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PAUL'S "ONE ANOTHER" PASSAGES
October 26, 2014
The pronoun one another comes from a Greek word which means, "One another, reciprocally, mutually" (Thayer) "The word is most often translated, "one another" in the New Testament. That is the case in the writings of Paul. However, it is translated, mutual once (Romans 1:12), and the plural is translated "yourselves" (1 Thessalonians 5:11). The word means something that two or more share in common with each other.
Paul writes in Romans 12:10, "Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another." Paul begins by saying, "Be kindly affectioned one to another..." He ends by saying, "In honour preferring one another." Honour (honor) is from a Greek word meaning, "To lead the way for others, that is, show deference:- prefer" (Strong. Deference, according to Merriam-Webster is, "A way of behaving that shows respect for someone or something." So one who has brotherly love will have kind affection for every other Christian, and will treat each one with respect. Albert Barnes writes:
The word 'preferring' means going before, leading, setting an example. Thus, in showing mutual respect and honor, they were to strive to excel; not to see which could obtain most honor, but which could confer most, or manifest most respect...
Paul is making clear the fact that it is good for one to lead by example, not by arrogance or disrespect for the needs and desires of others.
The pronoun, "one another," is found forty-seven times in the New Testament. Twenty-nine of those examples of "one another" passages occur in the writings of the Apostle Paul.
Paul writes in Romans 15:7, "Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God." Receive, according to Vine, "Denotes "to take to oneself" (pros, "to") or "to receive," always in the Middle Voice, signifying a special interest on the part of the receiver, suggesting a welcome..." A good example of the word is found in Acts 18. Apollos had learned the way of the Lord, but knew only the baptism of John (See Mark 1:4; Acts 19:4). We are told in Acts 18:26, "And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto them, and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly." seeing that Apollos had an imperfect knowledge of the truth, and was thus preaching error, Aquila and Priscilla lovingly took him aside ("received" him) and taught him the way more perfectly.
When Paul's Rome-bound ship was shipwrecked on Melita, Luke tells us, "And the barbarous people shewed us no little kindness: for they kindled a fire, and received us every one, because of the present rain, and because of the cold" (Acts 28:2). Even the barbarous people received (welcomed) the victims of the shipwreck into their hospitality!
Paul writes in Romans 15:14, "And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another." We will discuss that one in our next installment. To be continued...
*Meredith, J.L. Meredith's Book Of Bible Lists. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Bethany House Publishers, 1980. Print.
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