CITY, RULERS OF
The English Versions of the Bible rendering of the politarchai, of Thessalonica, before whom Jason and the other Christians were dragged by the mob (Acts 17:6,8). The term distinguishes the magistrates of a free Greek city from the ordinary Roman officials. It primarily denotes "rulers of the citizens," and hence, was used only of magistrates of free cities. The term seems to have been confined largely to Macedonia, although there have been found a few inscriptions elsewhere in which it is used. The use of this term well illustrates the accuracy of the author of the Book of Acts, for while politarchai is not used by classical authors, this form is attested by a number of Macedonian inscriptions. Much work has been done in this field in recent years and the results throw light on the reference in Acts. Of the inscriptions that have been found at least five belong to Thessalonica (see article by Professor Burton, in the American Journal of Theology of 1898, "The Politarchs").
"The rulers" of Philippi, before whom Paul and Silas were brought is the English Versions of the Bible rendering of archonies, which is commonly used in the New Testament (Acts 16:19). This is the ordinary term for "rulers" and is not the same as "rulers of the city."
A. W. Fortune
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