General use of brethren as meaning is considering archaic and not used. Is it in current usage in the Christian world?

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    Of coarse it is. Brethren applies to priest monks as well non ordained monks.
    – Ken Graham
    Apr 26, 2017 at 11:16
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    'Brethren' is also used in the titles of several denominations, such as the Plymouth Brethren and Mennonite Brethren. It's accepted that it's an archaic word, and members of the denominations would not normally use it except to refer to members of the denomination. Apr 26, 2017 at 14:47
  • There is difference between a title of a group and a plural- someone would have to write or say 2 brethren. Suggested ways to answer this are to quote from a Vatican document or maybe there is priests or monasteries association for inter-organisational coordination. Apr 27, 2017 at 7:24

1 Answer 1


I'm not sure this is a question about Christianity as such. The Oxford English Dictionary for “brother” has an entire section devoted to the religious sense of the word (section A.III), with examples from the 20th and 21st centuries, including the plural “brethren”.

In addition I noticed these secular uses of the word:

  • “His attempts at ‘contributing’ were not welcomed by many of his brethren officers.” (Horn & M. Wyczynski in Warrior Chiefs; 2001)
  • “Scores of exiled Tibetans..set out on foot towards Tibet to support their brethren who are facing oppression under the Chinese regime.” (Hindustan Times; 2008)

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