In 1 Peter 3:8 we find a very important verse when dealing with unity of purpose. The King James Version states:
"Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous."
There is an incredibly interesting truth locked in this little verse. Although there are 19 English words in the verse, there are only 7 Greek words. 2 of those words are at the beginning of the verse translated "finally" and "all". The remaining 17 English words are only 5 Greek words. Of these 5 Greek words; 4 are only used in this verse and nowhere else in the New Testament. The 5th word is only used one other time. This might not appear too significant, but from a Biblical research point of view; it is both exciting and very profound.
There are some basic keys to research which help us understand what is important when "working" the Word of God. One very important key is to document the first usage of a word. Many times there is significant understanding of what a word means in its first usage. An obvious example of this would be to look at the significance of each word in Genesis 1:1.
Another important key to research is to look at the context of where a word, phrase or thought is used. The oldest mistake made by people when studying the Bible is to take verses or statements out of context. It has been said that the Bible states "there is no God". It does indeed say that in the book of Psalms. But, directly before that phrase it says; "The fool hath said in his heart". So, yes the Bible has the phrase "there is no God" within its pages, but the context renders it an insignificant fact.
The key to research found in 1 Peter 3:8 deals with the importance of words used only once in the Bible. Any time there is a word found which only has one occurrence; it needs to be flagged for further research for it will no doubt have "extra special meaning". To have one verse where 4 out of 5 words are only used in that verse sets that verse apart and identifies it as "extremely significant".
For what it is worth, here are the 5 Greek words (missing various markings) along with the King James translation and basic meaning of each word found in 1 Peter 3:8:
homophron-be ye of one mind=of the same mind, like-minded
sumpathes---having compassion one of another=sympathizing, compassionate, to suffer together with
philadelphos-love as brethren=loving as brothers, brotherly affectionate
eusplagchnos-be pitiful=tenderhearted, full of compassion and pity
philphron-be courteous=friendly, courteous, have the mindset of a friend
The only one of these 5 words used elsewhere is eusplagchnos. It is also used in Ephesians 4:32 where it is translated "tenderhearted". Each of these 5 words is a predicate adjective. In the Greek, the predicate adjective omits the verb. That is why the word "be" is in italics in the King James Version.
Each one of these 5 words demands humility. It is impossible to be like-minded, sympathizing, loving, tenderhearted or friendly if selfishness is present. Each of these words exhibit the fullness of giving oneself on behalf of another. Each word beautifully displays the heart of compassionate love and respect we are to have for each other in the body of Christ. In an associated study, you could easily see how Jesus was the Master of and taught all of these things. Peter heard and learned from the Master.
In conclusion, I would like to quote 1 Peter 3:8 from many different translations. I know you can do the same thing on line and with various Bible software; but I pray this sheds more light on an earlier post I did on translations. I also pray that seeing this verse in so many translations helps you to see the simplicity and beauty of this amazing verse in the clearest possible light.
"Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous."
New King James Version
"Finally, be ye all likeminded, compassionate (sympathetic), loving as brethren, tenderhearted, humble-minded."
American Standard Version 1901 edition
"To sum up, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit."
New American Standard Bible current edition
Finally, all [being] of one mind, sympathizing, loving the brethren, tender-hearted, friendly [humble-minded]."
The Englishman's Greek Interlinear
"Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble."
New International Version
"Finally, all of you should be of one mind. Sympathize with each other. Love each other as brothers and sisters (show brotherly love). Be tenderhearted, and keep a humble attitude."
New Living Translation
"Finally, all [of you] should be of one and the same mind (united in spirit), sympathizing [with one another], loving [each other] as brethren [of one household], compassionate and courteous (tenderhearted and humble)."
"To sum up: be one in thought and feeling, all of you; be full of brotherly affection, kindly and humble-minded."
New English Bible
"Finally, all of you should be in agreement, understanding each other, loving each other as family, being kind and humble."
New Century Version
"Finally, you must all live in harmony, be sympathetic, loving as brothers, tenderhearted, humble."
Williams New Testament
"Finally, all of you, live in harmony, be sympathetic, love your fellow Christians, be tenderhearted and humble."
Beck New Testament
"Summing up: Be agreeable, by sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble."
"Now finally, all of you should be like-minded and sympathetic, should love believers (brotherly-loving), and be compassionate and humble,"
"Lastly, you must all be united, you must have sympathy, brotherly love, compassion and humility."
Finally, all of you, be of one mind, sympathetic, loving toward one another, compassionate, humble."
The New American Bible the New Catholic translation
"To sum up, let all of you be like-minded, sympathetic, loving as brothers, tenderhearted, humble-minded."
"Now the conclusion [is] that all of you should be in one accord, and share the suffering with those who suffer, and be compassionate to one another, and be merciful and humble."
May we all strive to fulfill the exhortation of Peter by laying aside our petty differences and our selfish ambitions. With great humility, my prayer for us all is that we can be like-minded, compassionate and sympathizing with each other's sufferings, loving as brothers, tenderhearted and humble. If this verse does not paint a beautiful picture of how believers are to be toward each other, than that picture does not exist. God's richest and most abundant blessings 2 you.
Thank you for your post. It is so true that we need to approach each other with a humble heart, quick to love and selfless in our acts of kindness. Such is the way of the non-conformist.