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Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words


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A — 1: στέφανος
(Strong's #4735 — Noun Masculine — stephanos — stef'-an-os )

primarily, "that which surrounds, as a wall or crowd" (from stepho, "to encircle"), denotes (a) "the victor's crown," the symbol of triumph in the games or some such contest; hence, by metonymy, a reward or prize; (b) "a token of public honor" for distinguished service, military prowess, etc., or of nuptial joy, or festal gladness, especially at the parousia of kings. It was woven as a garland of oak, ivy, parsley, myrtle, or olive, or in imitation of these in gold. In some passages the reference to the games is clear, 1 Corinthians 9:25 ; 2 Timothy 4:8 ("crown of righteousness"); it may be so in 1 Peter 5:4 , where the fadeless character of "the crown of glory" is set in contrast to the garlands of earth. In other passages it stands as an emblem of life, joy, reward and glory, Philippians 4:1 ; 1 Thessalonians 2:19 ; James 1:12 ("crown of life"); Revelation 2:10 (ditto); 3:11; 4:4,10: of triumph, Revelation 6:2 ; 9:7 ; 12:1 ; 14:14 .

It is used of "the crown of thorns" which the soldiers plaited and put on Christ's head, Matthew 27:29 ; Mark 15:17 ; John 19:2,5 . At first sight this might be taken as an alternative for diadema, "a kingly crown" (see below), but considering the blasphemous character of that masquerade, and the materials used, obviously diadema would be quite unfitting and the only alternative was stephanos (see Trench xxxii).

A — 2: διάδημα
(Strong's #1238 — Noun Neuter — diadema — dee-ad'-ay-mah )

is never used as stephanos is, it is always the symbol of kingly or imperial dignity, and is translated "diadem" instead of "crown" in the RV, of the claims of the Dragon, Revelation 12:3 ; 13:1 ; 19:12 . See DIADEM.

B — 1: στεφανόω
(Strong's #4737 — Verb — stephanoo — stef-an-o'-o )

"to crown," conforms in meaning to stephanos; it is used of the reward of victory in the games, in 2 Timothy 2:5 ; of the glory and honor bestowed by God upon man in regard to his position in creation, Hebrews 2:7 ; of the glory and honor bestowed upon the Lord Jesus in His exaltation, Hebrews 2:9 .

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Bibliography Information
Vines, W. E., M. A. Entry for 'Crown'. Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words. 1940.

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