Lord, Lordship - Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words

Lord, Lordship

[ A-1,Noun,G2962, kurios ]
properly an adjective, signifying having power" (kuros) or "authority," is used as a noun, variously translated in the NT, "'Lord,' 'master,' 'Master,' 'owner,' 'Sir,' a title of wide significance, occurring in each book of the NT save Titus and the Epistles of John. It is used
(a) of an owner, as in Luke 19:33, cp. Matthew 20:8; Acts 16:16; Galatians 4:1; or of one who has the disposal of anything, as the Sabbath, Matthew 12:8;
(b) of a master, i.e., one to whom service is due on any ground, Matthew 6:24; Matthew 24:50; Ephesians 6:5;
(c) of an Emperor or King, Acts 25:26; Revelation 17:14;
(d) of idols, ironically, 1 Corinthians 8:5, cp. Isaiah 26:13;
(e) as a title of respect addressed to a father, Matthew 21:30, a husband, 1 Peter 3:6, a master, Matthew 13:27; Luke 13:8, a ruler, Matthew 27:63, an angel, Acts 10:4; Revelation 7:14;
(f) as a title of courtesy addressed to a stranger, John 12:21; John 20:15; Acts 16:30; from the outset of His ministry this was a common form of address to the Lord Jesus, alike by the people, Matthew 8:2; John 4:11, and by His disciples, Matthew 8:25; Luke 5:8; John 6:68;
(g) kurios is the Sept. and NT representative of Heb. Jehovah ('Lord' in Eng. versions), See Matthew 4:7; James 5:11, e.g., of adon, Lord, Matthew 22:44, and of Adonay, Lord, Matthew 1:22; it also occurs for Elohim, God, 1 Peter 1:25.

"Thus the usage of the word in the NT follows two main lines: one-- a-f, customary and general, the other, g, peculiar to the Jews, and drawn from the Greek translation of the OT.

"Christ Himself assumed the title, Matthew 7:21-Matthew 7:22; Matthew 9:38; Matthew 22:41-Matthew 22:45; Mark 5:19 (cp. Psalms 66:16; the parallel passage, Luke 8:39, has 'God'); Luke 19:31; John 13:13, apparently intending it in the higher senses of its current use, and at the same time suggesting its OT associations.

"His purpose did not become clear to the disciples until after His resurrection, and the revelation of His Deity consequent thereon. Thomas, when he realized the significance of the presence of a mortal wound in the body of a living man, immediately joined with it the absolute title of Deity, saying, 'My Lord and my God,' John 20:28. Thereafter, except in Acts 10:4; Revelation 7:14, there is no record that kurios was ever again used by believers in addressing any save God and the Lord Jesus; cp. Acts 2:47 with Acts 4:29-Acts 4:30.

"How soon and how completely the lower meaning had been superseded is seen in Peter's declaration in his first sermon after the resurrection, 'God hath made Him, Lord,' Acts 2:36, and that in the house of Cornelius, 'He is Lord of all,' Acts 10:36; cp. Deuteronomy 10:14; Matthew 11:25; Acts 17:24. In his writings the implications of his early teaching are confirmed and developed. Thus Psalms 34:8, 'O taste and See that Jehovah is good,' is applied to the Lord Jesus, 1 Peter 2:3, and 'Jehovah of Hosts, Him shall ye sanctify,' Isaiah 8:13, becomes 'sanctify in your hearts Christ as Lord,' 1 Peter 3:15.

"So also James who uses kurios alike of God, James 1:7 (cp. James 1:5); James 3:9; James 4:15; James 5:4, James 5:10-James 5:11, and of the Lord Jesus, James 1:1 (where the possibility that kai is intended epexegetically, i.e. = even, cp. 1 Thessalonians 3:11, should not be overlooked); James 2:1 (lit., 'our Lord Jesus Christ of glory,' cp. Psalms 24:7; Psalms 29:3; Acts 7:2; 1 Corinthians 2:8); 1 Corinthians 5:7-8, while the language of James 4:10; James 5:15, is equally applicable to either.

"Jude, Jude 1:4, speaks of 'our only--Lord, Jesus Christ,' and immediately, Jude 1:5, uses 'Lord' of God (See the remarkable marg. here), as he does later, Jude 1:9, Jude 1:14.

