John 17:22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one.

δόξαν (doxan)
Noun - Accusative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 1391: From the base of dokeo; glory, in a wide application.

Isaiah 42:8 I am the LORD, that is My name; And My glory [LXX δόξαν] I will not give to another, Nor My praise to carved images.

The glory of God seems to be a unique thing.

7 Answers 7


In Greek there are two ways to say "another" ἄλλος (allos) or ἕτερος (heteros). Allos is another of the same type; heteros is another of a different type.

For example, Paul when writing to the Galatians uses heteros:

I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel (Galatians 1:6 KJV)

The word he uses for another is heteros, another of a different type. So many translators will render the passage accordingly:

I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel [ESV]

Jesus when speaking to the disciples before His death promises to send "another" allos:

And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever
(John 14:16)

The Holy Spirit is another as in different than Jesus, but still of the same type as Jesus.

Isaiah 42:8
The complete translation in the Greek language uses heteros:

I am the Lord God: that is my name: I will not give my glory to another, nor my praises to graven images. (LXX-Isaiah 42:8)
ἐγὼ κύριος ὁ θεός τοῦτό μού ἐστιν τὸ ὄνομα τὴν δόξαν μου ἑτέρῳ οὐ δώσω οὐδὲ τὰς ἀρετάς μου τοῗς γλυπτοῗς

This does not specifically identify "what" glory is, but is does resolve the question of God's unique glory being given to "another." The fact the LORD will not give His glory to another of a different type says nothing about the LORD giving His glory to another of the same type.

For example:

And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed. (John 17:5)

There is nothing to preclude the glory of the Son and the glory of the Father being the same glory.

A common understanding of glory from the Old Testament, is the shekinah glory of God. So the bright light that radiated Moses face, or filled the Tabernacle, or led the Israelites by night during the Exodus would be earthly examples of this glory.

John's Gospel speaks of glory as the type of death Jesus would experience (John 7:39). At the same time, or shortly thereafter, Jesus was raised to life and some of His disciples saw His glory:

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 1:14)

The resurrection appearances are usually without light, but Saul's experience includes light:

Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven shone around him. And falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” And he said, “Who are you, Lord?” And he said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. (Acts 9:3-5 ESV)

The bright light got Saul's attention and probably caused his blindness, but the essence of his experience is acceptance of the Lord Jesus as the Christ: his eternal salvation.

My opinion is the New Testament understanding of the glory of God is the sacrifice of Jesus Christ which enabled those who believe to become children of God and have eternal life in His presence. This will be in place where there is no more darkness and no need for an external source of light:

And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever. (Revelation 22:5)

The final picture combines the Old Testament idea of glory as light with the New Testament as salvation planned by God, made real by the sacrifice of God, and shared with all who believe in His name. In the end it will not be shared with those who reject Him, that is, those of a different type. But it will be given to those of the same type, that is, those who are children of God.

  • 1
    is "another of the same type" polytheism?
    – Gus L.
    Commented Jun 19, 2020 at 17:17
  • 1
    @GusLott I suppose that would depend on your belief about. But if you are God's Temple because His Spirit is in you, I don't think it is accurate to say you are empty of Him. As Paul says He called you to this salvation through our gospel, so that you may posses the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Thessalonians 2:14. Commented Jun 19, 2020 at 18:51
  • @GusL. is "another of the same type" polytheism? Yes, it is. .All gods in polytheism are gods because they share in the “state of being god,” that is, in the “substance” or "type" of godhood. How else can they be gods?
    – user35499
    Commented Jun 22, 2020 at 6:02
  • @AlexBalilo They can be God because they are God as Father, Son, Spirit as stated throughout the New Testament. So it is not polytheism because they are they are one. You might want to consider the Shema in that light, because if there was only one God as you understand the phrase, there is no reason to say God is one. The only reason to say God is one is to affirm Father, Son and Spirit is one. Commented Jun 22, 2020 at 7:39
  • @RevelationLad. The word echad in the Shema strictly means one, not two or more. Echad is a numerical adjective that is sometimes found modifying a collective noun. The sense of plurality is in the compound noun and not in the word echad “one” The idea that the God of the Hebrew Bible, who is a single Individual, revealed in 3 is contradicted in the NT. Jesus deliberately makes any change in the nature of God impossible. He insisted on the unitarian Shema of his Jewish heritage. Mark 12:28-34, John 17:3, John 5:44. Jesus is never called "the only God" nor "the Almighty".
    – user35499
    Commented Jun 22, 2020 at 8:23

In the same prayer in John 17:22 Jesus said to God: “The glory that you have given me I have given to them…”—a reference to Jesus’ disciples. The reason being, as Jesus went on to explain, “that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me” (John 17:20-23). In this example even the disciples are “given” the “glory” that God had “given” to the Son.

