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A STUDY OF THE GREEK WORD ’ARCH v (ajrchv, arche, are.

KAY, “A
BEGINNING”) USED IN CONJUNCTION WITH WORDS OR
PHRASES WITH THE GENITIVE CASE ENDINGS (MANY TIMES,
BUT NOT ALWAYS, “ou'” SINGULAR, OR “w'”, PLURAL) AS FOUND
IN THE SACRED SCRIPTURES—LEADING TO THE CORRECT
UNDERSTANDING OF REVELATION 3:14
The genitive grammatical case of the Greek language, can be described as generally showing possession
or source. It is somewhat the same as the possessive case in English. Instances of its occurrences are as
follow:

From the Septuagint:


Genesis 10:10

Babylon and other cities, were the beginning (the first) of Nimrod’s kingdom. They did not
originate his kingdom; they were the starting points of Nimrod’s kingdom. Those cities did not
do the conquering; the were conquered. They were the first of Nimrod’s conquests or acquisi-
tions.

Genesis 49:3:

Ruben was the beginning (the first) of Jacob’s children. Ruben was the first of a subse-
quent line of children in the family of Jacob. Note: Ruben is also called the prwtovtokov"
(prototokos, proh.TAH.tah.KAS, “firstborn”) of Jacob. See Colossians 1:15, where the Son
of God is called the same, by use of the same Greek word with words in the genitive
(pavsh" “of all” and ktivsew" “of creation”) used to describe him. Both Ruben and the
Son of God were the beginning (the first) in a line of children. In the case of Ruben, he was
succeeded by Jacob’s other children. In the case of the Son of God who came to the Earth
as Jesus, he was succeeded in the heavens, by the angels. Neither Ruben nor the Son of
God produced themselves. They were the result of another’s actions.

Deuteronomy 21:17:
Here, the first of the children of an Israelite was to be given a double inheritance; this was part
of the right of the firstborn. This was because he was the oldest of the children from his father.
Again, the child was not the cause of his beginning; he was begun by his father.
A STUDY OF THE GREEK WORD ’ARCH v WITH GENITIVE WORDS OR PHRASES
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Proverbs 8:22:

Here, Wisdom, the Son of God speaks, telling us of his being made by his Father, Jehovah.
Wisdom is not the originator of the action. Wisdom is the object, the recipient of the action of
being made. Wisdom is the beginning of the creative works of Almighty God; to be followed by
the rest of Creation.

From the Christian Greek Scriptures, as found in the Analytical Greek New
Testament, edited by Barbara and Timothy Friberg:
Matthew 24:8:

ajrchV wjdivnon
beginning of pangs of birth: Meaning of abbreviations: under ajrchV and wjdivnon:
under ajrchV, first “N” = noun; second “N” = nominative case; “F” = feminine gender; “S” =
singular number; under wjdivnon, “N” = noun; “G” = genitive case; “F” = feminine gender; “P”
= plural number: (See chart from the above cited work on page 5 below: “ABBREVIATIONS
AND SYMBOLS.”)
The pangs of birth did not cause themselves. They were caused by the occurrences described by
Jesus in the preceding verses, parts of the sign of the end of the system of things.

Mark 1:1:

jArchV tou' eujaggelivou jIhsou' Cristou' uivou' qeou'


beginning of the good news of of Jesus of Christ of son of God: Meaning of

A STUDY OF THE GREEK WORD jARCH v WITH GENITIVE WORDS OR PHRASES


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Mark 1:1 (continued):

abbreviations: under jArchV, eujaggelivou, jIhsou', Cristou' uivou and qeou': under
jArchV, “N” = noun; “D” = dative (indirect object) case; “F” = feminine gender; “S” = singular
number: under tou', “D” = determiner (definite article = “the” “tou' = “of the,” in Koine Greek
the definite article is spelled in 18 forms, depending on case, number and gender); “G” = genitive
case; “N” = neuter gender; “S” = singular number; under eujaggelivou, “N” = noun; “S” =
singular number: under jIhsou', “N” = noun; “G” = genitive case; “M” = masculine
gender; “S” = singular number: under Cristou', uivou' and qeou', same as under jIhsou',
they are all nouns, genitive case, masculine gender and singular number.

