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CROWNS in the New Testament


A. A golden crown - a symbol of royalty or exalted rank

  1. Worn by Jesus Christ - Revelation 14:14 [See also "diadem" - the last section of this study.]

  2. Worn by the 24 "elders" - Revelation 4:4, 10 (perhaps representing all the saved, who will rule forever with Jesus; they express their unworthiness and humility by casting their crowns before the One on the throne


B. A wreath-like crown worn, or garland, by an Olympic victor - a symbol of victory

  1. Certain features of this crown are used to illustrate spiritual principles.

  2. It is perishable - 1 Corinthians 9:25 (contrasted to the "crown" we strive for, in Christ)

  3. It is obtainable only by those who compete according to the rules - 2 Timothy 2:5 (the need for endurance and faithfulness, etc.)


C. A crown of thorns - an expression of mockery, humility

  1. For us, the King of Kings wore a crown of thorns. [Having had victory on the cross, he now wears a golden crown.]

  2. The soldiers put a scarlet/purple robe on him and a crown of thorns (etc.) and mocked him - Matthew 27:29; Mark 15:17; John 19:2, 5


D. People described as "crowns"

  1. A figurative use of the word "crown." To Paul, it would be an honor, a source of great joy, to have them as his friends (or even as his "sons" and "daughters" in the faith, as in 1 Corinthians 4:14-15). He valued them more than the precious gems that might be in a literal crown.

  2. "You are my joy and my crown" - Philippians 4:1; 1 Thessalonians 2:19


E. Eternal blessings we have in Christ - described as "crowns"

  1. These crowns are crowns of victory, and would be represented by the crowns worn by Olympic victors. In these verses, the word itself is either used metaphorically, in the sense of a "reward," or (if a genuine physical crown is intended) as a symbol of the blessing that is described.

  2. Righteousness - 2 Timothy 4:8 (waiting for all who eagerly look forward to the coming of Jesus, the Righteous Judge)

  3. Life in its fullest sense - not just biological life (which is a different N.T. word)

  4. Glory (and honor)


F. Book of Revelation - misc. crowns mentioned in the symbolism and visions

  1. A crown given to the rider on a white horse - in this chapter, most likely the Antichrist (or someone like him) - Revelation 6:2

  2. The "locusts" whose appearance included something that was crown-like on their heads - Revelation 9:7

  3. A crown of 12 stars, on a woman who was about to give birth to a son - Revelation 12:1 (the focus = the 12 tribes, Israel and the son, Jesus, who would be born a Jew)


G. Book of Revelation: a "diadem" - a kingly crown (a different word in the Greek N.T.)

  1. Worn by the dragon - Revelation 12:3

  2. Worn by the beast - Revelation 13:1

  3. Finally (and for eternity) worn by the King of Kings - Revelation 19:12

Dennis Hinks © 2001