Originally denoting low estate and the cowed attitude associated with it, in Judaism and Christianity the word acquired positive connotations. Understood as submissiveness before God, humility came to be regarded as a virtue, as Christ ‘humbled himself and became obedient unto death’ (Phil. 2: 8). St Thomas Aquinas thought of it as involving moderation of ambition to keep it within the bounds appointed for each individual by God. M. Luther regarded it as the joyful acceptance of God's will, and modern Protestant moralists identify it as complete resignation to our dependence on God.