What does Transfiguration, The mean in the Bible?


Holman Bible Dictionary - Transfiguration, the
The transformation of Jesus in His appearance with Moses and Elijah before Peter, James, and John (Matthew 17:1-13 ; Mark 9:1-13 ; Luke 9:28-36 ; compare 2 Peter 1:16-18 ).
The Accounts The event took place shortly after the confession at Caesarea Philippi, the first passion prediction, and a discourse on the cost of discipleship. Jesus took Peter, James, and John to a mountain where the event took place. Jesus' personal appearance and that of His garments were changed. Moses and Elijah appeared and talked with Jesus. Peter said it was good to be there, and they should build three booths. A cloud came over them, and God spoke from the cloud identifying Jesus as His Son (compare the voice at the baptism) and commanding the disciples to hear Him. When the cloud lifted, Jesus was alone with the disciples, who were afraid. Jesus told the disciples to tell no one.
Aside from minor differences in wording, Mark alone states that Jesus' garments became so white that no bleacher could brighten them and that Peter did not know what to say. Also Mark alone has no reference to a change in Jesus' face. Matthew alone indicates that God expressed His pleasure with Jesus, that the disciples fell on their faces, and that Jesus touched them to get them up. Instead of the six days of Matthew and Mark, Luke has about eight days. He alone indicated that Jesus and the disciples were praying, that Moses and Elijah conversed with Jesus about His coming death, that the disciples were sleepy, and that they saw Jesus' glory. Luke alone has “chosen” rather than “beloved Son.” In Matthew, Jesus is addressed as Lord, in Mark as Rabbi, and in Luke as Master.
The Nature of the Event It has often been claimed that the story is a misplaced resurrection appearance; but it is Moses and Elijah, not Jesus, who appear, and there is no reference to them or a voice from heaven in any other resurrection account. Others have claimed that the transfiguration was not an objective but a visionary experience. This is possible, but there is no more of the miraculous in three different disciples actually having similar visions than in a historical event, which is certainly what the writers described.
The Place The traditional site is Mount Tabor in lower Galilee, but it is not a high mountain (only 1,850 feet) and was probably fortified and inaccessible in Jesus' day. Much more likely is Mount Hermon (9,100 feet) to the north of Caesarea Philippi. See Hermon.
Meaning A mountain in the Bible is often a place of revelation. Moses and Elijah represented the law and the prophets respectively, which testify to but must give way to Jesus. (The latter is the reason why Peter's suggestion was improper.) Moses and Elijah themselves were heralds of the Messiah (Deuteronomy 18:15 ; Malachi 4:5-6 ). The three booths suggest the Feast of the Tabernacles which symbolizes a new situation, a new age. Clouds represent divine presence. The close connection of the transfiguration with the confession and passion prediction is significant. The Messiah must suffer; but glorification and enthronement, not suffering, is His ultimate fate. These involve resurrection, ascension, and return in glory. The disciples needed the reassurance of the transfiguration as they contemplated Jesus' death and their future sufferings. See Jesus, Life and Ministry.
James Brooks
Easton's Bible Dictionary - Transfiguration, the
Of our Lord on a "high mountain apart," is described by each of the three evangelists (Matthew 17:1-8 ; Mark 9:2-8 ; Luke 9:28-36 ). The fullest account is given by Luke, who, no doubt, was informed by Peter, who was present on the occasion. What these evangelists record was an absolute historical reality, and not a mere vision. The concurrence between them in all the circumstances of the incident is exact. John seems to allude to it also (John 1:14 ). Forty years after the event Peter distinctly makes mention of it (2 Peter 1:16-18 ). In describing the sanctification of believers, Paul also seems to allude to this majestic and glorious appearance of our Lord on the "holy mount" (Romans 12:2 ; 2 co 3:18 ). The place of the transfiguration was probably Mount Hermon (q.v.), and not Mount Tabor, as is commonly supposed.
