Quick Facts

  • Pronunciation: kä-nō’n
  • Strongs Concordance: #G2583
    • a rod or straight piece of rounded wood to which any thing is fastened to keep it straight
      • used for various purposes
        • a measuring rod, rule
        • a carpenter’s line or measuring tape
        • the measure of a leap, as in the Olympic games
    • a definitely bounded or fixed space within the limits of which one’s power of influence is confined
      • the province assigned one
      • one’s sphere of activity
    • metaph. any rule or standard, a principle or law of investigating, judging, living, acting
  • Appears 4 times in 4 verses in the New Testament
  • Common translations
    • “rule” (1x)
    • “sphere” (1x)

How kanōn is used in the New Testament

  1. 2 Corinthians 10:13, 15-16 NASB – “13 But we will not boast beyond our measure, but within the measure of the sphere which God apportioned to us as a measure, to reach even as far as you. … 15 not boasting beyond our measure, that is, in other men’s labors, but with the hope that as your faith grows, we will be, within our sphere, enlarged even more by you, 16 so as to preach the gospel even to the regions beyond you, and not to boast in what has been accomplished in the sphere of another.”

  2. Galatians 6:16 NASB – “16 And those who will walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.”

My observations and perspective

The word kanōn appears to designate one’s assigned sphere or province. It does not appear to be used in a manner that ever describes church leaderships – certainly not in a way where rulership, hierarchical or otherwise is being promoted with regard to the local church.


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