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In the NT the predominant term is Gr. κύριος, G3261, “Master,” a title widely used in classical Gr. The term is used not only to tr. the Aram. of Jesus’ time, but in quotations from the OT. This style was prob. derived from the OT which uses Kyrios to tr. a variety of the Heb. names and titles of God.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (1915)
The Aramaic designation, Mare’, occurs only in Da (e.g. 2:47; 5:23), and the same word refers to a man (4:24).
Of the Greek words, Kurios is freely used of both the Deity and men. Despotes, of men in classic usage, occurs only of God, including the ascended Jesus, and is employed only 5 times. Megistanes (plural) is found once, of men (
Our English versions distinguish the 3 main uses of the term thus:
(1) "LORD" represents the Hebrew Yahweh, Septuagint Kurios, except where ’Adhonay or ’Adhon is combined with Yahweh (= "Lord God"); the American Standard Revised Version has in these examples employed the name as it is found in the Hebrew, simply transliterated.
(2) "Lord" corresponds to ’Adhonay, ’Adhon, Mare’, also Greek Kurios (see (1)), and Despotes, for which the American Standard Revised Version has always "Master" in either the text or the margin.
(3) "Lord" ("lord") translates all the remaining 8 Hebrew words and the Greek words except Despotes. It is thus seen that Kurios corresponds to all three forms of writing the English term.