Smith's Bible Dictionary - Transfiguration, the
(The event in the earthly life of Christ which marks the culminating point in his public ministry, and stands midway between the temptation in the wilderness and the agony in Gethsemane, (Matthew 17:1-13 ; Mark 9:2-13 ; Luke 9:28-36 ) Place . Though tradition locates the transfiguration on Mount Tabor there is little to confirm this view and modern critics favor Mount Hermon, the highest mountain-top in Gaulanitis, or one of the spurs of the Anti-Lebanus. Time . --The transfiguration probably took place at night, because it could then be seen to better advantage than in daylight, and Jesus usually went to mountains to spend there the night in prayer. ( Matthew 14:23,24 ; Luke 6:12 ; 21:37 ) The apostles were asleep, and are described its having kept themselves awake through the act of transfiguration. ( Luke 9:32 ) The actors and witnesses . --Christ was the central figure, the subject of transfiguration. Moses and Elijah appeared from the heavenly world, as the representatives of the Old Testament, the one of the law the other of prophecy, to do homage to him who was the fulfillment of both. Mr. Ellicott says, "The close of the ministry of each was not after the 'common death of all men.' No man knew of the sepulchre of Moses, (34:6) and Elijah had passed away in the chariot and horses of fire. ( 2 Kings 2:11 ) Both were associated in men's minds with the glory of the kingdom of the Christ. The Jerusalem Targum on (Exodus 12:1 ) ... connects the coming of Moses with that of the Messiah. Another Jewish tradition predicts his appearance with that of Elijah." Moses the law giver and Elijah the chief of the prophets both appear talking with Christ the source of the gospel, to show that they are all one and agree in one. St. Luke, (Luke 9:31 ) adds the subject of their communing: "They spake of his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem." Among the apostles the three favorite disciples, Peter, James and John were the sole witnesses of the scene-- "the sons of thunder and the man of rock." The event itself . --The transfiguration or transformation , or, as the Germans call it, the glorification , consisted in a visible manifestation of the inner glory of Christ's person, accompanied by an audible voice from heaven. It was the revelation and anticipation of his future state of glory, which was concealed under the veil of his humanity in the state of humiliation. The cloud which overshadowed the witnesses was bright or light-like, luminous, of the same kind as the cloud at the ascension. Significance of the miracle . --
It served as a solemn inauguration of the history of the passion and final consummation of Christ's work on earth.
It confirmed the faith of the three favorite disciples, and prepared them for the great trial which was approaching, by showing them the real glory and power of Jesus.
It was a witness that the spirits of the lawgiver and the prophet accepted the sufferings and the death which had shaken the faith of the disciples as the necessary conditions of the messianic kingdom. --Ellicott. As envoys from the eternal Majesty, audibly affirmed that it was the will the Father that with his own precious blood he should make atonement for sin. They impressed a new seal upon the ancient, eternal truth that the partition wall which sin had raised could he broken down by no other means than by the power of his sufferings; that he as the good Shepherd could only ransom his sheep with the price of his own life.-Krummacher.
It furnishes also to us all a striking proof of the unity of the Old and New Testaments, for personal immortality, and the mysterious intercommunion of the visible and invisible worlds. Both meet in Jesus Christ; he is the connecting link between the Old and New Testaments, between heaven and earth, between the kingdom of grace and the kingdom of glory. It is very significant that at the end of the scene the disciples saw no man save Jesus alive. Moses and Elijah, the law and the promise, types and shadows, pass away; the gospel, the fulfillment, the substance Christ remains--the only one who can relieve the misery of earth and glorify our nature, Christ all in all. (chiefly from Smith's larger Bib. Dic.--ED.)
The American Church Dictionary and Cycopedia - Transfiguration, the
A Feast of the Church observed on August 6,in commemoration of our Lord's Transfiguration on the Mount in thepresence of His three disciples, St. Peter, St. James and St. John.It is a restored Festival in our Calendar. The American Churchhaving thought good to order a revision of the Prayer-book aftera hundred years use of it as set forth in the year 1789, completedthis revision in 1892 after fifteen years of labor spent upon it.The first action taken on the subject was by the General Conventionin 1883, when among other changes and restorations the Feast of theTransfiguration was restored to the Calendar and appointed to beobserved August 6. This date it is thought is the actual time ofthe year at which the Transfiguration took place. As a day ofcommemoration, this Festival has been observed in the Eastern Churchsince A.D. 700, and in the Western Church since the year 450. Itwas ordered to be universally observed in A.D. 1457. We cannotdoubt that its restoration to our Calendar is a decided gain toour spiritual treasury of devotions and instructions, for itcommemorates an event in our Lord's Life which has deep significancein relation to our Lord Himself and also to our own spiritual life.Our Lord, before His last journey to Jerusalem, took the three chiefApostles with Him into a high mountain and then as He prayed, Hewas transfigured before them. His raiment became white as the light,His face shone as the sun, and Moses and Elias appeared and talkedwith Him. "And there came a voice out of the cloud, saying, This isMy beloved Son, hear Him." It was thus that His Divine nature wasrevealed and enabled the Apostle St. John to testify, "We beheldHis glory, the glory as of the Only Begotten of the Father." ProperLessons and Proper Psalms for the services for this day as well asCollect, Epistle and Gospel emphasize the importance of the Feastof the Transfiguration and mark it as one of the great daysof the Church. The ecclesiastical color is white.

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Transfiguration - Transfiguration, the
Messiah - ...
Immediately after this, at the Transfiguration, the Father confirmed that Jesus was both Davidic Messiah and suffering servant
Mark, Gospel According to - After the Transfiguration, the future glory and the Passion of our Lord are unfolded ( Mark 8:31 ; Mark 8:38 , Mark 9:12 ; Mark 9:31 etc. For the vividness of the scenes at the Transfiguration, the raising of Jairus’ daughter, and the Agony, see § 2
Disciple (2) - The Walking on the Sea, the Transfiguration, the Cursing of the Barren Fig-tree, the Feet-washing in the Upper Room, the Miraculous Draught of Fishes (John 21:4 ff