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παντοκράτωρ, pantokrator is generally translated as "almighty," interpreted as a matter of power. I.e. the bible talks about one infinite God, El shaddai. But im curious if we may have been misinterpreting the flavor of the word found in Revelation (particularly around the term "Alpha and Omega") as a matter of authority, rather than power.

The panto part is obvious, but the secons half seems to be rooted in κρατέω, the basis of a democracy or theocracy. Could therefore a pantokrator be pointing at the authority over all rather than it's power?

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    You should definitely read this: R. Feldmeier, “Almighty παντοκράτωρ”, in: Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible Online, Edited by: Karel van der Toorn, Bob Becking, Pieter W. van der Horst. <dx.doi.org/10.1163/2589-7802_DDDO_DDDO_Almighty>
    – Alex B.
    Jan 23, 2019 at 3:55

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Ⲡⲁⲛⲧⲟⲕⲣⲁⲧⲱⲣ is a Septuagintal functional translation of "”יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי־צְבָאוֹת“ " (The Lord God of heavenly armies) (cf. Hos 12:6; Am 3:13; 4:13; 5:14)

So, already, when we're looking at the word as it's translated into the Greek New Testament in these closely and clearly parallel passages it's important to recognize that the LXX translators didn't have the same "tool kit" as there was in the Hebrew OT. It has been long-debated as how to best translate the Divine Name. The LXX opted to modestly use the word, ⲕⲩⲣⲓⲟⲥ (Lord).

But, to your point, what do you do with "Lord (divine name) of the heavenly armies (i.e. angels)"? Does that speak to authority or power? The LXX writers opted for 'power.' ⲕⲣⲁⲧⲉⲱ speak far more to the idea of power than authority. Cf. the entry in BDAG for ⲕⲣⲁⲧⲉⲱ:

  1. to accomplish someth. by overcoming obstacles, attain (Diod. S. 3, 54, 7 κ. τῆς ἐπιβολῆς=attain the purpose; likew. 17, 77, 4 and 20, 25, 3; Appian, Bell. Civ. 3, 61 §249 οὐ . . . ἐκράτησε) τῆς προθέσεως the purpose Ac 27:13 (s. Field, Notes 144).
  2. to use one’s hands to establish a close contact, hold a. hold τινά someone (fast) w. the hand (TestAbr A 12 p. 91, 19 [Stone p. 30]), so that the pers. cannot go away Ac 3:11. b. hold in the hand (SibOr 3, 49; TestAbr A 10 p. 87, 29 [Stone p. 22]; A 12 p. 91, 5 [Stone p. 30] al.; GrBar 11:8) τὶ ἐν τῇ δεξιᾷ Rv 2:1 (Polemo Perieg. [c. 200 BC] in Athen. 11, 67, 484c ἐν τῇ δεξιᾷ κώθωνα κ.; cp. Plut., Mor. 99d).
  3. to take control of someone or someth., seize, control

<BDAG, s.v. “κρατέω,” 564.>

So, while there's obviously some overlap between authority and power, the weight of the meaning is with power.

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    Comments about the Coptic letters have been moved to chat.
    – cmw
    Jun 21, 2023 at 21:39

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