For reference, here are the verses in question:

Isaiah 42:8

I am the LORD; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols.

John 17:22

The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one,

Is there a difference between God's glory and the glory that Jesus gives? In Isaiah, does God mean that He gives His glory to no god/idol? How should these two passages be seen given the rest of Scripture?

  • 2
    Could it be the case that this question is more suitable for BH.SE? hermeneutics.stackexchange.com
    – telion
    Commented Jun 4 at 21:11
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    @telion I'm not sure; maybe. If enough people upvote your comment, then I'll ask it there Commented Jun 4 at 21:16
  • Anything to do with Bible verse reconciliation is fit for BHSE Commented Jun 5 at 4:55

3 Answers 3


It could be as simple as considering 'glory' in Isaiah 42 to indicate 'honor'. This is within the scope of the word meaning according to Brown, Driver, Briggs:

  1. glory, honour, glorious, abundance 1a) abundance, riches 1b) honour, splendour, glory 1c) honour, dignity 1d) honour, reputation 1e) honour, reverence, glory 1f) glory

It is also in keeping with the immediate context. He, YHVH (that is His name), will give neither honor nor praise to another who claims to be YHVH but has not that name.

Whereas, in John 17 the word 'glory' may carry the meaning of 'judgement' or 'opinion' according to Thayer:

  1. opinion, judgment, view
  2. opinion, estimate, whether good or bad concerning someone 2a) in the NT always a good opinion concerning one, resulting in praise, honour, and glory

If this is the case, then the 'glory' given to Jesus and subsequently to us is the Father's good opinion of Him.

YHVH's honor and praise is given to Jesus the Son (and through Him to us), ala Isaiah 42, since Jesus legitimately came in that name and both Father and Son keep us in that name:

I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. How can ye believe, which receive honour (same word for glory) one of another, and seek not the honour (same word for glory) that cometh from God only? - John 5:43-44

And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. - John 17:11-12

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    "Whereas, in John 17 the word 'glory' may carry the meaning of 'judgement' or 'opinion'." That definition doesn't seem to fit in v. 22 given v. 5 mentioning Jesus having this glory with the Father before the world existed Commented Jun 5 at 16:41
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    @another-prodigal Yep. It's not a static word. The judgement, Righteous, can't really be separated from the substance. Jesus was and is the Righteous One and we, in Him, are judged righteous even though we are not in fact.. Sometimes, as in 17:1, 'glorify, means something more like substantiate. The word under 'glory' (doxa) is a very big word and tough to nail down in English. abarim-publications.com/DictionaryG/d/d-o-k-e-om.html Commented Jun 6 at 11:39

Christ Himself is the new life of a believer. The glory He "gives" is then not of the separated type from His, our glory is His glory:

Colossians 3:3-4

For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.


There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory. - 1 Cor 15:40-41

It is not true that God does not give ANY glory to other beings or things. What he does not give is 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

Jesus has a form of glory.

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

All Jesus asks the Father is that he recover the Glory that he had before he emptied himself and became a man. He does not ask for the Father's glory, but his own glory.

Yet there is the mystery of God. The Holy Spirit enters us and dwells within us. God gives us Himself. In that fashion, He does give us His glory, through our union with Him, not through a transfer of ownership.

  • Perhaps Jesus "sharing" His glory with believers instead of "giving" is more appropriate theologically, though I wonder if the Greek allows for that interpretation in John 17:22. By the way, but doesn't Jesus in John 17:5 pray to have again the glory that He and the Father shared prior to creation? Commented Jun 6 at 6:38
  • To be clear, you are saying we have God's glory because of the Holy Spirit within us? If that is the case, then Jesus didn't give the glory to the twelve at that time because they didn't have the Holy Spirit, yet v. 20 indicates that Jesus had already given His glory to the twelve. Commented Jun 9 at 23:53

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