Obey Them that Rule Over You?

Must you “Obey and Submit” to those who spiritually “Rule Over” you…without Question?

Spiritual Leaders and Guides

It has been the practice of some Christian ministers to use three verses in Hebrews 13 as their primary basis for exerting their authority over and requiring submission and obedience from those who attend their church. Some demand unquestioned authority. All three of these verses in the King James Version (KJV) of the New Testament include the phrase “have the rule over you.” They are:

Hebrews 13:7    – “Remember them which have the rule over you…” 
Hebrews 13:17  – “Obey them that have the rule over you…” 
Hebrews 13:24  – “Salute all them that have the rule over you…” 

First, the word “over,” is not found in the original Greek manuscripts in the above verses, and should be disregarded. The phrase “rule over” was inserted by the translators into the KJV Bible. For an English reader today, the word “rule” conveys control and mastery over others; however, this was not the meaning of the word when Hebrews was written. Adding the word “over” to these verses benefited and bolstered the authority and control of ministers.

This brings up the question: What was the word and meaning in the original Bible? Unfortunately, no original manuscripts of the Bible have been found. Today, there are over 5,000 handmade copies of Greek manuscripts and fragments thereof of the New Testament and none are exactly alike.

Many New Testament Bible versions have been translated from the old Greek manuscripts. However, not every word or thought in the original language can be precisely translated, for there may not be a comparable word in English. Therefore, no translation is perfect. The translators’ choice of English words for the Greek text affects the reader’s understanding. It’s good to use a number of good translations when doing serious Bible Study.

The basis of this commentary is the 1611 King James Version of the Bible, which is translated from the Greek Textus Receptus manuscript. Bible dictionaries of Greek words (Vine’s) and Greek Concordances (Strong’s) are very useful tools for studying the meanings of biblical words and are especially helpful for those unfamiliar with Greek. They make it easy for the layman to understand more about the Greek definition of a word translated into English.


KJV Hebrews 13:17 – “Obey (Strong’s No. 3982) them that have the rule over you, (Strong’s No. 2233) and submit (Strong’s 5226) yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.”

KJV Hebrews 13:7 – “Remember them which have the rule over you, (Strong’s No. 2233) who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation” (Strong’s No. 391).

KJV Hebrews 13:24 – “Salute (Strong’s 782) all them that have the rule over you, (Strong’s No. 2233) and all the saints. They of Italy salute you.”

In all three of these verses (Hebrews 13:7, 17, 24) “them that/which have the rule over you” is translated from a single Greek word. This phrase was the translator’s English choice for the Greek word “hegeomai” (Strong’s No. 2233), which means to lead, to guide, to esteem. It is the act of guiding, going on ahead, leading the way, being an example. It did not mean ruling over church members. In the translating process, this KJV the word “hegeomai” became erroneously redefined to “rule over.”

We know this translation was not agreed upon by all 46 translators because in these three verses,  for the phrase “rule over,” some KJV Bible margins show the alternate translation:  “OR guide” and  “OR are the guides.” In cases when the translators did not agree, they supplied a note in the margin with an alternate word or phrase that could just as well have been translated in place of the one used. The marginal note begins with the word “OR” and the alternate wording is in italics.

Correctly interpreted, these verses mean: “Be persuaded of those you highly esteem, and listen to their advice.” Or “Be persuaded by your guides/leaders, and defer to them.”

Below are some verses where the word “hegeomai” (Strong’s No. 2233) is translated in the KJV and do not mean “rule over:”

“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves” Philippians 2:3.

“And to esteem them very highly in love…” 1 Thessalonians 5:13.


The Greek word “kurieuo” (Strong’s No. 2961) is translated in English as “dominion over” and means to rule over, be lord over, or have dominion of a person over the faith of other believers. Jesus told the disciples they were not to exercise dominion over other believers:

“But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall NOT be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many” Matthew 20:25-28.

“NOT for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand” 2 Corinthians 1:24.

As can be seen from the above two verses, Jesus expressly did not give church leaders the right or authority to have “dominion over your faith.” God’s true servants. shepherds or leaders “persuade” those in the church/assembly to subject themselves and be servants of each other. They don’t “exercise dominion” over those in their care. Rather, they are helpers.

