Theophany

From Academic Kids

Missing image
Leonardo-christbaptism.jpg
John the Baptist baptizes Jesus in The Baptism of Christ by Leonardo da Vinci.

A theophany is a visible manifestation of God to humans.

For example, in the Bible in Isaiah 6, the story of Isaiah seeing the Lord sitting upon a throne is called a theophany.

According to the philosopher Philo, God is purely transcendent, so his interactions with the material world are through an expression of himself, his Logos, or Word. It was through this Word that God created the world.

Perhaps the best known example of theophany in the Torah is where God appears to Moses and, by many analyses, the entire nation of Israel on, and at the foot of, a mountain variously called Sinai or Horeb, and reveals his name and the text of the Ten Commandments to Moses. Jewish inter-testamental tradition personifies this expression of God as a special angel who has the task of representing God to men. This angel is called the Angel of the Face, or the Angel of the Presence, or Metatron, in Hebrew; anan or mal'ak, said to have the highest place in heaven next to God, and who intercedes for Israel.

Christianity posits that God is a trinity; it also teaches that God became especially immanent through the Incarnation of Jesus, who is at once fully God and fully human. The Feast of Theophany in the Eastern Orthodox Church on January 6 of the Julian Calendar celebrates Jesus' baptism in the Jordan, at which time both Jesus' divinity and the Trinity was made manifest by the appearance of Jesus, the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove, while the audible voice of the Father was heard.

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