arche (greek) – Strong’s 746

arche (verb) – ruler(s)

From Strong’s Lexicon

Note: we are interested in the aspect related to rank which is the 5th definition. The other definitions are provided to inform the reader that this word is mostly used to signify things other than rulers/leaders.

  1. beginning, origin
  2. the person or thing that commences, the first person or thing in a series, the leader
  3. that by which anything begins to be, the origin, the active cause
  4. the extremity of a thing
    1. of the corners of a sail
  5. the first place, principality, rule, magistracy
    1. of angels and demons

Strong, J. (2001). Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon. Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

From Theological Dictionary of the New Testament

ἀρχή always signifies “primacy,” whether in time: “beginning,” principium, or in rank: “power,” “dominion,” “office.”

Note: we are interested in the aspect related to rank, so a large portion of the entry from the TDNT has been dropped.

a. In the sense of “dominion” or “force” ἀρχή is always (except at Jude 6) coupled with ἐξουσία in the NT. At Luke 12:11 and Titus 3:1 it denotes the secular or spiritual authorities and at Luke 20:20 it denotes the official power of the Roman procurator. At Titus. 3:1 (cf. Romans 13) there is no suggestion that the ἀρχή of the state might represent a force adverse to God. The Christian owes it obedience.

Vol. 1: Theological dictionary of the New Testament. 1964- (G. Kittel, G. W. Bromiley & G. Friedrich, Ed.) (electronic ed.) (479-83). Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.

From Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary

From Entry on Begin, Beginning, Beginner

arche (ἀρχή, 746) means “a beginning.” The root arch primarily indicated what was of worth. Hence the verb archo meant “to be first,” and archon denoted “a ruler.” So also arose the idea of “a beginning,” the origin, the active cause, whether a person or thing, e.g., Col. 1:18.

Vine, W. E., Unger, M. F., & White, W., Jr. (1996). Vol. 2: Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (58). Nashville, TN: T. Nelson.

From Entry on Corner, Cornerstone

2. arche (ἀρχή, 746), “a beginning” (its usual meaning), “first in time, order, or place,” is used to denote the extremities or “corners” of a sheet, Acts 10:11; 11:5. See BEGINNING.

Vine, W. E., Unger, M. F., & White, W., Jr. (1996). Vol. 2: Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (129). Nashville, TN: T. Nelson.

From Entry on First

arche (ἀρχή, 746), “a beginning,” is translated “first” in Heb. 5:12, “of the first (principles of the oracles of God),” lit. “(the principles) of the beginning (of the oracles of God)”; in 6:1 “the first (principles) of Christ,” lit., “(the account) of the beginning of Christ,” i.e., the elementary teaching concerning Christ. In Acts 26:4, where the word is preceded by apo, “from,” the KJV has “at the first,” the RV, “from the beginning.”
Notes: (1) In Jude 6 arche has the meaning “principality,” as in the RV and the KJV margin.

Vine, W. E., Unger, M. F., & White, W., Jr. (1996). Vol. 2: Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (240). Nashville, TN: T. Nelson.

From Entry on Power

arche (ἀρχή, 746), “a beginning, rule,” is translated “power” in Luke 20:20, KJV (RV, “rule”).

Vine, W. E., Unger, M. F., & White, W., Jr. (1996). Vol. 2: Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (479). Nashville, TN: T. Nelson.

From Entry on Principality

arche (ἀρχή, 746), “beginning, government, rule,” is used of supramundane beings who exercise rule, called “principalities”; (a) of holy angels, Eph. 3:10, the church in its formation being to them the great expression of “the manifold (or “much-varied”) wisdom of God”; Col. 1:16; (b) of evil angels, Rom. 8:38; Col. 2:15, some would put this under (a), but see SPOIL B, No. 4; (a) and (b) are indicated in Col. 2:10. In Eph. 1:21, the RV renders it “rule” (KJV, “principality”) and in Titus 3:1, “rulers” (KJV, “principalities”). In Jude 6, RV, it signifies, not the first estate of fallen angels (as KJV), but their authoritative power, “their own” indicating that which had been assigned to them by God, which they left, aspiring to prohibited conditions.

Vine, W. E., Unger, M. F., & White, W., Jr. (1996). Vol. 2: Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (488). Nashville, TN: T. Nelson.

From Entry on Principles

arche (ἀρχή, 746), “beginning,” is used in Heb. 6:1, in its relative significance, of the beginning of the thing spoken of; here “the first principles of Christ,” lit., “the account (or word) of the beginning of Christ,” denotes the teaching relating to the elementary facts concerning Christ.

Vine, W. E., Unger, M. F., & White, W., Jr. (1996). Vol. 2: Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (488). Nashville, TN: T. Nelson.

From Entry on Rule

arche (ἀρχή, 746), “a beginning,” etc., denotes “rule,” Luke 20:20, RV, “rule” (KJV, “power”); 1 Cor. 15:24; Eph. 1:21, RV, “rule” (KJV, “principality”).

Vine, W. E., Unger, M. F., & White, W., Jr. (1996). Vol. 2: Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (540). Nashville, TN: T. Nelson.

From Entry on Ruler

arche (ἀρχή, 746), “a rule, sovereignty,” is rendered “rulers” in Luke 12:11, RV (KJV, “magistrates”).

Vine, W. E., Unger, M. F., & White, W., Jr. (1996). Vol. 2: Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words (540). Nashville, TN: T. Nelson.

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