Wednesday, January 28, 2015
Πείθεσθε τοῖς ἡγουμένοις ὑμῶν καὶ ὑπείκετε, αὐτοὶ γὰρ ἀγρυπνοῦσιν ὑπὲρ τῶν ψυχῶν ὑμῶν ὡς λόγον ἀποδώσοντες, ἵνα μετὰ χαρᾶς τοῦτο ποιῶσιν καὶ μὴ στενάζοντες· ἀλυσιτελὲς γὰρ ὑμῖν τοῦτο (Hebrews 13:17).
Of course πείθω can mean "to persuade" but it does not necessarily have that denotation.
"Obey your leaders and submit to their authority" (NIV).
"Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account" (NASB).
"Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give
These translations harmonize with commentaries that I consulted on this subject:
"The second mention of leaders in this chapter (v. 17) refers to the current leadership, whom the addresses are enjoined to obey" (Gordon, R. P. Hebrews. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2000, 172).
"Leaders are to be obeyed as those intent on presenting 'souls' (i.e., people destined for eternal life; see 6:19) intact at the final judgment. Ready obedience will make the leaders' task joyful; grudging compliance will make them sigh or grumble (v. 17c)" (Pfitzner, V. C. Hebrews. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1997, 202).
Furthermore I find it interesting what the magisterial work by Ellingworth has to say about this text:
"πείθω, 'obey' (Jas. 3:3 of horses; 4 Macc. 10:13; 15:10; 18:1; 2 Clem. 17:5; Ep. Diog. 5:10; Ign. Rom. 7:2 bis; Bauer 3b; R. Bultmann in TDNT 6.3f; BD [Sec.] 187.6). Πείθεσθε suggests continuous action"(Ellingworth, P. The Epistle to the Hebrews. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1993. Page 723).
Concerning ὑπείκετε, he writes:
"4 Macc. 6:35, of reasoning, not yielding to pleasure; here of due deference to the leaders by the led" (Ibid).