1 Peter 3:8
Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:
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(8) Finally, be ye all.—A return from the special to the general. St. Peter has not, however, forgotten the purpose with which the former rules were given; his thought is still how to produce a right impression on the unbelieving world, although some of these injunctions touch only internal relations between members of the Church. “By this shall all men” says our Lord, “know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:35); and, again, “That they all may be one . . . that the world may believe that thou hast sent me” (John 17:21). Accordingly, this verse, like 1Peter 3:1; 1Peter 3:7, is attached to 1Peter 2:13, and should be translated, Finally, being all.

Of one mind.—Or, unanimous. Though the Greek word does not occur elsewhere in the New Testament, the duty is enjoined often, e.g., Romans 12:16; 2Corinthians 13:11; Philippians 2:2. It involves an agreement not only in doctrine but in practical aims, the affections of all being in the same direction. This unanimity requires expression to be conscious, and therefore it strikes at the root of the reserve by which Christian people do not open out their hearts to each other in the matter of religion. Such unity of mind is no product of indifference, which Leighton describes as “not a knitting together, but a freezing together, as cold congregates all bodies how heterogeneous soever, sticks, stones, and water.”

Having compassion one of another.—Literally, sympathetic. The word “compassion” has lost the meaning which it once had, and signifies little more than pity. Here the command includes the “rejoicing with them that do rejoice,” as much as the “weeping with them that weep” (Romans 12:15). The same word only occurs again in Hebrews 4:15; Hebrews 10:34.

Love as brethren.—Again a single adjective, fraternal, or, loving the brethren. For the meaning see 1Peter 1:22, Notes.

Be pitiful.—Rather (omitting the word “be”), tender-hearted. So it is translated in Ephesians 4:32, the only other place where it occurs. It differs from “sympathetic “in being limited to yearnings over the afflicted. Strangely enough, in profane Greek, the word is only found to mean “strong-hearted.”

Be courteous.—The injunction is so charming, and so appropriate in the mouth of St. Peter, that one is almost loth to correct the reading, and substitute (undoubtedly the right word) humble-minded. This adjective brings us back to that mutual subjection and complaisance which is the main subject of all these rules. Comp. also 1Peter 5:5.

1 Peter 3:8-9. Finally — This section of the epistle reaches to 1 Peter 4:11. The apostle seems to have added the rest afterward. Be ye all of one mind — Ομοφρονες, unanimous; guarding against all unnecessary occasion of contention: see on Romans 12:16 : have compassion, &c. — Greek, συμπαθεις, sympathizing with each other; rejoicing and sorrowing together: love all believers as brethren: be pitiful — Toward the afflicted. The original word, ευσπλαγχνοι, is, literally, of good bowels. The meaning is, Be moved with compassion on beholding the weaknesses and distresses of others, and do all you can to assist and relieve them. Be courteous — To all men. Courtesy is such a behaviour toward equals and inferiors as shows respect mixed with love. Not rendering evil for evil — See on Matthew 5:39; or railing for railing — One reproachful speech for another; but contrariwise, blessing — Even to those that curse you, according to Christ’s precept; wishing and praying for their welfare, and endeavouring to promote it. Knowing that ye are thereunto called — Namely, to be of this benevolent and beneficent forgiving temper: that ye should inherit a blessing, immense and eternal. Therefore their railing cannot hurt you; and by blessing them, you imitate God, who blesses you.

3:8-13 Though Christians cannot always be exactly of the same mind, yet they should have compassion one of another, and love as brethren. If any man desires to live comfortably on earth, or to possess eternal life in heaven, he must bridle his tongue from wicked, abusive, or deceitful words. He must forsake and keep far from evil actions, do all the good he can, and seek peace with all men. For God, all-wise and every where present, watches over the righteous, and takes care of them. None could or should harm those who copied the example of Christ, who is perfect goodness, and did good to others as his followers.Finally - As the last direction, or as general counsel in reference to your conduct in all the relations of life. The apostle had specified most of the important relations which Christians sustain, 1 Peter 2:13-25; 1 Peter 3:1-7; and he now gives a general direction in regard to their conduct in all those relations.

