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Subject Religion » Christianity

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631232032.2001.x


Greek title meaning omnipotent or all-sovereign, used in the Septuagint to translate the word Sabaoth; in Job it also translates Shaddai. Septuagint Isaias simply transliterates the Hebrew, ‘Sabaoth’, and the Hebrew word enters Christian Greek, particularly through the Seraphic hymn incorporated into the Anaphora. In patristic and liturgical Greek ‘Sabaoth’ is usually, like pantokrator , treated as a proper noun, in apposition to ‘God’. The title pantokrator is applied to Christ in Apocalypse 1: 8 and in Christian texts used of the Trinity. In the Creed it is the particular epithet of the Father. According to dionysius the areopagite in Divine Names , 10, God is called Pantocrator ‘because as the omnipotent foundation of everything he preserves and embraces all the world’. As an icon type, associated in particular with the image of Christ in the central cupola of many Byzantine churches, the Pantocrator is normally a half-length figure of Christ holding a closed book, his other hand raised in what may be a gesture of blessing. The icon represents Christ's divine transcendence and at the same time his presence in the liturgical assembly. As worshippers face east, the icon is above them, present, but not as object of their gaze. The image reproduced here is based on the Pantocrator in the dome of the monastery church at Daphni in Greece (eleventh century). ( 1990 ), ‘ The Transformation ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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