iconography. The extensive writings of Maximus the Confessor
Maximus the Confessor
Maximus the Confessor was a Christian monk, theologian, and scholar. In his early life, he was a civil servant, and an aide to the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius...

 may have been shaped by his contemplations on the katholikon
Katholikon
A Katholikon or Catholicon is the major temple of a monastery, or diocese in the Eastern Orthodox Church. The name derives from the fact that it is the largest temple where all gather together to celebrate the major feast days of the liturgical year. At other times, the smaller temples or...

 at Saint Catherine's Monastery - not a unique case of a theological idea appearing in icons long before it appears in writings.

In the 7th century, Saint Maximus the Confessor said that the senses of the apostles were transfigured to enable them to perceive the true glory of Christ. In the same vein, building on 2 Corinthians 3:18, by the end of the 13th century the concept of "transfiguration of the believer" had stabilized and Saint Gregory Palamas
Gregory Palamas
Gregory Palamas was a monk of Mount Athos in Greece and later the Archbishop of Thessaloniki known as a preeminent theologian of Hesychasm. The teachings embodied in his writings defending Hesychasm against the attack of Barlaam are sometimes referred to as Palamism, his followers as Palamites...

 considered "true knowledge of God" to be a transfiguration of man by the Spirit of God. The spiritual transfiguration of the believer then continued to remain a theme for achieving a closer union with God.

One of the generalization of Christian belief has been that the Eastern Church emphasizes the Transfiguration while the Western Church focuses on the Crucifixion - however, in practice both branches continue to attach significance to both events, although specific nuances continue to persist. An example of such a nuance is the saintly signs of the imitation of Christ
Imitation of Christ
In Christian theology, the Imitation of Christ is the practice of following the example of Jesus. In Eastern Christianity the term Life in Christ is sometimes used for the same concept....

. Unlike Catholic saints such as Padre Pio or Francis
Francis of Assisi
Saint Francis of Assisi was an Italian Catholic friar and preacher. He founded the men's Franciscan Order, the women’s Order of St. Clare, and the lay Third Order of Saint Francis. St...

 (who considered stigmata a sign of the imitation of Christ) Eastern Orthodox saints have never reported stigmata
Stigmata
Stigmata are bodily marks, sores, or sensations of pain in locations corresponding to the crucifixion wounds of Jesus, such as the hands and feet...

, but saints such as Seraphim
Seraphim of Sarov
Saint Seraphim of Sarov , born Prokhor Moshnin , is one of the most renowned Russian monks and mystics in the Orthodox Church. He is generally considered the greatest of the 19th century startsy and, arguably, the first...

 and Silouan have reported being transfigured by an inward light of grace.

Transfiguration and Resurrection

Origen
Origen
Origen , or Origen Adamantius, 184/5–253/4, was an early Christian Alexandrian scholar and theologian, and one of the most distinguished writers of the early Church. As early as the fourth century, his orthodoxy was suspect, in part because he believed in the pre-existence of souls...

's initial connection of the Transfiguration with the Resurrection continued to influence theological thought long thereafter. This connection continued to develop both within the theological and iconographic dimensions - which however, often influenced each other. Between the 6th and 9th centuries the iconography of the transfiguration in the East influenced the iconography of the resurrection, at times depicting various figures standing next to a glorified Christ.

This was not only a view within the Eastern Church and in the West, most commentators in the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

 considered the Transfiguration a preview of the glorified body of Christ following his Resurrection. As an example, in the 8th century, in his sermon on the Transfiguration, the Benedictine
Order of Saint Benedict
The Order of Saint Benedict is a Roman Catholic religious order of independent monastic communities that observe the Rule of St. Benedict. Within the order, each individual community maintains its own autonomy, while the organization as a whole exists to represent their mutual interests...

 monk Ambrosius Autpertus directly linked the Supper at Emmaus appearance
Road to Emmaus appearance
The Road to Emmaus appearance refers to one of the early resurrection appearances of Jesus after his crucifixion and the discovery of the empty tomb...

 in Luke 24:39 to the Transfiguration narrative of Matthew 17:2, and stated that in both cases, Jesus "was changed to a different form, not of nature, but of glory."

