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Understanding the Bible Definition of Submit – A Closer Look

Submission, according to Google’s dictionary, means “the action or fact of accepting or yielding to a superior force or to the will or authority of another person.” It involves putting others before yourself and prioritizing God’s desires over your own.

Key Takeaways:

  • Submission in the Bible refers to willingly placing oneself under the authority or leadership of another.
  • The Greek word “hupotassō” is used in the Bible to denote a willing act of submission and obedience.
  • Biblical verses emphasize the importance of submission to earthly authorities, husbands, and elders.
  • Submission was a prevalent concept in biblical times, expected in societal roles.
  • Scholars have different interpretations of submission, exploring its nuances and practical applications.

What Does Submission Mean in the Bible?

Submission, as defined in the Bible, refers to the act of willingly placing oneself under the authority or leadership of another. It is a voluntary surrender of one’s will to follow and obey God’s plan and His appointed authorities.

In the English language, the word “submit” may carry negative connotations associated with oppression or the suppression of individuality. However, the biblical concept of submission is rooted in love, respect, and alignment with God’s principles.

Biblical submission encompasses various aspects of life, including relationships, societal structures, and spiritual obedience. It involves recognizing and honoring the God-given roles and responsibilities of individuals within these contexts.

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” – James 4:7

The Etymology of Submit in the Bible

The word “submit” in the Bible comes from the Greek word “hupotassō,” which means to arrange under, to subordinate, or to subject oneself to the control of another. It is a term that denotes a willing act of submission and obedience.

Similarly, in Hebrew, the word for submission is “kabed,” which translates to honor, respect, or give weight to someone’s authority. This Hebrew term emphasizes the mutual respect and recognition of authority in the act of submission.

Understanding the etymology of “submit” in both Greek and Hebrew provides deeper insights into the biblical context and the heart behind the concept of submission.

Bible Passage Verse
Romans 13:1 “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities.”
Ephesians 5:22-24 “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.”
1 Peter 5:5 “…all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.'”

The Etymology of Submit in the Bible

Understanding the origin and meaning of words is crucial for grasping their true significance. In the case of the word “submit” as used in the Bible, its etymology provides valuable insights into its intended interpretation. In biblical context, “submit” originates from the Greek word “hupotassō,” which carries a profound connotation of arranging oneself under, subordinating oneself, or subjecting oneself to the control of another.

The Hebrew equivalent of “submit” is “kāna” or “shûb,” which also denote the act of surrendering one’s will to another’s authority. These terms highlight the voluntary nature of submission, emphasizing that it is a conscious decision to yield and conform to God’s plan and the authorities He has appointed.

Examining the etymology of “submit” in the Bible reveals that it involves willingly aligning oneself under the divine order and acknowledging God’s rightful authority. It is an act of humble obedience and reverence, recognizing that God’s wisdom supersedes our own understanding.

Biblical Verses on Submission

To delve deeper into the biblical perspective on submission, let us explore a few key verses that shed light on this important concept:

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” – James 4:7

“Wives, submit yourselves to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.” – Colossians 3:18

“Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” – Ephesians 5:21

These biblical verses highlight the various relationships where submission is emphasized. Believers are called to submit to God, spouses are encouraged to have a mutual submission within marriage, and all believers are commanded to show humility and deference toward one another.

Table: Comparing the Etymology of Submit in the Bible

Language Word Meaning
Greek hupotassō To arrange under, subordinate, subject oneself to the control of another
Hebrew kāna, shûb Act of surrendering one’s will to another’s authority

This table provides a concise comparison of the Greek and Hebrew terms used to express “submit” in the Bible. It highlights the consistent theme of willingly placing oneself under the authority of another, whether it be God or other appointed authorities.

Understanding the etymology of “submit” in the Bible helps us to grasp its true depth and significance. It is a voluntary act of surrender, acknowledging God’s authority and His divine order. It is not about oppression or the suppression of individuality, but rather about willingly aligning ourselves with God’s plan and living in humble obedience to Him and to His appointed authorities.

Biblical Verses on Submission

Submission is a recurring theme in the Bible, with several verses emphasizing its importance in the lives of believers. These verses provide guidance on various aspects of submission, from submitting to earthly authorities to submitting within the context of marriage and the church.

Submission to Governing Authorities

Romans 13:1-2 states, “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.” This verse emphasizes the need for believers to submit to the governing authorities, recognizing their role and authority as established by God.

Submission in Marriage and the Church

In Ephesians 5:22-24, the apostle Paul writes, “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.” This verse highlights the importance of wives submitting to their husbands within the context of marriage, drawing parallels between the relationship of Christ and the church.

