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Old & New Testament Greek Lexical Dictionary
Strong's #80 - ἀδελφός
- a brother, whether born of the same two parents or only of the same father or mother
- having the same national ancestor, belonging to the same people, or countryman
- any fellow or man
- a fellow believer, united to another by the bond of affection
- an associate in employment or office
- brethren in Christ
- his brothers by blood
- all men
- Christians, as those who are exalted to the same heavenly place
ἀδελφός [ᾰ], (ἀ - copul., δελφύς, Arist. HA 510b13; cf. ἀγάστωρ) properly, son of the same mother: I as Subst., ἀδελφός, ὁ, voc. ἄδελφε; , Ion., and Lyr. ἀδελφεός (gen. -ειοῦ in Hom. is for -εόο), Cret. ἀδελφιός, ἀδευφιός, Leg.Gort. 2.21, Mon.Ant. 18.319: — brother, Hom., etc.; ἀδελφοί brother and sister, E. El. 536; so of the Ptolemies, θεοὶ ἀδελφοί Herod. 1.30, OGI 50.2 (iii B. C.), etc.; ἀπ' ἀμφοτέρων ἀδελφεός Hdt. 7.97: prov., χαλεποὶ πόλεμοι ἀδελφῶν E. Fr. 975: metaph., ἀ. γέγονα σειρήνων LXX Job 30:29.
2. kinsman, ib. Genesis 13:8, al.; tribesman, Exodus 2:11, al.
3. colleague, associate, PTeb. 1.12, IG 12 (9).906.19 (Chalcis); member of a college, ib.14.956.
4. term of address, used by kings, OGI 138.3 (Philae), J. AJ 13.2.2, etc.; generally, LXX Ju. 7.30; esp. in letters, PPar. 48 (ii B. C.), etc.: — as a term of affection, applicable by wife to husband, LXX To. 10.12, PLond. 1.42.1 (ii B. C.), etc.
5. brother (as a fellow Christian), Matthew 12:50, Acts 9:30, al.; of other religious communities, e.g. Serapeum, PPar. 42.1 (ii B. C.), cf. PTaur. 1.1.20.
6. metaph., of things, fellow, ἀνὴρ τῷ ἀ. προσκολληθήσεται, of Leviathan's scales, LXX Job 41:8. II Adj., ἀδελφός, ή, όν, brotherly or sisterly, A. Th. 811, etc.; φύσιν ἀ. ἔχοντες, of Hephaistos and Athena, Pl. Criti. 109c.
2. generally, of anything double, twin, in pairs, X. Mem. 2.3.19: — also, akin, cognate, μαθήματα Archyt. 1; ἀ. νόμοις Pl. Lg. 683a: mostly c. gen., ἀδελφὰ τῶνδε S. Ant. 192; ἡ δὲ μωρία μάλιστ' ἀ. τῆς πονηρίας ἔφυ Id. Fr. 925; freq. in Pl., Phd. 108b, Cra. 418e, al., cf. Hyp. Epit. 35: c. dat., ἀδελφὰ τούτοισι S. OC 1262, cf. Pl. Smp. 210b.
ἀδελφός , -οῦ , ὁ
(<ἀ - copul, δελφύς , womb), in cl., a brother, born of the same parent or parents.
[In LXX (Hort, Ja., 102 f.), for H251;]
1. lit, of a brother (Genesis 4:2, al.).
2. Of a neighbour (Leviticus 19:17).
3. Of a member of the same nation (Exodus 2:14, Deuteronomy 15:3). In NT in each of these senses
(1. Matthew 1:2, al.;)
(2. Matthew 7:3;)
(3. Romans 9:3) and also,
4. of a fellow-Christian: 1 Corinthians 1:1, Acts 9:30. This usage finds illustration in Papyri, where ἀ . is used of members of a pagan religious community (M, Th., I, 1:4; MM, VGT, s.v.). The ἀδελφοὶ τ . Κυρίου (Matthew 12:46-49 Matthew 13:55 Matthew 28:10, Mark 3:31-34, Luke 8:19-21, John 2:12 John 7:3; John 7:5; John 7:10 John 20:17, Acts 1:14, 1 Corinthians 9:5) may have been sons of Joseph and Mary (Mayor, Ja., Intr. vi ff.; DB, i, 320 ff.) or of Joseph by a former marriage (Lft., Gal., 252 ff.; DCG, i, 232 ff.), but the view of Jerome, which makes ἀ . equivalent to ἀνεψιός , is inconsistent with Greek usage. (Cremer, 66.)
