Love is one of the most powerful and profound emotions that humans can experience. It can inspire us, motivate us, heal us, and transform us. But what does the Bible say about love? How many times is love mentioned in the Bible? And what are the different types of love that the Bible talks about? In this blog post, we will explore these questions and more, and discover why love is so important in the Bible and in our lives.
How many times is love mentioned in the Bible?
The Bible is a collection of books that were written by different authors over a span of thousands of years. Therefore, there are different translations of the Bible that use different words and phrases to convey the original meaning of the text. Depending on the translation, the number of times that love is mentioned in the Bible can vary.
For example, in the King James Version (KJV), which is one of the oldest and most popular translations of the Bible, love is mentioned 310 times. However, in the New International Version (NIV), which is a more modern and widely used translation of the Bible, love is mentioned 551 times. This difference can be explained by the fact that the NIV uses more synonyms and variations of the word love, such as loving, loved, loves, etc.
However, regardless of the translation, it is clear that love is a very frequent and significant theme in the Bible. The Bible talks about love in many different ways and contexts, and reveals to us the different types of love that God has for us and that we should have for Him and for others.
The different types of love mentioned in the Bible
The Bible mentions four different types of love: agape, eros, philia, and storge. Each type of love has its own meaning and characteristics, and can be found in different parts of the Bible.
Agape is the highest and most noble form of love. It is the unconditional and selfless love that God has for us and that we should have for Him and for our neighbors. Agape is not based on feelings or emotions, but on a deliberate choice to seek the best for others, even if it means sacrificing ourselves. Agape is also called charity or divine love. Some examples of Bible verses that talk about agape are:
- John 3:16: “For God so loved (agape) the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
- 1 Corinthians 13:4-8: “Love (agape) is patient, love (agape) is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love (agape) does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love (agape) never fails.”
- Matthew 22:37-39: “Jesus replied: ‘Love (agape) the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love (agape) your neighbor as yourself.’”
Eros is the romantic and passionate love that exists between a man and a woman. It is the physical and sexual attraction that draws them together and creates intimacy. Eros is also called erotic or sensual love. Eros is not inherently bad or sinful, but it must be expressed within the boundaries of marriage and under the guidance of agape. Some examples of Bible verses that talk about eros are:
- Song of Songs 1:2: “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth— for your love (eros) is more delightful than wine.”
- Proverbs 5:18-19: “May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth. A loving doe, a graceful deer— may her breasts satisfy you always, may you ever be intoxicated with her love (eros).”
- Ephesians 5:25: “Husbands, love (agape) your wives, just as Christ loved (agape) the church and gave himself up for her.”
Philia is the affectionate and friendly love that exists between friends or family members. It is based on mutual respect, loyalty, trust, and care. Philia is also called brotherly or fraternal love. Philia can also be extended to strangers or enemies who need our help or kindness. Some examples of Bible verses that talk about philia are:
- John 15:13: “Greater love (agape) has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends (philia).”
- Proverbs 17:17: “A friend (philia) loves (philia) at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.”
- Romans 12:10: “Be devoted to one another in love (philia). Honor one another above yourselves.”
Storge is the natural and instinctive love that exists between parents and children, or between siblings. It is the bond that unites a family and creates a sense of belonging and security. Storge is also called familial or parental love. Storge can also be used to describe the love that God has for His children as a Father. Some examples of Bible verses that talk about storge are:
- Genesis 22:2: “Then God said, ‘Take your son, your only son, whom you love (storge), Isaac, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.’”
- Luke 15:20: “So he got up and went to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.”
- Romans 8:15: “The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’”
The importance of love in the Bible
Love is the most important theme in the Bible because it is the essence of who God is and what He wants for us. The Bible tells us that God is love (1 John 4:8), and that He created us in His image and likeness (Genesis 1:27). Therefore, we are also created to love and be loved by God and by others.
Love is also the foundation of our relationship with God and with others. The Bible tells us that the greatest commandment is to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves (Mark 12:30-31). This means that we should worship God, obey His will, serve Him, and glorify Him with everything we have and everything we are. It also means that we should treat others with respect, kindness, compassion, forgiveness, and generosity, just as we would want them to treat us.
Love is also the way that we can show our gratitude to God for what He has done for us. The Bible tells us that God loved us so much that He sent His Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins and to give us eternal life (John 3:16). This is the greatest act of love that anyone can ever do for us. Therefore, we should respond to God’s love by loving Him back and by loving others as He loves us.
Examples of Bible verses about love
There are many more Bible verses about love that we can read and meditate on. Here are some of my favorite ones:
- Romans 5:8: “But God demonstrates his own love (agape) for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
- 1 John 4:19: “We love (agape) because he first loved (agape) us.”
- Colossians 3:14: “And over all these virtues put on love (agape), which binds them all together in perfect unity.”
- John 13:34-35: “A new command I give you: Love (agape) one another. As I have loved (agape) you, so you must love (agape) one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love (agape) one another.”
- 1 Corinthians 16:14: “Do everything in love (agape).”
Love is the most important thing in life because it is what God wants for us and what He gives to us. The Bible is full of examples and teachings about love that we can learn from and apply to our lives. I hope that this blog post has helped you understand how many times love is mentioned in the Bible and why this is important. I also hope that it has inspired you to reflect on the importance of love in your own life and to challenge yourself to show love to others in new and meaningful ways.
Thank you for reading this blog post. I pray that God will bless