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1 Timothy 6:1, (DRB):

Whosoever are servants under the yoke, let them count their masters worthy of all honour; lest the name of the Lord and his doctrine be blasphemed.

Colossians 2:15, (DRB):

And despoiling the principalities and powers, he hath exposed them confidently in open shew, triumphing over them in himself.

The question is so simple:

Could we consider the unbelieving masters Principalities and Powers who did Jesus triumph over them, exposing them confidently in open shew?

That's why 1 Timothy 6:1 says:

lest the name of the Lord and his doctrine be blasphemed.

The idea is so easy, Jesus bought the weak of the world from Principalities and Powers. Or we can say, He bought the weak sinners from the strong sinners. I mean, SLAVERY here is allegorical, weak sinners under the authority of strong sinners.

Strong sinners have the shape of godliness but they are actually hypocrites.

Hence, strong sinners are those who are morally strong, have the shape of godliness but actually they are hypocrites, of no blood and flesh.

While the weak sinners are those who are morally weak. They may be hypocrites or non hypocrites.

I hope it's clear now.

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There are two words to consider here:

  1. "Principalities" translated from the Greek, ἀρχή (arché). It is also translated as "ruler", "authority" but always meaning one who has significant political power; hence the regular phrase, "principalities and powers".

BDAG defines this word to mean (BDGA #6), "an authority figure who initiates activity or process, ruler, authority", eg, Luke 20, 20, 12:11, Titus 3:1. Also of angelic or transcendental powers, since they were thought of as having political organisation, Rom 8:38, 1 Cor 15:24, Eph 1:21, 3:10, 6:12, Col 1:16, 2:10, 15.

In these contexts listed above, the ἀρχή (arché) appear to be more than earthly rulers. But even if they are only earthly rulers, the reference is to a person of far greater authority than just a slave masters or unbelieving master. A much greater figure is in view.

  1. "Powers" from the Greek ἐξουσίαι (exousiai), strictly speaking "authorities". BDAG #5b gives a very similar meaning to that above: "bearer of ruling authority; of transcendent rulers and functionaries: powers of the spirit world", eg, 1 Cor 15:24, Eph 1:21, 3:10, Col 1:16, 2:10, 15, 1 Peter 3:22.

Note that where this phrase occurs, τὰς ἀρχὰς καὶ τὰς ἐξουσίας (= principalities and powers) it is usually in connection with a series or other grandiose things such as:

  • Col 1:16, thrones or powers or rulers or authorities
  • Rom 8:38, neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,
  • Eph 3:10, rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms
  • Eph 6:12, not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

This is why it appears to be connected to unseen, transcendental rulers and authorities.

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