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Thread: What does "For now we see through a glass, darkly" mean?

  1. #46
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    Re: What does "For now we see through a glass, darkly" mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by CadyandZoe View Post
    One other thing. Our King James Translations say, "now we see in a glass darkly . . ." but it's important to note that during the 1600's a mirror was called "a glass". Paul is actually talking about a mirror as it says in the NASB version.

    1 Corinthians 13:12
    For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.

    Some folks apply this verse to all kinds of knowledge, but Paul's intent was to focus on a specific kind of knowledge -- knowing yourself. What do you see in the mirror? Yourself. And what do you see in a distorted mirror? A distorted image of yourself. If one had a highly polished mirror, then one could see themselves as others see him or her.

    Notice also the contrast between "now" and "then".

    Now:
    we see ourselves as if we are looking into a dim mirror

    Then:
    we see ourselves as if we are looking face to face.

    But looking into a mirror is Paul's analogy to knowing yourself. Coming to know yourself is comparable to looking at yourself in the mirror.

    Now:
    I know myself in part

    Then:
    I will know myself fully just as I also have been fully known.

    "Now" and "then" are relative to me knowing myself. At some point in my life, I don't fully know myself. What I know about myself is distorted, blurry, fuzzy, unclear, vague, etc. But at some point later in my life, I know myself as I have been fully known -- clearly, fully, without distortion, honestly, and aware of all my "blemishes." So to speak. As long as I have a distorted view of myself, I continue to reason like a child, think like a child, and maintain the attitudes of a child. But when I finally know myself, the way I truly am, then I have grown up with a clear picture of what and who I am. Once I know myself as others know me, then I am in the best position to love others. Once I set aside my childish fantasy that I am better than other people, then I am more able to identify with others and treat them with dignity and respect. Once I put away my childish idea that my needs are greater than yours, then I am capable of sacrificial love.

    Paul says love is the better way; and love begins with the acquisition of a true self-image. Those who have been loved much, will love much; those who have been shown mercy; will show mercy to others. Those who have been forgiven much; will show much forgiveness to others -- that is, unless they are thinking like a selfish child.
    1 Cor 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

    Another interpretation worth considering is that Paul was alluding that we don't fully comprehend our image (God's view of us) as we remain in our mortal bodies. But when we become immortal then we see in perfection (face to face).

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    Re: What does "For now we see through a glass, darkly" mean?

    The throne of God is surrounding by glass folks. Crystral

    6 And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.

    So today we look towards the throne thru a glass darkly....one day this glass no longer exisit and or we are able to be behind it and see God face to face.

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    Re: What does "For now we see through a glass, darkly" mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by ross3421 View Post
    The throne of God is surrounding by glass folks. Crystral

    6 And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind.

    So today we look towards the throne thru a glass darkly....one day this glass no longer exisit and or we are able to be behind it and see God face to face.
    The question is "what glass?" You're the one saying it is the "throne of God." That isn't what Paul said. So it really boils down to what *Paul* was referring to--the throne of God or some other "glass?"

    Since Paul didn't mention the "throne of God" it isn't as obvious an assumption as you make it seem. In fact the stronger argument seems to be that it is *not* the throne of God. Rather, it has to do with how well we see, whether it is crystal glass or a metal mirror.

    The problem is, the image is not clear. A crystal glass would be perfectly clear. And Paul is saying the opposite of that.

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    Re: What does "For now we see through a glass, darkly" mean?

    nvm .
    James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

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    Re: What does "For now we see through a glass, darkly" mean?

    [QUOTE]
    Quote Originally Posted by randyk View Post
    So it really boils down to what *Paul* was referring to--the throne of God or some other "glass?"
    1 Cor 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face:

    So who's face is behind the glass? God. So now we look thru a glass but at a point in the future no longer and then we will see God face to face. Thus this would either happen upon death where we will be on the other side of the glass and or when the glass around the throne no longer exists.

    Since Paul didn't mention the "throne of God" it isn't as obvious an assumption as you make it seem.
    No assumption. God currently sits on his throne behind a sea of glass which is a fact. Thus if we now see darkly thru glass and the face to face..... does not appear to be assumption but putting 2 and 2 together. Pretty simple rather.

    The problem is, the image is not clear. A crystal glass would be perfectly clear. And Paul is saying the opposite of that.
    Have you ever tried to look thru a "crystal" glass....??????

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    Re: What does "For now we see through a glass, darkly" mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by CadyandZoe View Post
    One other thing. Our King James Translations say, "now we see in a glass darkly . . ." but it's important to note that during the 1600's a mirror was called "a glass". Paul is actually talking about a mirror as it says in the NASB version.

    1 Corinthians 13:12
    For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.

    Some folks apply this verse to all kinds of knowledge, but Paul's intent was to focus on a specific kind of knowledge -- knowing yourself. What do you see in the mirror? Yourself. And what do you see in a distorted mirror? A distorted image of yourself. If one had a highly polished mirror, then one could see themselves as others see him or her.

    Notice also the contrast between "now" and "then".