Be ye all of one mind - See the notes at Romans 12:16. The word used here (ὁμόφρων homophrōn) does not elsewhere occur in the New Testament. It means, of the same mind; like-minded; and the object is to secure harmony in their views and feelings.

Having compassion one of another - "Sympathizing," (συμπαθεῖς sumpatheis;) entering into one another's feelings, and evincing a regard for each other's welfare. See the notes at Romans 12:15. Compare 1 Corinthians 12:26; John 11:35. The Greek word used here does occur not elsewhere in the New Testament. It describes that state of mind which exists when we enter into the feelings of others as if they were our own, as the different parts of the body are affected by that which affects one. See the notes at 1 Corinthians 12:26.

Love as brethren - Margin, "loving to the;" that is, the brethren. The Greek word (φιλάδελφος philadelphos) does not elsewhere occur in the New Testament. It means loving one's brethren; that is, loving each other as Christian brethren - Robinson, Lexicon. Thus, it enforces the duty so often enjoined in the New Testament, that of love to Christians as brethren of the same family. See the notes at Romans 12:10. Compare Hebrews 13:1; John 13:34.

Be pitiful - The word used here (εὔσπλαγχνος eusplangchnos) occurs nowhere else in the New Testament, except in Ephesians 4:32, where it is rendered "tender-hearted." See the notes at that verse.

Be courteous - This word also φιλόφρων (philophrōn) occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. It means "friendly-minded, kind, courteous." Later editions of the New Testament, instead of this, read (ταπεινόφρονες tapeinophrones) of a lowly or humble mind. See Hahn. The sense is not materially varied. In the one word, the idea of "friendliness" is the one that prevails; in the other, that of "humility." Christianity requires both of these virtues, and either word enforces an important injunction. The authority is in favor of the latter reading; and though Christianity requires that we should be courteous and gentlemanly in our treatment of others, this text can hardly be relied on as a prooftext of that point.

8. General summary of relative duty, after having detailed particular duties from 1Pe 2:18.

of one mind—as to the faith.

having compassion one of another—Greek, "sympathizing" in the joy and sorrow of others.

love as brethren—Greek, "loving the brethren."

pitiful—towards the afflicted.

courteous—genuine Christian politeness; not the tinsel of the world's politeness; stamped with unfeigned love on one side, and humility on the other. But the oldest manuscripts read, "humble-minded." It is slightly different from "humble," in that it marks a conscious effort to be truly humble.

Be ye all of one mind; either, be of one mind in the things of faith, and then this implies the consent of the understanding, and the next, that of the affections; or, be united both in faith and affection: see Romans 12:16 2 Corinthians 13:11 Philippians 4:2.

Having compassion one of another: mutually affected with each other’s good or evil, Romans 12:15 Hebrews 10:34 13:3. This he joins with the other as the consequent of it; they that are united in faith and love are of the same body; and where one member suffers, the rest suffer, 1 Corinthians 12:26.

Love as brethren; viz. in Christ: see 1 Peter 3:17.

Be pitiful; ready to show mercy, of a merciful disposition, Ephesians 4:32 Colossians 3:12.

Be courteous; kind, affable, humane, of a sweet conversation, in opposition to sourness and moroseness: the same word is used, Acts 27:3.

