|1.||archaic a plural of brother|
|2.||fellow members of a religion, sect, society, etc|
|—n , pl (archaic except when referring to fellow members of a religion, sect, society, etc) brothers, brethren|
|1.||a male person having the same parents as another person|
|2.||half-brother short for stepbrother|
|3.||a. a male person belonging to the same group, profession, nationality, trade union, etc, as another or others; fellow member|
|b. (as modifier): brother workers|
|4.||comrade; friend: used as a form of address|
|5.||Christianity Related: fraternal|
|a. a member of a male religious order who undertakes work for the order without actually being in holy orders|
|b. a lay member of a male religious order|
|6.||slang an exclamation of amazement, disgust, surprise, disappointment, etc|
|[Old English brōthor; related to Old Norse brōthir, Old High German bruoder, Latin frāter, Greek phratēr, Sanskrit bhrātar]|
(1.) In the natural and common sense (Matt. 1:2; Luke 3:1, 19). (2.) A near relation, a cousin (Gen. 13:8; 14:16; Matt. 12:46; John 7:3; Acts 1:14; Gal. 1:19). (3.) Simply a fellow-countryman (Matt. 5:47; Acts 3:22; Heb. 7:5). (4.) A disciple or follower (Matt. 25:40; Heb. 2:11, 12). (5.) One of the same faith (Amos 1:9; Acts 9:30; 11:29; 1 Cor. 5:11); whence the early disciples of our Lord were known to each other as brethren. (6.) A colleague in office (Ezra 3:2; 1 Cor. 1:1; 2 Cor. 1:1). (7.) A fellow-man (Gen. 9:5; 19:7; Matt. 5:22, 23, 24; 7:5; Heb. 2:17). (8.) One beloved or closely united with another in affection (2 Sam. 1:26; Acts 6:3; 1 Thess. 5:1). Brethren of Jesus (Matt. 1:25; 12:46, 50: Mark 3:31, 32; Gal. 1:19; 1 Cor. 9:5, etc.) were probably the younger children of Joseph and Mary. Some have supposed that they may have been the children of Joseph by a former marriage, and others that they were the children of Mary, the Virgin's sister, and wife of Cleophas. The first interpretation, however, is the most natural.
group of Protestant churches that trace their origin to Schwarzenau, Hesse, where in 1708 a group of seven persons under the leadership of Alexander Mack (1679-1735) formed a brotherhood dedicated to following the commandments of Jesus Christ. The brotherhood was shaped by three influences-the Protestant faith in which its organizers had been raised, the Pietist reform movement, and Anabaptist teachings from the 16th century.
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