When Peter’s authority was questioned when he took the gospel to the Gentiles. Here is how he handled it. In Acts 10, God caused Peter to fall into a trance and receive a vision through which he was later sent to Cornelius’ house. Afterward “the apostles and the brethren that were in Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended with him, saying, You went in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them” Acts 11:1-3.

Peter’s response? Did he remind them that he was an Apostle personally selected by Jesus?  Did he suggest they had no right to question him?  Did he tell them he was the Lord’s anointed? Did he lash back at them in holy anger? Far from it. Peter repeated to them the entire incident from beginning to end. “And as I began to speak, the Holy Ghost fell on them, as on us at the beginning. Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost. Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift as he did unto us, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?” Acts 11:15-17.

Peter persuaded them to the point they changed their minds and gloried God over the salvation of the Gentiles: “When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life” Acts 11:18. Peter did not view himself as above being questioned or criticized. He didn’t demand submission, obedience, and respect. He gently persuaded his hearers. Peter was “strong in the strength of gentleness.” 

The Bereans were complimented in that they searched the Scriptures to see “whether those things were so” Acts 17:11.  Christians are to search and know the Scriptures to make sure they follow their leader/guide only in so far as the leader teaches and follows the Bible. “Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers (those who contradict)” Titus 1:9.

Scriptures Approving of Questioning – Your Right to Question:

Luke 1:4: “…know the certainty of those things wherein thou hast been instructed.”
John 5:39: “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”
Rom. 14:5: “…be fully persuaded in his own mind.”
Col. 1:9: “…be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.”
2 Tim. 2:15: “Study to show thyself approved unto God… rightly dividing the word of truth.”
1 Thes. 5:21: “Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.”
2 Peter 1:5: “…add to your faith, virtue, and to virtue knowledge.”
James 1:5: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him.”
See also: Col. 2:2; Eph. 3:18; Ps. 90:12; Is. 1:18.

  1. OBEY:  peitho (Strong’s No. 3982)

KJV Hebrews 13:17 – Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves…

In this verse, the English word “Obey” or “Obey them” (Strong’s No. 3982) is translated from the Greek word “peitho.” It appears in the New Testament 55 times as persuade 22, trust 8, obey 7, have confidence 6, believe 3, be confident 2, and miscellaneous 7.  The most common translation used for this Greek word in the KJV is “persuade,” “persuaded” and “persuadeth.”

Vine’s Expository Bible Dictionary: “Peitho: to persuade, to win over; to be persuaded, to listen to. The obedience suggested is not by submission to authority, but resulting from persuasion.”

Thayer’s and Smith’s Greek Lexicon: “Peitho: to persuade; to induce one by words to believe; to make friends of, to win one’s favor, gain one’s goodwill, or to seek to win one, strive to please one. To be persuaded, to suffer one’s self to be persuaded; to be induced to believe: to have faith in a thing; to believe.” 

When the Greek word “peitho” was used in the three Hebrew verses under discussion, it meant “persuade.” Following are some examples of Paul using the word “peitho.” Paul has a discussion, reasons with them and they were persuaded (peitho) to the point they agreed with him. Paul led people to believe in Jesus Christ by persuasion.

“Almost thou persuadest (peitho) me to be a Christian.” Acts 26:28

“…To whom he [Paul] expounded the matter, testifying the kingdom of God, and persuading (peitho) them concerning Jesus, both from the law of Moses and from the prophets…” Acts 28:23

“…For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded (peitho) that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.”  2 Timothy 1:12

See also: Acts 13:43, Acts 19:26, 2 Cor. 5:11, Gal. 1:10, 2 Timothy 1:5, Heb. 11:13.

Another Greek word translated “obey” is “hupakouo” (Strong’s No. 5219). The most common translation for this Greek word in the KJV is “obey,” “obedience,” or “obeyed.”  However, this is NOT the Greek word used in Hebrews 13:17.  Examples of Scripture using the word “hupakouo” are:

“And the men marveled saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him” Matthew 8:27.

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right” Ephesians 6:1.

“Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement” 1 Peter 3:6. 

