A Few Thoughts About Submission




A Few Thoughts About Submission

What Is Submissive In 1 Peter 3:1-7

Which Interpretation Is Correct

1 Peter 3:1-7 NKJV Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. 3 Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— 4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. 5 For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, 6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror. 7 Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.

A better translation understanding that the Greek word implies no defiance or resistance: 1 Peter 3:1-7 GW Wives, in a similar way, place yourselves under your husbands’ authority. Some husbands may not obey God’s word. Their wives could win these men for Christ by the way they live without saying anything. 2 Their husbands would see how pure and reverent their lives are. 3 Wives must not let their beauty be something external. Beauty doesn’t come from hairstyles, gold jewelry, or clothes. 4 Rather, beauty is something internal that can’t be destroyed. Beauty expresses itself in a gentle and quiet attitude which God considers precious. 5 After all, this is how holy women who had confidence in God expressed their beauty in the past. They placed themselves under their husbands’ authority 6 as Sarah did. Sarah obeyed Abraham and spoke to him respectfully. You became Sarah’s daughters by not letting anything make you afraid to do good. 7 Husbands, in a similar way, live with your wives with understanding since they are weaker than you are. Honor your wives as those who share God’s life-giving kindness so that nothing will interfere with your prayers.

A1 The wrong interpretation

B1 Address husband as “lord,” that is, sovereign, master.

B2 Obey everything he commands.

B3 Totally submissive and meeting his needs and wants with anticipation

A2 The correct interpretation

B1 Speak respectfully.

B2 Obey God’s commands.

B3 Be kind to each other.

A3 Notes

B1 Abusers, controllers, and other evil people love this verse to abuse their wives.

B2 The words submission, etc.

C1 English

D1 Submission, etc. has the idea of resistance. Force is needed to do whatever to cause this resistance to yield.

E1 First Source

F1 Archaic: yield, humility, meekness (Oxford Dictionaries powered by Bing). Note this in helping to understand the passage.

F2 Submission NOUN

  1. the action or fact of accepting or yielding to a superior force or to the will or authority of another person.

  2. “they were forced into submission”

  3. synonyms: yielding · capitulation · agreement · acceptance · consent · accession · compliance

  4. antonyms: defiance

  5. (Source= Oxford Dictionaries powered by Bing and here)

F3 Synonyms: synonyms: compliance · submissiveness · yielding · malleability · acquiescence · tractability · tractableness · manageability · unassertiveness · nonresistance · passivity · obedience · biddability · dutifulness · duteousness · docility · meekness · tameness · patience · resignation · humility · self-effacement · deference · subservience · servility · subjection · self-abasement · obsequiousness · obeisance · bootlicking antonyms: defiance · resistance (Source= Oxford Dictionaries powered by Bing).

E2 Second Source: submission noun (ACCEPTING AUTHORITY)

E3 Third Source from the 1913 Webster Dictionary here.

D2 Subject, subjection (Source): VERB [WITH OBJECT] Pronunciation /səbˈdʒɛkt/

  1. subject someone/something to Cause or force someone or something to undergo (a particular experience or form of treatment, typically an unwelcome or unpleasant one)

    1. he’d subjected her to a terrifying ordeal’

  2. Bring (a person or country) under one’s control or jurisdiction, typically by using force.

    1. the city had been subjected to Macedonian rule’

C2 Greek

D1 ὑποτάσσω hypotássō

E1 There is no sense of resistance or defiance. Examples (KJV is used because it uses the words subject, subjection, submit, etc):

F1 The Lord Jesus would not show defiance to Joseph and Mary:

G1 KJV translation: Luke 2:51 KJV – And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject[G5293] unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.

G2 My translation: Luke 2:51 WEL He left with them and came to Nazareth and was under their authority, but his mother kept all these words in her heart.

F2 Verse 32 would not imply resistance, so the context would show no resistance in verse 34 either.

G1 KJV translation: 1 Corinthians 14:32, 34 KJV And the spirits of the prophets are subject[G5293] to the prophets. … Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience,[G5293] as also saith the law.

