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Christ Transfigured

The Transfiguration by Aelbert Bouts
The Transfiguration by Aelbert Bouts

The Transfiguration of Christ is recounted in three of the four Gospels.

It is celebrated on 6 August, and is a particularly important festival in the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Matthew, 17, 1–13, recounts the event as follows:

And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart,

And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light.

And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.

Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.

While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.

And when the disciples heard this they fell on their face, and were sore afraid.

And Jesus came and touched them, and said Arise, and be not afraid.

And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.

And as they came down from the mountain, Jesus charged them, Tell the vision to no man, until the Son of man be risen again from the dead.

And his disciples asked him saying, Why say then the scribes that Elias shall first come?

And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly first shall come and restore all things.

But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed.

Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them.

Then the disciples understood that he spake of John the Baptist.

The Transfiguration is the one point in Christ’s ministry where his divinity is made manifest through a vision, and Peter (II Peter, 1, 16–18) refers to it in a letter as compelling proof of Christ’s divinity:

We have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty

For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, this is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

And this voice which came from Heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.

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