Obedience the definition


Hi All,

I am not a regular poster, but I admit I am a regular lurker :0 )

Anyway, just wanted to share something that I learned today about the word obedience.

**Definition*When we generally think of obedience, we think of doing what one is instructed to do. In speaking to our children we may say, "Will you please obey me and do what you are told?" What we mean is, "Please carry out my instructions." Such uses are not far removed from the intended meaning of Scripture, but far enough that the true essence of the word is lost.

In Scripture there are several different words used for obedience. In order to establish the principal meaning of these words in our minds, we will look at two of them briefly.

Shama This Hebrew word is the primary one used throughout the Old Testament. The word has as its primary root the meaning, "to hear intelligently." Please note the word hear. It is central to the meaning.

Hupakouo This Greek word is used widely throughout the New Testament. The word is really made up of two words: hupo meaning under or beneath, and akouo meaning to hear. Thus the meaning of the word could be stated as, "to hear under." It carried with it the thought of subordination, or the recognition of authority and wisdom. It is an attitude of hearing.*

Just thought that this changes (at least for myself) how ones look at what it means to obey. Especially since, this word is often used in scripture and in the church.



Looking forward to comments on this thread:thumbsup:


That is very interesting. Thanks for posting. :) You mention that it changes how you perceive the word. Has it also changed anything about how you use the word in your practical/family life? Or, in how you utilize the concept?



My SD often brings up that love should be the basis of everything, that and of humility. It is with these two that obedience is brought to a more beautiful meaning.

I think of Jesus constantly saying that he had come to do the Will of His Father. He constantly says He who has ears let him hear. I wonder if this is related to obedience, I believe it is.

I am glad that Love motivated Jesus to be obedient to death, even death on the Cross. I hope and pray that I will be graced with love for Him to obey in all matters. Thanks for posting this. It got me to thinking.

I think it is interesting that one of the evangelical counsels is the Vow of Obedience. Obedience is huge in the Church.

God Bless.


Sarahforgiven - I must admit I too am curious how pp will respond to my post and looking forward to the response. Tho’ this post is in no way a challenge, truly a sharing of something I learn

Ac claire - Honestly I just read this “new” definition, and am still reflecting and pondering on it. But I guess, what it made me realised is that the word or the act of obedience is not as oppresive as what I had thought it to be. And it gives me a new way of understanding and appreciating what it means to obey. Hopefully for me a greater openess to obey God more fully.

I admit I started this thread or I uploaded the definition, so that others who have trouble with the word obedience may have a better understanding of what it is meant to be, rather than what we may preceive it to be; as I have.



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