Bede on the Transfiguration  

Posted by Joe Rawls in

Today being the last Sunday in Epiphanytide, we hear once again the story of Jesus' Transfiguration (Mark 9: 2-9). The Transfiguration has traditionally gotten more emphasis in the Eastern church, but below is a good quote from the Venerable Bede (672-735), the most prominent English theologian and historian of his day. It comes from Homilies on the Gospels, quoted in Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture: New Testament II, Mark, eds Thomas C Oden and Christopher A Hall, Downer's Grove, IVP, 1998. A hat-tip to today's Episcopal Cafe.

If anyone asks what the Lord's garments, which became white as snow, represent typologically, we can properly understand them as pointing to the church of his saints, [who] the time of the resurrection will be purified from every blemish of iniquity and at the same time from all the darkness of mortality. Concerning the Lord's garments the evangelist Mark remarks that "they becomes as bright as snow, such as no bleacher on earth can make them white." It is evident to everyone that there is no one who can live on earth without corruption and sorrow. So it is evident to all that are wise, although heretics deny it, that there is no one who can live on earth without being touched by some sin. But what a cleansing agent (that is, a teacher of souls or some extraordinary purifier of his body) cannot do on earth, that the Lord will do in heaven. He will purify the church, which is his clothing, "from all defilement of flesh and spirit", renewing [her] besides with eternal blessedness and light of flesh and spirit.

This entry was posted on Sunday, February 22, 2009 at Sunday, February 22, 2009 and is filed under . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


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