Verses using the word "head" in the New Testament

by Matt Slick
3/27/2008

Below is a chart that lists every occurrence of the word "head" that is translated from the Greek word kefalh, (prounced kephale).  This is important because the word occurs in several contexts dealing with Christ, marriage, and authority. 

  • Of the 77 occurrences of kaphale, 62 clearly refer to the human head. 
  • Four verses fall refer to "cornerstone", (Matt. 21:42; Luke 20:17; Acts 4:11; 1 Pet. 2:7). 
  • Five verses can have the meaning of authority, (Eph. 1:22; Eph. 5:23; Col. 1:18; Col. 2:10, and Col. 2:19).

There are three verses that "can" be interpreted as source but don't need to be:  Eph. 4:15; Col. 1:18; and Col. 2:19.  These verses can also very easily be interpreted as "authority". This is why the context of each would need to be examined.

This chart was generated as a result of studying the issue of headship, Adam being our head, and issues related to Roman Catholicism.

 

Verse Text Body
Part
Source Auth-ority Other Greek
Word
Matt 5:36 “Nor shall you make an oath by your head, for you cannot make one hair white or black."     X   kephale
Matt 6:17 “But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face X       kephale
Matt 8:20 Jesus *said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” X       kephale
Matt 10:25 “It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign the members of his household!     X   oikode-spotes
Matt 10:30 “But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. X       kephale
Matt 12:1 At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath, and His disciples became hungry and began to pick the heads of grain and eat.       X stachus
Matt 13:52 And Jesus said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has become a disciple of the kingdom of heaven is like a head of a household, who brings out of his treasure things new and old.”     X   oikode-spotes
Matt 14:8 Having been prompted by her mother, she *said, “Give me here on a platter the head of John the Baptist.” X       kephale
Matt 14:11 And his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother. X       kephale
Matt 24:43 “But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into.     X   oikode-spotes
Matt 26:7 a woman came to Him with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume, and she poured it on His head as He reclined at the table. X       kephale
Matt 27:29 And after twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand; and they knelt down before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” X       kephale
Matt 27:30 They spat on Him, and took the reed and began to beat Him on the head. X       kephale
Matt 27:37 And above His head they put up the charge against Him which read, “THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.” X       kephale
Matt 27:39 And those passing by were hurling abuse at Him, wagging their heads X       kephale
Verse Text Body
Part
Source Auth-ority Other Greek
Word
Mark 2:23 And it happened that He was passing through the grainfields on the Sabbath, and His disciples began to make their way along while picking the heads of grain.       X stachus
Mark 4:28 “The soil produces crops by itself; first the blade, then the head, then the mature grain in the head.       X stachus, stachus
Mark 6:24 And she went out and said to her mother, “What shall I ask for?” And she said, “The head of John the Baptist.” X       kephale
Mark 6:25 Immediately she came in a hurry to the king and asked, saying, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.” X       kephale
Mark 6:27 Immediately the king sent an executioner and commanded him to bring back his head. And he went and had him beheaded in the prison, X       kephale
Mark 6:28 and brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl; and the girl gave it to her mother. X       kephale
Mark 12:4 “Again he sent them another slave, and they wounded him in the head, and treated him shamefully. X       G2775
Mark 14:3 While He was in Bethany at the home of Simon the leper, and reclining at the table, there came a woman with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume of pure nard; and she broke the vial and poured it over His head. X       kephale
Mark 15:19 They kept beating His head with a reed, and spitting on Him, and kneeling and bowing before Him. X       kephale
Mark 15:29 Those passing by were hurling abuse at Him, wagging their heads, and saying, “Ha! You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, X       kephale
Luke 6:1 Now it happened that He was passing through some grainfields on a Sabbath; and His disciples were picking the heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands, and eating the grain.       X stachus
Luke 7:38 and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears, and kept wiping them with the hair of her head, and kissing His feet and anointing them with the perfume. X       kephale
Luke 7:46 “You did not anoint My head with oil, but she anointed My feet with perfume. X       kephale
Luke 9:58 And Jesus said to him, “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” X       kephale
Luke 12:7 “Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows. X       kephale
Luke 12:39 “But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have allowed his house to be broken into.     X   oikode-spotes
Luke 13:25 “Once the head of the house gets up and shuts the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock on the door, saying, ‘Lord, open up to us!’ then He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from.’     X   oikode-spotes
Luke 14:21 “And the slave came back and reported this to his master. Then the head of the household became angry and said to his slave, ‘Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the city and bring in here the poor and crippled and blind and lame.’     X   oikode-spotes
Luke 21:18 “Yet not a hair of your head will perish. X       kephale
Luke 21:28 “But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” X       kephale
Verse Text Body
Part
Source Auth-ority Other Greek
Word
John 13:9 Simon Peter *said to Him, “Lord, then wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head.” X       kephale
John 19:2 And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on His head, and put a purple robe on Him; X       kephale
John 19:30 Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit. X       kephale
John 20:7 and the face-cloth which had been on His head, not lying with the linen wrappings, but rolled up in a place by itself.         kephale
John 20:12 and she *saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and one at the feet, where the body of Jesus had been lying. X       kephale
Acts 18:6 But when they resisted and blasphemed, he shook out his garments and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am clean. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” X     X kephale
Acts 21:24 take them and purify yourself along with them, and pay their expenses so that they may shave their heads; and all will know that there is nothing to the things which they have been told about you, but that you yourself also walk orderly, keeping the Law. X       kephale
Acts 27:34 “Therefore I encourage you to take some food, for this is for your preservation, for not a hair from the head of any of you will perish.” X       kephale
Acts 27:40 And casting off the anchors, they left them in the sea while at the same time they were loosening the ropes of the rudders; and hoisting the foresail to the wind, they were heading for the beach.       X katecho
Rom 12:20 “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” X       kephale
1 Cor 11:3 But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.         kephale, kephale, kephale
1 Cor 11:4 Every man who has something on his head while praying or prophesying disgraces his head. X, X       kephale, kephale
1 Cor 11:5 But every woman who has her head uncovered while praying or prophesying disgraces her head, for she is one and the same as the woman whose head is shaved. X, X       kephale, kephale, kephale
1 Cor 11:6 For if a woman does not cover her head, let her also have her hair cut off; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, let her cover her head. X, X, X       –, –, –
1 Cor 11:7 For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. X       kephale
1 Cor 11:10 Therefore the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. X   X   kephale
1 Cor 11:13 Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? X      
1 Cor 12:21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; or again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” X       kephale
Verse Text Body
Part
Source Auth-ority Other Greek
Word
Eph 1:22 And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church,     X   kephale
Eph 4:15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, X X     kephale
Eph 5:23 For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body.         kephale, kephale
Col 1:18 He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything.         kephale
Col 2:10 and in Him you have been made complete, and He is the head over all rule and authority;     X   kephale
Col 2:19 and not holding fast to the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments, grows with a growth which is from God. X X?     kephale
Rev 1:14 His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire. X       kephale
Rev 4:4 Around the throne were twenty-four thrones; and upon the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white garments, and golden crowns on their heads. X       kephale
Rev 9:7 The appearance of the locusts was like horses prepared for battle; and on their heads appeared to be crowns like gold, and their faces were like the faces of men. X       kephale
Rev 9:17 And this is how I saw in the vision the horses and those who sat on them: the riders had breastplates the color of fire and of hyacinth and of brimstone; and the heads of the horses are like the heads of lions; and out of their mouths proceed fire and smoke and brimstone. X, X       kephale, kephale
Rev 9:19 For the power of the horses is in their mouths and in their tails; for their tails are like serpents and have heads, and with them they do harm. X       kephale
Rev 10:1 II saw another strong angel coming down out of heaven, clothed with a cloud; and the rainbow was upon his head, and his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire; X       kephale
Rev 12:1 AA great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars; X       kephale
Rev 12:3 Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems. X, X       kephale, kephale
Rev 13:1 And the dragon stood on the sand of the seashore. Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names. X, X       kephale, kephale
Rev 13:3 II saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast; X       kephale
Rev 14:14 Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and sitting on the cloud was one like a son of man, having a golden crown on His head and a sharp sickle in His hand. X       kephale
Rev 17:3 And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness; and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast, full of blasphemous names, having seven heads and ten horns. X       kephale
Rev 17:7 And the angel said to me, “Why do you wonder? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns. X       kephale
Rev 17:9 ““Here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits, X       kephale
Rev 18:19 ““And they threw dust on their heads and were crying out, weeping and mourning, saying, ‘Woe, woe, the great city, in which all who had ships at sea became rich by her wealth, for in one hour she has been laid waste!’ X       kephale
Rev 19:12 His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. X       kephale
 