G2 My translation: 1 Corinthians 14:32-34 WEL 32 The spirits of the prophets are under the control of the prophets, 33 For God is not the [instigator] of confusion but of peace, as in all congregations of the saints. 34 Let your wives remain silent in the congregations, for it is not allowed for them to speak but to be under authority as even the law states.

F3 The Lord Jesus would not defiance to the Father:

G1 KJV translation: 1 Corinthians 15:27-28 KJV For he hath put[G5293] all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under[G5293] him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put[G5293][G0] all things under[G5293] him. And when all things shall be subdued[G5293] unto him, then shall[G5293][G0] the Son also himself be subject[G5293] unto him that put[G5293][G0] all things under[G5293] him, that God may be all in all.

G2 My translation: 1 Corinthians 15:27-28 WEL For he has put all things under his feet. Now when he says, “Everything is put under his feet,” it is clear that he is excepted who did put everything under him. 28 And when everything will be under his authority, then the Son will be also under the authority of him who put everything under him, so that God may be completely over all.

F4 The church, believers, would have already yielded to the Gospel, so they would not show defiance.

G1 KJV translation: Ephesians 1:22 KJV And hath put[G5293] all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church.

G2 My translation: Ephesians 1:22 WEL He has put everything under his feet and given him to be the head of everything in the church.

F4 This cannot be defiance and resistance, for that would have the husband and wife resisting each other.

G1 KJV translation: Ephesians 5:21-22, 24 KJV Submitting yourselves[G5293] one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves[G5293] unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. … Therefore as the church is subject[G5293] unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.

G2 My translation: Ephesians 5:21-22, 24 WEL 21 Place yourselves under one another in the fear of God. 22 Wives place yourselves under your own husbands as to the Lord. … 24 Therefore, since the congregation is under the authority of Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.

F4 No defiance is understood:

G1 KJV translation: Philippians 3:21 KJV Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue[G5293] all things unto himself.

G2 My translation: Philippians 3:21 WEL Who will change our humiliated body, that it may become like his glorious body, according to the power by which he is able to even place everything under himself.

F5 As stated before (Point F4), there is no defiance or resistance here:

G1 KJV translation: Colossians 3:18 KJV Wives, submit yourselves[G5293] unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.

G2 My translation: Colossians 3:18 WEL Wives place yourselves under your own husbands, as this is fitting to the Lord.

F6 No defiance here:

G1 KJV translation: Titus 2:5, 9 KJV To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient[G5293] to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. … Exhort servants to be obedient[G5293] unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again.

G2 My translation: Titus 2:5, 9 WEL 5 To be self-controlled, chaste, taking care of the family, good, under authority to their own husbands, so that the Word of God is not reviled. … 9 [Tell] servants to be obedient to their own masters, to be well pleasing in everything, not talking back [to them].

F6 No defiance:

G1 KJV translation: Titus 3:1 KJV Put them in mind to be subject[G5293] to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work.

G2 My translation: Titus 3:1 WEL Remind them to be under authority of rulers and authorities, to obey them, to be ready for every good work.

F7 No defiance in verse 5, but possibly so in verse 8:

G1 KJV translation: Hebrews 2:5, 8 KJV For unto the angels hath he[G5293][G0] not put in subjection[G5293] the world to come, whereof we speak. … Thou hast put[G5293][G0] all things in subjection[G5293] under his feet. For in that he put[G5293][G0] all in subjection under[G5293] him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under[G5293] him.

G2 My translation: Hebrews 2:5, 8 WEL 5 For he has not made the world to come—of which we speak—under the authority of angels. … 8 “You put everything under his feet.” For to put all under his authority, [means] he left out nothing that is unable to be under his authority, but now we do not see everything under his authority.

F8 Christians have already showed meekness when believing the Gospel:

G1 KJV translation: Hebrews 12:9 KJV Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we[G5293][G0] not much rather be in subjection[G5293] unto the Father of spirits, and live?

G2 My translation: Hebrews 12:9 WEL Furthermore we have had human fathers who disciplined [us], and we gave [them] great respect. Will we not much more be under obedience to the Father of our spirits and live?

F9 Christians have already showed meekness when believing the Gospel:

G1 KJV translation: James 4:7 KJV Submit yourselves[G5293] therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

G2 My translation: James 4:7 WEL Therefore, place yourselves under God’s authority. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

F10 Christians have already showed meekness when believing the Gospel:

G1 KJV translation: 1 Peter 2:13, 18 KJV Submit yourselves[G5293] to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; … Servants, be subject[G5293] to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.

G2 My translation: 1 Peter 2:13, 18 WEL 13 Place yourselves under authority to every institution of man, whether from the king, as supreme, … 18 Household servants, be under the authority of [your] masters with total respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the surly ones.

F11 No defiance here:

G1 KJV translation: 1 Peter 3:1, 5, 22 KJV Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection[G5293] to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; … For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection[G5293] unto their own husbands: … Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject[G5293] unto him.

G2 My translation: 1 Peter 3:1, 5, 22 WEL In the same way, you wives must place yourselves under your own husband, so that if any refuse to believe, they will be won over without a word by the conduct of their wives … 5 For in the past it was in this way that the holy women, who trusted in God, made themselves beautiful, being under the authority of their own husbands. … 22 Who has gone into heaven and is on the right hand of God. Angels, rulers, and powers having been placed under his authority.

F12 No defiance seen here either:

G1 KJV translation: 1 Peter 5:5 KJV Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves[G5293] unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject[G5293] one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

G2 My translation: 1 Peter 5:5 WEL Likewise, you younger ones place yourselves under the elder’s counsel. Yes, all be under the authority of one another and be clothed with humility, for God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble.

E2 Sometimes the context shows there was resistance

F1 It is to be assumed that evil spirits are resistive and defiant of God and His law:

G1 KJV translation: Luke 10:17, 20 KJV And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject[G5293] unto us through thy name. … Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject[G5293] unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.

G2 My translation: Luke 10:17, 20 WEL The seventy returned with joy saying, “Lord, even the devils submit to us through your name.” … 20 “Nonetheless don’t rejoice in that the spirits submit to you, instead rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.”

F2 Not willingly:

G1 KJV translation: Romans 8:7, 20 KJV Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is[G5293][G0] not subject[G5293] to the law of God, neither indeed can be. … For the creature was made subject[G5293] to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected[G5293] the same in hope.

G2 My translation: Romans 8:7, 20 WEL 7 Because the carnal mind [is] hostile to God, because it does not submit to God’s law, nor indeed can it. … 20 For creation was placed under futility, not willingly but by him who placed it in hope.

F3 Have not signifies resistance:

G1 KJV translation: Romans 10:3 KJV For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have[G5293][G0] not submitted themselves[G5293] unto the righteousness of God.

G2 My translation: Romans 10:3 WEL For without understanding God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own righteousness, they have not placed themselves under God’s righteousness.

F4 Seems to be understood that it is the norm to be resistive of human government:

G1 KJV translation: Romans 13:1, 5 KJV Let every soul be subject[G5293] unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. … Wherefore ye must needs be subject,[G5293] not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.

G2 My translation: Romans 13:1, 5 WEL 1 Let every soul obey the governing authorities, for there is no authority except from God. The authorities, which are present, have been put there by God. … 5 Therefore, you must comply, not just because of the fear of punishment but also for the sake of your conscience.

D2 ὑποταγή hypotagḗ

E1 This is living the Gospel. What they do is the same as what they say they believe.

F1 KJV translation: 2 Corinthians 9:13 KJV Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection[G5292] unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men.

F2 My translation: 2 Corinthians 9:13 WEL Through the proof this ministry brings, they glorify God for your living what you confess about Christ’s Gospel and for your generous sharing with them and to all.

E2 They did not given in to these false Christian.

F1 KJV translation: Galatians 2:5 KJV To whom we gave place by subjection,[G5292] no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you.

F2 My translation: Galatians 2:5 WEL We did not yield by giving in to them even briefly, so that the truth of the Gospel might stay [with you] permanently.

E3 What this really means is humble gentleness:

F1 KJV translation: 1 Timothy 2:11 KJV Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.[G5292]

F2 My translation: 1 Timothy 2:11 WEL Let women learn quietly in humble gentleness.

