Saturday, October 8, 2011

Submission. What does it mean?

(Submission is a significant part of the teachings of Vision Forum, and many other groups that focus on human control. As such, it will be wise to rethink what submission really mean in the Bible. My simple and first comment on submission will be that the Lord calls everyone to do it (Eph. 5:21), so it cannot mean those who have to do it are hierarchically lower than others. Everyone cannot be below everyone in a hierarchy, but everyone can submit.
This blog entry from R. Faurie is another take on the topic. Reposted with permission from here. )

Submit, how? The wife’s “proper place”

Hypotasso, translated into English Bibles as submit (as in, for example, the verses that wives have to submit) is a combination of two Greek words.
The one is hypo, the other tasso.
Tasso means to arrange, and hypo means, according to the dominionists, under. And thus hupotasso would be, they say, to arrange under.
Arranging yourself with or under a manHypo – G5259 in Greek dictionaries – is used 230 times in the Bible. It is mostly translated as of. Often, it is translated as under or by or with, and in singular cases as when or from or among. Hypo is under in just over 20% of the uses.
of: “spoken of the Lord” (Mat. 1:22)
“the glory of men” (Mat. 6:2)
by: “spoken by the prophet”(Mat. 2:17)
“baptised by John” (Mat. 3:13)
“tempted by the devil” (Mat. 4:1)
under: “put it under a bushel” (Mat. 5:13)
“under authority” (Mat 8:8)
“under her wings” (Mat 23:37)
with: “vexed with unclean spirits” (Acts 5:16)
“carried with a tempest” (2Pet 2:17)
among: “of good report among all” (Acts 10:22)
The Greek word translated submit, then, may be loyalty or co-operation, arranging yourself by, arranging yourself about/ of (another), or arranging yourself with.

What if this was translated badly all along? What if translaters chose submit – arrange under – because of their limited understanding of scripture, and not because it was what the message actually said? What if the wife’s proper place, into which she should arrange herself, is beside her man and not below him?
Could it even be that Paul and Peter told 1st-century wives, who would have been positioned by society as below the men, to rise up to partner level?


  1. Would you go so far as to say the bride of Christ is equal with Christ?

  2. No, but I would go say that the submission verses may fall in the same class as those where Jesus calls us His friends. Although Christ is above us, the friendship verses does not mention the inequality. We are below Christ because of other things, not because friendship have to be hierarchal.
    Arrange-with/by/under/of may fall in the same class– a word that may talk of loyalty, a loyalty that could be given to an equal or a superior.
    Also remember that in His Kingdom, the greatest is the servant of all! Christ is higher not because we serve him, but by serving us first, serving us in a more significant way than we can serve Him. As such, anyone who want to make a Christian hierarchy, should regard helpers/ servants as the highest, not as those who should obey all orders.