 

 

  1. 2722 κατέχω [katecho /kat·ekh·o/] v. From 2596 and 2192; TDNT 2:829; TDNTA 286; GK 2988; 19 occurrences; AV translates as “hold” three times, “hold fast” three times, “keep” twice, “possess” twice, “stay” once, “take” once, “have” once, “make” once, and translated miscellaneously five times. 1 to hold back, detain, retain. 1a from going away. 1b to restrain, hinder (the course or progress of). 1b1 that which hinders, Antichrist from making his appearance. 1b2 to check a ship’s headway i.e. to hold or head the ship. 1c to hold fast, keep secure, keep firm possession of. 2 to get possession of, take. 2b to possess. Strong, J. (1996). The exhaustive concordance of the Bible : Showing every word of the text of the common English version of the canonical books, and every occurrence of each word in regular order. (electronic ed.) (G2722). Ontario: Woodside Bible Fellowship.
  2. 2776 κεφαλή [kephale /kef·al·ay/] n f. From the primary kapto (in the sense of seizing); TDNT 3:673; TDNTA 429; GK 3051; 76 occurrences; AV translates as “head” 76 times. 1 the head, both of men and often of animals. Since the loss of the head destroys life, this word is used in the phrases relating to capital and extreme punishment. 2 metaph. anything supreme, chief, prominent. 2a of persons, master lord: of a husband in relation to his wife. 2b of Christ: the Lord of the husband and of the Church. 2c of things: the corner stone. Strong, J. (1996). The exhaustive concordance of the Bible : Showing every word of the text of the common English version of the canonical books, and every occurrence of each word in regular order. (electronic ed.) (G2776). Ontario: Woodside Bible Fellowship.
  3. 3617 οiκοδεσπότης [oikodespotes /oy·kod·es·pot·ace/] n m. From 3624 and 1203; TDNT 2:49; TDNTA 145; GK 3867; 12 occurrences; AV translates as “householder” four times, “goodman of the house” four times, “master of the house” three times, and “goodman” once. 1 master of the house, householder. Strong, J. (1996). The exhaustive concordance of the Bible : Showing every word of the text of the common English version of the canonical books, and every occurrence of each word in regular order. (electronic ed.) (G3617). Ontario: Woodside Bible Fellowship.
  4. 4719 στάχυσ [stachus /stakh·oos/] n m. From the base of 2476; GK 5092; Five occurrences; AV translates as “ear of corn” three times, and “ear” twice. 1 an ear of corn or of growing grain. Strong, J. (1996). The exhaustive concordance of the Bible : Showing every word of the text of the common English version of the canonical books, and every occurrence of each word in regular order. (electronic ed.) (G4719). Ontario: Woodside Bible Fellowship.
 
 

About The Author

Matt Slick is the President and Founder of the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry.