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Word Study


Submit = Greek hupotasso. Better translated "to identify with" -- "to be in support of"

Recent scholarship has made clear the understanding the people to whom these letters were written would have of hupotasso, the word translated submit.  It is critical that the Biblical meaning of the word become the standard and that we rid ourselves of inaccurate and misleading understanding through faulty translation. Indeed the English word “submit” is properly translated by hupeiko, with dative “submit to”.

 The New Testament word  hupotasso is a common word meaning to be in support of and was used of attached/appended (supporting) documents in the postal system. 

In the context of biblical relationships between men and women, the best meaning of hupotasso is "to identify with or support"  (This is an incredibly strong and all-encompassing thought.)  It has nothing to do with being subordinate to, secondary to, or subject to.  The correct meaning is especially important and clear when considered against the cultural backdrop, that is to say, when it is understood in the light of the marriage customs and the culture of the people to whom Paul was writing. 

(See Bauer's Greek-English Lexicon; Dr. S. Hyatt, In the Spirit We're Equal, 255-59; Edwin Stewart, Submission and Headship: Our Ridiculous Interpretation, and Drs. E. & S. Hyatt, Who's the Boss?

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