Finally, be ye all of one mind,.... Not that the apostle was about to conclude his epistle; but having finished his exhortations respecting the obedience of subjects to magistrates, and of servants to their masters, and the duties incumbent on husbands and wives, he proceeds to sum up what he had further to say, in general rules; which regarded all sorts of Christians, magistrates and subjects, masters and servants, husbands and wives, parents and children, old and young, rich and poor, of whatsoever state, age, sex, or condition; and so the Arabic version renders it, "the sum of the commandment is"; and the Ethiopic version, "the sum of all is this"; namely, what follows; "be ye all of one mind"; whatever difference there might be in their natural and civil relation and character; and which is to be understood not of the sameness of affection to one another, or of an humble and condescending spirit, disposition, and carriage to each other, for these are expressed in some following exhortations; but of sameness of judgment with respect to the doctrines and ordinances of the Gospel, in which saints should be perfectly joined together in the same mind, and in the same judgment; for as the church is but one body, of which Christ is the head, there should be but one mind in it; even as there is but one Spirit of God, who convinces, enlightens, and leads into truth; and but one heart and way, given to fear the Lord; and there is but one hope of our calling, or to which we are called; and one way to it, and therefore ought to agree in everything respecting the way, the truth, and the life; though in things which do not, should bear with one another; and there is but one Lord, who gives the same laws and ordinances to one as to another, and which are to be kept alike by all; and there is but one faith, one doctrine of faith, which is uniform and all of a piece, and but one rule and standard of faith, the sacred Scriptures, and but one baptism, to be administered in the same way, and upon the same sort of subjects, and in the same name of the Father, Son, and Spirit; and but one God and Father of all; all belong to the same family, and therefore should preserve a unity of spirit and mind, and speak the same things; which is necessary to carry on the worship of God, honourably and regularly, to the glorifying of him, and for the peace, comfort, and safety of the churches of Christ:

having compassion one of another; or sympathizing with each other, both in prosperity and adversity, whether in temporal or spiritual things; rejoicing with them that rejoice in Christ, make their boast of him, and have communion with him, and who are also blessed with health of body, and a competency of the good things of this life; and weeping with them that weep for the loss of goods, relations, &c. and being in bonds and afflictions; or because of sin, the absence of Christ, and the temptations of Satan; and being concerned also for such who are fallen into immorality, or error, and heresy; endeavouring to restore them out of the one or the other, in a spirit of meekness and tenderness: to all which they should be engaged by the example of Christ, the sympathizing high priest; by the consideration of the divine compassion to them, both in a providential way, and in a way of grace; and on account of their union and relation to each other, as members of the same body:

love as brethren; not in a natural and civil, but in a spiritual relation, being children of God, and brethren of Christ, and in a Gospel church state; and whose love to each other ought to be universal, fervent, without dissimulation, and as Christ has loved them; and which should show itself in praying for each other, in bearing one another's burdens, in forgiving each other, in admonishing in love, and building up one another on their most holy faith, and communicating to each other both in temporals and spirituals: and of a very excellent nature is it; it is the bond of perfectness, and evidence of regeneration; the glory and ornament of a profession, and without which it is nothing; and what renders the communion of the saints with each other pleasant and profitable, comfortable to themselves, and honourable in the eyes of others; and to which they should be induced from the consideration of the love of God and Christ unto them, and from their relation to each other, as brethren:

be pitiful; to those that are in distress; put on bowels of mercy, and relieve and succour them, distributing cheerfully to their necessities:

be courteous; gentle and affable, carrying it friendly to one another, seeking those things which may be most agreeable to each other, shunning all moroseness, stiffness, and incivility. The Vulgate Latin version renders it by two words, "modest, humble": not proud, haughty, and overbearing, but condescending to each other, and to men of low estates; and so the Syriac version renders it, "kind and meek".

{10} Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:

(10) He turns to common exhortations, and commends harmony and whatever things pertain to the maintenance of peace and mutual love.

1 Peter 3:8. Exhortations of a general character follow, without regard to the various conditions of men, yet in connection with chap. 1 Peter 2:11 ff. They deal with the relations of the Christians towards each other, and towards those who are inimically disposed to them.

τὸ δὲ τέλος] here adverbially: “finally, lastly;” in the classics τέλος δέ occurs frequently. Pott explains erroneously, by appeal to 1 Timothy 1:5 : pro κατὰ δὲ τὸ τέλος summa cohortationum mearum jam eo redit (in like manner Erasmus, Grotius, Wolf, Steiger, etc.). Oecumenius marks the transition very well thus: τὶ χρὴ ἰδιολογεῖσθαι; ἁπλῶς πᾶσι φημί· τοῦτο γὰρ τέλος καὶ πρὸς τοῦτο ὁ σκόπος ἐφορᾷ τῆς σωτηρίας.