According to Jesus, they can even participate in the unity or ‘oneness’ characterized by the Father-Son relationship (‘that they [the disciples] may be one even as we [Father and Son] are one’; John 17:20). None of this, of course, makes the disciples “coeternal with the Father” as members of a so-called “Godhead,” and neither does the “glory” possessed by the disciples make them part of a “Godhead” either, even though God explicitly declared that he would not share his glory with another (Isaiah 42:8).7 God’s unwillingness to share his glory with others, in the context of Isaiah, clearly speaks to how God will not share glory with a rival or competing god, particularly a man-made “idol.” From a biblical perspective, however, God gladly confers “glory” upon those who serve him and carry out his will and purpose, as in the case of his “beloved Son” and all of God’s faithful “children” (Compare Psalm 8:5; Luke 2:32; Acts 3:138; Romans 8:17, 21, 30; 9:4; Hebrews 2:10; 1 Peter 5:1, 4, 10).


Welcome @Glukrom, I read John with a lens of the concept of "emptiness." This might help in this situation. I believe that John saw Jesus not as an Idol to be worshipped, but as an empty "sign" pointing to God. I believe this is related to the concept of glory here.

I like your reference to Isaiah 42. I also think there is an anchor point in John just before the most famous verse in the bible (John 3:16).

John 3:14-15, And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

Here, in the story in Numbers 21, John is connecting Jesus to the upraised serpent that demanded obedience. Now Yahweh did not demand that the Israelites build an idol in the serpent on the pole. Instead, this was a sign of obedience. The serpent didn't heal, but it was the obedience to the command to look upon the serpent that resulted in the healing.

I believe that the Glory, for John, is to be a conduit for Yahweh's light, utterly obedient, and transparent to God's will. And this is something that cannot be done through your own will (choice) or the will of others (that's how I read the thesis of the entire gospel in John 1:12-13 - not by will of flesh/self or man/other, but by God). The idea that you have a will separate from God and that you have merit on your own as an individual is "the diagnosis" of the torah, you might say.

For John, Jesus is an "empty" sign with no merit of his own that points to God and reveals God:

John 1:18, No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart [in the Father's lap], who has made him known.

That is that Jesus is a pointer to God so that when you look at Jesus, you see God. I see that transparency as the glory. It is a complete transparency of will as in:

John 5:19, Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise.

The paradox is that the emptiness of self/will described here is not something that can be achieved through an act of your will or someone else. You can't choose of your own will to accept this... That's like trying to bite your own teeth. As John also writes:

John 6:44, No one can come to me [Jesus] unless drawn by the Father who sent me;

The word for "drawn" means to drag "a person forcibly and against his will." And of course, paradoxically:

John 14:6b, "No one comes to the Father except through me."

But I think the word "through" is another indication of Jesus as a transparent sign which breaks through the darkness and reveals the light of God.

So someone who has the glory is not a someone - that is how I square it with your Isaiah 42 quote. They have been dragged against their will, emptied of self/agency, and now lean against God's chest (John 1:18) and are a conduit that points to God, making God known. God doesn't put his glory in idols, so Jesus is not a thing that is an idol, but an empty sign pointing to and revealing God. This is how we each can be a "child of God" exactly like Jesus, but still all be the "only begotten." Because we are not separate agents when we are empty signs.

I read John and see the concept of "belief" as a process of being convinced (dragged/drawn). John actually never uses the noun for "belief/faith" but always the verb (contrasts with the rest of the NT). For him, it is a process that happens to us, not something we do of our will.

So the glory, as I understand it, is this emptying which gets the ego out of the way and reveals God's light. See this in the Kenosis hymn of Philippians 2 and contrast it to the Lucifer poetry of Isaiah 14.

Isaiah 14, How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! **You said in your heart, ... But you are brought down to Sheol, to the depths of the Pit.

Compare this to the Kenosis hymn from early Christianity,

Philippians 2, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death. ... Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, ... Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

There is this contrast. Where the morning star would reach out his arm and grab for himself, as Adam and Eve did, Jesus spreads out his arms in obedience and is glorified.

I like this verse in Ecclesiastes to describe it:

Ecclesiastes 9:4b, ..., for a living dog is better than a dead lion.

The author of Ecclesiastes got it. His theme was that "all was emptiness" (Ecc 1:2).