    Now:
    we see ourselves as if we are looking into a dim mirror

    Then:
    we see ourselves as if we are looking face to face.

    But looking into a mirror is Paul's analogy to knowing yourself. Coming to know yourself is comparable to looking at yourself in the mirror.

    Now:
    I know myself in part

    Then:
    I will know myself fully just as I also have been fully known.

    "Now" and "then" are relative to me knowing myself. At some point in my life, I don't fully know myself. What I know about myself is distorted, blurry, fuzzy, unclear, vague, etc. But at some point later in my life, I know myself as I have been fully known -- clearly, fully, without distortion, honestly, and aware of all my "blemishes." So to speak. As long as I have a distorted view of myself, I continue to reason like a child, think like a child, and maintain the attitudes of a child. But when I finally know myself, the way I truly am, then I have grown up with a clear picture of what and who I am. Once I know myself as others know me, then I am in the best position to love others. Once I set aside my childish fantasy that I am better than other people, then I am more able to identify with others and treat them with dignity and respect. Once I put away my childish idea that my needs are greater than yours, then I am capable of sacrificial love.

    Paul says love is the better way; and love begins with the acquisition of a true self-image. Those who have been loved much, will love much; those who have been shown mercy; will show mercy to others. Those who have been forgiven much; will show much forgiveness to others -- that is, unless they are thinking like a selfish child.
    Over the years, various threads pop up concerning this topic and always comes down to "the perfect." What or who is "the perfect?"

    A verse that helped me was said by Christ:

    Mt 5: 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

    I have always believed that "the perfect" is Jesus, as the one who will be face to face with, etc. But many who hold to a belief "system" or doctrine that denies the power of God active in the Body today, well as we know, "the perfect" is believed to be the Bible. A Bible that comes in so many translations, the arguing over which translation is correct, is most likely one of the main reasons the Body will never be able to mature without WHOM the perfect really is

    But when I read the Mt 5 verse and was reminded of the 1 Cor 13 verse about being face to face with "the perfect," it was an "AH HA" moment. In this one verse in Mt, Paul's lesson makes greater sense in the elements of knowing oneself fully (therefore you shall be perfect - Mt 5:48a), looking face to face with God after Jesus has returned (the perfect has come - 1 Cor 13:10).
    Slug1--out

    ~Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,~

    ~Honestly, the pain of persecution lets you KNOW you are still alive... IN Christ!~

    ~Colossians 1:28 Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.~


    ~"In the turmoil of any chaos, all it takes is that whisper that is heard like thunder over all the noise and the chaos seems to go away, focus returns and we are comforted in knowing that God has listened to our cry for help."~


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    Re: What does "For now we see through a glass, darkly" mean?

    [QUOTE=ross3421;3435557]

    1 Cor 13:12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face:

    So who's face is behind the glass? God. So now we look thru a glass but at a point in the future no longer and then we will see God face to face. Thus this would either happen upon death where we will be on the other side of the glass and or when the glass around the throne no longer exists.



    No assumption. God currently sits on his throne behind a sea of glass which is a fact. Thus if we now see darkly thru glass and the face to face..... does not appear to be assumption but putting 2 and 2 together. Pretty simple rather.



    Have you ever tried to look thru a "crystal" glass....??????
    I apologize--not bad arguments. However, I'm not sure Paul is referencing this, and it is *his use of the words* that determine the meaning. To be honest, I'm not sure where Paul gets his notion. But it certainly wasn't a known thing among Paul's readers that God was sitting beyond a crystal glass that we, as Christians, are now looking through!

    I go back to the main idea, which is that we do not clearly see either God or His word. We need aids in the matter of discerning both God and His will. It isn't as though God has a problem communicating. It is rather that we, as human beings, have gone our own way and now must make choices in our fallen environment.

    I don't think Paul's readers felt that Paul was talking about how we see God through a crystal glass. Rather, it has to do with the fact our vision of God is obstructed, and we must persevere in matters of knowledge. We can easily be led astray without help from God.

  8. #53
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    Re: What does "For now we see through a glass, darkly" mean?

    Let's keep in mind there is no glass being discussed by Paul. He is speaking of a dark, most likely metal, mirror. Glass mirrors were not invented until the first century and were't popular or common but metal polished mirrors were. He is talking about looking into a dark mirror and seeing an unclear image and comparing that to our knowledge and understanding currently. He says there comes a time when we shall be able to see perfectly clearly, which is to mean understanding everything. There is nothing here about looking through a glass like we think of today such as a window and nothing related to the ground in the eternity surrounding the throne of God.
    James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

  9. #54

    Re: What does "For now we see through a glass, darkly" mean?

    Is this the same thing as "a coat of many colors"?