The good about Jesus Christ did not cause itself; Jesus caused it. It was the product of the actions
of Christ the Son of God.

John 2:11:

ajrchVn tw'n shmeivwn


beginning of the signs of : Meaning of abbreviations under ajrchVn, “N” = noun; “A”
= accusative case; “F” = feminine gender; “S” = singular number; under tw'n, “D” = determiner
(definite article); “A” = accusative case; “F” = feminine gender; “S” = singular number: under
shmeivwn, “N” = noun; “G” = genitive case; “N” = neuter gender; “P” = plural number.

This was the first sign by Jesus, the turning of the water into wine at the marriage feast at Cana
of Galilee. This was the beginning of a series of signs (miracles) to be performed by Christ.
They did not cause themselves, they were the result of the actions of the Son of God.

Philippians 5:14:
ajrch/' tou eujaggelivou
beginning of of the good news of: Meaning of abbreviations: under ajrch/', “N” =
noun;

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Philippians 4:15 (continued):

“D” = dative (indirect object, “where” or “from”) case; “F” = feminine gender; “S” = singular
number; under tou', “D” = determiner; “G” = genitive case; “N” = neuter gender; “S” = singular
number; under eujaggelivou, “N” noun; “G” = genitive case; “N” = neuter gender; “S” = singular
number; under eujaggelivou, “N” = noun; “G” = genitive case; “N” = neuter gender; “S” =
singular number.
As in the case of Mark 1:1, we have the “beginning of the good news,” the result of an entity other
than the “good news.” This was the starting point or the starting point of the account of the “good
news.”

Revelation 3:14:

ajrchV th'" ktivsew" tou' qeou'


beginning of the creation of the of God: Meaning of abbreviations: under ajrchV, first
“N” = noun; second “N” = nominative case; “F” = feminine gender; “S” = singular number; under
th'", “D” = determiner (definite article); under ktivsew", “N” = noun; “G” = genitive case; “F” =
feminine gender; “S” = singular number; under qeou', “N” = noun; “G” = genitive case; “M” =
masculine gender; “S” = singular number.
We find here, as in all the instances above, the same meaning. The subject is the object of another’s activity.
The subject, the pre-human Jesus, is described as being the beginning of the creation which belongs to God.
The Son is identified as the first one of, the starting point of, the commencement of, the creative works of his
Father, his Creator, Jehovah God.
So, the description of the Son of God as: “the fristborn of all creation” at Colossians 1:15, is very apropos to
the understanding that the Son owes his very existence to the One to Whom he refereed as his Father. As he
said at John 6:57: “I live because of the Father.” This beginning event was at the moment when, as identified
at Proverbs 8:22, the Son was made as the beginning of the works of God. This beginning event it is also
reported on at Micah 5:2: “But, you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose origin is form of old, from ancient
days.” (Revised Standard Version, emphasis added). God has no origin (“beginning”), nor is He the beginning
of anyone else’s activity. The Son has origin and is the result of the creative activity of another.

In whose strength and name does this one “having origin in ancient days’ do his work? Micah 5:4 gives us the
answer: “And he shall stand, and shall feed his flock in the strength of Jehovah, in the majesty of the name of
Jehovah his God.”—American Standard Version, 1901; The Holy Bible Containing the Old and New
Testaments An Improved Edition, American Baptist Publication Society, 1913; New Translation Of The
Hebrew Prophets, George Noyes, 1843; J. N. Darby; Robert Young; The Bible In Living English, Steven T.
Byington, 1972; The New World Translation.
The Lord Jesus Christ has One Who is his God (Revelation 3:12), One Who is his superior (1 Corinthians
11:3), One Whom he serves as Apostle and High Priest (Hebrews 3:1, 2), his Life-Giver, his Creator,
JEHOVAH.
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[Zondervan Publishing] [page 243]

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