πάντες] emphatically, in contrast to what preceded: slaves and masters, husbands and wives.

ἔστε or some such word is usually supplied here; it is more correct, however, to consider the following adjectives, etc., as standing in a dependence similar to that of the participles formerly; only that the apostle has in his mind, instead of the particular ὑποτάγητε κ.τ.λ. in 1 Peter 2:13, the more general exhortation to obedience toward God.

ὁμόφρονες] in the N. T. ἅπ. λεγ. (Theognis, 81, ὁμόφρονα θυμὸν ἔχοντες); frequently τὸ αὐτὸ φρονεῖν, Romans 12:16; Romans 15:5; 2 Corinthians 13:11; Php 2:2; similar expressions, 1 Corinthians 1:10; Ephesians 4:3; Php 3:16; Luther: “like-minded.”

συμπαθεῖς] “sympathizing,” in N. T. ἅπ. λεγ.; the verb, Hebrews 4:15; Hebrews 10:34; for the explanation, comp. Romans 12:15. Oecumenius explains: συμπάθεια· ὁ πρὸς τοὺς κακῶς πάσχοντας ὡς καὶ ἐφʼ ἑαυτοῖς ἔλεος; where, however, it is incorrect to limit the application to suffering only. Bengel: ὁμόφρ.: mente, συμπαθεῖς: affectu in rebus secundis et adversis.

φιλάδελφοι] “brotherly,” Luther; also ἅπ. λεγ.; the substantive occurs in chap. 1 Peter 1:22.

εὔσπλαγχνοι] to be found, besides here, in Ephesians 4:32, “compassionate;” in classical Greek: qui robustis est visceribus, as in Hippocr. p. 89 C; and figuratively equal to εὐκάρδιος, ἀνδρεῖος; in the sense of compassionate it does not occur in the classics.

ταπεινόφρονες] ἅπ. λεγ.; the ταπεινοφροσύνη (humility) as well before God (Acts 20:19) as towards our neighbour (chap. 1 Peter 5:5, Php 2:3, where it is joined with σπλάγχνα οἰκτιρμοῦ); here, with the latter reference.

Calvin: humilitas praecipuum conservandae amicitiae vinculum. Hofmann justly questions whether “ὑποτάσσομαι, the leading idea of the series of exhortations which here comes to a close, is, as it were, echoed in ταπεινόφρ.” (Wiesinger). For a panegyric on humility, see Lorinus in loc. In the classics ταπεινόφρων means “mean-spirited and faint-hearted.” The word φιλόφρονες (spurious here) is explained by Gerhard: qui student facere ea quae alteri amica sunt et grata. The first three expressions show the loving relation in which Christians stand to each other; the last two (or three), the conduct of Christians towards all without distinction (Hofmann).

1 Peter 3:8 f. Sweeping clause addressed to all, inculcating detailed φιλαδελφία after Romans 12:10; Romans 12:15-17.

8. Finally, be ye all of one mind] From the two special relations which were the groundwork of social life, the Apostle passes to wider and more general precepts. The adjective for “of one mind” (not found elsewhere in the New Testament) implies, like the corresponding verb in Romans 12:16; Romans 15:5, and elsewhere, unity of aim and purpose. That for “having compassion one of another” (this also used only by St Peter in the New Testament) exactly answers, as describing the temper that rejoices with those that rejoice and weeps with them that weep, to our word sympathizing.

love as brethren] Here also we have an adjective peculiar to St Peter. The corresponding substantive has met us in ch. 1 Peter 1:22. It may mean either what the English version gives, or “lovers of the brethren.” On the whole the latter meaning seems preferable.

pitiful] The history of the word, literally meaning “good-hearted,” affords an interesting illustration of the influence of Christian thought. It was used by Greek writers, especially Greek medical writers, such as Hippocrates (p. 89 c), to describe what we should call the sanguine or courageous temperament. By St Peter and St Paul (Ephesians 4:32), it is used, as the context in each case shews, for the emotional temper which shews itself in pity and affection.

be courteous] The MSS. present two readings, one of which, “courteous” or better, perhaps, friendly, is a fair rendering, and the other a word not found elsewhere, but meaning “lowly” or “humble,” and corresponding to the noun “humility” in Acts 20:19; Php 2:3; 1 Peter 5:5.

