The powers that be

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The powers that be could use some help. Please research the article's assertions. Whatever is credible should be sourced, and what is not should be removed.

"The powers that be" as a phrase originated in William Tyndale's 1526 translationWikipedia of the Bible, where it characterises (Romans 13:1-2) the secular authorities (i.e., at that time, the monarchs and the aristocracy):

  1. Let every soule submit him selfe vnto the auctorite of ye hyer powers. For there is no power but of God.
  2. The powers that be are ordeyned of God. Whosoever therfore resysteth power resisteth the ordinaunce of God. And they that resist shall receave to the selfe damnacio.
—Romans 13:1-2, Tyndale's Bible

(Romans 13 does not appear to discuss (for example) the case of defections to North Korea to serve alternative "hyer powers". Or "hyer powers" that are grossly unfit to hold power, for that matter.)

The editors of the King James Version adopted the phrase, but modern translations prefer a less archaic wording: it's "the authorities that exist have been established by God" in the NIV.

Modern English vernacular language uses the phrase "the powers that be" with the same meaning ("the government"), usually in a satirical way. In the jargon of conspiracy theorists, though, it is used as a placeholder name for whatever sinister forces CTs imagine to be actually ruling the world. (Partially because they can't reach an agreement whether it's ruled by the Freemasons, the Illuminati, or the Jews reptilian aliens.) The phrase is usually abbreviated to TPTB, and it's often used by the rank-and-file inhabitants of forums like Above Top Secret and Godlike Productions.

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