The Cat out of the Bag :: Head

We come to the 9th Cat being released out of the Bag. In, Grace, Will, Truth, Glory, Discipleship, Salvation, Purpose, and now, Head.

This information is highly debatable and highly controversial. So, may I say again, I am not a seminary-trained man. I am a man who is searching for the Lord. I am looking to edify the Body of Christ through these articles I have written for The Cat out of the Bag series.

Anything that steps on toes or goes against any traditions is not personal. It is my experience. It is something I have discovered as I have looked through the eyes the Lord gave me. I have also made some of these discoveries through interacting and being built into the Body of Christ with believers my wife and I meet with.

My perspective is one of thankfulness and of humbleness. I hope you are encouraged as we press on toward the prize.

Btw…the prize is Christ!!

One of the biggest Cats we have chosen to keep in the Bag is Head

Going through the New Testament, one will read the word head in many different contexts. One way it is read is the obvious. The head of a person.

This head sees, hears, tastes, smells, directs, breathes, rests.

So, as your head is reading this article, I would like you to think about something. Read these words as a discovery…not an assessment. With a discovery, there is opportunity to see the world for what it is: vast. As an assessment, you are trying to find the parameters on this article so you can bottle it up and compartmentalize the information into one of your preconceived categories.

Let all of that go.

Listen.

Allow your spirit to read, not your flesh. If your spirit does not resonate with the contents of this article, reject it. If your spirit receives this information, enjoy the discovery!

Back to the Future

We have a tendency to read history books; which were written from a certain population. There are many stories that are left out from the “other” perspectives. We formulate today’s reality off of the historic statements from certain populations.

What if we had a Flux Capacitor that could take us, in a Delorean of course, back in time. We could park behind the big sign that was etched in stone. It would say, “The Road to Damascus, Exit Here.”

If we could then gather in the temples to listen to the great sophists, or, perhaps we could catch a discussion of Christ from Paul on the steps of a synagogue, we might be able to catch the word head come out of someone’s oration or discussion.

We would then be able to listen from the perspective of “back then” and not from the future, or today.

This is the word we would have heard: kephalé or κεφαλή.

What does kephalé mean today?

Simply put, it means head, in the context of ruler or authority over. This definition, based off of Wikipedia, was given from the Byzantine Empire, to denote local or provincial governors. This position developed to a superior kephalai or universal heads.

But is that what it meant 2000 years ago when the New Testament writers, Paul specifically, were inspired by the Holy Spirit to pen the letters they did? I would now like to offer up another perspective on history.

Here is a wonderful quote from What about the word kephale (“head”) in the New Testament by Laurie Fasullo discussing the meaning of kephale in the context of New Testament usage.

“The apostle Paul was a Greek-speaking Jew (he grew up in the Greek-speaking city of Tarsus); indeed, Greek was his native language. He knew both Hebrew and Greek, but he wrote his epistles to Greek-speaking churches in areas where most of the converts (including Jews of the dispersion) knew only Greek. A man of his superb intellectual ability and intense passion to spread the gospel would likely use Greek words with Greek meanings that his readers clearly understood.” In Romans 13:12 he used exousia (“authority”) and in Romans 13:3 he used archon (“leader”). When Paul does used exousia (“authority”) in a husband-wife context, it is definitely in a mutual sense (1 Cor. 7:4).

“If Paul does use kephale with the meaning ‘leader,’ he is the only New Testament writer to do so, even though most of the New Testament writers use more Hebraic Greek than he does. For example, ‘head of the house’ is a very common expression throughout the Gospels, but kephale is never used to convey this meaning.” (See Matthew 10:25; 13:52; 24:43; Luke 12:39; 13:25; 14:21. The Greek word oikodespotes is used. This word comes from two words meaning ‘master’ and ‘house.’).  In addition, the term for the ‘head of the synagogue’ (which was the leading office) did not employ kephale, but was called the archisynagogus.

There is much more quality, researched information in Laurie Fasullo’s article. I would highly recommend you catch up on it if you have some time.

What would kephalé mean if we heard it 2000 years ago?

And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. (Ephesians 1:22-23 NASB)

Paul sets up his letter to the Church in Ephesus with a statement of Who Christ is and where He is according to rule, authority, power, and dominion over all ages. Christ is above all of these things. He is also, with His body, filled with the fullness of God.