The concept of the Transfiguration as a preview and an anticipation of the Resurrection includes several theological components. On one hand it cautions the disciples, and hence the reader, that the glory of the Transfiguration, and the message of Jesus, can only be understood in the context of his death and resurrection, and not simply on its own.

When the Transfiguration is considered an anticipation of the Resurrection, the presentation of a shining Jesus on the mount of Transfiguration as the Son of God
Son of God
"Son of God" is a phrase which according to most Christian denominations, Trinitarian in belief, refers to the relationship between Jesus and God, specifically as "God the Son"...

 who should be listened to can be understood in the context of the statement by Jesus in the Resurrection appearance
Resurrection appearances of Jesus
The major Resurrection appearances of Jesus in the Canonical gospels are reported to have occurred after his death, burial and resurrection, but prior to his Ascension. Among these primary sources, most scholars believe First Corinthians was written first, authored by Paul of Tarsus along with...

 in Matthew 28:16-20: "all authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth".

Presence of prophets

The presence of the prophets next to Jesus and the perceptions of the disciples have been subject to theological debate. Origen
Origen
Origen , or Origen Adamantius, 184/5–253/4, was an early Christian Alexandrian scholar and theologian, and one of the most distinguished writers of the early Church. As early as the fourth century, his orthodoxy was suspect, in part because he believed in the pre-existence of souls...

 was the first to comment that the presence of Moses and Elijah represented the "Law and the Prophets", effectively referring to the Torah or the Pentateuch. Martin Luther
Martin Luther
Martin Luther was a German priest, professor of theology and iconic figure of the Protestant Reformation. He strongly disputed the claim that freedom from God's punishment for sin could be purchased with money. He confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel with his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517...

, continued to see them as the Law and the Prophets respectively, and their recognition of and conversation with Jesus as a symbol of how Jesus fulfils "the law and the prophets" ' onMouseout='HidePop("65642")' href="/topics/Expounding_of_the_Law">Expounding of the Law
Expounding of the Law
The Expounding of the Law is a highly structured part of the Sermon on the Mount in the New Testament...

).

The real presence of Moses and Elijah on the mount is rejected by those churches and individuals who believe in "soul sleep" (Christian mortalism) until resurrection. Several commentators have noted that Jesus describes the transfiguration using the Greek word orama , according to Thayer
Joseph Henry Thayer
Joseph Henry Thayer , US biblical scholar, was born in Boston, Massachusetts.He studied at the Boston Latin School, and graduated from Harvard in 1850...

 more often used for a supernatural "vision" than for real physical events, and concluded that Moses and Elijah were not truly there.

Location of the mountain

None of the accounts identifies the "high mountain" of the scene by name.

Since the 3rd century, some Christians have identified Mount Tabor
Mount Tabor
-Places:*Mount Tabor, a hill in Israel near Nazareth believed by many to be the site of the Transfiguration of ChristIn the United States:*Mount Tabor, Indiana, an unincorporated community...

 as the site of the Transfiguration, including Origen
Origen
Origen , or Origen Adamantius, 184/5–253/4, was an early Christian Alexandrian scholar and theologian, and one of the most distinguished writers of the early Church. As early as the fourth century, his orthodoxy was suspect, in part because he believed in the pre-existence of souls...

.
Tabor has long been a place of Christian pilgrimage
Christian pilgrimage
Christian pilgrimage was first made to sites connected with the ministry of Jesus. Surviving descriptions of Christian pilgrimages to the Holy Land and Jerusalem date from the 4th century, when pilgrimage was encouraged by church fathers like Saint Jerome and established by Helena, the mother of...

 and is the site of the Church of the Transfiguration
Church of the Transfiguration
-Albania:*Holy Transfiguration Monastery Church, Çatistë*Holy Transfiguration Church, Gjirokastër*Holy Transfiguration Monastery Church, Mingul-Russia:* Church of the Transfiguration located in Kizhi -United States:Alaska...

