Atmatzidis Charalabos, The Meaning of Glory in the Pauline Theology, Pournaras Press, 2001, pp. 702.
The study is searching the meaning of the term ‘glory’ in Pauline theology and Paul’s tendency to conform or to develop the meaning of Glory depending on the prevalent conditions concerning the partial Christian communities and the problems he faces and tries to solve in them.
In the introduction the author analyzes the target and the method of the study. The historic-critical and rhetorical methods are used for the analysis of the texts. The study is divided in three chapters. In the first chapter, Atmatzidis investigates the meaning of the term in the Old Testament texts, in the second chapter in I Epistle to Thessalonians, I and II Epistle to the Corinthians, to the Philippians and to the Romans and in his last chapter to the Epistle to Colossians and Ephesians.
From the research it is concluded that Paul suits the meaning of the term ‘glory’ in his epistles accordingly to the concrete social and religious circumstances.
In this way, he retains the Old Testament, God centered meaning of the term in I Thessalonians. In I Corinthians he differentiates himself connecting the term with Christ and resurrection. In 2 Corinthians, the reflection of the Divine Glory to Paul is emphasized and for the first time it is also pointed out the present and gradual human glorification. Christ is also related to light. Paul comes back to the traditional aspect of the future human glorification in his epistles to the Philippians and Romans. Besides, he defines for the first time that the man is transformed and becomes similar in form (σύμμορφος) to the Glory of Christ. Paul mentions all the stages of human salvation. Atmatzidis points out that in Colossians Christ is brought out as the hope of glory that saves and will always save the people. In Ephesians it is stressed that God, the Father of Glory, offers salvation in the glorious church and He is superior to the glorious pagan deities (Diana, emperor).
The study closes with final conclusions, a rich catalogue of bibliography, index of biblical references, index of names and subjects and summary in English.