More Information
ISBN: 9781783689637
Imprint: Langham Monographs
Format: Paperback
Dimensions (mm): 229 x 152 x 16
Publication Date: 14/09/2014
Pages: 296
Language: English

Seeing the Face of God

£21.99
Scrutinising previous scholarship and based on careful exegesis of several crucial passages in the Penteteuch, this publication presents the motif ”seeing the face of God” in an entirely new context of divine self-revelation.

Author Bios

Puttagunta Satyavani
(By)

PUTTAGUNTA SATYAVANI, a native of Andhra Pradesh, India formally trained as a science teacher but later received her Masters in Theology from Union Biblical Seminary, India. She holds an MLitt from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland and received her PhD from Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland. For two decades before returning to academic work Dr Satyavani worked in church planting and ministry among university students and illiterate villagers in both South and North India. After receiving her PhD she returned to India and at present is in ministry among both educated and illiterate people in the Himachal Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh regions.

Endorsements

In viewing ‘the face of the Lord’ and ‘the glory of the Lord’ as referring to the physical, corporeal presence of God, Satyavani presents an intriguing study of the self-revelation of God which challenges received views of divine personhood.

Chloe Starr, PhD
Assistant Professor,
Asian Christianity and Theology,
Yale Divinity School


. . . the virtue of this work is its insistence on situating these texts within the wider narrative sequence of the Pentateuch – an approach long overdue in the long running discussion of this important topic, “Seeing the Face of God”.

David Shepherd, PhD
Assistant Professor of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament
Loyola Institute, Trinity College, Dublin


This study on the `Face of God’ is particularly fascinating because the author relates seeing the face of God to his self-revelation. Besides, the relevance of this study here in South Asia is fairly obvious, for people go to a temple here to have darshana [divine seeing] of a sacred image – that is, they not only go to `see’ God, but to be seen by God. So this study is of interest and value from two perspectives - biblical and contextual.

