What kind of crowns are there?
In the Hebrew, there are three words for a crown that is worn on the head. Each one is used with different significance.
Hebrew “Nezer” is a crown to set apart the high priest and the kings of Israel. In the Septuagint, it is translated as “Diadem”. Let’s look at some examples. Leviticus 8:9; Psalm 132:13-18
9 And he set the turban on his head, and on the turban, in front, he set the golden plate, the holy crown, as the Lord commanded Moses.
13 For the Lord has chosen Zion; he has desired it for his dwelling place: 14 “This is my resting place forever; here I will dwell, for I have desired it. 15 I will abundantly bless her provisions; I will satisfy her poor with bread. 16 Her priests I will clothe with salvation, and her saints will shout for joy. 17 There I will make a horn to sprout for David; I have prepared a lamp for my anointed. 18 His enemies I will clothe with shame, but on him his crown will shine.”
Hebrew “‘Atarah” is used of crowns for many purposes, including crowns symbolizing rule and reward. The Greek equivalent would be “Stephanos”. Let’s look at some examples. 2 Samuel 12:30; Psalm 21:1-3; Psalm 103:1-5. Proverbs 4:9.
30 And he took the crown of their king from his head. The weight of it was a talent of gold, and in it was a precious stone, and it was placed on David’s head. And he brought out the spoil of the city, a very great amount.
1 O Lord, in your strength the king rejoices, and in your salvation how greatly he exults! 2 You have given him his heart’s desire and have not withheld the request of his lips. Selah 3 For you meet him with rich blessings; you set a crown of fine gold upon his head.
1 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! 2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, 3 who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, 4 who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, 5 who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
9 She will place on your head a graceful garland; she will bestow on you a beautiful crown.”
Hebrew “Kether is a circlet or diadem used only 4 times in the OT, three of those in reference to a Persian king or queen’s crown. It is translated as “diadema” in the Septuagint.
In Greek there are two kinds of crowns:
“Stephanos” in the NT is used mainly as a reward, but also signifies rule. Let’s look at its uses in the NT. Matthew 27:29; 1 Corinthians 9:25; Philippians 4:1; 2 Timothy 4:8; James 1:12; 1 Peter 5:4; Revelation 3:11; 4:4,10; 6:2; 9:6; 12:1; 14:14.
29 and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!”
25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.
1 Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.
8 Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.
12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.
4 And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.
11 I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown.
4 Around the throne were twenty-four thrones, and seated on the thrones were twenty-four elders, clothed in white garments, with golden crowns on their heads.
2 And I looked, and behold, a white horse! And its rider had a bow, and a crown was given to him, and he came out conquering, and to conquer.
7 In appearance the locusts were like horses prepared for battle: on their heads were what looked like crowns of gold; their faces were like human faces,
1 And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.
14 Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and seated on the cloud one like a son of man, with a golden crown on his head, and a sharp sickle in his hand.
“Diadema” in the NT is used as a crown to rule, but this is not always the case in the Septuagint. Let’s look at its uses in the NT. Revelation 12:3; 13:1; 19:12
3 And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven diadems.
1 And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads.
12 His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself.
Where does the idea of crowns being a reward come from?
The use of crown in Proverbs, and the reception of a crown in the Roman Olympic games.
How do we receive a crown?
We demonstrate faithful loyalty.
Do the crowns we receive include shared rule?
Yes, the context and use of “Stephanos” does include shared rule.
What do you think that shared rule will look like?