Basileia of God: A Kin-dom

basileiaβασιλεία, “basileia” the Greek feminine noun for sovereignty is traditionally translated into english as “kingdom.” Both the greek and english words were generated by kyirarchal world views. Kyiarchal is a word coined by Elisabeth Schussler Fiorenza to replace the term patriarchy. Kyriarchy emphasizes”the rule of the emperor/master/lord/father/husband of his subordinates.” Fiorenza argues for a different understanding of patriarchy, “one which does not limit it to the sex/gender system but conceptualizes it in terms of interlocking structures of domination, i.e., elite male, relations of ruling.” The kyriarchal translation of “basileia” as “kingdom” fails to capture the literal meaning this word which is after all is said and done the feminine plural of majesty. I have often joked that it is more accurately translated as “queendom”. Over the years I have often used words like “reign” “dominion” or “empire” in place of kingdom. These days, I have come to appreciate “kin-dom” as a better approximation of the meaning of basileia.  With that in mind, I offer Laurence Freeman’s explanation of  basileia. 

One thought on “Basileia of God: A Kin-dom

  1. Pingback: The Kingdom of God is Within You – from “The Great Dictator” – Charlie Chaplin | pastordawn

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