Brian Wintle
Regional Secretary, India, Asia Theological Association

Table of Contents

  1. Foreword
  2. Acknowledgements
  3. Chapter 1
    1. The Subject and Approach
      1. 1.1 Introducing the Subject of Study
      2. 1.2 Stating the Problem
      3. 1.3 Reviewing the Previous Literature on Seeing the Face of God
      4. 1.4 Assessing Previous Approaches
      5. 1.5 Significance of the Divine-Revelations in the Pentateuch
      6. 1.6 The Different Functions of פנים “Face” in the Pentateuch
        1. 1.6.1 The Function of פנים “Face” with Personal/Pronominal Suffixes
        2. 1.6.2 Prepositional Phrases Developed with the Noun פנים “Face”
          1. 1.6.2.1 The function of the phrase לפני “before”
          2. 1.6.2.2 The function of the phrase מפני “from before”
          3. 1.6.2.3 The function of the phrase מלפני
      7. 1.7 A Brief Reflection on Methodological Issues and Approaches
      8. 1.8 Methodological Approach in this Study
      9. 1.9 Specific Method in this Study and the Chapter Outline
  4. Section I: Chapters 2-3: Texts from Genesis
  5. Chapter 2
    1. The Self-Revelations of YHWH/God in Genesis
      1. 2.1 Introduction
      2. 2.2 Genesis 3:8–10: God Walks
        1. 2.2.1 Canonical Context
        2. 2.2.2 Divine Self-Revelation and Communication
        3. 2.2.3 The Mode of Self-Revelation, Human Recognition and Response
        4. 2.2.3 The Function/Significance of Divine Revelation
        5. 2.2.4 Conclusion
      3. 2.3 Genesis 12:1–8: YHWH Calls
        1. 2.3.1 Canonical Context
        2. 2.3.2 Divine Self-Revelation and Communication
        3. 2.3.3 The Mode of Self-Revelation, Human Recognition and Response
        4. 2.3.4 The Function/Significance of Divine Revelation
        5. 2.3.5 Conclusion
      4. 2.4 Genesis 15:1–21: YHWH Appears in a Vision
        1. 2.4.1 Canonical Context
        2. 2.4.2 Divine Self-Revelation and Communication
        3. 2.4.3 The Mode of Self-Revelation, Human Recognition, and Response
        4. 2.4.4 The Function/Significance of Divine Revelation
        5. 2.4.5 Conclusion
      5. 2.5 Genesis 16:7–14: YHWH Sees
        1. 2.5.1 Canonical Context
        2. 2.5.2 Divine Self-Revelation and Communication
        3. 2.5.3 The Mode of Self-Revelation, Human Recognition and Response
        4. 2.5.4 The Function/Significance of Divine Revelation
        5. 2.5.5 Conclusion
      6. 2.6 Genesis 17:1–5: YHWH Appears
        1. 2.6.1 Canonical Context
        2. 2.6.2 Divine Self-Revelation and Communication
        3. 2.6.3 The Mode of Self-Revelation, Human Recognition and Response
        4. 2.6.4 The Function/Significance of Divine Revelation
        5. 2.6.5 Conclusion
      7. 2.7 Genesis 18:1–8; 16–22: God Eats Food
        1. 2.7.1 Canonical Context
        2. 2.7.2 Divine Self-Revelation and Communication
        3. 2.7.3 The Mode of Self-Revelation, Human Recognition, and Response
        4. 2.7.4 The Function/Significance of Divine Revelation
        5. 2.7.5 Conclusion
      8. 2.8 Genesis 28:12–22: God/YHWH Stands and Speaks
        1. 2.8.1 Canonical Context
        2. 2.8.2 Divine Self-Revelation and Communication
        3. 2.8.3 The Mode of Self-Revelation, Human Recognition and Response
        4. 2.8.4 The Function/Significance of Divine Revelation
        5. 2.8.5 Conclusion
      9. 2.9 Concluding Remarks
  6. Chapter 3
    1. “I Saw God ‘Face-to-Face’ and My Life is Rescued”: Genesis 32:25–32
      1. 3.1 Introduction
      2. 3.2 Canonical Context
      3. 3.3 Exegetical Study of Genesis 32:25–32
        1. 3.3.1 Conflict and Conversation between the Man and Jacob: vv. 25–27
          1. 3.3.1.1 Jacob stays alone (v. 25)
          2. 3.3.1.2 A man touches Jacob’s hip (v. 26)
          3. 3.3.1.3 Conversation between the man and Jacob (v. 27)
          4. 3.3.1.4 The name Jacob is changed to Israel (vv. 28–30)
        2. 3.3.2 Jacob Sees God “Face-to-Face”, and His Life is Saved: vv. 31–32
          1. 3.3.2.1 Jacob calls the place Peniel (v. 31a)
          2. 3.3.2.2 Jacob saw God face-to-face (v. 31b)
          3. 3.3.2.3 Jacob’s life is saved (v. 31c)
      4. 3.4 Mode of Self-Revelation, Human Recognition, and Response
      5. 3.5 The Function/Significance of Divine Revelation
      6. 3.6 Conclusion
      7. 3.7 The Question of Background of the Motif פני־יהוה/אלהים “Face of YHWH/God
      8. 3.8 Beyond the Present Text
  7. Section II: Chapters 4-5: Texts from Exodus
  8. Chapter 4
    1. The Self-Revelations of YHWH/God in Exodus
      1. 4.1 Introduction
      2. 4.2 Exodus 3:1–12: YHWH/God Appears in the Midst of Fire
