My intent was to write about love for a couple of days leading into Christmas and then move on. But, the more I think about the vocabulary of love, the more it cries out to me to linger and take a closer look. So, here goes…
There are two primary languages that make up the Bible. The New Testament was written in Greek and the Old Testament in Hebrew (with a little bit of Aramaic which is almost identical).
The word “love” occurs somewhere around 600-700 times in the Bible, depending on the translation you are using. It is one of the most important themes in scripture. Love describes God, His mission for the church and the reason for our existence. That’s pretty important, isn’t it? It seems like it might be a good idea to know more about it.
While the Greeks have many words that can be translated into English as love, there are eight distinct words that are generally used. Four of them are significant to the study of the biblical idea of love. Likewise, Hebrew uses dozens of word groups and concepts to communicate the idea of love but there are a handful of words that stand out as valuable to know when studying the Bible. (Four to be exact
Over the next two weeks of the Christmas season, I’ll be looking at these eight different Greek and Hebrew words for love. We’ll want to understand more about love, ourselves and what God has to say to all of us about love.
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “ ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’