Ruler - Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words


[ 1,,G758, archon ]
a ruler, chief, prince," is translated "rulers," e.g., in 1 Corinthians 2:6, 1 Corinthians 2:8, RV (AV, "princes"); "ruler," Revelation 1:5 (AV, "prince"). See MAGISTRATE, PRINCE, No. 2.

[ 2,,G746, arche ]
"a rule, sovereignty," is rendered "rulers" in Luke 12:11, RV (AV, "magistrates"). See BEGINNING.

[ 3,,G2888, kosmokrator ]
denotes "a ruler of this world" (contrast pantokrator, "almighty"). In Greek literature, in Orphic hymns, etc., and in rabbinic writings, it signifies a "ruler" of the whole world, a world lord. In the NT it is used in Ephesians 6:12, "the world rulers (of this darkness)," RV, AV, "the rulers (of the darkness) of this world." The context ("not against flesh and blood") shows that not earthly potentates are indicated, but spirit powers, who, under the permissive will of God, and in consequence of human sin, exercise satanic and therefore antagonistic authority over the world in its present condition of spiritual darkness and alienation from God. The suggested rendering "the rulers of this dark world" is ambiguous and not phraseologically requisite. Cp. John 12:31; John 14:30; John 16:11; 2 Corinthians 4:4.

[ 4,,G4173, politarches ]
"a ruler of a city" (polis, "a city," archo, "to rule"), "a politarch," is used in Acts 17:6, Acts 17:8, of the magistrates in Thessalonica, before whom the Jews, with a mob of market idlers, dragged Jason and other converts, under the charge of showing hospitality to Paul and Silas, and of treasonable designs against the emperor. Thessalonica was a "free" city and the citizens could choose their own politarchs. The accuracy of Luke has been vindicated by the use of the term, for while classical authors use the terms poliarchos and politarchos of similar "rulers," the form used by Luke is supported by inscriptions discovered at Thessalonica, one of which mentions Sosipater, Secundus, and Gaius among the politarchs, names occurring as those of Paul's companions. Prof. Burton of Chicago, in a paper on "The Politarchs," has recorded 17 inscriptions which attest their existence, thirteen of which belong to Macedonia and five presumably to Thessalonica itself, illustrating the influence of Rome in the municipal organization of the place.

[ 5,,G755, architriklinos ]
denotes "the superintendent of a banquet," whose duty lay in arranging the tables and food (arche, "ruler," triklinos, lit., "a room with three couches"), John 2:8-John 2:9.


(1) In Mark 13:9; Luke 21:12, AV, hegemon, "a leader, a governor of a province," is translated "ruler" (RV, "governor"). See Gov. ERNOR, PRINCE, No. 3.

(2) For "ruler" of the synagogue, See SYNAGOGUE.

(3) In Matthew 24:45, AV, kathistemi, "to appoint," is translated "hath made ruler" (RV, "hath set"); so in Matthew 24:47; Matthew 25:21, Matthew 25:23; Luke 12:42, Luke 12:44.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words