Glory of God


I was doing some reading in Corinthians and also read the book of Exodus a couple days ago. I am always looking for connections that the NT authors make about Jesus to Moses (Deut. 18). I have not been keeping count, but there are a lot of them. Many of them are very subtle and in order to see them, you must know the passage being referenced. Here is one that Paul makes. This is one of the first I have found by Paul. I am sure there are others, but Paul did not seem to make the connection as often as the Gospel writers. Either way it is quite genius on his part. What follows is an excerpt from a (for now) document I am about finished writing:
Paul states in 1 Cor. 11 that man “is the image and glory of God.” It is no secret that it is Jesus who reflected(s) God’s glory with perfection, so in NT prose, to be in Jesus' presence, was also to be in the presence of God. Paul stated this very thing in 2 Cor. 4, “For God, who said, "Light shall shine out of darkness," is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” Can you guess where Paul makes reference? This is yet another example (very subtle at that) where Jesus is compared to Moses. Moses spent 40 days in the presence of the Glory of God. During that time on the mountain Moses requested of God, “I pray You, show me Your glory” (Ex. 33:18). God consented, although He did so with a caveat (33:20), “You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!” Moses then, came out to the people (Ex. 34:29-35), “when Moses was coming down from Mount Sinai…[he] did not know that the skin of his face shone because of his speaking with Him [YHVH]. Paul gives us a huge clue to this context in “chapter 3[1], “But if the ministry of death, in letters engraved on stones, came with glory, so that the sons of Israel could not look intently at the face of Moses because of the glory of his face…, and then in chapter 4, “the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” Paul knows this passage well and is making a stunning point from it. Moses could not see the face of God, but merely the “glory” of His presence, or the trail that followed God, where He just was, “His back”. That was enough to need a veil. Jesus however, reflects the glory of God “in his face” according to Paul. Could people look upon Jesus? John (1:18) picks up on this as well, “God has never been seen by anyone. God divulged himself in the one uniquely born, the one embraced by the father” (cf. 1 John 4:12).[2] 
The point of the matter is that God showed the world His glory through Jesus His servant (cf. Ex. 14:31). This is communicated in many different and very Jewish ways. The prophecies concerning this “servant” even declare it extensively. An excellent example is the suffering servant passage of Isaiah 49 where YHVH says to this servant, “You are My Servant, Israel, In Whom I will show My glory.” The writer of Hebrews (1:3) also gives insight, “He [Messiah] is the radiance of His [God’s] glory and the exact representation of His [God’s] nature”.


[1] I intend this facetiously because chapter markings only make an interruption to the letter that is meant to be read as a complete unit. Chapter 4 is part of the same letter as 3 and should not be interpreted any other way. It bothers me to no end that Christians read and interpret the Bible in this manner. 
[2] MacDonald, William Graham, The Idiomatic Translation of the New Testament (MIT), 2012, Electronic edition, BW8

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