1 Peter – Chapter One XXVIII

by Ed Urzi

“so that the tested genuineness of your faith–more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire–may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:7 ESV).

The word “glory” as it appears in our text from 1 Peter 1:7 is a Biblical word that is frequently undefined or misunderstood. In the original language of the Old Testament, this word is translated from the term kabad. This ancient Hebrew word conveys the idea of heaviness, weight, and/or substance. (1) Those who are familiar with the history of Old Testament Israel may recognize a form of this word in the name Ichabod, a name that means, “there is no glory.” (2)

That name reflected the depressing circumstances that accompanied the loss of the ark of the covenant, as recorded in 1 Samuel chapter four. It was later adapted as a designation for the literary character Ichabod Crane by the 19th century author Washington Irving in his short story, The Legend Of Sleepy Hollow. Crane was aptly named, given the circumstances of his apparent demise within the story.

On a more positive note, the word “glory” is closely associated with the concept of dignity in the New Testament. It also refers to a good opinion that results in praise and honor for the person under consideration. (3) A more contemporary definition of “glory” is similarly descriptive: “very great praise, honor, or distinction bestowed by common consent; renown. (4)

One source expands on these definitions with some helpful observations…

“The word glory in Hebrew, kabod, derives from a root word meaning ‘weight.’ For example, the value of a gold coin was determined by its weight. To have weight, therefore, is to have value or worth.

The Greek word for glory, doxa, originally meant ‘opinion.’ This word refers to the worth or value which we, in our opinion, assign to someone or something. The Hebrew idea speaks of what is inherent in God—His intrinsic value or worth; the Greek idea speaks of the response of intelligent and moral beings to the value or worth they see manifested by God’s Word and works.” (5)

For those who are seeking real substance in a shallow world that often seems filled with banalities, platitudes, and trivialities, 1 Peter 1:7 assures us that “…genuine faith will result in praise, glory, and honor for you when Jesus Christ is revealed” (CEB).

(1) H3513 kabad https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=H3513

(2) H350 ichabod https://www.blueletterbible.org/lexicon/h350/kjv/wlc/0-1/

(3) G1391 doxa https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?t=kjv&strongs=g1391

(4) “Glory” Dictionary.com, Retrieved 1 June 2020 from https://www.dictionary.com/browse/glory

(5) Joel R. Beeke, Living for God’s Glory: An Introduction to Calvinism © 2008 146-147