The winds and the sea obeyed Jesus; children are to obey their parents; and Sarah obeyed Abraham.  However, there is no place in the Bible indicating that a minister, preacher or any church leader has the right to “rule over” believers as Christ rules the wind and sea; as parents rule their children; or as wives ought to obey their husbands.

Neither of the KJV Greek words “peitho” or  “hupakouo” can be rightly interpreted to mean “rule over.” 

  1. SUBMIT hupeiko (Strong’s No. 5226)

Hebrews 13:17: “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit to them.”

This verse has caused spiritual abuse and unbiblical authoritarianism. The Greek word translated “submit” in Hebrews 13:17 is “hupeiko” (Strong’s No. 5226), and it means to yield or submit. “Hupeiko” does not infer any outward force being placed on the person yielding. It is voluntarily yielding to someone else. Jesus does not demand that someone submit without question to the authority of a church leader, and church leaders are not to exercise “dominion over” the flock.

Another closely related word is “hupotasso” (Strong’s No 5293) which is found in 1 Peter 5:5 –  “Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resists the proud, and gives grace to the humble.”

The Greek word “hupotasso” has a military and a non-military usage. They are as different as night and day. Strong’s definition is: “A Greek military term meaning, to arrange (troop divisions) in a military fashion under the command of a leader. In non-military use, it was a voluntary attitude of giving in, cooperating, assuming responsibility, and carrying a burden.”

One speaks of submission to a commander, and the other speaks of willing cooperation and deference. Unquestioning slave-like obedience is not the relationship presented in the New Testament between elders (older men) and their brothers. The church is never referred to as an army in the NT. Keeping people in line by force as in a military system is not a Scriptural directive, nor is it how Jesus led His disciples.

All authority belongs to Jesus: “And he is the head of the body, the church” Col 1:18. The authority Jesus gave ministers (a “minister” (a noun) means a “servant”; Strong’s No. 1249) is not the authority to rule and command, but to serve others as He did. Remember: “Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand” 2 Cor 1:24.

5.  Salute – aspazomai (Strong’s No. 782)

KJV Hebrews 13:24 – Salute (Strong’s 782) all them that have the rule over you, and all the saints. They of Italy salute you.”

The word “Salute” in this verse is a greeting or salutation translated from the Greek word “aspazomai” (Strong’s No. 782). In the KJV it means to greet or welcome, and it is used 60 times, translated as salute 42 times, greet 15 times, embrace 2 times, and take leave 1 time. It does NOT mean to submit or obey.

6.  The Elders

Even Peter counted himself as a fellow elder, not as one who “ruled over” the church.  He wrote:

“The elders (Strongs No. 4245) which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder (Strongs No. 4850: a fellow-elder), and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;  Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble” 1 Peter 5:1-5.

Paul instructed in 1 Timothy 5:17: “Let the elders that rule (“proistemi”) well be counted worthy of double honor.” “Proistemi” (Strongs No. 4291) is another Greek word that meant to stand before or to lead and was translated in the KJV as “rule.” This word means that elders (older men) are to be in good standing and maintain (behave) themselves well. The word has no association with authority, power, or control. Some other verses containing “proistemi” that show  that it has no relation to ruling over believers are:

“Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this Life” Acts 5:20.

“…while I stood before the council, Except it be for this one voice, that I cried standing among them, Touching the resurrection of the dead…” Acts 24:20-21.

“…that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works” Titus 3:8.

When an elder (older man) is above suspicion, is spiritually mature, is a good teacher and leader, and is truly interested in the genuine welfare of others, he doesn’t need any authority. He won’t need to demand that people respect and listen to him, for they will do so gladly. If his life is Christ-like, shows the same quality of love for others that Jesus did, and he has the spirit of service like a good shepherd, others will be persuaded by his leading, teaching and example and will gladly yield to his wisdom.

7.  Wicked Shepherds

The New Testament does not refer to the office of a ruling clergy in the church.  Paul provided a list of the five ministries:  “… he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors (shepherds) and teachers” Eph. 4:11. Shepherds lead, feed and protect the sheep. Teachers instruct, coach and train pupils. Neither pastors (shepherds) nor teachers are rulers over others but are rather guides and leaders. The following passages address a clergy who harshly “rules over” Christian believers:

“For the pastors are become brutish, and have not sought the LORD: therefore they shall not prosper, and all their flocks shall be scattered” Jeremiah 10:21.

“Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD. Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD” Jeremiah 23:1-2.

“Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks? Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock. The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them. And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd…” Ezekiel 34:2-5

“For three things the earth is disquieted, and for four which it cannot bear:  For a servant when he reigneth; and a fool when he is filled with meat;  For an odious woman when she is married; and an handmaid that is heir to her mistress” Prov. 30:21-23.

“Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, Saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers… and [love] to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant… ”  Matthew 23:1-11.

  1. New Covenant – No Ruling Clergy – Christ the Only Mediator

In the New Covenant, believers in Christ are individually (personally) guided by the Holy Spirit. In the Old Testament, the prophets Jeremiah and Isaiah prophesied this would happen one day. It was fulfilled in the New Covenant when the Holy Spirit came to dwell in believers; and prophets and priests no longer mediated between mankind and God.

“Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah….I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD” Jeremiah 31:31-34. 

“Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them”  Heb 10:15-16 (citing from Jeremiah 31:33).

“But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him” 1 John 2:27 (citing from Jeremiah 31:34).

“And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left” Isaiah 30:21.

In the New Covenant, all believers are part of the “royal priesthood:”  “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” 1 Peter 2:9.

We are living in the times of the New Covenant where “…there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” 1 Tim. 2:5. The Holy Spirit dwells within the heart of each child of God, and they don’t need anyone else to teach them.  God has written His laws in their hearts and minds, and the Holy Spirit walks with them, guiding, whispering in their ears which way to turn.

  1. Misrepresenting:  “Touch Not the Lord’s Anointed”

Psalm 105:15 “Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.”

There is no warning like this found in the New Testament referring to a particular “anointed” office or person because it doesn’t apply. And the last prophet was John the Baptist. “For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John” Matt 11:13.

This verse in Psalms and others similar to it have sometimes been taken out of context and used to skirt around accountability. Sometimes ministers warn those questioning or criticizing them: “touch not the Lord’s anointed.” They claim that disputing their words or deeds is equivalent to questioning God Himself and that questioning their actions carries serious consequences. Scripture does not support this view.

First, Psalms 105:15 has nothing to do with questioning the teachings of any minister. As can be seen by reading the previous verses, “prophets” refers to the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (Psalm 105:8-15; 1 Chron. 16:15-22). 

The New Testament Greek words for “anoint” are “chrio,” which means to smear or rub with oil and by implication to consecrate for a special office; and “aleipho,” which means “to anoint.”

In the Old Testament the phrase, “the Lord’s anointed,” referred to the Kings of Israel–not to prophets or priests. The prophets were not anointed–they did the anointing. Some prophets who anointed the Kings were Samuel, Nathan and Elijah; and some priests were Jehoiada and Zadok. They anointed King Saul in I Sam. 15:1; David in 1 Chron 11:3; Solomon in 1 Kings 1:34; Absalom in II Sam. 19:10; Hazael in 1 Kings 19:15; Joash in 2 Kings 11:12; Moses anointed Aaron as High Priest in Lev. 8:12.

In the context of this passage, the words “touch” and “do harm” have to do with inflicting physical harm upon someone. A similar phrase is found in I Sam. 24:6, where David said to his men regarding Saul when he had the opportunity to do so: “The LORD forbid that I should…stretch forth mine hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the LORD.”  As proof that he had not “touched” or harmed Saul when he had the opportunity, David cut off a piece of Saul’s skirt, and another time he took Saul’s cruse of water and spear (1 Sam. 24:4, 26:16).

The word “touch” in this verse means physical harm. It does not forbid publicly stating something negative that is true about another person. We know this because that’s exactly what David did to Saul. David refused to physically harm God’s anointed (King Saul), but it didn’t stop David from publicly telling everyone the truth about Saul and his evil actions against David.

Was anyone anointed in the New Testament? Yes, Jesus was anointed by God in Luke 4:18; Acts 10:38. Some were healed by being anointed; some received their sight; Mary anointed Jesus’ feet. According to Paul, all God’s children are anointed: “Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.” 2 Cor. 1:21-22. All Christians are anointed with the Holy Spirit–not just ministers. John wrote to “my little children:” 

“But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him” 1 John 2:27 citing Jeremiah 31:34.

