Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Next to Last Post on Authority

In order to write what I'm thinking on authority, I have been studying in the NT.

Here's what I have found:

There are seven words in Greek I have been able to identify which are translated "authority."

I list them here as a basis for stating my conclusions from my personal experience, feedback I have had from others, and a brief study of the Bible (for a list of scripture references click on the word):

1. exousia -- 93 uses
  • power of choice; leave or permission
  • physical or mental power
  • power of authority (influence) and of right (privilege)
  • the power of the rule of government

2. huperecho (v) -- 5 uses
  • to have or to hold over
  • to stand out above
  • superior in rank

3. huperoche (n) -- 2 uses
  • elevation/pre-eminence/superiority

4. katexousiazo -- 2 uses
  • to exercise authority
  • to wield power

5. kuriotes -- 4 uses
  • dominion/power/lordship

6. baros -- 6 uses (once as authority, most often as burden)
  • heaviness/weight/burden/trouble
7. authenteo -- 1 use (authority of women over men--they are not allowed to kill men!)
  • one who with his own hands kills another or himself
  • one who acts on his own authority/autocratic
  • an absolute master
  • to govern/ exercise dominion over
There are other words which may mean authority but are translated into English as command, commandment or related terms. These are mostly used with specific reference to principles being taught and not with people that I have noticed. That strikes me as a separate discussion.

3 comments:

craig v. said...

Thanks for the research. I look forward to reading and thinking about your conclusions.

Carey said...

Me too. I look forward to your presentation. You are what the Word calls a "teacher." So go ahead and give me all you got.
Meanwhile, I'll say that, of the Greek words that you have shown us, with their definitions, I like #1 the best, and #7 the least. The rest are, predictably enough, somewhere in between.

ded said...

craig v and carey,
Thanks for reading!!