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    Re: What does "For now we see through a glass, darkly" mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by ewq1938 View Post
    Let's keep in mind there is no glass being discussed by Paul. He is speaking of a dark, most likely metal, mirror. Glass mirrors were not invented until the first century and were't popular or common but metal polished mirrors were. He is talking about looking into a dark mirror and seeing an unclear image and comparing that to our knowledge and understanding currently. He says there comes a time when we shall be able to see perfectly clearly, which is to mean understanding everything. There is nothing here about looking through a glass like we think of today such as a window and nothing related to the ground in the eternity surrounding the throne of God.
    One thing I forgot to say earlier, another writer (James 1) stated something about who is in the mirror. The looker only see's the "surface" (or only the natural) and can't see the inside or the "spiritual" parts of themselves and the spiritual parts of the world around us all. We need the Holy Spirit, the power of the Holy Spirit, to have such revealed (secrets of the heart - 1 Cor 14). So, while we are NOT "face to face" with the perfect (Jesus), we only see darkly, or by only what is revealed. Since not all is revealed to us concerning the spiritual, we see darkly.
    Slug1--out

    ~Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men,~

    ~Honestly, the pain of persecution lets you KNOW you are still alive... IN Christ!~

    ~Colossians 1:28 Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.~


    ~"In the turmoil of any chaos, all it takes is that whisper that is heard like thunder over all the noise and the chaos seems to go away, focus returns and we are comforted in knowing that God has listened to our cry for help."~


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    Re: What does "For now we see through a glass, darkly" mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by ewq1938 View Post
    Let's keep in mind there is no glass being discussed by Paul. He is speaking of a dark, most likely metal, mirror. Glass mirrors were not invented until the first century and were't popular or common but metal polished mirrors were. He is talking about looking into a dark mirror and seeing an unclear image and comparing that to our knowledge and understanding currently. He says there comes a time when we shall be able to see perfectly clearly, which is to mean understanding everything. There is nothing here about looking through a glass like we think of today such as a window and nothing related to the ground in the eternity surrounding the throne of God.
    I agree with you. The reference is to "mirrors," and not to "crystal." Seeing God appears to be compared to seeing ourselves in a metal mirror. We can see ourselves, but not clearly.

    This is a truly good example of how we see the things of God today. We do see spiritual things. But they are murky. We can't see well because we were born in fallen bodies.

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    Re: What does "For now we see through a glass, darkly" mean?

    I have not seen it mentioned but there are some who suggest Paul was making an allusion to Plato's Allegory of the Cave.
    Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?” For it is not wise to ask such questions.
    Ecc 7:10

    John777 exists to me only in quoted form.



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    Re: What does "For now we see through a glass, darkly" mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by teddyv View Post
    I have not seen it mentioned but there are some who suggest Paul was making an allusion to Plato's Allegory of the Cave.
    If what Paul said has to do with the limits of human knowledge we must put it into a Christian context. This is not just a matter of knowing who we are. More, it is a matter of knowing who we are *in God.* We all, as Christians, begin with a level of ignorance, and must work our way in partnership with Christ towards greater conformity with God, and thus better knowledge of Him.

    I think, though, that even in the nonChristian world there is something called a conscience--something even philosophers can see. And although the reality appears to be shifting all the time, the reality actually consists of following the word of God, which conforms to each situation as each situation requires.

    We may think we're being charitable to someone by giving him what we think he needs. But as we pray inwardly, and seek divine guidance, we come to recognize that the need is a little different than we thought. And when we cooperate with the real need of the person, the reality of love becomes evident.

    Some of the value of knowledge is in knowing who we are. But much more important is our discernment of God's partnership with us. We must know His will, do it, and thus have God's blessing. Through this we know who we are and what we should be doing.

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    Re: What does "For now we see through a glass, darkly" mean?

    [QUOTE=randyk;3436029]
    Quote Originally Posted by ross3421 View Post

    I apologize--not bad arguments. However, I'm not sure Paul is referencing this, and it is *his use of the words* that determine the meaning. To be honest, I'm not sure where Paul gets his notion. But it certainly wasn't a known thing among Paul's readers that God was sitting beyond a crystal glass that we, as Christians, are now looking through!

    I go back to the main idea, which is that we do not clearly see either God or His word. We need aids in the matter of discerning both God and His will. It isn't as though God has a problem communicating. It is rather that we, as human beings, have gone our own way and now must make choices in our fallen environment.

    I don't think Paul's readers felt that Paul was talking about how we see God through a crystal glass. Rather, it has to do with the fact our vision of God is obstructed, and we must persevere in matters of knowledge. We can easily be led astray without help from God.
    There is a duel meaning agreed........just pointing out the other literalness of his words.

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    Re: What does "For now we see through a glass, darkly" mean?

    Quote Originally Posted by ewq1938 View Post
    Let's keep in mind there is no glass being discussed by Paul. He is speaking of a dark, most likely metal, mirror. Glass mirrors were not invented until the first century and were't popular or common but metal polished mirrors were. He is talking about looking into a dark mirror and seeing an unclear image and comparing that to our knowledge and understanding currently. He says there comes a time when we shall be able to see perfectly clearly, which is to mean understanding everything. There is nothing here about looking through a glass like we think of today such as a window and nothing related to the ground in the eternity surrounding the throne of God.
    12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

    I would agree with you however there is an object on the other side..... "Face to face" means on the other side of this "mirror" (spectrum) we will see God. And yes God is currently behind a "mirror" (crystal). Note John got a birds eye view of what exactly was the material.

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