“tithēmi”

Quick Facts

  • Pronunciation: tē’-thā-mē
  • Strongs Concordance: #G5087
    • to set, put, place
      • to place or lay
      • to put down, lay down
        • to bend down
        • to lay off or aside, to wear or carry no longer
        • to lay by, lay aside money
      • to set on (serve) something to eat or drink
      • to set forth, something to be explained by discourse
    • to make
      • to make (or set) for one’s self or for one’s use
    • to set, fix establish
      • to set forth
      • to establish, ordain
  • Appears 119 times in 95 verses in the New Testament
  • Common translations
    • “appointed” (6x)
    • “assign” (2x)
    • “committed” (1x)
    • “conceived” (1x)
    • “destined” (1x)
    • “down” (4x)
    • “falling” (1x)
    • “fixed” (1x)
    • “kept” (1x)
    • “kneeling” (2x)
    • “knelt” (3x)
    • “laid” (22x)
    • “laid aside” (1x)
    • “laid down” (1x)
    • “lay” (4x)
    • “lay down” (8x)
    • “lay…down” (2x)
    • “laying” (2x)
    • “lays down” (1x)
    • “made” (4x)
    • “make” (4x)
    • “offer” (1x)
    • “placed” (4x)
    • “present” (1x)
    • “purposed” (1x)
    • “put” (15x)
    • “puts” (2x)
    • “puts…away” (1x)
    • “putting” (1x)
    • “reached” (1x)
    • “serves “(1x)
    • “set down” (1x)
    • “set…down” (1x)
    • “sink” (1x)

Where and how tithēmi is used in the New Testament

  1. Matthew 5:15 NASB – “nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.”

  2. Matthew 12:18 NASB – “”BEHOLD, MY SERVANT WHOM I HAVE CHOSEN; MY BELOVED IN WHOM MY SOUL is WELL-PLEASED; I WILL PUT MY SPIRIT UPON HIM, AND HE SHALL PROCLAIM JUSTICE TO THE GENTILES.”

  3. Matthew 22:44 NASB – “‘THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD, “SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND, UNTIL I PUT YOUR ENEMIES BENEATH YOUR FEET”‘?”

  4. Matthew 24:51 NASB – “and will cut him in pieces and assign him a place with the hypocrites; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

  5. Matthew 27:60 NASB – “and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the entrance of the tomb and went away.”

  6. Mark 4:21, 30 NASB – “And He was saying to them, “A lamp is not brought to be put under a basket, is it, or under a bed? Is it not brought to be put on the lampstand? … And He said, “How shall we picture the kingdom of God, or by what  parable shall we present it?”

  7. Mark 6:29, 56 NASB – “When his disciples heard about this, they came and took away his body and laid it in a tomb. … Wherever He entered villages, or cities, or countryside, they were laying the sick in the market places, and imploring  Him that they might just touch the fringe of His cloak; and as many as touched it were being cured.”

  8. Mark 10:16 NASB – “And He took them in His arms and began blessing them, laying His hands on them.”

  9. Mark 12:36 NASB – “”David himself said in the Holy Spirit, ‘THE LORD SAID TO MY LORD, “SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND, UNTIL I PUT YOUR ENEMIES BENEATH YOUR FEET.”’”

  10. Mark 15:19, 47 NASB – “They kept beating His head with a reed, and spitting on Him, and kneeling and bowing before Him. … Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses were looking on to see where He was laid.”

  11. Mark 16:6 NASB – “And he said to them, “Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen; He is not here; behold, here is the place where they laid Him.”

  12. Luke 1:66 NASB – “All who heard them kept them in mind, saying, “What then will this child turn out to be?” For the hand of the Lord was certainly with him.”

  13. Luke 5:18 NASB – “And some men were carrying on a bed a man who was paralyzed; and they were trying to bring him in and to set him down in front of Him.”

  14. Luke 6:48 NASB – “he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid a foundation on the rock; and when a flood occurred, the torrent burst against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.”

  15. Luke 8:16 NASB – “”Now no one after lighting a lamp covers it over with a container, or puts it under a bed; but he puts it on a lampstand, so that those who come in may see the light.”

  16. Luke 9:44 NASB – “”Let these words sink into your ears; for the Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men.””

  17. Luke 11:33 NASB – “”No one, after lighting a lamp, puts it away in a cellar nor under a basket, but on the lampstand, so that those who enter may see the light.”