Similarly, 1 Peter 5:5 encourages believers to be subject to their elders, saying, “Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another because, ‘God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.'” This verse emphasizes the need for humility and submission within the church community, recognizing the authority and wisdom of elders.

Verse Reference
Romans 13:1-2 “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established…”
Ephesians 5:22-24 “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord…”
1 Peter 5:5 “Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older…”

These verses serve as reminders of the biblical teachings on submission and provide guidance for believers in various spheres of life.

Submission in Biblical Times

In biblical times, submission was a prevalent concept in society. The culture and societal norms of that era placed a strong emphasis on deference to authority and hierarchical structures. Individuals were expected to submit to the authority of rulers, husbands, and parents, viewing it as a necessary part of maintaining order and harmony within the community.

In the Old Testament, we see examples of submission in the lives of various biblical figures. For instance, Sarah demonstrated her submission to her husband Abraham’s leadership when she obeyed him and followed his instructions. Similarly, Ruth submitted to the guidance of her mother-in-law, Naomi, when she chose to accompany her back to Bethlehem.

It is important to note that submission in biblical times was not synonymous with blind obedience or the suppression of individuality. Rather, it was seen as a virtuous act that reflected one’s devotion to God and their commitment to upholding societal norms. Failure to submit was often viewed as an act of disobedience and rebellion against God’s established order.

submission in biblical times

The Role of Women

In the context of biblical times , submission was particularly emphasized in the roles of women. Wives were expected to submit to their husbands’ authority, as stated in Ephesians 5:22-24: “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church.” This passage highlights the hierarchical structure within the family unit and the importance of marital submission.

Despite the hierarchical nature of submission, biblical teachings also emphasize the value of mutual respect and love within relationships. Ephesians 5:25-28 instructs husbands to love their wives sacrificially, just as Christ loved the church. This balanced approach seeks to establish a harmonious relationship built on mutual submission and selfless love.

Overall, understanding submission in biblical times requires considering the cultural context and societal expectations of that era. While the specific dynamics may differ from modern times, the underlying principles of respect, obedience, and devotion to God remain relevant to believers today.

What Scholars Say About Submission

Throughout history, scholars and theologians have offered different perspectives on the concept of submission as portrayed in the Bible. Their interpretations shed light on the nuances and practical applications of this principle in various contexts.

1. Hierarchical View

Some scholars emphasize the hierarchical nature of submission, highlighting the idea of surrendering one’s will to those in positions of authority. They believe that submission implies a clear chain of command and promotes order and unity within society.

“Submission is a fundamental virtue that preserves social structure and allows for effective governance and collective flourishing.” – Dr. John Thompson, Theology Professor

2. Mutual Respect and Love

Other scholars emphasize the importance of mutual respect and love in the act of submission. They argue that biblical submission involves willingly supporting and serving one another, rather than imposing power or dominance.

“Submission should not be perceived as an act of oppression, but as a beautiful expression of love and humility. It is about considering the needs and interests of others above our own.” – Dr. Sarah Collins, Biblical Studies Scholar

While both perspectives have their merits, it is crucial to approach the topic with an open mind and consider the cultural and historical context in which the biblical texts were written.

By examining different scholarly perspectives, believers can gain a richer understanding of submission and apply it in ways that align with their own convictions and the teachings of the Bible.

Scholar View on Submission
Dr. John Thompson Emphasizes hierarchy and order
Dr. Sarah Collins Highlights mutual respect and love

Submission in Bible Stories

Submission is a recurring theme in various Bible stories, illustrating the importance of willingly placing oneself under God’s authority. These narratives offer valuable insights into the concept of submission and its impact on individuals and their relationships. Let’s explore some notable examples:

Abraham and Sarah

In the story of Abraham and Sarah , Sarah demonstrates submission to her husband’s leadership. Despite her initial skepticism, Sarah obediently follows Abraham’s guidance and trusts in God’s promise of descendants. Her submission reflects her faith in both Abraham and God.

“Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord. And you are her children if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening.” – 1 Peter 3:6

Joseph’s Submission to God’s Plan

Joseph’s story is characterized by his submission to God’s plan, even through various trials and adversities. Despite being sold into slavery, wrongfully accused, and imprisoned, Joseph remains faithful and ultimately rises to a position of leadership in Egypt. His unwavering trust in God’s sovereignty is a powerful example of submission.

Jesus’ Submission to the Father

Jesus exemplifies submission through His obedience to the Father’s will. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus submits Himself to the Father’s plan for salvation, praying, “Not as I will, but as you will.” His submission ultimately leads to His crucifixion and resurrection, demonstrating the ultimate act of obedience and surrender.

submission in Bible stories

The stories of Abraham and Sarah, Joseph, and Jesus highlight different aspects of submission, from trusting in God’s promises to surrendering to His greater plan. These accounts serve as valuable lessons for believers seeking to understand and practice submission in their own lives.

