- Dunamis. Pronounced doo-nah-mis, this occurs 120 times in the New Testament. It translates to “force”, “might”, “ability”, “energy”, “physical power”, and “miraculous power” (see Strong’s 1411 [Greek]). It is the root word to the words dynamite and dynamo (an electrical generator that produces direct current). The word loosely defined means “explosive power”.
Now in one book I was required to read in seminary, this particular word and its application in scripture came under attack. The argument was that since dynamite was not developed until the 1800’s, that the comparison between dunamis and dynamite is misaligned. I disagree, though. The root still means explosive power, and to the best of my knowledge no one has said that scripture references dynamite directly. What it is saying, though, is that one of the definitions of power is that there is a forceful energy from God that generates miraculous power. If that isn’t analogous to dynamite, then I don’t know what is.
This word is found extensively throughout the New Testament. In the Lord’s Prayer we read in Matthew 6:13:
9 In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name.
10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13 And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. (NKJV, italics added for emphasis)
“For Yours is the kingdom and the power…” The forceful, mighty, explosive miraculous ability of Almighty God!
Look at Philippians 3:8-11.
8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ
9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;
10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death,
11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. (NKJV, italics added for emphasis)
Now I don’t want to get too deep into the application on this. I preached several sermons on these verses, so there is a lot of depth to them. I’ll tackle these verses later. For now, just focus on “power of His resurrection” because it is so very important to the application to the life of the Christian. The resurrection of Jesus had explosive might that accomplished so much for us Christians! I’ll just leave it at that for now.
Other verses where dunamis is found are 2 Corinthians 13:4, Colossians 1:11, Acts 1:8, Ephesians 1:19, 2 Timothy 1:7, Hebrews 1:3, 1 Peter 1:5, 1 Thessalonians 1:5, Revelation 4:11, Revelation 5:12, and Revelation 15:8…just to name a few.