The amount of times the word love is mentioned in the Bible depends on the translation of the Bible.
- In the Old King James Version (KJV), the word love is mentioned 310 times.
- In the New American Standard Version (NASV), the word love is mentioned 348 times.
- In the New International Version (NIV), the word love is mentioned 551 times.
- In the New Revised Standard Version (NASV), the word love is mentioned 538 times.
- In the New Living Translation (NLT), the word love is mentioned 898 times.
Because the Bible was not originally written in English, the word “love” in the Bible takes on different meanings. For instance, Greek words like “Philia,” “Eros,” “Philautia,” and “Mania” represent different types of love within the Bible.
In essence, there isn’t just one, two, or three kinds of biblical love; there are, in fact, four. The complexity arises from the rich and nuanced meanings associated with these various types of love.
Related Article: What is unconditional LOVE? How does it feel?
Here are four types of Biblical Love
- Philia Love: This type of love is affectionate but not romantic, typically shared between family and friends.
- Eros Love: Eros love signifies romantic love between a man and a woman.
- Philautia Love: Philautia love involves the love and respect we should have for ourselves and the Holy Spirit indwelling within us.
- Mania Love: Mania love is characterized by obsession, often leading to the elevation of false idols or placing things on a pedestal higher than God.
Though love has 4 letters it is not the shortest word in the Bible. Regardless of size, love is one of the most powerful words. Love is also not the most used word in the Bible – Lord and God are the most common words in the Bible.
While the word “love” contains four letters, it is not the shortest word in the Bible. Regardless of its length, love holds immense power. Additionally, “love” is not the most frequently used word in the Bible; “Lord” and “God” are the most common words found within the Bible’s pages.
3 Greek Terms For Love
In Greek, there are three distinct terms for love: Eros, Agape, and Phileo.
Agape represents the highest and deepest form of love, characterized by its unconditional and selfless nature. Eros, on the other hand, is predominantly associated with sexual and romantic love. Phileo love, in contrast, is rooted in friendship and companionship.
Related Article: 20+ Self Love Bible Verses to Love Yourself Deeply!
How many times did Jesus mention the word love in the Bible?
Jesus only mentioned love 13 times, but it is one of the most important words in the Bible. Also, there are many other words that reflect the essence of love.
Such words that demonstrate aspect of love are forgiveness, kindness, patience, gentleness, repentance, mercy, encouragement, fellowship, and spiritual warfare. All of these words are motivated by love and ways for Christians to express unconditional love.
Experiencing God’s unconditional love motivates people to repent and receive the blood of Jesus. Love also convinces us that God is good and he cares about us despite our sins. Ultimately, the Bible is ALL about teaching us how to receive God’s love and give God’s love.
“Love is patient, love 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 does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
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How does Jesus define love?
Jesus defines love as forgiveness, mercy, truth, and sacrifice.
“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
We should model God’s ability to sacrifice for others, forgive, show mercy, and give truth that leads to Holiness. When we Love God, others, and ourselves the way God loves us… We fulfill his objectives for love. “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 first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:37-39
Where is love first mentioned in the Bible?
The word love is first mentioned in Genesis 22:2. The Bible verse states, “Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.” By obeying God’s command to sacrifice his son, Abraham demonstrated that He was willing to put God before everything He desired.
God requires us to love him with all our hearts and put nothing before him. Jesus came to earth and demonstrated how to love like this by sacrificing everything including his life to fulfill the father’s mission. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 This verse shows the emotional love of God when he sent his only begotten son Jesus as a sacrifice for our sins.
It’s interesting that love is first mentioned in the sacrifice of Abraham’s son in the Old Testament. This is a direct parallel to God showing his love to sinners by sacrificing his only son Jesus Christ in the New Testament.
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In the Bible, what is love?
Jesus said, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35)
Carrying true biblical love means you don’t disappear at the sight of a person’s imperfections. Unconditional Love is a choice, not a feeling. Love is caring tenderly about another the way you would care for yourself. Love is seeking to protect someones’ heart and see the gold even when it’s hard.
Sometimes we will have those beautiful feelings in a relationship, but other times we must decide that the person we love is worth standing beside – through thick and thin. Love is a decision to give that person good and not repay them with evil – no revenge, pettiness, passive-aggressive remarks.
Read more here: What is unconditional LOVE? How does it feel?
God is Love Bible Verse
God is in love with humanity. His overall goal is to have relationship with all of his creation. Throughout history, God sent prophets, signs, and miracles to convince people that they could trust him. However, people put false Gods, sexual pleasures, and earthly things before him.
It’s sad that some believe God to be this horrible dictator in the sky. In contrast, God only wants humanity to understand that He loves us and He has always wanted the best for us. This is why he gave us biblical rules to protect & guide us away from harm and into safety, not to control us.
But most people don’t follow God’s law which invites problems into their lives. They prostitute themselves or sell drugs for money when they can’t trust God to provide financially. They develop addictions to deal with the pain that they don’t trust God to heal. And they seek out psychics to guide them as they disregard the Bible. The list goes on. And when humans put themselves in bad situations then they usually blame God for the consequences.
But, God doesn’t want to us to struggle because of our bad decisions. He has an open door policy. If you apologize and change your ways, you can have full access to relationship with God and your divine inheritance. He simply asks his children to repent and turn their face to him… And he’ll take them back. He will even remove some of the consequences that we caused to happen in our life.
“But if you stop your sinning and begin to obey the LORD your God, he will change his mind about this disaster that he has announced against you.” Jeremiah 26:13 (NLT)
But, humans have even made repentance sound like punishment from a harsh and controlling God. Repentance is an act of love. To repent is to acknowledge and change a behavior that is hurting ourselves or others. God called his people to repent, so they could be in relationship with him.
Without repentance, you can’t enjoy the fullness of relationship with God. Sin causes us to run away from God due to shame, pride, and selfishness. Fortunately, when we return and repent we experience another act of love which is forgiveness. When we have acted poorly and are still loved by God… It teaches us grace and unconditional love. “Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.” Luke 7:47
God is love scriptures show us that as we learn to receive God’s love we are able to love others deeply too.
- “We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.” 1 John 4:16
- “Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” 1 John 4:7-8
- “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved.” Ephesians 2:4-5
1 John 4:19: He First Loved Us
The truth is, God has open arms of love for the one whom repents. God will go as far as forgiving the stripper, racist, drug addict, murderer, gossiper, and all the other types of sinners. The Bible is littered with sinners that God still used because they repented. This includes David the adulterer and murder AND Paul the Christian murderer.
These characters became MAJOR figures in the Bible because they knew they didn’t deserve God’s love and favor… Yet, they received it. “We love, because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19 God even pointed to a sinful woman in the Bible and highlighted that she was able to LOVE more because she had received so much of God’s love. “I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.” Luke 7:47
This absolutely blows my mind. There have been times in my life where I wanted revenge and I wanted someone to suffer God’s wrath because of the sin they committed against me. God reminded me, that He loves them just as he loves me. He has the same love for sinner and the righteous.
As Christians, it is our calling to love and pray for sinners just as much as God would. God wants his children to pick up their cross daily (make daily sacrifices) and lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. This entails putting others before our own needs. Just like Jesus did.
John 15:9-17: No Greater Love
No Greater Love (John 15:9-17): “As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. Remain in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and remain in His love. I have told you these things so that My joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.
This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are My friends if you do what I command you.
No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not understand what his master is doing. But I have called you friends, because everything I have learned from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will remain—so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you. This is My command to you: Love one another.”