the weblog of Alan Knox

Chain Blog: One Another

Posted by on Oct 1, 2012 in chain blog, community, fellowship | 24 comments

Last Friday, I proposed that we start a new chain blog. (If you don’t know what a chain blog is, you can read the info in my post “Interested in a Chain Blog? Let’s pick a topic.,” or you can keep reading below for more info.)

In that post, several topics were suggested, but most people seem to have been interested in the following topic: “one another.”

So, in this post, I’m going to introduce the topic. “One another” is a phrase that points toward many instructions, commands, and examples in the New Testament. It is the translation of a couple of Greek terms which are reciprocal pronouns.

Reciprocal Pronouns

A reciprocal pronoun indicates that more than one person is involved in both carrying out an activity and in the results of the activity. Thus, when Scripture indicates that we should “love one another,” “teach one another,” “exhort one another,” “serve one another,” etc., these are mutual activities in which more than one person is involved in both the activity and the result.


While there are several different ways to refer to the kinds of activities in which more than one person is involved in both carrying out the activity and the result of the activity, I prefer the term “mutuality.” Mutuality is different than individualism, but it is also different than collectivism. In a mutual relationship, the group works together for the benefit of the group (this sets apart mutuality from individualism), but they do not work together under duress or force (this sets apart mutuality from collectivism).

Our Mutual Relationships

What does this mean for those of us who are following Jesus Christ? Well, it helps us to understanding the importance of our mutual relationships with one another in Jesus Christ when we read statements in Scripture like “love one another,” “teach one another,” “be kind to one another,” “edify one another,” “forgive one another,” “admonish one another,” etc.

The Chain Blog

In this chain blog, each author will pick a topic related to “one another.” Together we will work toward a better understanding of these reciprocal pronouns and the mutual relationships that they point to.


Chain blog rules:

1) If you would like to write the next blog post (link) in this chain, leave a comment stating that you would like to do so. If someone else has already requested to write the next link, then please wait for that blog post and leave a comment there requesting to write the following link.

2) Feel free to leave comments here and discuss items in this blog post without taking part in the actual “chain.” Your comments and discussion are very important in this chain blog (both this post and the other link posts in the chain).

3) When you write a link in this chain, please reply in the comments of the previous post to let everyone know that your link is ready. Also, please try to keep an updated list of links in the chain at the bottom of your post, and please include these rules at the bottom of your post.


“Links” in the “One Another” chain blog:

1. “Chain Blog: One Another” by Alan
2. “Linking One Another” by Swanny
3. “What Does It Mean to Love One Another? by Chuck
4. “The treasure of “One Another” by Jim
5. “This is how the world shall recognise you…” by Kathleen
6. “Accepting one another in love” by Chris
7. “One Another-ing: A meta-narrative for the church” – Part One and Part Two by Greg
8. “Individualism and ‘one another’” by Pieter
9. “All Alone with One Another” by Jeremy
10. “When it’s OK for Christians to compete” by Joshua
11. “Jesus Christ, the Corner Stone for One Another” by Peter
12. “Be Superficial with One Another” by Jon
13. “The Unmentionable One Anothers” by Alan
14. “Loving More Fully and Widely” by Chris
15. “The One Another Weapon” by Dan
16. “Corporate One-Anothering” (Part 1 and Part 2) by David
17. “The Last Revival” by Tobie
18. “Love: A one another comic” by Dan
19. “I Can Only Love You If…” by Rob
20. “It Was Lost in Translation” by Nelson
21. “Consider Others Better Than Yourself” by Chuck
22. Who will write the 22nd link post in the chain?


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

  1. 10-1-2012


    I like the mutuality look at things. I got a post that comes to mind. I can take the next link.


  2. 10-1-2012


    Great! You’re the first to ask for the next post in the comments here, so you’ve got it. Let us know when you publish your post, and I’ll add it to the list above.

    Everyone else… please still comment on this post, but watch for Swanny’s post also. If you want to write the 3rd link post in the chain, be the first to comment on Swanny’s post saying that.


  3. 10-1-2012

    That definition of mutuality is a great clarification!!!! Very relevant. Thanks. I will be digesting that this week…very tasty morsel.

  4. 10-1-2012

    Had time at lunch… my link is up!

    enjoy… Swanny

  5. 10-1-2012


    Thanks. I’m really glad it was helpful!