        1. 4.2.1 Canonical Context
        2. 4.2.2 Divine Self-Revelation and Communication
        3. 4.2.3 The Mode of Self-Revelation, Human Recognition, and Response
        4. 4.2.4 The Function/Significance of Divine Revelation
        5. 4.2.5 Conclusion
      3. 4.3 Exodus 24:1–18: YHWH/God Appears in the Cloud and Fire
        1. 4.3.1 Canonical Context
        2. 4.3.2 Divine Self-Revelation and Communication
        3. 4.3.3 The Mode of Self-Revelation, Human Recognition, and Response
        4. 4.3.4 The Function/Significance of Divine Revelation
        5. 4.3.5 Conclusion
      4. 4.4 Concluding Remark
  9. Chapter 5
    1. “You Cannot See My Face; No One Can See Me, and Live”: Exodus 33:12–23
      1. 5.1 Introduction
      2. 5.2 Canonical Context
      3. 5.3 Exegetical Study of the Text
        1. 5.3.1 The Divine Task Given and Moses’ Needs Expressed: vv. 12–13
          1. 5.3.1.1 Moses’ dialogue with YHWH over the accompaniment (12a)
        2. 5.3.1.2 Knowing by name, finding grace and knowing YHWH’s ways, and knowing YHWH (12b–13)
      4. 5.3.2 Moses’ Requests Heard and YHWH’s Presence Promised: 33:14–17
        1. 5.3.2.1 YHWH promises to accompany Moses (v. 14)
        2. 5.3.2.2 Moses’ continued insistence for the presence of YHWH (vv. 15–16)
        3. 5.3.2.3 Moses found grace in the eyes of YHWH (v. 17)
      5. 5.3.3 Moses’ Continued Requests and YHWH’s Responses: vv. 18–20
        1. 5.3.3.1 Moses’ desire to see the glory of YHWH (v. 18)
        2. 5.3.3.2 YHWH gives details of his self-revelation (v. 19)
        3. 5.3.3.3 “You will not be able to see my face; for no man shall see me, and live” (v. 20)
      6. 5.3.4 The Divine Revelation Promised and Moses’ Desire Fulfilled: 33:21–34:10, 28–35
        1. 5.3.4.1 The details of the proposed divine revelation (vv. 21–23)
        2. 5.3.4.2 YHWH reveals himself to Moses on the Mountain (34:1–7)
        3. 5.3.4.3 Moses bows before YHWH and worships (Exod 34:8–10)
        4. 5.3.4.4 The shining in Moses’ face (Exod 34:27–29)
        5. 5.3.4.5 Fear generated by the shining in Moses’ face (Exod 34:30–32)
        6. 5.3.4.6 Moses puts a veil on his face (Exod 34:33–35)
      7. 5.4 Mode of Self-Revelation, Human Recognition, and Response
      8. 5.5 The Function/Significance of the Motif
      9. 5.6 Conclusion
      10. 5.7 The Question of Background of the Motif פני־יהוה “Face of YHWH/God”
      11. 5.8 Beyond the Mountain
  10. Section III: Chapters 6:Text from Numbers
  11. Chapter 6
    1. YHWH Makes His Face Shine upon and Lifts His Face toward Israel: Numbers 6:22–27
      1. 6.1 Introduction
      2. 6.2 Canonical Context
      3. 6.3 Exegetical Study of Numbers 6:22–27
        1. 6.3.1 The Pronouncement of YHWH’s Blessing to the Israelites: vv. 22–23
          1. 6.3.1.1 YHWH blesses his people to keep/protect them (v. 24)
          2. 6.3.1.2 YHWH shines his face upon his people out of his grace (v. 25)
          3. 6.3.1.3 YHWH lifts his face toward his people to grant peace (v. 26)
        2. 6.3.2 Name of YHWH and Future Blessings: v. 27
          1. 6.3.2.1 Putting the name (27a)
          2. 6.3.2.2 The Name and the Blessing (27b)
      4. 6.4 Mode of Self-Revelation, Human Recognition, and Response
      5. 6.5 Function and Significance
      6. 6.6 Conclusion
      7. 6.7 The Question of the Background of “Shining and Lifting YHWH’s Face”
      8. 6.8 Looking beyond Numbers 6:22–27
  12. Chapter 7
    1. Conclusion
      1. 7.1 Conclusions in Summary
      2. 7.2 The Face of God and His Physicality
        1. 7.2.1 The Face of YHWH/God
        2. 7.2.2 The Physicality of YHWH/God and His Human Form
          1. 7.2.2.1 The Appearance of YHWH/God in Human Form: Normal Life Situations
          2. 7.2.2.2 Appearance of YHWH/God in Human Form: Visions and Dreams
            1. 7.2.2.2.1 Visions
            2. 7.2.2.2.2 Dreams
          3. 7.2.2.3 Human Form and the Bodily Aspect in the Appearance of YHWH/God
            1. 7.2.2.3.1 Human Form
            2. 7.2.2.3.2 Human Body
  13. Appendices
  14. Appendix I
    1. Contribution of Canonical Context and the Interpretative Results of the Texts Studied
      1. I.1 In the Texts in Genesis
      2. I.2 In the Texts in Exodus
      3. I.3 In the Text in Numbers 6:22–27
  15. Appendix II
    1. Relevance, Usefulness and Future Scope of this Dissertation
      1. II.1 Relevance and Usefulness for Other Fields of Research
      2. II.2 Scope for Future Research
      3. II.3 A Closing Reflection
  16. Bibliography
    1. Web articles

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