. In 1808, Henry Alford cast doubt on Tabor due to the possible continuing Roman utilization of a fortress which Antiochus the Great built on Tabor in BC219, and which Josephus
Josephus
Titus Flavius Josephus , also called Joseph ben Matityahu , was a 1st-century Romano-Jewish historian and hagiographer of priestly and royal ancestry who recorded Jewish history, with special emphasis on the 1st century AD and the First Jewish–Roman War, which resulted in the Destruction of...

 records was in use by the Romans in the Jewish War
First Jewish-Roman War
The First Jewish–Roman War , sometimes called The Great Revolt , was the first of three major rebellions by the Jews of Judaea Province , against the Roman Empire...

. Others have countered that even if Tabor was fortified by Antiochus this does not rule out a transfiguration at the summit.

John Lightfoot
John Lightfoot
John Lightfoot was an English churchman, rabbinical scholar, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge and Master of St Catharine's College, Cambridge.-Life:...

 rejects Tabor as too far but "some mountain near Caesarea-Philippi" The usual candidate in this case is Mount Panium, Paneas, or Banias
Banias
Banias is an archaeological site by the ancient city of Caesarea Philippi, located at the foot of Mount Hermon in the Golan Heights...

 a small hill situated at the source of the Jordan, near the foot of which, Caesarea Philippi was built.

R. T. France
R. T. France
Richard Thomas France is a New Testament scholar and Anglican cleric. He was Principal of Wycliffe Hall Oxford from 1989 to 1995. He has also worked for the London School of Theology.-Biography:...

 (1987) notes that Mount Hermon
Mount Hermon
Mount Hermon is a mountain cluster in the Anti-Lebanon mountain range. Its summit straddles the border between Syria and Lebanon and, at 2,814 m above sea level, is the highest point in Syria. On the top there is “Hermon Hotel”, in the buffer zone between Syria and Israeli-occupied...

 is closest to Caesarea Philippi, mentioned in the previous chapter of Matthew. Likewise Meyboom (1861) identified "Djebel-Ejeik." but this may be a confusion with Jabal el Sheikh, the Arabic name for Mount Hermon
Mount Hermon
Mount Hermon is a mountain cluster in the Anti-Lebanon mountain range. Its summit straddles the border between Syria and Lebanon and, at 2,814 m above sea level, is the highest point in Syria. On the top there is “Hermon Hotel”, in the buffer zone between Syria and Israeli-occupied...

.

Edward Greswell
Edward Greswell
-Life:The son of the Rev. William Parr Greswell, he was born at Denton near Manchester, on 3 August 1797. He was educated by his father and at Manchester Grammar School. He matriculated at Brasenose College, Oxford, on 5 April 1815, and was elected scholar in the same year. Early in 1816 he...

 (1834) raised the possibility of either Tabor or Mount Nebo
Mount Nebo (Jordan)
Mount Nebo is an elevated ridge that is approximately 817 meters above sea level, in what is now western Jordan. The view from the summit provides a panorama of the Holy Land and, to the north, a more limited one of the valley of the River Jordan...

 where Moses viewed the promised land. H. A. Whittaker (1987) proposes that it was Nebo primarily on the basis of the Moses precedent and a parallelism in Jesus' words on descent from the mountain of transfiguration; "You will say to this mountain (i.e. of transfiguration), ‘Move from here to there,’ (i.e. the promised land) and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.

Feast and commemorations

The Feast of the Transfiguration
Feast of the Transfiguration
The Feast of the Transfiguration of Jesus is celebrated by various Christian denominations. The origins of the feast are less than certain and may have derived from the dedication of three basilicas on Mount Tabor...

 is celebrated by various Christian denominations. The origins of the feast are less than certain and may have derived from the dedication of three basilicas on Mount Tabor
Mount Tabor
-Places:*Mount Tabor, a hill in Israel near Nazareth believed by many to be the site of the Transfiguration of ChristIn the United States:*Mount Tabor, Indiana, an unincorporated community...

. The feast was present in various forms by the 9th century, and in the Western Church was made a universal feast on August 6th by Pope Callixtus III
Pope Callixtus III
Pope Callixtus III , né Alfons de Borja, was Pope from April 8, 1455 to his death in 1458.-Biography:...

 to commemorate the Siege of Belgrade (1456).

