Authorities • Authority and Power • Divine Authority • Head • Headship • Leadership • License
The Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia
AUTHORITYTerms The Gr. exousia is the chief word translated as “authority” in the NT. Originally it signified the power and freedom of choice (e.g., 1 Cor 7:37, NEB). Ancient wills expressed the “right” of the testator to dispose of his property as he wished. In the NT exousia is used in the sense of
The New Bible Dictionary, Third Edition
AUTHORITY. The NT word is exousia, meaning rightful, actual and unimpeded power to act, or to possess, control, use or dispose of, something or somebody. Whereas dynamis means physical power simply, exousia properly signifies power that is in some sense lawful. exousia may be used with the stress on
Eerdmans Bible Dictionary
Authority. †The possession of and right to use power. The concept is frequently extended to include the persons by whom and the sphere within which that power may be exercised.The Old Testament uses the specific word “authority” only twice, with reference to the ascendance of the righteous to power
Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible
AUTHORITIES ἐξουσίαιI. The plural ‘authorities’ (exousiai) functions, strictly speaking, not as a name but as a cultic epithet denoting celestial forces (see Gladigow 1981:1217–1221, 1226–1231). The term is derived from Gk ἐξουσία and corresponds to the verb ἔξεστιν (‘have permission, possibility,
Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels
Authority and Power
Authority and powerAuthority is the right to effect control over objects, individuals or events. While human authority may be delegated, God’s* authority arises from himself alone. Power, meanwhile, is the ability to bring about what one desires. In the Gospels God reveals his authority and power in
Dictionary of Paul and His Letters
AuthorityThe term exousia (and the related words exousiazō, exesti) is used of “ability,” “freedom” and “right” in the Pauline writings. When applied to Paul himself, exousia refers to a “right” that stems from his commission as apostle to the Gentiles. When used of the apostolate, the term carries
Dictionary of the Later New Testament & Its Developments
AuthorityChristian writers in the late first century and early second century expressed divergent views on authority in the church. While a discernible trend toward hierarchical structure can be found in some of their works, other authors clearly reacted against such a trend. The NT documents covered
The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church
authority. The power or right to persuade individuals or groups to obey precepts or recommendations. In the State, the coercive power of the government can ensure compliance, and in the period when the Church was identified with organized society, Church authority was enforced with temporal penalties.
The New Unger’s Bible Dictionary
AUTHORITY. The power or right to perform certain acts without impediment. It is based upon some form of law, whether divine, civil, or moral. Supreme authority is God’s alone (Rom. 13:1), hence all human authority is derived.There is no specific Heb. word for authority, but rbôt (Prov. 29:2) and tōqep
Encyclopedia of the Reformed Faith
AuthorityIn Reformed thought, Christian belief is not based on a rational philosophy devised by the human mind but on divine revelation which is the Scriptures of the OT and the NT. The biblical writers were divinely inspired when they wrote their history, songs and psalms, and theological expositions.
Nelson’s New Illustrated Bible Dictionary
AUTHORITY — the power or right to do something, particularly to give orders and see that they are followed. The word “authority” as used in the Bible usually means a person’s right to do certain things because of the position or office held by that person. This word emphasizes the legality and right,
Key passages
Mt 28:18

And Jesus approached and spoke to them, saying, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.

Jn 5:27

And he has granted him authority to carry out judgment, because he is the Son of Man.

Jn 19:10–11

So Pilate said to him, “Will you not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you, and I have authority to crucify you?” Jesus replied to him, “You would not have any authority over me unless it was given to you from above. For this reason the one who handed me over to you …

Ro 13:1–2

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except by God, and those that exist are put in place by God. So then, the one who resists authority resists the ordinance which is from God, and those who resist will receive …

Eph 1:19–23

and what is the surpassing greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his mighty strength which he has worked in Christ, raising him from the dead and seating him at his right hand in the heavenly places, above all rule and authority and power and lordship …

See also
Topics & Themes