Berean Insights

And further, submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. 

For wives, this means submit to your husbands as to the Lord. (Eph 5:21 + 22)

Both verbs are ὑποτάσσω [hupotassō]

Strong's Definition:  to subordinate; reflexively to obey: - be under obedience (obedient), put under, subdue unto, (be, make) subject (to, unto), be (put) in subjection (to, under), submit self unto.

Thayer's Definition: 1) to arrange under, to subordinate 2) to subject, put in subjection 3) to subject one’s self, obey 4) to submit to one’s control 5) to yield to one’s admonition or advice 6) to obey, be subject

I was going to add more related to the meaning of hupotasso but. I am going to share with you what the Principal of my Bible College from years ago had to say in an email to me. I sometimes share with you what a reader has to say in response to questions I have asked or challenges I have given to you. Well this is no exception. David's comments are worth reading so I share them in their entirety. He has said the things I would have said and then he has added some thoughts from the book of Peter. So I have added those comments too. [I am thinking that I will go on to Gem Peter's letter some time but we will do Luke and Acts first. Here are David's comments.

Ian, a few thoughts I have about "submission". 

First, tasso means to arrange, or to order.  hupotasso means to arrange under the proper order.  The commonest use is probably as a military term - every person is to get into the proper arrangement: not only the privates, but the officers as well.

Secondly, the verb is always used in the middle voice - i.e. something that is self-chosen. And typically in a present tense - keep on putting yourself into the place assigned to you.
The position is self-chosen, not imposed by a superior authority., [i.e we must choose to submit, we r not forced to submit. Ian] The noun hupotage is from the perfect passive (or middle), but I think the only place where it is used is in 1Tim 3:4 with regard to children, and 1 Tim 2:11, where I think the noun has a middle, not passive, sense ie self chosen submissiveness, not enforced submittedness.

Now in 1 Peter, the passive form is used in 2:13 and 2:22, with regard to human institutions, and the submitted state of angels and principalities and powers to the exalted Christ, when Peter talks of submission (a main theme of 1 Peter) with regard to people - servants in 2:18, wives in 3:1, he uses a middle form.  The only exception is in 5:5, for youngers to elders, but interestingly, he suggests - note alternative punctuation, of full-stop only after allelois, as I would argue for - of submission of all to each other, including sometimes elders to youngers. However this "submission" is described as putting on the apron of humility - very much a self-chosen position.  Jesus, in John 13 was taking the position of a submitted servant - that's our model

Thirdly, while Paul never uses the word submit of the husband to the wife, does that mean this is excluded by the command to "keep on loving"?  Certainly not in 1 Peter 3, where responsibilities of husbands towards wives is covered in v 7.  Does not homoios imply submission both ways, and certainly "appointing honour/preciousness" does not suggest bossing!  Does the fact that a wife is commanded to be in submission mean she does not need to love? Of course not.  Would any husband be satisfied with submission without love? No, I think there is mutual submission, mutual love.

I think the modern attempts to portray Paul as "anti-feminist" are quite ridiculous, and lacking in any historical understanding.  After Jesus, Paul was the first radical feminist, if you really look at what he wrote eg in 1 Cor 7 and elsewhere.

Ah well, you stimulated me to wander, which did me good.  I hope there may be something of interest to you, Ian..  David
And I hope there maybe something of interest there for you dear reader of the Gemz and that David's comments might stimulate you.  Ian

One point I want to stress if I had written the Gem and I hadn't just clipped what David wrote (you can say I am lazy but it is not true) . . . Many think that submission is something that is forced upon us. It is not true. God does not work that way. We have to be willing to take His yoke (His burden) upon ourselves. As David has brought out with his comments on the sense of the middle passive it is a self chosen submissiveness not forced. It is a case of putting yourself in the place assigned to you and doing it on goingly. Willing submitting yourself over and over. It is not servitude but willing and yielded humility and deference. Many react to this concept – submit / subject yourself thinking that it is Christ who forces His submission upon you. Or forces the submission on the wife or vice versa on the husband. NO, the submission only works and accomplishes what God desires of it when the submitter does it willingly and with a [somewhat] cheerful heart. Similar to the cheerful giver, we need to be willing and cheerful submitters. 

Think about it, DEEPLY.

The commitment of two people to one another has become difficult and rare.  Yet, by its scarcity, the beauty and value of this exchange have only been enhanced.  Robert Sexton

More marriages might survive if the partners realized that sometimes the better comes after the worse.  Doug Larson

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