Romans 12:10


This Greek phrase could literally be translated --- "A proneness to be tenderly affectionate unto one another in brotherly love."


The Greek word philadelphia appears seven times in the NT writings; it never appears in the OT; and it appears only six times in the Apocrypha (all of which are located in II & IV Maccabees). It signifies "the love which Christians cherish for each other as 'brethren'" (Thayer, p. 653). It comes from two Greek words: philos which means "affection," and adelphos which means "brother" (the root word for "brother" literally means "out of the womb").

The last word in the phrase is philostorgos. It appears only here in the entire NT canon, and never appears in the OT writings. It can be found in the Apocrypha in II Macc. 6:20; 9:21 and IV Macc. 15:6, 9, 13. It also comes from two Greek words: philos which means "affection," and storge which signifies a "family love."

The emphasis of these two terms is on the fact that "in Christ" we are FAMILY ....... a brotherhood of believers. As such, we should show tender love for one another! See I John 5:1 ....... Love of God demands love of His other children as well.


"The instinctive love of a mother to her child, or the strange mystical ties which unite members of a family together, irrespective of their differences of character and temperament, are taken as an example after which Christian men are to mold their relations to one another. The one cure for petty jealousies and the miserable strife for recognition, which we are all tempted to engage in, lies in a heart filled with love of the brethren" (Maclaren, p. 265-66).

"The Christian Church is not a collection of acquaintances; it is not even a gathering of friends; it is a family in God" (Barclay, p. 177).

"The Apostle joins two things --- mutual love of brethren, with the natural love of parents and children, as though he said, 'Let your brotherly love have in it the affectionate feeling which exists between parents and children'" (Calvin, p. 465).

"The church tie should rival that of the family" (McGarvey, p. 498).

"It should be with the tenderness which characterizes the most endearing natural relationship" (Barnes, p. 281).

"....should be regarded as the badge of discipleship" (Lipscomb, p. 225-26).

"Nor is this love to be confined to members of the particular congregation to which we happen to belong. It must embrace the universal brotherhood of the redeemed ..... this love is his birth-right" (Lard, p. 389).

"Love is to be shown to people, not lavished on a principle" (Expos. Comm., p. 132).

"The AV (KJV), in the word kindly, gives the real sense, since kind is originally kinned; and kindly affectioned is having the affection of kindred" (Wuest, p. 214).

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