From: Jim West (
Date: Sun Apr 05 1998 - 16:29:10 EDT

At 01:12 PM 4/5/98 -0700, you wrote:

>It seems from my research as well, that Omnipotent does not accurately
>convey the thought behind PANTOKRATWR.
>PANTOKRATWR seems to delineate an activity or position (ONOMA) whereas
>Omnipotent describes an attribute or inherent quality of Being.

This definition is true for the literature of the Greeks; but the word, as
used by NT writers, has been influenced by the LXX. Thus, the common
rendering of "omnipotent" is acceptable because this rightly reflects the
LXX use of the word. After all, no one is more "potent" than the ruler!

> In
>other words, Omnipotens seems to convey the idea that God is
>inherently All-Powerful whereas PANTOKRATWR emphasizes His supremacy
>over all creation.

This may very well be a false dichotomy. I suspect Carl would have more
insight here than I.

>Emil Brunner notes: "The Biblical conception means God's power over
>the whole universe; but omnipotentia means the abstract idea that "God
>can do everything" (Dogmatics, Vol. 1, p. 248). I wonder about this

True- again- only if one is accepting the word in its greek milieu- but
again, the writers of the NT were semites using a language filtered through
the LXX.
(except Luke, who however is still semitically minded).

>At any rate, in the context of Rev. 19:8, Babylon the Great is
>adversely judged by God and annihilated. KURIOS hO QEOS hO PANTOKRATWR
>then begins his REIGN. It seems, therefore, that PANTOKRATWR is best
>understood in Revelation 19:6 as God's supremacy over creation.
>PANTOKRATWR should therefore be translated "Almighty" or "Ruler of All."

But "almighty" is simply the english equivalent of omnipotent!

>Any more thoughts,

Oh, always!!! :)

>E. Foster



Jim West, ThD
Quartz Hill School of Theology

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