[John 1:14 YLT] (14) And the Word [IE: "utterance"] became flesh, and did tabernacle among us, and we beheld his glory, glory as of an only begotten of a father, full of grace and truth.

[Jhn 1:14 MGNT] (14) καὶ ὁ λόγος σὰρξ ἐγένετο καὶ ἐσκήνωσεν ἐν ἡμῖν καὶ ἐθεασάμεθα τὴν δόξαν αὐτοῦ δόξαν ὡς μονογενοῦς παρὰ πατρός πλήρης χάριτος καὶ ἀληθείας

Is John referring to Christ's "glory" as being a family resemblance? Or perhaps a place of honor?


Perhaps someone with some Greek skills can weigh in on whether the phrase "πλήρης χάριτος καὶ ἀληθείας" refers to Jesus or to his Father.

3 Answers 3


The context is important for the meaning of δόξαν ὡς μονογενοῦς παρὰ πατρός.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’ ”) For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known. (John 1:14–18, ESV)

The word dwelt translates ἐσκήνωσεν (the aorist active indicative of σκηνόω). Note the relation of this word to the Greek word for tent σκῆνος.1 This word ἐσκήνωσεν occurs in the LXX in Genesis 13:12 for Lot setting up his tent in Sodom. It translates the Hebrew verb וַיֶּאֱהַ֖ל (imperfect waw consecutive 3rd person masculine singular of אהל). Note the Hebrew noun for tent is אֹ֫הֶל. The tent of the meeting in Hebrew is אֹ֣הֶל מוֹעֵ֑ד. Note also the reference of Moses and the Law in John 1:17. Note also another Hebrew word translated dwell, שָׁכֵן, is also related to God’s glory, כְּבוֹד־יְהוָה֙ (Exodus 24:16; 40:35). The word translated dwell is where we get the term shekinah. The Greek word σκηνόω also sounds similar to the Hebrew שָׁכֵן. 2

Now Moses used to take the tent and pitch it outside the camp, far off from the camp, and he called it the tent of meeting. And everyone who sought the LORD would go out to the tent of meeting, which was outside the camp. (Exodus 33:7, ESV)

When Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent, and the LORD would speak with Moses. And when all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people would rise up and worship, each at his tent door. Thus the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses turned again into the camp, his assistant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent. (Exodus 33:9–11, ESV)

John stated in John 1:18 "he [Jesus] has made him [God] known." The term glory is used for the signs demonstrating God’s presence.3

This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him. (John 2:11, ESV)

With Moses God showed his presence with a pillar of cloud by day and fire by night, or a sign.

And Moses and Aaron went into the tent of meeting, and when they came out they blessed the people, and the glory of the LORD appeared to all the people. And fire came out from before the LORD and consumed the burnt offering and the pieces of fat on the altar, and when all the people saw it, they shouted and fell on their faces. (Lev. 9:23–24, ESV)

Thus, δόξαν ὡς μονογενοῦς παρὰ πατρός, means that God validated through signs of his power that he revealed himself through Jesus Christ, just as he validated that he revealed his presence with Moses and the Law. God showing his glory validates God’s presence. John often mentioned glory in his gospel; the glory in the seven signs John reported (John 2:11; 4:54; 11;40) and the glory in his death and resurrection (John 12:23,27-28; 17:1-5).4 By validate I mean bear witness to (using John's language, John 5:36). The seven signs parallel more with the ten plagues in Egypt. Christ's resurrection parallels God's glory shown in the desert wonderings, Mount Sinai, and the tent of meeting. Trinitarians see this as referring to Jesus being God.5 Non-Trinitarians would see this as God’s presents in Christ.


“Dwelt” (KJV, NASB) here is literally “tabernacled,” which means that as God tabernacled with his people in the wilderness, so had the Word tabernacled among his people in Jesus.

Keener, C. S. (1993). The IVP Bible background commentary: New Testament (Jn 1:14). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

Tabernacled among us.—God dwelt as Jehovah in Israel, hidden in the most holy place of the tabernacle (σκηνή); now in the Logos He has tabernacles (ἐσκήνωσεν) among the disciples in the midst of the people, thus making the disciples themselves His tabernacle. (On among us, ἐν ἡμῖν, see ver. 16. The disciples and witnesses of Christ are meant, but as the central point of the people, and of all mankind). The expression evidently alludes to the Old Testament dwelling of God in Israel. The idea of that dwelling of Jehovah in the holy tabernacle (Ex. 25:8; 29:45) is enlarged even in the prophets (Is. 4:5; 57:15). Now the Lord has taken His dwelling among His own people themselves. This reference is confirmed by what follows. “The Targums likewise represent the Word (מימרא) as the Shekinah (שּׁבינא), and the Messiah as the manifestation of the latter” (Meyer).

Lange, J. P., & Schaff, P. (2008). A commentary on the Holy Scriptures: John (p. 73). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.


