This volume initiates von Balthasar's study of the biblical vision and understanding of God's glory. Starting with the theophanies of the Patriarchal period, it shows how such glory is most fully expressd in the graciousness of the Covenant relationship between God and Israel. But the breaking of that relationship by Israel means that in the later books of the Old Testament, the divine glory is seen in God's willingness to bear with his people in the dark side of their history. There is no final version of God's glory in the Old Testament. In the 500 years before Christ, the Covenant relation is more idea than reality. The vision of the transcendent glory of God which is developed in the later writings, is only fragmentary. It will find its strange and unexpected fulfilment in the new Covenant.
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