The Synonymous Words for "Love"
This Is Appendix 135 From The Companion Bible.
- The Verb.
- agapao = to regard with favour, to make much of a thing or a person, on principle. The cause or ground of No. 2.
- phileo = to kiss, to be fond of, having regard to feeling as distinct from principle. The demonstration of No. 1. Hence No. 2 is never used of man's love to God : this is always No. 1. Both words are used of God's love to man. No. 2 is used of the Lord's love for Lazarus (John 11:3, 36), but not in verse 5, where the sisters are included. See the notes on John 21:15-17; and on John 12:25 in
The Companion Bible.
- The Noun.
- agape. No. 2 below, was the common word used by the Greeks, for love; and even this is far lower than the New Testament philadelphia ( = love of the brethren). Agape is spontaneous love, irrespective of "rights". The word was supposed to be peculiar to the New Testament, but it is found in the Papyri.
- philanthropia = philanthropy, or love of man, which did not go beyond giving man his "rights", among the Greeks. It is used in a far higher sense in Titus 3:4; occurs elsewhere only in Acts 28:2. Compare the Adverb philanthropos (Acts 27:3, "courteously").
- The Adjective.
agapetos = beloved. The word used of the Lord Jesus by the Father. See Matthew 3:17; 12:18; 17:5. Mark 1:11; 9:7. Luke 3:22;
9:35; and in Mark 12:6. Luke 20:13, by Himself. A special epithet of the Saints in the Epistles.