Love and Kisses


There are two quite different Greek words translated as “love” in the New Testament.

The first word is “agape (pronounced (ah-GAH-peh) which means “unconditional love”, and it’s the most used word.

It’s constant, loyal, till death us do part stuff, always desiring to provide service to the other, as much as you can, always ongoing forgiveness, regardless of circumstances. Something we all need help with, at times, from above, trusting that “the Lord’s working all things together for good, to those that love him”.

The second word “phileo means “love” but in the sense of closeness — “like”, “respect”, "friendship", and "kiss". Like, and becoming like.

When the Old Testament (written in Hebrew) was translated by a bunch of Jewish scholars into ancient Greek, around 250BC, they then used the Greek word “phileo” to translate the Hebrew word “nashaq, a word that meant "fastening up".


On Wednesday, May 13, 2015 2:07 PM, "Stephen Williamson" wrote:

Subject:Kissing, and other interesting subjects :-)

Hi all

Was just chatting to Chris this morning about the Greek word “phileo”, often translated as “friendship” but also means “to kiss” in intimacy, or to translate the Hebrew word “nashaq” – to “fasten up” with someone you “like”.

As opposed to the Greek word “agape” (ah-GAH-peh), the word “to love” – to care for with constancy, as Paul sums it up in that famous passage in 1 Corinthians 13:8 “Love never fails”, yes, regardless of whether you’re close to them (at the time) or not.

In Ephesians 5:25, husbands are commanded to “love their wives”, in the natural, we have pretty well no difficulty in wanting to “get up close”  but us staying constant, well, can be another issue.

In Titus 2:4, older ladies are encouraged to teach younger wives how to “phileo” their men, their children, my understanding is that ladies generally have no problems in appreciating constancy and loyalty, but at times, wanting to “get up close” can be another matter. And yes, it’s the older ladies, not the older men, to best bring instruction here

May the Lord help us all.

So when Jesus says to Peter, in John 21:15-17 (after that cock-crow incident), once “do you love me, more than these (others)”, i.e. “die for me stuff”, the second time simply “do you love me” he’s using that constancy word, with Peter answering both times with a “you know I like you, being close to you”. The third time it’s “Are you, yes, “close” to me?, Peter is broken, all he can say is “Lord, you know all things, you know I’m close to you”. Yep, phenomenal stuff, eh.

Ok, here are the scriptures on kissing  interestingly in the Matthew passage, Jesus’s words as Judas “phileo” (kisses) him, “Friend, wherefore art you come”, or in Aussie 'Mate, what are you doing here?’ – yes, giving me a kiss. so yukk. And, the contrast with Peter.

Genesis 27:26 And his father Isaac said to him, Come near now, and kiss me, my son.

Genesis 31:28 And have not allowed me to kiss my sons and my daughters? you have now done foolishly in so doing.

2 Samuel 20:9 And Joab said to Amasa, Are you in health, my brother? And Joab took Amasa by the beard with the right hand to kiss him.

1 Kings 19:20 And he left the oxen, and ran after Elijah, and said, Let me, I pray you, kiss my father and my mother, and (then) I will follow you. And he said to him, Go back again: for what have I done to you?

Psalms 2:12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.

Proverbs 24:26 A kiss on the lips - a straightforward word given back.

Song of Songs 1:2 Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth, for your love is better than wine.

Song of Songs 8:1 O that you were as my brother, that sucked the breasts of my mother! when I should find you without, I would kiss you; yes, I should not be despised.

Hosea 13:2 And now they sin more and more, and have made them molten images of their silver, and idols according to their own understanding, all of it the work of the craftsmen: they say of them, Let the men that sacrifice kiss the calves.

Matthew 26:48 Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he: hold him fast.

Mark 14:44 And he that betrayed him had given them a token, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he; take him, and lead him away safely.

Luke 7:45 You gave me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in has not ceased to kiss my feet.

Luke 22:47 And while he yet spoke, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near to Jesus to kiss him.

Luke 22:48 But Jesus said to him, Judas, do you betray the Son of man with a kiss?

Romans 16:16 Salute one another with a holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.

1 Corinthians 16:20 All the brothers greet you. Greet you one another with a holy kiss.

2 Corinthians 13:12 Greet one another with a holy kiss.

1 Thessalonians 5:26 Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss.

1 Peter 5:14 Greet you one another with a kiss of love. Peace be with you all that are in Christ Jesus. Amen.

Blessings  Steve

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