"Paul ordinarily uses kurios of the Lord Jesus, 1 Corinthians 1:3, e.g., but also on occasion, of God, in quotations from the OT, 1 Corinthians 3:20, e.g., and in his own words, 1 Corinthians 3:5, cp. 1 Corinthians 3:10. It is equally appropriate to either in 1 Corinthians 7:25; 2 Corinthians 3:16; 2 Corinthians 8:21; 1 Thessalonians 4:6, and if 1 Corinthians 11:32 is to be interpreted by 1 Corinthians 10:21-22, the Lord Jesus is intended, but if by Hebrews 12:5-Hebrews 12:9, then kurios here also = God. 1 Timothy 6:15-16 is probably to be understood of the Lord Jesus, cp. Revelation 17:14.

"Though John does not use 'Lord' in his Epistles, and though, like the other Evangelists, he ordinarily uses the personal Name in his narrative, yet he occasionally speaks of Him as 'the Lord,' John 4:1; John 6:23; John 11:2; John 20:20; John 21:12.

"The full significance of this association of Jesus with God under the one appellation, 'Lord,' is seen when it is remembered that these men belonged to the only monotheistic race in the world. To associate with the Creator one known to be a creature, however exalted, though possible to Pagan philosophers, was quite impossible to a Jew.

"It is not recorded that in the days of His flesh any of His disciples either addressed the Lord, or spoke of Him, by His personal Name. Where Paul has occasion to refer to the facts of the Gospel history he speaks of what the Lord Jesus said, Acts 20:35, and did, 1 Corinthians 11:23, and suffered, 1 Thessalonians 2:15; 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10. It is our Lord Jesus who is coming, 1 Thessalonians 2:19, etc. In prayer also the title is given, 1 Thessalonians 3:11; Ephesians 1:3; the sinner is invited to believe on the Lord Jesus, Acts 16:31; Acts 20:21, and the saint to look to the Lord Jesus for deliverance, Romans 7:24-Romans 7:25, and in the few exceptional cases in which the personal Name stands alone a reason is always discernible in the immediate context.

"The title 'Lord,' as given to the Savior, in its full significance rests upon the resurrection, Acts 2:36; Romans 10:9; Romans 14:9, and is realized only in the Holy Spirit, 1 Corinthians 12:3." * [* From Notes on Thessalonians, by Hogg and Vine, p. 25.]

[ A-2,Noun,G1203, despotes ]
"a master, lord, one who possesses supreme authority," is used in personal address to God in Luke 2:29; Acts 4:24; Revelation 6:10; with reference to Christ, 2 Peter 2:1; Jude 1:4; elsewhere it is translated "master," "masters," 1 Timothy 6:1-2; 2 Timothy 2:21 (of Christ); Titus 2:9; 1 Peter 2:18. See MASTER.

Note: For rabboni, rendered "Lord" in the AV of Mark 10:51, See RABBONI.

[ A-3,Noun,G3175, megistan ]
akin to megistos, "greatest," the superlative degree of megas, "great," denotes "chief men, nobles;" it is rendered "lords" in Mark 6:21, of nobles in Herod's entourage; "princes" in Revelation 6:15; Revelation 18:23, RV (AV, "great men").

[ B-1,Verb,G2961, kurieuo ]
denotes "to be lord of, to exercise lordship over," Luke 22:25; Romans 6:9, Romans 6:14; Romans 7:1; Romans 14:9; 2 Corinthians 1:24; 1 Timothy 6:15; See DOMINION, B, No. 1.

[ B-2,Verb,G2634, katakurieuo ]
a strengthened form of No. 1, is rendered "lording it" in 1 Peter 5:3, RV: See DOMINION, B, No. 2.

[ C-1,Adjective,G2960, kuriakos ]
from kurios (A, No. 1), signifies "pertaining to a lord or master;" "lordly" is not a legitimate rendering for its use in the NT, where it is used only of Christ; in 1 Corinthians 11:20, of the Lord's Supper, or the Supper of the Lord (See FEAST); in Revelation 1:10, of the Day of the Lord (See DAY, No. 1).

Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words