Those who are in a greater position of leadership sometimes attack their critics and attempt to silence their challengers using Bible threats such as “touch not the Lord’s anointed” or accusations that the critic is “blaspheming” when they speak against a minister or “man of God.” 

Ministers who use this tactic could be asked:  How do you know you’re anointed? Who anointed you? When? Where? How was it done? What kind of oil or ointment was used? Was it the Lord’s special recipe in Exodus?

“Moreover the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Take thou also unto thee principal spices, of pure myrrh five hundred shekels, and of sweet cinnamon half so much, even two hundred and fifty shekels, and of sweet calamus two hundred and fifty shekels, And of cassia five hundred shekels, after the shekel of the sanctuary, and of oil olive an hin: And thou shalt make it an oil of holy ointment, an ointment compound after the art of the apothecary: it shall be an holy anointing oil” Ex. 30:23-25.

No Christian leader or minister’s teachings or behavior are above being scrutinized by Bible standards. Ministers, as well as believers, are accountable for their actions and words. The Bible calls for Christians to use discernment with all teaching and to test all things by the scripture, as the Bereans did (Acts 17:11, I Thes. 5:2) so they “be not deceived my beloved brethren” James 1:16.

“But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye” Acts 4:19.

“Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men” Acts 5:29.


“Obey them; Rule over them; Submit to them” are terms that have been twisted and distorted through the ages by many ministers to command, control, and mistreat their brothers and sisters in Christ. Many believers have been deeply scarred by men’s misapplications of these verses. They also have been robbed of the joy that Jesus intended for them in serving Him.

If a church leader or minister is living and walking by the Spirit and is continually looking to Christ for his example, he will not be desirous or demanding obedience to his office or authority.  Hebrews 13:17 is not a picture of mindless, unquestioning obedience. When questioned,  Peter did not demand submission, unquestioning obedience, or respect for being one of Jesus’ personally selected Apostles.

In the mind of the English reader today, the word “rule” conveys authority, control, and mastery over others. However, this was not the meaning when Hebrews was written. Correctly translated,  the word “rule” (Strong’s No. 2233) meant ministering as a servant and being an example, leader, or guide, as the following passages address: 

“Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven” Matthew 18:3-4.

“Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many” Matthew 20:28.

“And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted” Matthew 23:12.

“If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you…The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.” John 13:14-16.

Essential Christian doctrines will be repeated and confirmed by other New Testament authors. The entire New Testament scripture must be taken into account when searching for accurate interpretation and application of a principle or passage. Search until you find other places that speak more clearly. A fundamental Biblical truth is that “Scripture is its own best interpreter.” Scripture confirms scripture.

Paul encouraged Timothy to rightly divide the word of truth. Sometimes this means that each word in a passage has to be studied in depth to learn the author’s true meaning when it was written. The way to rightly interpret KJV English Bible words is not to read today’s definitions into words translated in 1611, but rather to discover the Greek definition of the word/s they were translated from and what the author meant when they first wrote the words in the first century. “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” 2 Tim. 2:15. Do not be afraid when you have questions.  Remember, it is promised the Holy Spirit “will guide you into all truth” John 16:13.

This commentary followed the recommendations above regarding the right of ministers to “rule over” other Christians in an authoritative manner. The words in the scripture passages were examined in depth for the author’s original intent. Other scriptures concerning the subject were reviewed. Several Bible versions were consulted. Inconsistencies were evaluated. God has given the Holy Spirit to believers to guide them into all truth, and they don’t need any man to teach or rule over them and their beliefs. There is no mediator between a believer and God except Jesus.

“It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.
It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes” Ps 118:8-9.

Scripture promises that the children of God will be guided by the Spirit of God, not men. They are baptized unto the Father, Son and Holy Ghost into a community of like-believers. Their commitment to Christ goes with them wherever they go on their journey through life until they come face to face with their Maker. Wherever they journey, they will find believers.

By Cherie Kropp
January 23, 2017

King James Holy Bible, 1611 Edition
Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible by James Strong
Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words by W. E. Vine

LINK to: Is it really wrong to question?