Rev 4:8 Trisagion

Steve Puluka spuluka at
Fri Nov 26 13:36:04 EST 1999

>From: "Tony Costa" <tmcos at>
>  I had a question re: the 'trisagion' found in Rev 4:8. It appears 3 
>times, "holy, holy, holy". This comes from Isaiah 6:3 which in both
>the LXX and MT also have "holy" 3 times. However, there is another MS or 
>MSS which have "hAGIOS" appearing 9 times at Rev 4:8. This does
>not appear as a textual variant, but seems to have been added for emphasis. 
>Any thoughts on why this is the case? Many thanks.

When the trisagion is sung during the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom we 
repeat this invocation three times, once for each person of the trinity.  
Perhaps this scribe in Rev. 4:8 is picking this up from the Liturgical 
practice that was on his lips many times per day.

This invocation is also part of the standard "beginning" prayers to every 
liturgical service, vespers, compline, matins and all the hours.

Steve Puluka
Adult Education Instructor
Byzantine Catholic Archeparchy of Pittsburgh

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