    Wow. That’s fast! I added your post to my list above.


  6. 10-1-2012

    “Reciprocal pronoun”
    I have never heard the grammar identification of this. Thank you.
    I was just looking at Eph. 5:19 where being filled with the Spirit is said to be “speaking to one another in psalms hymns and…” KJV translates this “speaking to yourselves in psalms, hymns…” So I looked up the greek word and it’s not the typical word for “one another” even though other translations use “one another”. Can you open up this word and it’s contrast or comparison to the other “one another” word. I am very interested in this one because it is the action point for what it means to be “filled with the Spirit”.

  7. 10-2-2012


    In Ephesians 5:19, the word translated “one another,” “to yourselves,” or “among yourselves” (in various translations) is a reflexive pronoun, which is only slightly different and sometimes synonymous with a reciprocal pronoun. In this case, I think it would be synonymous. So, Paul is saying that one of the results of being filled by the Spirit is that we will speak psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to one another. (Of course, he also says that we will sing in our hearts to God in the next verse.)

    I should have mentioned in the post that one of the difficulties is that there is no direct translation of a reciprocal pronoun in English. We don’t really have reciprocal pronouns in English.


  8. 10-3-2012

    My post in the chain is ready. “What Does It Mean to Love One Another?”

  9. 10-6-2012
  10. 10-7-2012

    Hi Alan, my post is also ready (i’m happy to wait in line). It’s called “This is how the world will recognise you…”

  11. 10-7-2012

    Hi Alan, I’ve written my post, called “This is how the world will recognise you.” You can find it here

  12. 10-7-2012


    Thanks! I’ll add it to the list, since no one has asked to write the next post. If you don’t mind, please jump over to Jim’s post ( and let everyone know that you’ve written the next link post.


  13. 10-8-2012

    Hi Alan, Chris Jeffries will write the next post, and Greg Gamble will follow him.

  14. 10-8-2012


    Awesome! I saw Chris’ comment and post link on your post, so I’ve added it to the list.


  15. 10-13-2012

    Jim Puntney tells me I’m next up on the list, so I’ll try to have my post up either tomorrow or the next day. If I’m mistaken and need to hold off till the next person writes, just let me know.

  16. 10-15-2012


    Thanks for taking part in the chain blog. Your post is an awesome addition!


  17. 10-18-2012

    I had nothing of value to add, so I want to remind you that we should remain superficial with one another. I think I get #12 spot. Thanks!

  18. 10-19-2012


    Thanks for writing for the chain blog!


  19. 11-16-2012

    Alan, I have just taken the seventeenth spot with a parable called The Last Revival at I left a notification on David’s blog. Thanks.

  20. 12-14-2012

    I’m in for #20. I left a note at Rob’s Real Church Life. My article is “It Was Lost in Translation”, at

  21. 12-15-2012


    Thanks for taking part in the chain blog! I think your posts goes very well with the one I wrote about “Unmentionable One Anothers” as well as several of the other posts.


  22. 12-16-2012

    You’re too kind. And thank you for the chain blog idea.
    I’m chagrined that I didn’t read “Unmentionable One Anothers” before I wrote my article. I could have given credit where credit is due.
    God bless,

  23. 12-17-2012


    There is no credit necessary. I love the fact that we’re thinking in the same general direction.


  24. 3-16-2013

    Chuck has picked up #21.

    “Consider Others Better Than Yourself” by Chuck


  1. Linking “One Another” | Allergic to BS - [...] “Chain Blog: One Another” by Alan 2. “Linking One Another” by Swanny 3. “What Does It Mean to Love…
  2. The treasure of “One Another” « Treasure in Jars of Clay - [...] started us off by describing the mutuality of these reciprocal pronouns. Then Swanny reminded us of the universality of the command to…
  3. This is how the world shall recognise you… | Church in a Circle - [...] started us off by describing the mutuality of these reciprocal pronouns. Then Swanny reminded us of the universality of the command to…
  4. Individualism and “one another” « Treasure in Jars of Clay - [...] Chain Blog: One Another - Alan Knox [...]
  5. The Last Revival « naturalchurch - [...] in the ‘One Another’ Chain Blog 1. Chain Blog: One Another – Alan Knox 2. Linking One Another –…
  6. I Can Only Love You If… « Real Church Life - [...] “Chain Blog: One Another” by [...]