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Where should we put the “one another”?

Posted by on Aug 17, 2010 in edification, gathering, scripture, translation | 12 comments

Where should we put the “one another”?

Today, Danny (from “learning…“) reminded me (via email) of a discussion that we’ve had about Hebrews 10:24-25… specifically the beginning of Hebrews 10:24.

You see, in the Greek text, the word translated “one another” is with the subjunctive (command) “Let us consider”. But, it is almost always translated with the infinitive (“to stir up”).

So, the ESV (and most other translations), produce something like this:

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works… (Hebrews 10:24 ESV)

But, I prefer something like this:

And let us consider one another to stir up love and good works… (Hebrews 10:24)

Do you see the difference? Is there a difference in interpretation in the two different translations? Does it matter where we put the “one another” in this verse?


Comments are closed. If you would like to discuss this post, send an email to alan [at] alanknox [dot] net.

  1. 8-17-2010

    Alan, to me it makes all the difference! I love the placing of “one another, because it implies that love and good works flow from considering one another, which we are elsewhere called to do.



  2. 8-17-2010

    Same here. The “normal” translation focuses on the instrument of love, where the latter on the persons loved. This makes all the difference.

  3. 8-18-2010

    Does seem better this way. The reason is that we are to consider one another! We gather to provoke one another to love and good works. We should not assemble just to sit and listen to a sermon but we should encourage one another as Jesus did. Maybe we gather today for the wrong reason.

  4. 8-18-2010

    Another question on the Greek: does “to stir up” carry the meaning of “in order to stir up” as if the act of considering one another resulted in stirring one another up? My Greek is too rusty and the morning is too early.

  5. 8-18-2010

    Thanks for the comments and for thinking about this question with me.


    “To stir up” would be the outcome or purpose of “considering one another.” In other words, we don’t just consider one another so that we can think about one another. Instead, we consider one another so that we can then (after thinking about what each person needs) help them live a life that demonstrates even more love and good works.


  6. 8-18-2010


    That was my thought, but wanted a more informed opinion. This certainly pushes fellowship well beyond the “hanging out” form that is common in my experience.

  7. 8-18-2010


    Yes, it does. First, we must know one another very well (or at least be growing to know one another very well) so that we can consider one another. Then we have to intentionally work toward helping one another demonstrate more and more love and good works in our lives.


  8. 8-20-2010

    It also seems to me that when we “consider how to…” we very easily end up falling into the trap of creating systems and programs…

    Whereas “consider one another to…” is relational and love based (and perhaps also results in good works that are based in the current context, rather than developing some long-term plan that fails to recognize our developing journeys and growing maturity)

  9. 8-20-2010

    I have often not included someone in my life because it was not convenient. I can’t stir up someone if I don’t let them into my life. I must take my eyes off me and put them on others (not literally lol). It seems to me that I don’t take One to Another very serious.

  10. 8-20-2010




    Exactly again.


  11. 10-5-2010

    You might be interested that the Apostolic Bible Polyglot (found it in E-Sword) has the following translation (minus the Strong’s numbers):
    And let us mind one another for stimulating love and good works!

  12. 10-6-2010


    Thanks for the info. I’ve found that the NKJV (KJV), HCSB, and Geneva translations also put the “one another” with the verb for “consider.”