E4 Having children that are humble, gentle, and respectfully obeying:

F1 KJV translation: 1 Timothy 3:4 KJV One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection[G5292] with all gravity.

F2 My translation: 1 Timothy 3:4 WEL One who manages his own household well, having his children respectfully obeying him.

B3 The plain sense of Scripture in 1 Peter 3:1-7 shows

C1 The situation of a Christian wife and non-Christian husband. The situation can be either husband or wife. It refers to one spouse being a Christian and the other is not.

C2 The nonbeliever will not obey God’s command to repent and believe the Gospel.

C3 The Christian can then, live the Gospel, by living the Christian life required by Messiah Jesus for both men and women, instead of pleading, perhaps nagging the unbeliever.

C4 Hopefully, the non-Christian will see the superiority of the Christian life, repent, and believe the Gospel.

C5 The Apostle reminds the Christian, whether wife or husband, to speak respectfully.

C6 Be respectful and give honor to each other.

C7 The Christian (this especially refers to the husband) will not have God answer his prayers, if he treats his wife with any hint of abuse.

A4 Summary

B1 A controlling spouse cannot lawfully use this Scripture passage to force the other.

B2 Word meanings in English have changed. Care must be taken to understand its use.

B3 God is supreme. He is omniscient and omnisapient. His will and lifestyle is the best.

B4 We must be of the mindset to do God’s will. To know God’s will, we must study the Bible and pray for wisdom.

B5 Love your spouse as I have written in other articles about love.

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The blog post:

1 Peter 3:1-7 is often cited by those who wish to control wives. These are those men and pastors who feel a woman needs the strong hand of a man to guide her.

In reality, those types tend to be abusive. Abusive people are evil. There is no love, if there is any abuse.

A careful study of the passage in the plain, normal sense and understanding English language will NOT interpret this passage to dominate women.

The plain sense of Scripture in 1 Peter 3:1-7 shows

  • The situation of a Christian wife and non-Christian husband. The situation can be either husband or wife. It refers to one spouse being a Christian and the other is not.

  • The nonbeliever will not obey God’s command to repent and believe the Gospel.

  • The Christian can then, live the Gospel, by living the Christian life required by Messiah Jesus for both men and women, instead of pleading, perhaps nagging the unbeliever.

  • Hopefully, the non-Christian will see the superiority of the Christian life, repent, and believe the Gospel.

  • The Apostle reminds the Christian, whether wife or husband, to speak respectfully.

  • Be respectful and give honor to each other.

  • The Christian (this especially refers to the husband) will not have God answer his prayers, if he treats his wife with any hint of abuse.

In summary:

  • A controlling spouse cannot lawfully use this Scripture passage to force the other.

  • Word meanings in English have changed. Care must be taken to understand its use.

  • God is supreme. He is omniscient and omnisapient. His will and lifestyle is the best.

  • We must be of the mindset to do God’s will. To know God’s will, we must study the Bible and pray for wisdom.

  • Love your spouse as I have written in other articles about love.

A better translation understanding that the Greek word implies no defiance or resistance: 1 Peter 3:1-7 God’s Word Wives, in a similar way, place yourselves under your husbands’ authority. Some husbands may not obey God’s word. Their wives could win these men for Christ by the way they live without saying anything. 2 Their husbands would see how pure and reverent their lives are. 3 Wives must not let their beauty be something external. Beauty doesn’t come from hairstyles, gold jewelry, or clothes. 4 Rather, beauty is something internal that can’t be destroyed. Beauty expresses itself in a gentle and quiet attitude which God considers precious. 5 After all, this is how holy women who had confidence in God expressed their beauty in the past. They placed themselves under their husbands’ authority 6 as Sarah did. Sarah obeyed Abraham and spoke to him respectfully. You became Sarah’s daughters by not letting anything make you afraid to do good. 7 Husbands, in a similar way, live with your wives with understanding since they are weaker than you are. Honor your wives as those who share God’s life-giving kindness so that nothing will interfere with your prayers.

A Few Thoughts About Submission

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