SPECIAL TOPIC: PAUL'S USE OF HUPER COMPOUNDS

Paul had a special fondness for creating new words using the Greek preposition huper, which basically means "over" or "upper."  When used with the genitive (ablative) it means "in behalf of."  It can also mean "about" or "concerning," like peri (cf. 2 Cor. 8:23; 2 Thess. 2:18).  When used with the accusative it means "above," "over," or "beyond" (cf. A. T. Robertson, A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research, pp. 625-633).  When Paul wanted to accentuate a concept he used this preposition in a compound. Following is a list of Paul's special use of this preposition in compounds.

A. Hapax legomenon (used only once in the NT)

1. Huperakmos, one past the prime of life, 1 Cor. 7:36

2. Huperauxanō, to increase exceedingly, 2 Thess. 1:3

3. Huperbainō, to overstep or transgress, 1 Thess. 4:6

4. Huperkeina, beyond, 2 Cor. 10:16

5. Huperekteina, overextend, 2 Cor. 10:14

6. Huperentugchanō, to intercede, Rom. 8:26

7. Hupernikaō, to be abundantly victorious, Rom. 8:37

8. Huperpleonazō, to be in exceeding abundance, 1 Tim. 1:14

9. Huperupsoō, to exalt supremely, Phil. 2:9

10. Huperphroneō, to have lofty thoughts, Rom. 12:3 

B. Words used only in Paul's writings.

1. Huperairomai, to exalt oneself, 2 Cor. 12:7; 2 Thess. 2:4

2. Huperballontōs, above measure, exceedingly, 2 Cor. 11:23; (adverb only here, but verb in 2 Cor. 3:10; 9:14; Eph. 1:19; 2:7; 3:19) 

3. Huperbolē, an overshooting, an extraordinary armoring, Rom. 7:13; 1 Cor. 12:31; 2 Cor. 1:8; 4:7,17; 22:7; Gal. 1:13

4. Huperekperissou, beyond all measure, Eph. 3:20; 1 Thess. 3:10; 5:13

5. Huperlian, in the highest degree or preeminently, 2 Cor. 11:5; 12:11

6. Huperochē, prominence, excellence, 1 Cor. 2:1; 1 Tim. 2:2

7. Huperperisseuō, to super abound, Rom. 5:20 (middle voice, to be abundantly filled, overflowing, 2 Cor. 7:4)

C. Words used by Paul and rarely in other NT writers

1. Huperanō, far above, Eph. 1:21; 4:10; and Heb. 9:5

2. Huperechō, excellence, preeminence, Rom. 13:1; Phil. 2:3; 3:8; 4:7; 1 Pet. 2:13

3. Huperēphanos, assuming or haughty, Rom. 1:30; 2 Tim. 3:2 and Luke 1:51; James 4:6; 1 Pet. 5:5.

Paul was a man of great passion; when things or people were good, they were very good and when they were bad, they were very bad.  This preposition allowed him to express his superlative feelings about sin, self, and Christ and the Gospel.

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