July 1, 2024
Ministry Voice

Understanding the Significance of Adelphos in Greek


Parts of Speech: Noun Masculine

Adelphos Definition

NAS Word Usage – Total: 343

  1. a brother, whether born of the same two parents or only of the same father or mother
  2. having the same national ancestor, belonging to the same people, or countryman
  3. any fellow or man
  4. a fellow believer, united to another by the bond of affection
  5. an associate in employment or office
  6. brethren in Christ
    1. his brothers by blood
    2. all men
    3. apostles
    4. Christians, as those who are exalted to the same heavenly place

What is the significance of the term Adelphos in Greek when referring to siblings in the Bible?

In the context of the Bible, the term “Adelphos” holds significant meaning when referring to siblings. The word “Adelphos” is a Greek term that is commonly used in the New Testament to denote the concept of brother or sibling. However, the significance of this term goes beyond its literal translation.

In the Bible, the term “Adelphos” is not only used to describe biological siblings but is also employed to convey a deeper sense of spiritual brotherhood and unity among believers. This usage reflects the idea of a close bond and familial relationship that exists within the community of Christians.

One of the notable instances where the term “Adelphos” is used in a broader context is found in Matthew 12:50, where Jesus states, “For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” Here, Jesus expands the understanding of siblinghood to encompass all those who follow and obey God’s will, emphasizing the spiritual bond that unites believers.

How is the term Adelphos used to depict spiritual brotherhood in the context of the Bible?

In the Bible, the term “Adelphos” is used to depict spiritual brotherhood among believers. The word “Adelphos” originates from Greek and is commonly translated as “brother” in English. However, its meaning goes beyond just a biological sibling and extends to a deeper spiritual connection among fellow Christians.

The concept of spiritual brotherhood highlighted by the term “Adelphos” emphasizes the intimate bond believers share as members of the body of Christ. This bond is rooted in a shared faith in God and a commitment to living in accordance with His teachings. The term is not limited by familial ties but rather signifies a unity in purpose and spirit among believers.

Throughout the Bible, the term “Adelphos” is used to encourage believers to treat each other with love, compassion, and support. In Matthew 12:50, Jesus states, “For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” This passage illustrates how spiritual brotherhood transcends earthly relationships and is based on obedience to God.

The Apostle Paul frequently uses the term “Adelphos” in his letters to address fellow Christians as brothers and sisters in Christ. In Romans 12:10, he writes, “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Here, Paul underscores the importance of familial affection and mutual respect among believers, emphasizing the unity and bond they share.

Moreover, the term “Adelphos” is also used in the context of forgiveness and reconciliation. In Matthew 18:15, Jesus provides instructions for resolving conflicts within the church, stating, “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you.” This passage highlights the responsibility believers have towards one another in maintaining peace and unity within the Christian community.

In what ways does the term Adelphos convey the concept of unity among believers in the Bible?

In the New Testament, the term “Adelphos” is used to refer to believers in Christ who are part of the same spiritual family. This Greek word, often translated as “brother” or “brotherhood,” goes beyond a mere biological relationship and speaks to the deep sense of unity and connection among followers of Jesus.

The concept of Adelphos emphasizes the idea of a shared faith and commitment to the teachings of Christ. In using this term, the biblical writers highlight the importance of community and fellowship among believers. This unity is not based on common ancestry or ethnicity but on sharing a common spiritual heritage and identity in Christ.

One notable example of the term Adelphos conveying unity among believers is found in the book of Acts. In Acts 2:42, it is written that the early Christians devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer. The term Adelphos is used here to describe the strong bond and sense of togetherness that characterized the early Christian community.


In conclusion, the term “adelphos” in Greek holds a rich and nuanced meaning within the context of the Bible. While commonly translated simply as “brother,” its significance extends beyond familial relationships to encompass spiritual brotherhood and kinship in faith. Understanding the cultural and linguistic context in which this term was used provides us with a deeper appreciation of the sense of unity and community that it conveys in the biblical text. By exploring the origins and implications of the word “adelphos,” we gain valuable insights into the interconnectedness and shared identity of believers in the Christian faith.

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