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This article is about the Greek word. For the Biblical term, see Kyrios (Biblical term). For the Cirque du Soleil show, see Kurios (Cirque du Soleil).

Kurios (κύριος) is a Greek word translating to "lord, master". It is notably the LXX translation of Adonai, the Biblical Hebrew title "my lord" given to YHWH and is also the original name of God translated as "lord" in the New Testament.

In Ancient Greece, a woman could not enter into a contract herself and arrangements were made by her guardian or Kurios.[1] For an unmarried woman the Kurios would be her father, and if dead, brothers an uncle or relative would be the Kurios.[1]

In some cases, when reading the Hebrew Bible the Jews would substitute Adonai (my Lord) for the Tetragrammaton (the written representation of the Name of God), and they may have also substituted Kurios when reading to a Greek audience (as in the Septuagint translation). Origen refers to both practices in his commentary on Psalms (2.2).[2] The practice was due to the desire not to overuse the name of God. Examples of this can be seen in Philo.[2] In The Jewish War (7.10.1) Josephus remarked that Greek-speaking Jews refused to call the emperor Kurios for they reserved that word for God.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b The Ten Commandments by William Barclay 2006 ISBN 0-664-25816-6 page 110
  2. ^ a b c Encountering the manuscripts: an introduction to New Testament paleography by Philip Comfort 2005 ISBN 0-8054-3145-4 page 209