In English, the word “love” can be applied to various situations. The word “love” can be applied to your feelings toward your spouse, your parents, siblings, strangers, or even a cup of coffee. Koine Greek, however, designates a specific word for each version of love that we feel in different situations. Here are the Greek words that were used during Christ’s time to convey the meaning of the word “Love.”
- Eros (ἔρως): Refers to romantic love felt towards one’s spouse. This Greek term is where the word “erotic” is derived from. The word "Eros" is not actually used in either the Old or New Testaments.
- Phillia (φιλία): Refers to feelings one has towards close friends “brotherly love” This word was used in the New Testament to describe Jesus’ love for his disciples (John 20:2) and for Lazarus (John 11:3).
- Agape (ἀγάπη): This is the kind of love that we should have for all men, and also for our enemies. It is a selfless kind of love that Christians must have in regard to acting in the best interest for all human beings.” But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” (Matthew 5:44).
- Storge (στοργ): This Greek word refers to love we have for our parents, siblings, our children and other members of our family. Peter used this word in the negative in Romans 1:31 when he described the pagans the hat he was in contact with being without “natural affection.”
“A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John 13:34-35)