“hyperochē”

Quick Facts

  • Pronunciation: hü-per-o-khā
  • Strongs Concordance: #G5247
    • elevation, pre-eminence, superiority
    • metaph. excellence
  • Appears 2 times in 2 verses in the New Testament
  • Common Translations
    • “authority” (1x)
    • “superiority” (1x)

How hyperochē is used in the New Testament

  1. 1 Corinthians 2:1 – “And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God.”

  2. 1 Timothy 2:1-3 – “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.  is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,”

My observations and perspective

Hyperochē comes from two Greek root words “hyper” (G5228) meaning “over, “beyond” “more than ” and “echō” (G2192) meaning “to have or hold” or “possess”. Collectively, the idea is to “possess more”. In this case and context, the word describes a superior position or level.

Paul uses the word in both the positive and negative. Firstly, in a negative fashion saying he did NOT come to the Corinthians with speech or wisdom that was superior or excellent. He then uses the same word to describe civic leaders of high rank.

I believe in 1 Corinthians 2:1, Paul is describing his speaking ability. This is further supported by some comments Paul makes in his second letter to the Corinthians regarding his speaking ability (2 Corinthians 10:10, 11:6).

Paul may have had a reputation as a less than stellar speaker. Some thought his speaking to be “weak, infirm, feeble, and utterly despised” according to the Strong’s definitions for the words “unimpressive” and “contemptible”. in 2 Corinthians 10:10.

All that aside, this is another example where authority is not representing a church leader, and in fact, is one more instance in which a church leader distanced himself from superiority over others and any such concept of  “possessing more” than the other saints.

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