Dwelt among us (ἐσκηνωσεν ἐν ἡμιν [eskēnōsen en hēmin]). First aorist ingressive aorist active indicative of σκηνοω [skēnoō], old verb, to pitch one’s tent or tabernacle (σκηνος [skēnos] or σκηνη [skēnē]), in N. T. only here and Rev. 7–15; 12:12; 13:6; 21:3. In Revelation it is used of God tabernacling with men and here of the Logos tabernacling, God’s Shekinah glory here among us in the person of his Son.

Robertson, A. T. (1933). Word Pictures in the New Testament (Jn 1:14). Nashville, TN: Broadman Press.

“The word … made his dwelling among us.” The Greek verb made his dwelling (σκηνόω, skēnoō) means “to live in a tent,” “to take up one’s residence.” Some take the verb to be an echo of the Hebrew שׁך֥ (shakan) meaning “to dwell,” and a noun derived from this Hebrew root (שׁכינה, shekinah) meaning “presence,” which sounds a bit like the Greek “tent” (σκηνή, skēnē), and so in John 1:14 the verb points to the Word’s incarnation. The Greek Old Testament (the Septuagint), however, did not usually translate שׁך֥ by skēnoō, but this does not prove that John could not have made the association for himself.

Bryant, B. H., & Krause, M. S. (1998). John (Jn 1:14). Joplin, MO: College Press Pub. Co.


In addition, since God is good, they glorify him, as he is deserving all of the credit and glory for the miracle. “A miracle is never merely for show: Miracles are never performed for entertainment, but have the distinct purpose of glorifying God and directing men to Him.” (Geisler and Brooks, WSA, 89)

McDowell, J., & McDowell, S. (2017). Evidence that demands a verdict: life-changing truth for a skeptical world. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” (John 3:2, ESV)

R. C. Sproul, John Gerstner, and Arthur Lindsley argue that a miracle is the only unquestionable confirmation God could have used:

Now if God would certify His messengers to us—as we have shown He would do if He intends to send them at all—He would give them credentials that only He could give. Thus, we would know indubitably that they are to be received as the messengers of God. What would God give His messengers that all could see could come only from God? Since the power of miracle belongs to God alone, miracles are a suitable and fitting vehicle of attestation. (Sproul, Gerstner, and Lindsley, CA, 144)

McDowell, J., & McDowell, S. (2017). Evidence that demands a verdict: life-changing truth for a skeptical world. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.


When God revealed his glory to Moses in Exodus 33–34, his glory was “abounding in covenant love and covenant faithfulness” (Ex 34:6), which could also be translated “full of grace and truth.” Like Moses of old (see 2 Cor 3:6–18), the disciples saw God’s glory, now revealed in Jesus. As the Gospel unfolds, Jesus’ glory is revealed in his signs (e.g., Jn 2:11) but especially in the cross, his ultimate act of love (12:23–33). The Jewish people were expecting God to reveal his glory in something like a cosmic spectacle of fireworks; but for the first coming, Jesus reveals the same side of God’s character that was emphasized to Moses: his covenant love.

Keener, C. S. (1993). The IVP Bible background commentary: New Testament (Jn 1:14). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

…now we look at the third—glory. Again and again John uses this word in connection with Jesus Christ. We shall first look at what John says about the glory of Christ, and then we shall go on to see if we can understand a little of what he means.

(1) The life of Jesus Christ was a manifestation of glory. When he performed the miracle of the water and the wine at Cana of Galilee, John says that he manifested forth his glory (2:11). To look at Jesus and to experience his power and love was to enter into a new glory.

(2) The glory which he manifests is the glory of God. It is not from human beings that he receives it (5:41). He seeks not his own glory but the glory of him who sent him (7:18). It is his Father who glorifies him (8:50, 54). It is the glory of God that Martha will see in the raising of Lazarus (11:4). The raising of Lazarus is for the glory of God, that the Son may be glorified thereby (11:4). The glory that was on Jesus, that clung about him, that shone through him, that acted in him is the glory of God.

(3) Yet that glory was uniquely his own. At the end, he prays that God will glorify him with the glory that he had before the world began (17:5). He shines with no borrowed radiance; his glory is his and his by right.

(4) The glory which is his he has transmitted to his disciples. The glory which God gave him he has given to them (17:22). It is as if Jesus shared in the glory of God and the disciple shares in the glory of Christ. The coming of Jesus is the coming of God’s glory among his people.

What does John mean by all this? To answer that, we must turn to the Old Testament. To the Jews, the idea of the Shechinah was very dear. The Shechinah means that which dwells; and it is the word used for the visible presence of God among men and women. Repeatedly in the Old Testament, we come across the idea that there were certain times when God’s glory was visible among his people. In the desert, before the giving of the manna, the children of Israel ‘looked towards the wilderness, and the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud’ (Exodus 16:10). Before the giving of the Ten Commandments, ‘The glory of the Lord settled on Mount Sinai’ (Exodus 24:16).