Copyright © 1922 by G. Abbott-Smith, D.D., D.C.L.. T & T Clarke, London.
For the literal and the more general derived sense we may quote Syll 474.10 ἀδελφοὶ οἷς κοινὰ τὰ πατρῷα, and 276.26 διὰ τὸ Μεσσαλιήτας εἶναι ἡμῖν ἀδελ [φούς ]. In P Lond 421 (B.C. 168) ( = I. p. 30, Selections p. 9) Ἰσίας Ἡφαιστίωνι τῶι ἀδελφῶ [ι χαί (ρειν)], it seems probable that Isias is addressing her husband, not brother : see Kenyon’s note ad l. where Letronne’s statement that the Ptolemies called their wives ἀδελφαί even where they were not actually so is quoted. Witkowski Epp..2 p. 61 maintains this against Wilcken, quoting Wilamowitz (Gr. Lesebuch I. p. 397), and noting that Isias says ἡ μήτηρ σου, showing that Isias and Hephaestion were not children of the same mother. Cf. also P Par 45 and 48 (ii/B.C.) where men address with τῷ ἀδελφῷ χαίρειν men who are no relation to them. For the use of ἀδελφοί to denote members of the same religious community cf. P Tor I. 1i. 20 (ii/B.C.) where the members of a society which had to perform a part of the ceremony of embalming bodies are described as ἀδελφῶν τῶν τὰς λειτουργίας ἐν ταῖς νεκρίαις παρεχομένων, and in P Par 42.1 etc. (ii/B.C.) the same designation is applied to the ";fellows"; of a religious corporation established in the Serapeum of Memphis. In P Tebt I. 12 (B.C. 118) Crönert assumes that one town clerk addresses another as ἀδελφός : Grenfell and Hunt take it literally—see their introduction. Crönert quotes also Syll 607 (iii/iv A.D.), where it is used between two δεκάπρωτοι, and OGIS 257.2 (B.C. 109), where one king so addresses another. In this last case the kings were the sons of sisters, but Dittenberger warns us against taking ἀδελφός as used loosely for ἀνεψιός. He refers to OGIS 138.3 (ii/B.C.), where Ptolemy Euergetes II. addresses as ";brother"; one Lochus, who in other inscriptions is συγγενής —";our trusty and well-beloved cousin,"; as an English king would have put it. Ἀδελφέ as a term of address may be illustrated by P Flor II. 228 (iii/A.D.), where Palas thrice calls Heroninus ἀδελφέ : in four other letters to him, from about the same time, he only calls him φίλτατος. So P Tebt II. 314.12 (ii/A.D.) ἔρρωσό μοι ἄδελφε, in a letter addressed at the beginning τῷ ] τιμιωτάτῳ. (The voc. survives in Pontic MGr ἄδελφε —elsewhere ἀδερφέ ́—says Thumb.) A clear case is BGU IV. 1209.2 (B.C. 23), where Tryphon addresses τῶι ἀδελφῶι, and goes on to write of his correspondent’s late brother as his own former friend : τοῦ εὐκλήρου ἀδελφοῦ σου ἡμῶν δὲ φίλου γενομένου Πετεχῶντος. Ἀδελφός as a title of address is discussed in Rhein. Mus. N.F. lv. p. 170. From the Christian papyri we may note P Grenf II. 73.2 (late iii/A.D.) ( = Selections p. 117) Ἀπόλλωνι πρεσβυτέρῳ ἀγαπητῷ ἀδελφῷ ἐν Κ (υρί)ῳ χαίρειν, P. Lond 417.1 f. (c. A.D. 346) ( = II. p. 299, Selections p. 123) τῷ δεσπότῃ μου καὶ ἀγαπητῷ ἀδελφῷ Ἀβιννέῳ πραι (ποσίτῳ), and P Iand 11.9 (iii/iv A.D.) τῷ κυρίῳ μου ἀδελφῷ Πέτρῳ (cf. Wilcken, Archiv vi. p. 295). For the Christian use of the word see Harnack Mission and Expansion of Christianity.2 I. p. 405 ff. On ἀδελφός ";improperly"; used in the LXX, see a note by Hort The Epistle of St. James, p. 102 f.
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