In the Syriac Orthodox, Indian Orthodox, Revised Julian Calendars within Eastern Orthodoxy
Eastern Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Church, officially called the Orthodox Catholic Church and commonly referred to as the Eastern Orthodox Church, is the second largest Christian denomination in the world, with an estimated 300 million adherents mainly in the countries of Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece,...

, Roman Catholic, and Anglican churches, the Feast of the Transfiguration is observed on 6 August. In those Orthodox churches which continue to follow the Julian Calendar
Julian calendar
The Julian calendar began in 45 BC as a reform of the Roman calendar by Julius Caesar. It was chosen after consultation with the astronomer Sosigenes of Alexandria and was probably designed to approximate the tropical year .The Julian calendar has a regular year of 365 days divided into 12 months...

, August 6 falls on August 19 of the Gregorian Calendar
Gregorian calendar
The Gregorian calendar, also known as the Western calendar, or Christian calendar, is the internationally accepted civil calendar. It was introduced by Pope Gregory XIII, after whom the calendar was named, by a decree signed on 24 February 1582, a papal bull known by its opening words Inter...

. Transfiguration is considered a major feast, numbered among the twelve Great Feasts in Orthodoxy. In all these churches, if the feast falls on a Sunday, its liturgy is not combined with the Sunday liturgy, but completely replaces it.

In some liturgical calendars (e.g. the Lutheran and United Methodist) the last Sunday in the Epiphany season
Epiphany season
The Epiphany season is a liturgical period following the Christmas season. It begins on the day of Epiphany, and ends at various points depending on usage.-Church of England:...

 (that immediately preceding Ash Wednesday
Ash Wednesday
Ash Wednesday, in the calendar of Western Christianity, is the first day of Lent and occurs 46 days before Easter. It is a moveable fast, falling on a different date each year because it is dependent on the date of Easter...

) is also devoted to this event. In the Church of Sweden
Church of Sweden
The Church of Sweden is the largest Christian church in Sweden. The church professes the Lutheran faith and is a member of the Porvoo Communion. With 6,589,769 baptized members, it is the largest Lutheran church in the world, although combined, there are more Lutherans in the member churches of...

 and the Church of Finland, however, the Feast is celebrated on the seventh Sunday after Trinity
Trinity Sunday
Trinity Sunday is the first Sunday after Pentecost in the Western Christian liturgical calendar, and the Sunday of Pentecost in Eastern Christianity...

, the eighth Sunday after Pentecost.

See also

  • Chronology of Jesus
    Chronology of Jesus
    The chronology of Jesus aims to establish a historical order for some of the events of the life of Jesus in the four canonical gospels. The Christian gospels were primarily written as theological documents rather than historical chronicles and their authors showed little interest in an absolute...

  • Confession of Peter
  • Ministry of Jesus
    Ministry of Jesus
    In the Christian gospels, the Ministry of Jesus begins with his Baptism in the countryside of Judea, near the River Jordan and ends in Jerusalem, following the Last Supper with his disciples. The Gospel of Luke states that Jesus was "about 30 years of age" at the start of his ministry...

  • Miracles of Jesus
    Miracles of Jesus
    The miracles of Jesus are the supernatural deeds of Jesus, as recorded in Gospels, in the course of his ministry. According to the Gospel of John, only some of these were recorded. states that "Jesus did many other things as well...

  • Parables of Jesus
    Parables of Jesus
    The parables of Jesus can be found in all the Canonical gospels as well as in some of the non-canonical gospels but are located mainly within the three synoptic gospels. They represent a key part of the teachings of Jesus, forming approximately one third of his recorded teachings...

  • Son of man came to serve
    Son of man came to serve
    Son of man came to serve refers to a specific episode in the New Testament.In the Gospel of Matthew , and the Gospel of Mark Jesus explains that he "came as Son of man to give his life as ransom".The ransom paid by the Son of man is an element of a common doctrine of atonement in Christianity.In...

  • Transfiguration of Jesus in Christian art
    Transfiguration of Jesus in Christian art
    The Transfiguration of Jesus has been an important subject in Christian art, above all in the Eastern church, some of whose most striking icons show the scene....


External links

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