It is interesting to me how everyone just assumes that Paul is referring to the state in this passage. No one ever considers the possibility that Romans 13 has nothing to do with the state. There are even many translations that add the term “governing” to the Greek’s “authorities” so that the impression that the state is what is being talked about is even more reinforced.
I disagree. I think that when we consider the context of Romans, as well as the original Greek terms, that it is clear that Romans is not talking about the state to begin with. Rather, I believe that the “authorities” referred to in Romans 13 are religious leaders rather than political ones.