  18. Luke 12:46 NASB – “the master of that slave will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know, and will cut him in pieces, and assign him a place with the unbelievers.”

  19. Luke 14:29 NASB – “”Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him,”

  20. Luke 19:21-22 NASB – “for I was afraid of you, because you are an exacting man; you take up what you did not lay down and reap what you did not sow.’ “He said to him, ‘By your own words I will judge you, you worthless slave. Did you  know that I am an exacting man, taking up what I did not lay down and reaping what I did not sow?”

  21. Luke 20:43 NASB – “UNTIL I MAKE YOUR ENEMIES A FOOTSTOOL FOR YOUR FEET.”’”

  22. Luke 21:14 NASB – “”So make up your minds not to prepare beforehand to defend yourselves;”

  23. Luke 22:41 NASB – “And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and began to pray,”

  24. Luke 23:53, 55 NASB – “And he took it down and wrapped it in a linen cloth, and laid Him in a tomb cut into the rock, where no one had ever lain. … Now the women who had come with Him out of Galilee followed, and saw the tomb and  how His body was laid.”

  25. John 2:10 NASB – “and said to him, “Every man serves the good wine first, and when the people have drunk freely, then he serves the poorer wine; but you have kept the good wine until now.””

  26. John 10:11, 15, 17-18 NASB – “”I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. … even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. … “For this reason the Father loves  Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. “No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from  My Father.””

  27. John 11:34 NASB – “and said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to Him, “Lord, come and see.””

  28. John 13:4, 37-38 NASB – “got up from supper, and laid aside His garments; and taking a towel, He girded Himself. … Peter said to Him, “Lord, why can I not follow You right now? I will lay down my life for You.” Jesus answered, “Will you  lay down your life for Me? Truly, truly, I say to you, a rooster will not crow until you deny Me three times.”

  29. John 15:13, 16 NASB – “”Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. … “You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that  whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.”

  30. John 19:19, 41-42 NASB – “Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It was written, “JESUS THE NAZARENE, THE KING OF THE JEWS.” … Now in the place where He was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a  new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. Therefore because of the Jewish day of preparation, since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.”

  31. John 20:2, 13, 15 NASB – “So she ran and came to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.” … And they  said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.” … Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?”  Supposing Him to be the gardener, she said to Him, “Sir, if you have carried Him away, tell me where you have laid Him, and I will take Him away.””

  32. Acts 1:7 NASB – “He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority;”

  33. Acts 2:35 NASB – “UNTIL I MAKE YOUR ENEMIES A FOOTSTOOL FOR YOUR FEET.”’”

  34. Acts 3:2 NASB – “And a man who had been lame from his mother’s womb was being carried along, whom they used to set down every day at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, in order to beg alms of those who were entering  the temple.”

  35. Acts 4:3 NASB – “And they laid hands on them and put them in jail until the next day, for it was already evening.”

  36. Acts 4:35, 37 NASB – “and lay them at the apostles’ feet, and they would be distributed to each as any had need. … and who owned a tract of land, sold it and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.” ‘

  37. Acts 5:2, 4, 15, 18, 25 NASB – “and kept back some of the price for himself, with his wife’s full knowledge, and bringing a portion of it, he laid it at the apostles’ feet. … “While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was  sold, was it not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.” … to such an extent that they even carried the sick out into the streets and laid them on cots and pallets,  so that when Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on any one of them. … They laid hands on the apostles and put them in a public jail. … But someone came and reported to them, “The men whom you put in prison are standing in  the temple and teaching the people!””

  38. Acts 7:16, 60 NASB – “”From there they were removed to Shechem and laid in the tomb which Abraham had purchased for a sum of money from the sons of Hamor in Shechem. … Then falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice,  “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” Having said this, he fell asleep.”

  39. Acts 9:37, 40 NASB – “And it happened at that time that she fell sick and died; and when they had washed her body, they laid it in an upper room. … But Peter sent them all out and knelt down and prayed, and turning to the body, he said,  “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter, she sat up.”

  40. Acts 12:4 NASB – “When he had seized him, he put him in prison, delivering him to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out before the people.”

  41. Acts 13:29, 47 NASB – “”When they had carried out all that was written concerning Him, they took Him down from the cross and laid Him in a tomb. … “For so the Lord has commanded us, ‘I HAVE PLACED YOU AS A LIGHT FOR THE  GENTILES, THAT YOU MAY BRING SALVATION TO THE END OF THE EARTH.’””

