This study focuses on a critical analysis of the usage of 'submit to the governing
authority' (Romans 13:1) among some African Pentecostal preachers in Zambia. The
study deals with the role ordinary citizens in Zambia play in keeping their political
leadership accountable, or otherwise, by looking at how biblical texts in Zambia are
used in the democratic dispensation. In Zambia, Romans 13:1-7 is widely used to
support the political status quo; any political government that comes into power is
assumed to have been ushered in by the will of God. Hence, in some circles it is
assumed that whatever these leaders say or do is divinely proclaimed, therefore,
criticising them is tantamount to fighting the will of God. African Pentecostal preachers
are widely accused of being the ones championing this kind of teaching. Thus, the
research questions; how do African Pentecostal preachers in Zambia understand and
interpret Romans 13:1-7? Is their interpretation of the text legitimate? In my view, the
way scriptures are interpreted, coupled with the consciousness drawn thereof, they
influence citizens actions and decisions. Therefore, the way in which an understanding
of Romans 13:1-7 by African Pentecostal preachers in Zambia is arrived at and
grounded is the concern this study has thoroughly investigated.
In Chapter 2, a summary is given on how some selected scholars have interpreted
and analysed Romans 13:1-7, using different lenses and approaches. This history of
interpretation of Romans 13:1-7 will then be used to identify the research gap that will
be addressed in the study.
In Chapter 3 a discussion on the theoretical perspectives of this study has been given.
The chapter begins with a discussion on the meaning of social-scientific criticism
(SSC), and an overview or description of social-scientific criticism. Secondly, in this
chapter a detailed discussion on “African enchanted worldview” and “field
consciousness” theories have been given. The description of the above-mentioned
theoretical perspectives is necessary because it will be against this understanding of
the approach that the understanding and interpretation of Romans 13:1-7 among
African Pentecostal preachers in Zambia will be undertaken.
In Chapter 4 an analysis of Romans 13:1-7 is presented in order to uncover its possible
original intended (contextual) meaning and purpose. This is done by discussing the
socio-cultural-, economic- and political situation in which Paul’s letter to the Romans was applicable. In order to achieve this, the study engages with social-scientific
models and theories that are designed to unlock the meaning entrenched in ancient
Chapter 5 provides an overview on the role African Pentecostals play in the Zambian
political dispensation. The Chapter has given a brief history of Pentecostalism and
African Pentecostalism respectively. Furthermore, the chapter paints a vivid picture of
the church and state relationship championed by African Pentecostals in Zambia.
Additionally, the Chapter attempts to outline the impact of such church and state
relations model on the democratic dispensation of the country.
Chapter 6 provides an overview on how some selected African Pentecostal preachers
understand and interpret Romans 13:1-7. Using “enchanted worldview” and “field
consciousness” analytical lenses, the chapter analyses how these selected preachers
interpret and understand Romans 13:1-7 and how such interpretation and
understanding impacts on the democratization of the country: Zambia.
Chapter 7 outlines the findings of the study, as well as recommendations for further