• What is “authority” in the biblical context?
  • What kind of authority do leaders have in the local church?
  • Are leaders the only ones with authority in the local church?
  • What responsibility or response do the saints have to respond to local church “authority”

The word “authority” is used in many local church contexts. In my experience, it is oftentimes used to pressure, cajole, control, or bully the saints into accepting rule from others. Of course sometimes this is done with words and attitudes that appear gentle and meek or kind. Nevertheless, if the claims of such authority are unwarranted, then they are heretical and should be considered as such.

It is because of this observed pattern of “beating the sheep” and because often, through the process of cherry-picking verses from scripture, divorced from context, saints are intimidated into submission, that below one can find word studies for every Greek word translated as authority in the New Testament. The intent is that the reader will have firm scriptural understanding of the use of authority words and their appropriate and inappropriate uses and applications thereby being equipped to resists overreach.

If any person or leader is going to claim scriptural support for claiming authority over a person or flock of people, it must be clearly supported in the scriptures.  As it is, I don’t believe such to be the case. Decide for yourself.

Below are the Greek words found in the New Testament that are often translated as “authority” or similar derivatives.


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