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Bible Dictionaries

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words

Excel, Excellency, Excellent

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A — 1: ὑπερβάλλω

(Strong's #5235 — Verb — huperballo — hoop-er-bal'-lo )

lit., "to throw over:" see EXCEED , No. 1.

A — 2: περισσεύω

(Strong's #4052 — Verb — perisseuo — per-is-syoo'-o )

"to be over and above," is rendered "abound" in 1 Corinthians 14:12 , RV, for AV, "excel." See ABUNDANCE , B, No. 1, and EXCEED, A, No. 2.

A — 3: ὑπερέχω

(Strong's #5242 — Verb — huperecho — hoop-er-ekh'-o )

lit., "to have over" (huper, "over," echo, "to have"), is translated "excellency" in Philippians 3:8 , "the surpassingness" (Moule); the phrase could be translated "the surpassing thing, which consists in the knowledge of Christ Jesus," and this is the probable meaning. This verb is used three times in Philippians, here and in Philippians 2:3; 4:7 . See also Romans 13:1; 1 Peter 2:13 . See BETTER , No. 4.

A — 4: διαφέρω

(Strong's #1308 — — diaphero — dee-af-er'-o )

"to differ," is used in the neuter plural of the present participle with the article, in Philippians 1:10 , "the things that are excellent" (marg., "the things that differ"), lit., "the excellent things." See DIFFER.

B — 1: ὑπερβολή

(Strong's #5236 — Noun Feminine — huperbole — hoop-er-bol-ay' )

lit., "a throwing beyond," hence, "a surpassing, an excellence," is translated "excellency" in 2 Corinthians 4:7 , AV; RV, "exceeding greatness." It always betokens pre-eminence. It is used with kata, "according to," in the phrase kath' huperbolen, signifying "beyond measure, exceedingly," Romans 7:13 , "exceeding sinful;" in 2 Corinthians 1:8 , RV, "exceedingly," for AV, "out of measure;" in Galatians 1:13 , "beyond measure;" in 1 Corinthians 12:31 , "more excellent." In 2 Corinthians 4:17 , there is an expanded phrase kath' huperbolen eis huperbolen, lit., "according to a surpassing unto a surpassing," RV, "more and more exceedingly," which corrects the AV, "a far more exceedingly;" the phrase refers to "worketh," showing the surpassing degree of its operation, and not to the noun "weight" (nor does it qualify, "eternal"). In 2 Corinthians 12:7 , the RV has "exceeding greatness," the AV, "abundance." See ABUNDANCE.

B — 2: ὑπεροχή

(Strong's #5247 — Noun Feminine — huperoche — hoop-er-okh-ay' )

akin to A, No. 3, strictly speaking, "the act of overhanging" (huper, and echo, "to hold") or "the thing which overhangs," hence, "superiority, preeminence," is translated "excellency (of speech)" in 1 Corinthians 2:1; elsewhere, in 1 Timothy 2:2 , RV, "high place," for AV, "authority." See AUTHORITY , PLACE.

Note: In 1 Peter 2:9 RV renders arete (virtue) "excellencies."

C — 1: μεγαλοπρεπής

(Strong's #3169 — Adjective — megaloprepes — meg-al-op-rep-ace' )

signifies "magnificent, majestic, that which is becoming to a great man" (from megas, "great," and prepo, "to be fitting or becoming"), in 2 Peter 1:17 , "excellent."

C — 2: διάφορος

(Strong's #1313 — Adjective — diaphoroteros — dee-af'-or-os )

comparative degree of diaphoros, "excellent," akin to A, No. 4, is used twice, in Hebrews 1:4 , "more excellent (name)," and Hebrews 8:6 , "more excellent (ministry)." For the positive degree see Romans 12:6; Hebrews 9:10 . See under DIFFER.

C — 3: πλείων

(Strong's #4119 — Adjective — pleion — pli'-own, pli'-on, pleh'-on )

"more, greater," the comparative degree of polus, "much," is translated "more excellent" in Hebrews 11:4 , of Abel's sacrifice; pleion is used sometimes of that which is superior by reason of inward worth, cp. Hebrews 3:3 , "more (honor);" in Matthew 6:25 , of the life in comparison with meat.

C — 4: κράτιστος

(Strong's #2903 — Adjective — kratistos — krat'-is-tos )

"mightiest, noblest, best," the superlative degree of kratus, "strong" (cp. kratos, "strength"), is used as a title of honor and respect, "most excellent," Luke 1:3 (Theophilus was quite possibly a man of high rank); Acts 23:26; 24:3; 26:25 , RV, for AV, "most noble."

Note: The phrase kath' huperbolen (for which see B, No. 1) is translated "more excellent" in 1 Corinthians 12:31 .

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

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