Here, Jesus is the living utterly obedient living dog and the leaders of the world grabbing power form themselves are the dead lions (like the morning star from Isaiah 14). Such a dog is transparent to the light of God and is not an idol. God's glory is there present in him, but he is not present, he is empty.

  • It is as stated in Philippians 2:6, “he did not grasp at equality with God”. Yet, strangely enough, this is precisely what others do on Jesus’ behalf! They insist on imposing on him that which he himself rejected!
    – user35499
    Commented Jun 22, 2020 at 7:11

Glory ‘is’ the same right throughout the bible. And, it’s really quiet simple. Glory is ‘seeing God’, or ‘feeling’ God. But, as none can ‘see’ God (and live), so what we see is his ‘reflected’ Glory, or we ‘feel’/‘sense’ his presence. (Weight).

In the case of the verse used in your question, Gods Glory was ‘seen’ (reflected) in Jesus, but as he was leaving soon, it would have to be ‘seen’ (reflected) in his apostles.

And it was this that Jesus was asking for in this prayer, in John 17, often described (by theologians) as the High Priestly Prayer, assigning what was his, what he had, to those believers that would now represent his Father.

Looking at the Greek word for glory (doxa) or the Hebrew (kabowd) we see the meaning as including ‘something’ belonging to God, - majesty, splendour, brightness. Be it in a ‘cloud’, (Shekinah), the ‘heavens’ (stars, moon, universe), and so on. But also, at times, in ‘man’.

Now, looking at your other verse, Isaiah 42:8, Gods Glory is his, and his alone. If we see anything in anyone/anything that we could attribute to that ‘thing’ itself, then that’s not God, and deserves no glory.

Those moments, when we can only attribute something amazing that just happened, what we ‘see’, what we experienced, ...... to something beyond, or ‘outside’ of us, to something we simply can not explain - then we have a possible candidate.

So, you are absolutely correct when you say that Gods Glory must be something unique.


First understand how glory fits the themes of light and truth in the Gospel of John. John used δόξα (glory) in the parallel connection between Jesus Christ and the Tabernacle:

Καὶ ὁ λόγος σὰρξ ἐγένετο καὶ ἐσκήνωσεν ἐν ἡμῖν, καὶ ἐθεασάμεθα τὴν δόξαν αὐτοῦ, δόξαν ὡς μονογενοῦς παρὰ πατρός, πλήρης χάριτος καὶ ἀληθείας. (John 1:14, NA27)

Dwelt, ἐσκήνωσεν, is aorist, active, indicative, 3rd person, singular of σκηνόω, Note the noun σκηνή means tent, tabernacle. For more discussion on this see In John 1:14 what is meant by "glory as of an only begotten of a father"?

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 1:14, ESV)

Here’s the significance of the glory of God in John 17:22. The glory of God, the visible demonstration of God’s presence, filled the Tabernacle (Exodus 40:34-35). The glory of God also filled the Temple (1 Kings 8:11; 2 Chron. 5:14). However, John’s emphasis was parallel to the Pentateuch. The glory of God became present among us with the presence of Jesus Christ (John 1:14). In John 17:22, Jesus is about to go back to heaven with the Father. He will send the Spirit to dwell within us (John 16:4-15). The glory of God in John 17:22 is God’s presence in us through the Holy Spirit. Paul notes this in 1 Cor. 3:16.

οὐκ οἴδατε ὅτι ναὸς θεοῦ ἐστε καὶ τὸ πνεῦμα τοῦ θεοῦ οἰκεῖ ἐν ὑμῖν; (1 Cor. 3:16, NA27)

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? (1 Cor. 3:16, ESV)

Appendix: Biblical meaning of glory

Note the first meaning of δόξα in BDAG is brightness.

δόξα, ης, ἡ (...). 1. brightness, splendor, radiance… οὐκ ἐνέβλεπον ἀπὸ τῆς δ. τοῦ φωτός I [Paul] could not see because of the brightness of the light [on the road to Damascus] Ac 22:11;… 2. magnificence, splendor,… 3. fame, renown, honor… 4. δόξαι (Diod. S. 15, 58, 1 ἐξουσίαι καὶ δόξαι=offices and honors, also those who held them) of angelic being… – BDAG (1979) (p. 203-4).

Here is a Logos Word Study chart showing usage of δόξα in the New Testament: enter image description here

Notice how these meanings build from the first meaning of brightness, splendor, radiance.

The Hebrew word translated glory with respect to God filling the Tabernacle is כָּבוֹד.

