Authority - Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words


[ A-1,Noun,G1849, exousia ]
denotes authority" (from the impersonal verb exesti, "it is lawful"). From the meaning of "leave or permission," or liberty of doing as one pleases, it passed to that of "the ability or strength with which one is endued," then to that of the "power of authority," the right to exercise power, e.g., Matthew 9:6; Matthew 21:23; 2 Corinthians 10:8; or "the power of rule or government," the power of one whose will and commands must be obeyed by others, e.g., Matthew 28:18; John 17:2; Jude 1:25; Revelation 12:10; Revelation 17:13; more specifically of apostolic "authority," 2 Corinthians 10:8; 2 Corinthians 13:10; the "power" of judicial decision, John 19:10; of "managing domestic affairs," Mark 13:34. By metonymy, or name-change (the substitution of a suggestive word for the name of the thing meant), it stands for "that which is subject to authority or rule," Luke 4:6 (RV, "authority," for the AV "power"); or, as with the English "authority," "one who possesses authority, a ruler, magistrate," Romans 13:1-Romans 13:3; Luke 12:11; Titus 3:1; or "a spiritual potentate," e.g., Ephesians 3:10; Ephesians 6:12; Colossians 1:16; Colossians 2:10, Colossians 2:15; 1 Peter 3:22. The RV usually translates it "authority."

In 1 Corinthians 11:10 it is used of the veil with which a woman is required to cover herself in an assembly or church, as a sign of the Lord's "authority" over the church. See JURISDICTION, LIBERTY, POWER, RIGHT, STRENGTH.

[ A-2,Noun,G2003, epitage ]
an injunction (from epi, "upon," tasso, "to order"), is once rendered "authority," Titus 2:15 (RV, marg., "commandment"). See COMMANDMENT.

Note: The corresponding verb is epitasso, "to command." See COMMAND.

[ A-3,Noun,G5247, huperoche ]
primarily, "a projection, eminence," as a mountain peak, hence, metaphorically, "pre-eminence, superiority, excellency," is once rendered "authority," 1 Timothy 2:2, AV (marg., "eminent place"), RV, "high place," of the position of magistrates; in 1 Corinthians 2:1, "excellency" (of speech). Cp. huperecho, "to surpass." See EXCELLENCY.

[ A-4,Noun,G1413, dunastes ]
akin to dunamis, "power," (Eng., "dynasty,") signifies "a potentate, a high officer;" in Acts 8:27, of a high officer, it is rendered "of great authority;" in Luke 1:52, RV, "princes, (AV, "the mighty"); in 1 Timothy 6:15 it is said of God ("Potentate"). See MIGHTY, POTENTATE.

[ B-1,Verb,G1850, exousiazo ]
akin to A, No. 1, signifies "to exercise power," Luke 22:25; 1 Corinthians 6:12; 1 Corinthians 7:4 (twice). See POWER.

[ B-2,Verb,G2175, katexousiazo ]
kata, "down," intensive, and No. 1, "to exercise authority upon," is used in Matthew 20:25; Mark 10:42.

[ B-3,Verb,G831, authenteo ]
from autos, "self," and a lost noun hentes, probably signifying working (Eng., "authentic"), "to execise authority on one's own account, to domineer over," is used in 1 Timothy 2:12, AV, "to usurp authority," RV, "to have dominion." In the earlier usage of the word it signified one who with his own hand killed either others or himself. Later it came to denote one who acts on his own "authority;" hence, "to exercise authority, dominion." See DOMINION, Note.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words