1 Peter 3:8. Πάντες, all) Before this, from ch. 1 Peter 2:18, he has been describing particular duties.—ὀμόφρονες, unanimous) in mind. The three parts of 1 Peter 3:8-9, by the figure Chiasmus,[28] in inverted order answer to the psalm which is repeated in 1 Peter 3:10-11, by three clauses (members).[29]—ΣΥΜΑΠΑΘΕῖς, having the same feelings with, sympathising) in prosperity and adversity. Raphelius proves from Polybius the wide sense in which the word is used: Θάρσος ἐμβαλεῖν καὶ συμπαθεῖς ποιῆσαι τοὺς παρακαλουμένους, to inspire confidence, and make those who are exhorted entertain the same feelings with himself.—φιλάδελφοι, having brotherly love) towards the saints.—εὔσπλαγχνοι, pitiful) towards the afflicted.

[28] See Append. on CHIASMUS.

[29] Therefore the expression τὸ δὲ τέλος refers not to the conclusion of the whole Epistle, but to the exhortation to maintain a conversation such as is right, 1 Peter 3:11.—V. g.

Verse 8. - Finally. St. Peter is bringing to a close the exhortations to submission, which depend on the imperative in 1 Peter 2:13. He turns from particular classes and relations to the whole Christian community, and describes what they ought to be in five Greek words, the first three of which are found nowhere else in the Greek Scriptures. Be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another; literally, sympathizing; feeling with others, rejoicing with them that do rejoice, and weeping with them that weep. Love as brethren. An adjective (φιλάδελφι) in the Greek; the corresponding substantive occurs in 1 Peter 1:22. Be pitiful. This word (εὔσπλαγχνος) has undergone a remarkable change of meaning. In Hippocrates, quoted by Huther, it is used literally of one whose viscera are healthy; it is also sometimes used figuratively, as equivalent to εὐκάρδιος ἀνδρεῖος; "goodhearted" with the heathen would mean "brave;" with Christian writers "tender," "pitiful." Be courteous. This represents a reading (φιλόφρονες) which has very little support. The true reading is ταπεινόφρονες, humble-minded. 1 Peter 3:8Of one mind (ὁμόφρονες)

Rev., like-minded. Only here in New Testament. Compare Romans 12:16; Romans 15:5; Philippians 2:2, etc. Indicating unity of thought and feeling. From ὁμός, one and the same, and φρήν, the mind.

Having compassion one of another (συμπαθεῖς)

Only here in New Testament, though the kindred verb is found Hebrews 4:15; Hebrews 10:34. The rendering is needlessly diffuse. Rev., much better, compassionate; sympathetic, in margin. Interchange of fellow-feeling in joy or sorrow. Our popular usage errs in limiting sympathy to sorrow.

Love as brethren (φιλάδελφοι)

Rev., more strictly, loving as brethren. Only here in New Testament.

Pitiful (εὔσπλαγχνοι)

Only here and Ephesians 4:32. Rev., better, tender-hearted. From εὖ, well, and σπλάγχνα, the nobler entrails, which are regarded as the seat of the affections, and hence equivalent to our popular use of heart. The original sense has given rise to the unfortunate translation bowels in the A. V., which occurs in its literal meaning only at Acts 1:18.


The A. V. has here followed the reading of the Tex. Rec., φιλόφρονες. But the best texts read ταπεινόφρονες, humble-minded. So Rev. This occurs nowhere else in the New Testament, though the kindred noun ταπεινοφροσύνη, humility, is found often. See on ταπεινός, lowly, notes on Matthew 11:29.

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