Romans 12:16



The Greek word tapeinos appears 8 times in the pages of the NT writings, and literally conveys the idea of "not rising far from the ground" (see: Ezekiel 17:24 where this word is used with that significance). It is generally translated "undistinguished, lowly, those in humble conditions." The translations disagree as to whether this refers to people or things or circumstances in this text. The reason for this is that the word can be either masculine or neuter. If the latter, the significance is "humble circumstances;" if the former it signifies "those who are in humble circumstances." In the NT occurrences it is always used with reference to people (Expos. Greek, p. 693) --- examples: James 1:9 and I Peter 5:5.

The Greek word sunapago -- which is translated "associate" -- appears only three times in the New Covenant writings. It refers to those "who carry themselves along with; to go along together with." The other two occurrences are Galatians 2:13 and II Peter 3:17.


"The Christian Church was the only place where master and slave sat side by side. The Christian Church is still the place where all earthly distinctions are gone, for with God there is no respect of persons" (Barclay, p. 183).

"In the Greek the word here is an adjective, and may refer either to men or to things, either in the masculine or neuter gender. The sentiment is not materially changed whichever interpretation is adopted. It means that Christians should seek the objects of interest and companionship, not among the great, the rich, and the noble, but among the humble and the obscure" (Barnes, p. 287).

"Be a companion of the humble, and pass through life with as little noise and show as possible" (Clarke, p. 141).

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