  42. Acts 19:21 NASB – “Now after these things were finished, Paul purposed in the Spirit to go to Jerusalem after he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, saying, “After I have been there, I must also see Rome.””

  43. Acts 20:28, 36 NASB – “”Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. … When he had said these things, he  knelt down and prayed with them all.”

  44. Acts 21:5 NASB – “When our days there were ended, we left and started on our journey, while they all, with wives and children, escorted us until we were out of the city. After kneeling down on the beach and praying, we said farewell to  one another.”

  45. Acts 27:12 NASB – “Because the harbor was not suitable for wintering, the majority reached a decision to put out to sea from there, if somehow they could reach Phoenix, a harbor of Crete, facing southwest and northwest, and spend the  winter there.

  46. Romans 4:17 NASB – “(as it is written, “A FATHER OF MANY NATIONS HAVE I MADE YOU”) in the presence of Him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist.”

  47. Romans 9:33 NASB – “just as it is written, “BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE, AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.””

  48. Romans 14:13 NASB – “Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this–not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way.”

  49. 1 Corinthians 3:10-11 NASB – “According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. For no man can lay a  foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”

  50. 1 Corinthians 9:18 NASB – “What then is my reward? That, when I preach the gospel, I may offer the gospel without charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel.”

  51. 1 Corinthians 12:18, 28 NASB – “But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired. … And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of  healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues.”

  52. 1 Corinthians 15:25 NASB – “For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet.”

  53. 1 Corinthians 16:2 NASB – “On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper, so that no collections be made when I come.”

  54. 2 Corinthians 3:13 NASB – “and are not like Moses, who used to put a veil over his face so that the sons of Israel would not look intently at the end of what was fading away.”

  55. 2 Corinthians 5:19 NASB – “namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.”

  56. 1 Thessalonians 5:9 NASB – “For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,”

  57. 1 Timothy 1:12 NASB – “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service,”

  58. 1 Timothy 2:7 NASB – “For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying) as a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.”

  59. 2 Timothy 1:11 NASB – “for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle and a teacher.”

  60. Hebrews 1:2, 13 NASB – “in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. … But to which of the angels has He ever said, “SIT AT MY RIGHT HAND, UNTIL I  MAKE YOUR ENEMIES A FOOTSTOOL FOR YOUR FEET”?”

  61. Hebrews 10:13 NASB – “waiting from that time onward UNTIL HIS ENEMIES BE MADE A FOOTSTOOL FOR HIS FEET.”

  62. 1 Peter 2:6, 8 NASB – “For this is contained in Scripture: “BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A CHOICE STONE, A PRECIOUS CORNER stone, AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.” … and, “A STONE OF  STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE”; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the word, and to this doom they were also appointed.”

  63. 2 Peter 2:6 NASB – “and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly lives thereafter;”

  64. 1 John 3:16 NASB – “We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”

  65. Revelation 1:17 NASB – “When I saw Him, I fell at His feet like a dead man. And He placed His right hand on me, saying, “Do not be afraid; I am the first and the last,”

  66. Revelation 10:2 NASB – “and he had in his hand a little book which was open. He placed his right foot on the sea and his left on the land;”

  67. Revelation 11:9 NASB – “Those from the peoples and tribes and tongues and nations will look at their dead bodies for three and a half days, and will not permit their dead bodies to be laid in a tomb.”

My observations and perspective

There’s a lot of uses of the word tithēmi in the New Testament. Yet, among the 119 instances where this word (that is sometimes translated as  “appointed”), there is not a single mention of someone being appointed for the purpose of having rule or authority over other believers.
Instead we find people being appointed for roles and tasks and some for unique gifting for building up the body of christ, but not governing or ruling.
Some will no doubt ask “What about Acts 20:28, 36?” or “What about 1 Corinthians 12:18, 28?”. As mentioned, God does appoint people as teachers, overseers, even apostles, prophets and teachers. That is indisputable. I would contend that the idea that these roles carry with them a responsibility, ability, or permission to take authority over those in the local church is never part of those roles. There are no scriptures teaching or indicating such things.
In the New Testament, overseeing cannot be demonstrated to be an authoritative governing or ruling over the saints (as demonstrated elsewhere in the studies on this site concerning overseers, shepherds, etc).
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