There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. (Ephesians 4:4-6 NASB)

This Christ is One, and we are one with Him!

As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love. (Ephesians 4:14-16 NASB)

A quick way to read this passage would be, “Speak the reality of Christ, mature into Him as your source, and lovingly point others to Him as their source.” This passage reveals the crossroads of interpretation that we have to be careful with. It is very easy to insert authority into this passage and think that Christ is our ruler or authority figure. I believe Paul was saying much more than that. He is reminding us to see Christ as our source of Life, not our source of Right or Wrong with rules.

How did Christ become our source of Life?

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. (Ephesians 5:1-2 NASB)

This is how Christ became the source of Life for us. He gave Himself up for His soon-to-be-Bride, so that She may have Life!

Ephesians 5:23…another potential crossroad is here. Do you see this passage as a focus on marriage and husbands and wives? Or do you read this passage as a picture of Christ and His Church?

For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. (Ephesians 5:23 NASB)

If this is a passage of Christ and His Church, based off of the context of the other passages in this letter to the Ephesians, Paul is showing the sacrifice being the source of Life for the Bride, His wife. Christ is the Savior of His Body by sacrificing His life so that His Body may have Life through His resurrection.

I see this source of Life as kephalé. If we see Christ as our kephalé, or our source of Life, the passages Paul wrote to the Church in Ephesus, and to us today, come to Life in a refreshing light.

We are to mature into this Source, who is Christ.

We are to point others to this Source, who is Christ.

We are to function as a Body, with Christ as our Source of Life and direction.

If we see Christ as our source of Life, we are forever changed in the way we live a Life of love. We respect Christ in the way a person who almost drowned respects someone who rescued them from death. We live our Life differently than before. We are transformed because of the sacrifice made. The sacrifice inspires us and motivates us to an intentional and loving Life.

Respect Him.

For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. (Colossians 1:16-18 NASB)

Beginning.

In the beginning… (Genesis 1:1a NASB)

The source of the Scripture. The source of Life. The source of Love. The source of the Church. The source of the Body.

Christ is the Source. Christ is the Origin of everything.

Christ is The Origin-al.

May we receive the Life that is provided by the Source. May we reject doctrines and theologies and powers that give us anything other than Christ, because that would be anti-Christ.

Next week will be the last Cat out of the Bag for this series. I look forward to that release. I hope that you have been and will be encouraged to be connected to the Body of Christ who is living by the Life given from the Source, or kephalé. May we respect His sacrifice that forever changed the future of His Bride.

And may the Legend of Sleepy Hollow leave the Church and take the flaming pumpkin head with it!

>>>

Suzanne’s Bookshelf has an interesting take on this word, kephalé. Then there’s another interesting perspective…a 71 page document.

Neither of these links diminish the fact that Christ is the Head of His Church.

10 responses to “The Cat out of the Bag :: Head

  1. Love it Mark! This truth helps de-fang false authorities who love ruling over other people (“deeds of the Nicolatians”), and adjust our thinking to begin operating from/unto the Lord in building-up and serving.

    • Trevor, that’s good stuff. Nicolatains are working hard, that’s for sure. The building up from/unto the Lord is key, isn’t it? I’m humbled to be on this journey with you.

  2. Mark, I don’t know if you found these sites in your investigation, but there is a wealth of material in these sources (no pun intended!).

    http://www.doxa.ws/social/Women/head.html http://www.doxa.ws/social/Women/head2.html http://www.doxa.ws/social/Women/head3.html

    Also, it is interesting that in the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the Hebrew OT), “kephale” is used around 180 times, mostly for the physical body part at the top of a human. These Jewish scholars did not use “kephale” as an authority word. It was not applied to kings, princes, etc.

    We still use “head” as “source.” For example, “headwaters” is the origin/source of where a river begins. Generally speaking, “Head” as source is organic & relational; “head” as authority over is cold, military-like and stoic.

    Thanks for sharing the fruit of your reflections, Mark!

    • Jon, thank you for reading and providing more resources. Great pun! May we connect with Christ relationally and organically as our source! Much love to you, brother. I am thankful for your ministry to the saints. Press on!

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