When the Tabernacle had been erected and equipped, ‘the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle’ (Exodus 40:34). When Solomon’s Temple was dedicated, the priests could not enter in to minister, ‘for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord’ (1 Kings 8:11). When Isaiah had his vision in the Temple, he heard the angelic choir singing that ‘the whole earth is full of his glory’ (Isaiah 6:3). Ezekiel in his ecstasy saw ‘the likeness of the glory of the Lord’ (Ezekiel 1:28). In the Old Testament, the glory of the Lord came at times when God was very close.

The glory of the Lord means quite simply the presence of God. John uses a homely illustration. A father gives to his eldest son his own authority, his own honour. The heir apparent to the throne, the king’s heir, is invested with all the royal glory of his father. It was so with Jesus. When he came to this earth, the splendour of God was visible in him, and at the heart of that splendour was love. When Jesus came to this earth, the wonder of God was visible in him, and the wonder was love. People saw that God’s glory and God’s love were one and the same thing. The glory of God is not that of a despotic tyrant, but the splendour of love before which we fall not in abject terror but lost in wonder, love and praise.

Barclay, W. (2001). The Gospel of John (Rev. and updated., Vol. 1, pp. 80–82). Edinburgh: Saint Andrew Press.


The author also says We beheld his glory (δόξαν, doxan). Like his holiness God’s glory may be defined as (1) “the sum of all God’s attributes.” (2) In classical and Hellenistic Greek doxa normally meant (a) opinion or (b) honor. It came to mean (3) dynamis or might. The term in the Old Testament and Rabbinic literature is (4) כּבוֹד (kavod), which came to be associated with “lights.” In the Septuagint, the New Testament, and Hellenistic literature the word can refer to (5) an epiphany or manifestation of the Godhead. Doxa here seems to point to Jesus’ greatness, (as seen, for example, in his miracles), which lies not only in his deity, wisdom, and power, but all through this Gospel to his humiliating death by crucifixion and to his resurrection from the dead. His “glory” is thus seen in his dying and rising; in these acts the “perfection” of the incarnate Logos is witnessed by many Jews and Gentiles. The Gospel according to John is, then, a book of testimony to Jesus’ glory (cf. 20:30–31a; 21:24). Jesus’ glory is seen, not primarily in his attributes (even “grace and truth”), but in his actions, or works as John calls them, especially in his culminating works of dying and rising. For John, Christ’s highest moment of glory is his crucifixion (and rising again). At first, it is indeed difficult to see that a bloodletting death of a criminal on a cross could have anything at all to do with “glory,” but this book will go on to show how this very horror became the occasion of revealing the divine “glory.”

Bryant, B. H., & Krause, M. S. (1998). John (Jn 1:14). Joplin, MO: College Press Pub. Co.


As I understand the Greek there is no comma after "father", so "full of grace and truth" is not a separate idea to "glory". The glory of being full of grace and truth would be a re-definition of what it could mean to be a human being in this world. To be the only person full of grace and truth would be a unique place of honour. ..The Father, I understand, is full of grace and truth, but, "we beheld" means that in one regard the Son's glory is different from the Father's. The Son's glory, the grace and truth of the Word of life [1 John 1v1] is seen in this world, "which we have seen with our eyes". But "No man has seen God at any time" refers to the Father. So, even if, family resemblance is absolutely present here, I suggest, the honour is the glory of grace and truth having been seen in this world.

  • That is interesting about there being no comma. So it is like glory bestowed on an only son from a father who is rich in grace and truth? If so, then Christ's wealth is an abundance of grace and truth. And the glory Christ gave the disciples was grace and truth? [Col 1:12-14 ESV] (12) giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. (13) He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, (14) in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
    – Ruminator
    Commented Jun 28, 2019 at 18:07
  • @Ruminator I would say it was "his glory was that of being full of grace and truth".
    – C. Stroud
    Commented Jun 28, 2019 at 18:13
  • Glory is feminine so I think it is the father that is full of wealth and truth, which he bestows in abundance on his heir and his co-heirs.
    – Ruminator
    Commented Jun 28, 2019 at 18:48
  • Note in John 1:17. John makes the comparison: Grace and Truth are to Jesus as the Law is to Moses.
    – Perry Webb
    Commented Jul 1, 2019 at 21:03

John seems to be saying that the glory bestowed on Jesus by God was so prodigal because Jesus was God's only begotten son. In other words, it wasn't portioned out between several heirs. We see this elsewhere:

[Jhn 3:34 KJV] (34) For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.

The believer is not an heir of a portion but rather a co-heir of all things:

[Eph 1:3 DBY] (3) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ;

The LORD's blessing is not a "mixed blessing" (IE: "You'll be blessed in this area but have troubles in this area" as we see in other scriptural blessings.

[Pro 10:22 DBY] (22) The blessing of Jehovah, it maketh rich, and he addeth no sorrow to it.

[2Co 1:20 KJV] (20) For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.

[Heb 1:2 ASV] (2) hath at the end of these days spoken unto us in his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom also he made the worlds;

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