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Chief, Chiefest, Chiefly

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words

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A — 1: πρῶτος

(Strong's #4413 — Adjective — protos — pro'-tos )

denotes "the first," whether in time or place. It is translated "chief" in Mark 6:21 , RV, of men of Galilee; in Acts 13:50 , of men in a city; in Acts 28:7 , of the "chief" man in the island of Melita; in Acts 17:4 , of "chief" women in a city; in Acts 28:17 , of Jews; in 1 Timothy 1:15,16 , of a sinner. In the following, where the AV has "chief," or "chiefest," the RV renderings are different: Matthew 20:27; Mark 10:44 , "first;" Luke 19:47; Acts 25:2 , "principal men;" Acts 16:12 , said of Philippi, "the first (city) of the district," RV, for incorrect AV, "the chief city of that part of Macedonia." Amphipolis was the "chief" city of that part. Protos here must mean the first in the direction in which the Apostle came. See BEGINNING , BEFORE , BEST , FIRST , FORMER.

B — 1: κεφάλαιον

(Strong's #2774 — Noun Neuter — kephalaion — kef-al'-ah-yon )

akin to the adjective kephalaios, "belonging to the head," and kephale, "the head," denotes the chief point or principal thing in a subject, Hebrews 8:1 , "the chief point is this" (AV, "the sum"); elsewhere in Acts 22:28 (of principal, as to money), "(a great) sum." See SUM.

*Certain compound nouns involving the significance of chief, are as follows:

B — 2: ἀρχιερεύς

(Strong's #749 — Noun Masculine — archiereus — ar-khee-er-yuce' )

a chief priest, high priest" (arche, "first," hiereus, "a priest"), is frequent in the Gospels, Acts and Hebrews, but there only in the NT. It is used of Christ e.g. in Hebrews 2:17; 3:1; of "chief" priests, including ex-high-priests and members of their families, e.g., Matthew 2:4; Mark 8:31 .

B — 3: ἀρχιποίμην

(Strong's #750 — Noun Masculine — archipoimen — ar-khee-poy'-mane )

"a chief shepherd" (arche, "chief," poimen, "a shepherd"), is said of Christ only, 1 Peter 5:4 . Modern Greeks use it of tribal chiefs.

B — 4: ἀρχιτελώνης

(Strong's #754 — Noun Masculine — architelones — ar-khee-tel-o'-nace )

denotes "a chief tax-collector, or publican," Luke 19:2 .

B — 5: ἀκρογωνιαῖος

(Strong's #204 — Adjective — akrogoniaios — ak-rog-o-nee-ah'-yos )

denotes "a chief corner-stone" (from akros, "highest, extreme," gonia, "a corner, angle"), Ephesians 2:20 and 1 Peter 2:6 . In the Sept., Isaiah 28:16

B — 6: πρωτοκαθεδρία

(Strong's #4410 — Noun Feminine — protokathedria — pro-tok-ath-ed-ree'-ah )

"a sitting in the first or chief seat" (protos, "first," kathedra, "a seat"), is found in Matthew 23:6; Mark 12:39; Luke 11:43; 20:46 .

B — 7: πρωτοκλισία

(Strong's #4411 — Noun Feminine — protoklisia — pro-tok-lis-ee'-ah )

"the first reclining place, the chief place at table" (from protos, and klisia, "a company reclining at a meal;" cp. klino, "to incline"), is found in Matthew 23:6; Mark 12:39 (as with No. 6); Luke 14:7,8; 20:46

B — 8: χιλίαρχος

(Strong's #5506 — Noun Masculine — chiliarchos — khil-ee'-ar-khos )

denotes "a chief captain:" SEE CAPTAIN, No 1.

B — 9: Ἀσιάρχης

(Strong's #775 — Noun Masculine — asiarches — as-ee-ar'-khace )

"an Asiarch," was one of certain officers elected by various cities in the province of Asia, whose function consisted in celebrating, partly at their own expense, the public games and festivals; in Acts 19:31 , RV, the word is translated "chief officers of Asia" (AV, "chief of Asia").

It seems probable, according to Prof. Ramsay, that they were "the high priests of the temples of the Imperial worship in various cities of Asia;" further, that "the Council of the Asiarchs sat at stated periods in the great cities alternately ... and were probably assembled at Ephesus for such a purpose when they sent advice to St. Paul to consult his saftey." A festival would have brought great crowds to the city.

B — 10: ἄρχων

(Strong's #758 — Noun Masculine — archon — ar'-khone )

"a ruler," is rendered "chief" in the AV of Luke 14:1 (RV, "ruler"); "chief rulers," in John 12:42 , RV, "rulers (of the people)," i.e., of members of the Sanhedrin; "chief," in Luke 11:15 (RV, "prince") in reference to Beelzebub, the prince of demons. SEE MAGISTRATE, PRINCE, RULER.

B — 11: ἀρχισυνάγωγος

(Strong's #752 — Noun Masculine — archisunagogos — ar-khee-soon-ag'-o-gos )

"a ruler of a synagogue," translated "chief ruler of the synagogue," in Acts 18:8,17 , AV, was the administrative officer supervising the worship.

C — 1: ἡγέομαι

(Strong's #2233 — Verb — hegeomai — hayg-eh'-om-ahee )

"to lead the way, to preside, rule, be the chief," is used of the ambition "to be chief" among the disciples of Christ, Luke 22:26; of Paul as the "chief" speaker in Gospel testimony at Lystra, Acts 14:12; of Judas and Silas, as chief (or rather, "leading") men among the brethren at Jerusalem, Acts 15:22 . See ACCOUNT , COUNT , ESTEEM , GOVERNOR , JUDGE , SUPPOSE , THINK.

D — 1: χόρτος

(Strong's #5528 3029 — Noun Masculine — huperlian — khor'-tos )

"chiefest" (huper, "over," lian, "exceedingly, pre-eminently, very much"), is used in 2 Corinthians 11:5; 12:11 , of Paul's place among the Apostles.

D — 2: μάλιστα

(Strong's #3122 — Adverb — malista — mal'-is-tah )

the superlative of mala, "very, very much," is rendered "chiefly" in 2 Peter 2:10 and in the AV of Philippians 4:22 (RV, "especially"). See ESPECIALLY MOST.

Note: In Romans 3:2 , RV, the adverb proton is translated "first of all" (AV, "chiefly").

Bibliography Information
Vines, W. E., M. A. Entry for 'Chief, Chiefest, Chiefly'. Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words.​dictionaries/​eng/​ved/​c/chief-chiefest-chiefly.html. 1940.