Biblical Metaphors for Holiness
Posted on May 3, 2015 by Howard Snyder
God is holy—which means loving, just, true, merciful, relational, sovereign, and wholly self-consistent in his character.
So naturally, the Bible is full of holiness.
A good way to understand holiness is to examine metaphors the Bible uses for holiness. Just as the Bible uses many images and emblems to show us what conversion is, or what the kingdom of God is, so also with holiness.
A Medley of Metaphors
At root, holiness means to love God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind, and our neighbor as ourselves (Luke 10:27). Biblically, holiness is about our relationship with God, other people, and the land. This is so basic that naturally we would expect the Bible to picture it in many ways, multidimensionally.
I find over fifty biblical metaphors for holiness. Here’s the list, then several observations: