Christ Pantocrator

Jesus Christ Pantocrator (Detail from the deesis mosaic in Hagia Sophia, Istanbul)

In Christian iconography, Christ Pantocrator (Greek: Χριστὸς Παντοκράτωρ)[1] is a specific depiction of Christ. Pantocrator or Pantokrator, usually translated as "Almighty" or "all-powerful", is derived from one of many names of God in Judaism.

The Pantokrator, largely an Eastern Orthodox or Eastern Catholic theological conception, is less common under that name in Western (Roman) Catholicism and largely unknown to most Protestants. In the West the equivalent image in art is known as Christ in Majesty, which developed a rather different iconography. Christ Pantocrator has come to suggest Christ as a mild but stern, all-powerful judge of humanity.

When the Hebrew Bible was translated into Greek as the Septuagint, Pantokrator was used both for YHWH Sabaoth "Lord of Hosts"[2] and for El Shaddai "God Almighty".[3] In the New Testament, Pantokrator is used once by Paul (2 Cor 6:18) and nine times in the Book of Revelation: 1:8, 4:8, 11:17, 15:3, 16:7, 16:14, 19:6, 19:15, and 21:22. The references to God the Father and God the Son in Revelation are at times interchangeable, Pantokrator appears to be reserved for the Father except, perhaps, in 1:8.


Christ Pantocrator mosaic in Byzantine style from the Cefalù Cathedral, Sicily

The most common translation of Pantocrator is "Almighty" or "All-powerful". In this understanding, Pantokrator is a compound word formed from the Greek words πᾶς, pas (GEN παντός pantos), i.e. "all"[4] and κράτος, kratos, i.e. "strength", "might", "power".[5] This is often understood in terms of potential power; i.e., ability to do anything, omnipotence.

Another, more literal translation is "Ruler of All" or, less literally, "Sustainer of the World". In this understanding, Pantokrator is a compound word formed from the Greek for "all" and the verb meaning "To accomplish something" or "to sustain something" (κρατεῖν, kratein). This translation speaks more to God's actual power; i.e., God does everything (as opposed to God can do everything).

Other Languages
aragonés: Pantocrator
català: Pantocràtor
čeština: Pantokrator
Deutsch: Pantokrator
Ελληνικά: Παντοκράτωρ
español: Pantocrátor
euskara: Pantokrator
galego: Pantocrátor
Bahasa Indonesia: Kristus Pantokrator
Kiswahili: Pantokrator
Latina: Pantocrator
magyar: Pantokrátor
Nederlands: Pantocrator
polski: Pantokrator
português: Pantocrator
română: Pantocrator
slovenčina: Pantokrator
slovenščina: Kristus Pantokrator
svenska: Pantokrator