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Published Date: January 8, 2008

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Published Date: January 8, 2008

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Kephale as ‘Source’ or ‘Origin?’

Why do some people say that there is no evidence kephale can mean ‘source’ or ‘origin?’

The Henry George Liddell and Robert Scott Greek lexicon lists, among the possible meanings of the Greek word kephale (translated as ‘head’ in English), ‘source’ or ‘origin.’ This is the word translated ‘head’ in 1 Corinthians 11:3 (“Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God”) and Ephesians 5:23 (“For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior”).

Here’s the reference from the lexicon, and a link to the same entry, here.

d. in pl., source of a river (Hdt. 4.91) (butsg., mouth, oida Gela potamou kephalêi epikeimenon astu Call.Aet.Oxy.2080.48 ): generally, source, origin, Zeus k. (v.l. arkhê), Zeus messa, Dios d’ ek panta teleitai tetuktai codd.) Orph.Fr.21a; starting-point, k. khronou Placit. 2.32.2 (kronou codd.), Lyd.Mens.3.4; k. mênos ib.12.

And yet, there are those who insist that there is no evidence that ‘source’ or ‘origin’ are acceptable meanings for the word. Why is this?