In the Hebrew Scriptures, the word most often translated “glory” is ka·vohdhʹ, which basically has the sense of “heaviness.” (Compare Na 2:9, where ka·vohdhʹ is rendered “heavy amount,” and 1Sa 4:18, where the related adjective ka·vedhʹ is rendered “heavy.”) Thus, glory may refer to anything that makes a person or a thing seem weighty or impressive, such as material wealth (Ps 49:16), position, or reputation. (Ge 45:13) The Greek equivalent of ka·vohdhʹ is doʹxa, which originally meant “opinion; reputation,” but in the Christian Greek Scriptures came to mean “glory.” Among its senses are repute or “honor” (Lu 14:10), splendor (Lu 2:9; 1Co 15:40), and that which brings honor to its owner or maker (1Co 11:7).
Often the Scriptures mention glory in connection with Jehovah God. As to its meaning in these cases the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, edited by G. Kittel, explains: “If in relation to man [ka·vohdhʹ] denotes that which makes him impressive and demands recognition, whether in terms of material possessions or striking [dignity or importance], in relation to God it implies that which makes God impressive to man.” (Translated by G. Bromiley, 1971, Vol. II, p. 238) So glory may refer to an impressive evidence of God’s almighty power. Thus, the visible heavenly bodies are “declaring the glory of God.” (Ps 19:1) On Mount Sinai, “Jehovah’s glory” was evidenced by such fearsome manifestations as “a devouring fire.”—Ex 24:16-18; compare 16:7, 10; 40:34.
Concerning Jesus’ first miracle, the Bible says that “he made his glory manifest.” (Joh 2:11) Glory here refers to an impressive evidence of miraculous power identifying Jesus as the promised Messiah. (Compare Joh 11:40-44.) On another occasion, Jesus prayed: “Father, glorify me alongside yourself with the glory that I had alongside you before the world was.” (Joh 17:5) Jesus used the term here to refer to the exalted state that he enjoyed in heaven before coming to earth. In answer to that prayer, Jehovah “glorified his Servant, Jesus,” by resurrecting him and bringing him back into heaven. (Ac 3:13-15) At Jesus’ transfiguration the apostles who were present “saw his glory.” (Lu 9:29-32) This has to do with the regal “magnificence” that Jesus was to receive at his “presence” in Kingdom power.—2Pe 1:16.
God’s servants are admonished to “do all things for God’s glory.” (1Co 10:31) God’s glory is made manifest through the honor or praise that is given him. One’s conduct can cause others to ‘give glory to God.’ (Mt 5:16; 1Pe 2:12) Christians who truly respond to Jehovah’s direction are “transformed . . . from glory to glory,” continually making progress in reflecting God’s glory. (2Co 3:18) On the other hand, we should beware of seeking glory from men, as did some in the first century. (Joh 12:42, 43) Both Jesus and the apostle Paul set a fine example in not seeking or accepting glory from men.—Joh 5:41; 8:50; 1Th 2:5, 6.