Apaugasma – ἀπαὺγασμα (Strong’s #541) Effulgence; reflected brightness

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The word “brightness” in our text is therefore a metaphor and suggests the idea of a flashlight or spotlight. Thus through the original Greek language we see in this word that which is radiated or beamed forth for all to see from an otherwise hidden source. We have all held a flashlight in our hands and pointed it in front of us to overcome the darkness and illuminate our way. But if we were to take that same flashlight and put it to our face and point it at our eyes, its brightness would be so great that it would blind us. Thus, our image of the Divine Glory of God is enlightened and more vivid by the beauty of the original language! The writer states that the revelation of God in Christ is more perfect than God’s revelations under the Old Covenant because Christ is God’s Son (Hebrews 1:2). He pre-existed in the form of God (Philippians 2:6) in the beginning as the Word (John 1:1). He is heir of all things for all was made through Him (Hebrews 1:2; John 1:2).

The application the inspired writer wanted his readers to draw is apparent and fitting. Christ is the “effulgence” of God’s glory (Hebrews 1:3) because as the Word, He became flesh so that the grace and truth of God’s glory could be seen by all (John 1:14,17-18). Jesus is the true light that radiates forth prevailing over all shades of darkness (John 1:5). Just as no one can stare directly into the beam of the flashlight or spotlight without being blinded by the extreme brightness, in like manner, none can see the Father because of His Divine Glory. But, as the light of the flashlight shines forth from the bulb revealing its essence, Jesus shines forth as the visible manifestation by which the knowledge of the glory of God is declared to all (John 1:14,18; 2 Corinthians 4:6). For he who sees Jesus beholds the Father! (John 12:45; 14:9,10).

F1: Samuel Bagster, The Analytical Greek Lexicon (London: Samuel Bagster and Son, 1852), pg. 40.
F2: Samuel Bagster, The Analytical Greek Lexicon (London: Samuel Bagster and Son, 1852), pg. 59.
F3: Dr. Gottlieb Lunemann, H.A.W. Meyer’s Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, vol. 9 (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1883), pg. 396.
F4: Samuel Bagster, The Analytical Greek Lexicon (London: Samuel Bagster and Son, 1852), pg. 36.
F5: G. Abbot-Smith, D.D, D.C.L., LL.D., A Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1936), pg. 45.
F6: W.J. Conybeare, M.A. and J.S. Howson, M.A., Life and Epistles of St. Paul (New York: Charles Scribner, 1856), pg. 499.
F7: Joseph Henry Thayer, D.D., Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1901), pg.
F8: Marcus Dods, D.D., The Expositor’s Greek Testament, The Epistle to the Hebrews, Vol. IV (Michigan: WM. B. Eerdmands Publishing Company, reprinted 1988), pg. 250.
F9: Archibald Thomas Robertson, A.M., D.D.LL.D., Litt. D., Word Pictures in the New Testament, Vol. V (Michigan: Baker Book House, 1932), pg. 335.

Source: apaugasma – Greek Thoughts- Language Studies – StudyLight.org