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APOSTOLIC FATHERS Lightfoot

1 Peter 3:8 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
8 Finally, all of you, be of one mind, fellow feeling, brotherly love, tender-hearted, and humble minded;

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, (chap. 2:13–25; 3:1–7;) and he now gives a general direction in regard to their conduct in all those relations.

All of you, be of one mind. The word here used (ὁμόφρων) 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.

Romans 12:16. Be of the same mind, &c. This passage has been variously interpreted. “Enter into each other’s circumstances in order to see how you would yourself feel.” Chrysostom.—“Be agreed in your opinions and views.” Stuart.—“Be united or agreed with each other.” Flatt; comp. Phil. 2:2; 2 Cor. 13:11. A literal translation of the Greek will give somewhat a different sense, but one evidently correct. “Think of, i.e. regard, or seek after the same thing for each other; i.e. what you regard or seek for yourself, seek also for your brethren. Do not have divided interests; do not be pursuing different ends and aims; do not indulge counter plans and purposes; and do not seek honors, offices, for yourself which you do not seek for your brethren, so that you may still regard yourselves as brethren on a level and aim at the same object.” The Syriac has well rendered the passage: “And what you think concerning yourselves, the same also think concerning your brethren; neither think with an elevated or ambitious mind but accommodate yourselves to those who are of humbler condition;” comp. 1 Pet. 3:8.

Fellow feeling, (συμπαθεῖς;) entering into one another’s feelings and evincing a regard for each other’s welfare. Notes, Rom. 12:15. Comp. 1 Cor. 12:26; John 11:35. The Greek word here used does not elsewhere occur 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. Notes, 1 Cor. 12:26.

Brotherly love. Marg., loving to the; i.e., the brother. The Greek word (φιλάδελφος) does not elsewhere occur in the New Testament. It means loving one’s brethren; that is, loving each other as Christian brethren.—Rob. Lex. Thus it enforces the duty so often enjoined in the New Testament, that of love to Christians as brethren of the same family. Notes, Rom. 12:10. Comp. Heb. 13:1; John 13:34.

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Tender-hearted. The word here used (εὔσπλαγχνος) occurs nowhere else in the New Testament except in Eph. 4:32, where it is rendered tender-hearted. Having a heart disposed to pity and compassion, and especially disposed to show kindness to the faults of erring brethren; for so the connection demands.

Humble minded. This word also (φιλόφρων) occurs nowhere else in the New Testament. It means friendly-minded, kind, and courteous. Later editions of the New Testament, instead of this, read (ταπεινόφρονες) 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 proof-text of that point.

By Albert Barnes and Edward D. Andrews

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