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The Transfiguration of Christ

An Exegetical and Theological Reading

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All three Synoptic Gospels tell the story of Jesus's transfiguration. Yet there has been surprisingly little written about this key event, and many readers struggle to understand its significance and place in redemptive history, let alone how it might be applied.

Here, Patrick Schreiner provides a clear and accessible study of the transfiguration with an eye toward its theological significance and practical application. Namely, this event points to Jesus's double sonship, revealing the preexistent glory of the eternal Son and the future glory of the suffering Messianic Son. Further, the transfiguration points to Christians' own formation and transfiguration. Schreiner traces the transfiguration theme through Scripture and employs hermeneutical, trinitarian, and christological categories to assist his exegesis, thus challenging modern readings.

This enlightening study will be of interest to students, pastors, and serious lay readers.

Introduction: A Two-Level Christology
1. The Necessity of the Transfiguration
Five Reasons We Neglect the Transfiguration
Five Reasons Not to Neglect the Transfiguration

2. The Glorious Setting
A Hermeneutical Grammar
Six/Eight Days Later
Up the Mountain
The Three Witnesses
Purgation--Spiritual Ascent

3. The Glorious Signs
A Trinitarian Grammar
Jesus's Shining Face and White Clothes
The Bright Cloud
Moses and Elijah
Illumination--Divine Sight

4. The Glorious Saying
A Christological Grammar
Peter's Inglorious Saying
"This Is My Beloved Son"
"Listen to Him"
Union: Partaking in the Divine Nature

5. The Transfiguration and Theology
The Incarnation
Jesus's Baptism
The Cross
The Resurrection
Jesus's Ascension and Return
The New Creation

Conclusion: Restoring the Transfiguration
Appendix: Light from Light


"Patrick Schreiner deftly integrates exegesis, biblical theology, and systematics in a work that brilliantly rescues the Transfiguration from its undeserved obscurity and second-class status in both biblical studies and dogmatic theology alike. Here is a contribution to Christology that is as edifying as it is scholarly. I can only describe what he has achieved by using the same term the disciples might have used to describe Jesus's shining face: glorious!"

Kevin J. Vanhoozer, research professor of systematic theology, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

"Pondered as an isolated event, the transfiguration makes very little sense to us. Schreiner has learned the secret: don't isolate it, but instead read it as having elements of both epiphany and apotheosis, preexistence and consummation, eternal sonship and messianic sonship. A spirited and energetic introduction to this neglected mystery of the life of Jesus."

Fred Sanders, professor of theology, Torrey Honors College, Biola University

"The reason this is such an important book is not simply that it is an incredibly insightful treatment of an overlooked aspect of Jesus's life (which it is) but because it demonstrates how the transfiguration deeply enriches our understanding of who Jesus is and who we are in him. This wonderful book will open your eyes to the glory of the Lord Jesus and the glory we will one day share with him."

Peter Orr, New Testament lecturer, Moore Theological College

"Christ's transfiguration is a relatively brief scene in the Synoptics, and yet it offers a breadth of theological and exegetical potential. In this book, Patrick Schreiner helps to unlock this potential by drawing out the transfiguration's canonical, christological, and churchly significance. The result is a primer that is sure to benefit many."

Brandon D. Smith, chair of the Hobbs School of Theology & Ministry and associate professor of theology and early Christianity, Oklahoma Baptist University; co-founder, Center for Baptist Renewal

"Jesus's transfiguration is a fountain of rich theology and a wellspring of joyous hope for contemplation. In The Transfiguration of Christ, Patrick Schreiner excavates treasures of glory, blessing the church with a sure guide to this momentous and oft-neglected event in the life of our Lord. His book will lead you to the summit of revelation to behold the eternal light of the Triune God in the face of Jesus Christ and the unveiling of God's infinite love for his people. Read it, and long for the beatific vision."

L. Michael Morales, professor of biblical studies, Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary

"The transfiguration: The Bible proclaims it. The church celebrates it. The Son reveals himself through it. Why, then, would we neglect it? In this fine contribution, Patrick Schreiner encourages us to gaze anew upon Jesus's glory on the mountain--his future glory as one of us and his preexistent glory as one of a kind with the Father. If you've ignored the transfiguration, you'll do so no longer. If you've loved the transfiguration, you'll come to love it still more."

Michael Kibbe, associate professor of Bible, Great Northern University

The Author

  1. Patrick Schreiner
    Kaden Classen

    Patrick Schreiner

    Patrick Schreiner (PhD, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) is associate professor of New Testament and biblical theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is also an elder at Emmaus Church in Kansas City, Missouri. He is the author of...

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