hands01I received the following question:

Otis Sellers and Howard White wrote that “dexios” means right or rights and that the word “hand” in “the right hand of God” should be in italics. For quite sometime I have been trying confirm for myself, that dexios means right or rights, not right hand. I understand their teaching and it makes sense to me. However, I am not a student of Greek. I have to use various translations, concordances, and Thayer’s NT Lexicon. I’ve searched the internet. I can find nothing to support their teaching. It seems that there is a theological conspiracy to hide this fact.

If this is right, I’d like to confirm it for myself. Can you be of any help?  I’m sure your busy, but if you could lend-a-hand I’d appreciate it.

Of course, I cannot speak personally for either Mr. Sellers or Mr. White.  What I was able to find on “dexios” gave its definition as,

the right, the right hand
metaph. a place of honour or authority

What might be telling is the word it is derived from, dechomai.  I found the following definitions for this word:

to take with the hand
to take hold of, take up
to take up, receive
used of a place receiving one
to receive or grant access to, a visitor, not to refuse intercourse or friendship
to receive hospitality
to receive into one’s family to bring up or educate
of the thing offered in speaking, teaching, instructing
to receive favourably, give ear to, embrace, make one’s own, approve, not to reject
to receive. i.e. to take upon one’s self, sustain, bear, endure
to receive, get
to learn

The derivation of dexios from this word might have something to do with their reasoning.  Notice that this word has nothing to do with either the right hand or the right side.  We can imagine a word derived from dechomai would be more likely to have the idea of “rights” than it would of “right hand.”

I certainly cannot claim to be the scholar of Greek that Mr. Sellers was.  I hope my suggestion here can at least help your thinking on the subject.

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