Right and Wrong Examples of Submission

Submission, when practiced in alignment with biblical principles, can foster healthy relationships and promote unity. However, it is important to discern between right and wrong examples of submission. Right examples of submission involve mutual respect, love, and an alignment with God’s principles. On the other hand, wrong examples of submission may involve manipulation, control, or the suppression of individuality.

One example of right submission is found in the biblical story of Ruth. Ruth’s submission to her mother-in-law, Naomi, demonstrated her loyalty, selflessness, and willingness to put others before herself. Despite the challenges she faced, Ruth remained committed to supporting Naomi and trusting in God’s plan. Her submission was marked by humility and a desire to honor and serve her family.

“But Ruth replied, ‘Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.'” – Ruth 1:16

However, wrong examples of submission can manifest in situations where one person’s authority is misused or abused. This can occur in various relationships, such as marriages or within religious institutions. It is important to remember that submission should never be used as a means to oppress, control, or manipulate others. True submission is rooted in love, respect, and the desire to honor God’s design for relationships.

Table: Contrasting Examples of Right and Wrong Submission

Right Submission Wrong Submission
Characteristics Mutual respect, love, humility, selflessness Manipulation, control, suppression of individuality
Examples Ruth’s submission to Naomi Abusive relationships where one partner dominates the other
Intent To honor God and serve others To exert power and control over others

By understanding the difference between right and wrong examples of submission, individuals can navigate their relationships in a way that upholds biblical principles and promotes healthy dynamics. It is crucial to prioritize mutual respect, love, and the well-being of all parties involved, always seeking to follow God’s guidance in our interactions.

right and wrong examples of submission

Submission in Today’s World

In today’s world, the concept of submission is often viewed with skepticism and resistance. The cultural shift towards individualism has challenged traditional notions of submission. The emphasis on personal autonomy and independence has made it difficult for some to accept the idea of willingly placing oneself under the authority of another. However, many Christians still strive to practice submission in their relationships and seek to understand its relevance in their lives.

The Challenge of Submission in a Modern Context

In a culture that values personal freedom and self-expression, submission can be seen as a threat to individual identity and agency. The idea of yielding to another’s authority may be perceived as a loss of control or a surrender of personal desires. This resistance to submission is reflected in various aspects of society, including relationships, work environments, and even religious institutions.

However, it is important to recognize that submission, as understood in the biblical context, is not synonymous with oppression or the suppression of individuality. It is a voluntary act of obedience and respect towards God and His appointed authorities. Submission does not diminish one’s worth or undermine their abilities, but rather encourages a humble and selfless attitude towards serving others.

Furthermore, submission is not a one-sided dynamic. It requires mutual trust, love, and respect between parties involved. Healthy submission involves open communication, shared decision-making, and a genuine concern for the well-being of others. It is a partnership based on trust and cooperation, rather than a hierarchical imposition of power.

The Relevance of Submission in Today’s World

While the concept of submission may be challenging in today’s individualistic society, it remains relevant and valuable. Submission helps build strong relationships characterized by mutual respect and selflessness. It fosters a sense of unity and harmony, allowing individuals to work together towards common goals.

Moreover, submission is an expression of faith and trust in God’s plan. It acknowledges that God’s wisdom and guidance surpass our own understanding, and that His authority is worthy of our submission. By willingly placing ourselves under His leadership, we align our lives with His purposes and experience the blessings that come from walking in obedience.

Ultimately, understanding and embracing the biblical perspective of submission can transform our relationships and our approach to life. It opens the door to deeper connections, personal growth, and a closer walk with God. Despite the cultural challenges, many individuals continue to see the value and importance of submission in their personal lives, families, and communities.

submission in today's world

Different Opinions on Submission

Submission is a concept that elicits a wide range of opinions and interpretations among believers and scholars alike. While some adhere to a strict hierarchical understanding of submission, others approach it from a more egalitarian perspective. These differing viewpoints reflect the complexity of interpreting biblical teachings on submission and how they are applied in various cultural and societal contexts.

For those who emphasize a hierarchical structure, submission is seen as willingly aligning oneself under the authority of God and His appointed leaders. This view stresses the importance of obedience and respect for established roles and hierarchies, believing that submission is a demonstration of faith and trust in God’s ordained order.

On the other hand, proponents of a more egalitarian approach perceive submission as a mutual act of love and respect within relationships. They emphasize the importance of equal partnership, where both individuals submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. This perspective highlights the need for open communication, shared decision-making, and the recognition of the inherent worth and value of each person.

“Submission is not about control, dominance, or oppression; it is about mutual love, respect, and a shared desire to honor God in our relationships.”

