Published: 22-08-2012, 11:35

Epiphany: The Meaning of Epiphany


Epiphany: The History of Epiphany

Epiphany: Folklore and Customs

Epiphany: Religious Customs

The word "epiphany” comes from the Greek term epiphaneia, meaning "manifestation,” "appearance,” or "showing forth.” In the ancient world, the term designated occasions on which visiting kings or emperors appeared before the people. The writers of the Gospels used this term to describe occasions on which Jesus’ divinity revealed itself to those around him. Ancient writers applied another Greek word, theophaneia, or "theophany,” to the appearance of a god before human beings. Early Christians also used the word theophany in reference to their Epiphany celebrations. This usage continued in the Greek world, where today the Greek Orthodox Church refers to Epiphany as Theophania. Moreover, Eastern Orthodox Christians sometimes call Epiphany the "Feast of Lights.” This name reflects their belief that baptism confers spiritual illumination.