I. כָּבוֹד … adj. glorious,… †II. כָּבוֹד … abundance, honour, glory;… 1. abundance, riches… 2. honour, splendour, glory,… Brown, F., Driver, S. R., & Briggs, C. A. (1977). Enhanced Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (p. 458). Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Here is a Logos Word Study chart showing usage of כָּבוֹד in the Old Testament: enter image description here

The root for כָּבוֹד is כָּבֵד.

כָּבֵד … vb. be heavy, weighty, burdensome, honoured… Brown, F., Driver, S. R., & Briggs, C. A. (1977). Enhanced Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (p. 457). Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Here is a Logos Word Study chart showing usage of כָּבֵד in the Old Testament: enter image description here

Another Hebrew term with meanings related to δόξα is הָלַל. For example the use of δόξα in John 12:43 closely matches the meaning of הָלַל. BDB has homonyms for this word. However, if you compare the meanings of the homonyms to δόξα, the meanings aren’t that unrelated.

†I. הָלַל … vb. shine †II. הָלַל … vb. be boastful, Pi. praise Brown, F., Driver, S. R., & Briggs, C. A. (1977). Enhanced Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (p. 237). Oxford: Clarendon Press.

This word is translated "boast" in most Christian translations of Jer. 9:22–23. However, a Jewish translation translates it glory:

 Thus said the LORD: 
 Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom; 
 Let not the strong man glory in his strength; 
 Let not the rich man glory in his riches. 
 But only in this should one glory: 
 In his earnest devotion to Me. 
 For I the LORD act with kindness, 
 Justice, and equity in the world; 
 For in these I delight. 

Jewish Publication Society. (1985). Tanakh: The Holy Scriptures (Jer. 9:22–23). Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society.


The Hebrew Scripture is fond of using parallelism in conveying message. Isaiah 42:8 speaks of glory (which is his praise )not being shared to idols based on its parallelism.

Isaiah 42:8 I am the LORD, that is My name; And [My glory] I will not give to another, Nor [My praise] to carved images.

In the context of Isaiah 42:8, δοχα refers to the praise which belongs to God alone. No idol shares in the praise of the Lord. Thus, the text is affirming monolatry.

In John 17:22, the δοχα that was given to the believers was the same δοχα given to Christ, based on the text itself. In context, the δοχα given to Christ was something (1) Christ had before the world was and (2) something he asked the Father to give him (cf. 17:1, 17:5).

Intertextuality shows that this refers to the divine nature. 2 Peter 1:4 says that believers "participate in the divine nature" of Jesus our God (2 Peter 1:1). The divine nature in the New Testament is related to δοχα (Jesus is "the exact imprint of the nature of αυτου", the antecedent referring to δοχα in the earlier "effulgence of the δοχα). (Hebrews 1:3). Believers are being changed from δοχα to δοχα into the same image of the Lord (2 Corinthians 3:18). This ultimately will consumate at the resurrection as 1 Corinthians 15 shows that we will be conformed to the image of the man of heaven when we are resurrected. We are not only light and salt of the world but also will literally be shining like stars forever as Daniel described the resurrection. In Philippians 3:20-21, Christ himself will transform the body of his people by his own power (δυναμις). Christ will give them a "body of δοχα".


This question Can't satisfactorily be resolved if you hold to the Trinity.

By seeing Jehovah (=The LORD in all Bibles not honouring God's name) and Jesus as two different individuals, it is easily resolved. Isa. 42:8 is ok, and in John 17:22 Jesus asks for his former role as 2nd person in the Universe Back. In fact he gets more. Phil 2:9-11.

  • It's my understanding that "Jehova" is a misreading of the vowel pointings on the hebrew. The tetragrammaton is not a spoken thing (today or 6th century BC), so the vowel pointings associate with the word "Adonai" (which means "The Lord" and is said instead - you can see the "eh" "o" and "a" in Adonai translating over to Jehova). This incorrect understanding of the Masoretic text is where this name comes from. Most scholarly understandings have the name pronounced "Yahweh." I would say that "Jehova" doesn't honor the tetragrammaton as constructed by the Hebrew authors.
    – Gus L.
    Commented Jun 19, 2020 at 14:49
  • More on that here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jehovah
    – Gus L.
    Commented Jun 19, 2020 at 14:49
  • Trinitarians firmly believe that the Father and Jesus are separate individuals. The answer to this question has nothing to do with the Trinity.
    – Dottard
    Commented Jun 21, 2020 at 1:59
  • curious what you mean by 'asks for role BACK' When did he have it before?
    – Steve
    Commented Jul 13, 2020 at 23:52

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