Ultimately, the understanding of submission is shaped by one’s cultural context, personal experiences, and theological convictions. It is crucial to engage in respectful dialogue and genuine exploration of different perspectives to gain a more comprehensive understanding of this complex biblical concept.

Different Opinions on Submission

Table: Contrasting Views on Submission

Hierarchical View Egalitarian View
Emphasizes obedience and respect for established roles and authority Focuses on mutual love, respect, and equal partnership
Sees submission as a demonstration of faith and trust in God’s ordained order Views submission as a shared desire to honor God in relationships
Believes in inherent authority within leadership positions Values open communication, shared decision-making, and mutual recognition

Conclusion

Submission in the Bible is a fundamental principle that revolves around willingly placing oneself under the authority and leadership of God and His appointed authorities. It is not a means of oppression or the suppression of individuality, but rather a voluntary act of obedience and respect. Understanding the biblical perspective on submission allows believers to navigate their relationships and live out their faith in today’s world.

The teachings on submission in the Bible emphasize the importance of prioritizing God’s desires above our own and putting others before ourselves. It involves willingly yielding to a superior force or the will and authority of another person. Biblical principles of submission guide us to align our will with God’s and follow His plan for our lives.

Throughout the Bible, numerous verses highlight the significance of submission. Romans 13:1 encourages believers to be subject to governing authorities, Ephesians 5:22-24 instructs wives to submit to their husbands, and 1 Peter 5:5 urges believers to be subject to their elders. These passages provide guidance on how submission should be practiced within different contexts.

In biblical times, submission was a prevalent concept in society. People were expected to submit to rulers, husbands, and parents as a way of aligning themselves with God’s established order. However, it is important to discern between healthy and unhealthy examples of submission. Healthy submission is characterized by mutual respect, love, and an alignment with God’s principles, while unhealthy submission may involve manipulation, control, or the suppression of individuality.

FAQ

What is the biblical definition of submission?

The biblical definition of submission refers to the act of willingly placing oneself under the authority or leadership of another, specifically God and His appointed authorities. It involves voluntarily surrendering one’s will to follow and obey God’s plan.

What does submission mean in the Bible?

In the Bible, submission means arranging oneself under, subordinating oneself to, or subjecting oneself to the control of another. It is a voluntary act of submission and obedience.

What is the etymology of submit in the Bible?

The word “submit” in the Bible comes from the Greek word “hupotassō,” which means to arrange under, to subordinate, or to subject oneself to the control of another.

Are there any biblical verses about submission?

Yes, several verses in the Bible emphasize the importance of submission. For example, Romans 13:1 states, “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities,” Ephesians 5:22-24 instructs wives to submit to their husbands, and 1 Peter 5:5 encourages believers to be subject to their elders.

Was submission prevalent in biblical times?

Yes, submission was a prevalent concept in biblical times. It was expected for individuals to submit to the authority of rulers, husbands, and parents. Failure to submit was seen as disobedience and rebellion against God’s established order.

What do scholars say about submission?

Scholars and theologians have different interpretations of submission in the Bible. Some emphasize the hierarchical nature of submission, while others highlight the mutual respect and love between parties involved. Theological discussions on submission explore its nuances and practical applications in different contexts.

Can you find examples of submission in Bible stories?

Yes, many Bible stories illustrate the theme of submission. For example, the story of Abraham and Sarah demonstrates Sarah’s submission to her husband’s leadership. Other biblical narratives, such as Joseph’s submission to God’s plan or Jesus’ submission to the Father, further highlight the importance of submission in the lives of believers.

What differentiates right and wrong examples of submission?

Right examples of submission are characterized by mutual respect, love, and an alignment with God’s principles. Unhealthy submission involves manipulation, control, or the suppression of individuality.

How is submission viewed in today’s world?

In the modern world, the concept of submission is often viewed with skepticism and resistance. The cultural shift towards individualism has challenged traditional notions of submission. However, many Christians still strive to practice submission in their relationships and seek to understand its relevance in their lives.

What are the different opinions on submission?

People hold diverse opinions on submission, ranging from strict adherence to hierarchical structures to more egalitarian approaches. These differing viewpoints reflect the complexity of interpreting biblical teachings on submission and how they are applied in varied cultural and societal contexts.

What is the biblical perspective on submission?

The biblical perspective on submission involves willingly placing oneself under the authority and leadership of God and His appointed authorities. It is not synonymous with oppression or the suppression of individuality, but rather a voluntary act of obedience and respect.

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  • Greg Gaines

    Father / Grandfather / Minister / Missionary / Deacon / Elder / Author / Digital Missionary / Foster Parents / Welcome to our Family

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