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Friendship

The English words "friend" and "friendship" usually refer to the state or quality of two or more people being linked to each other by/with a loving affection.

This article takes a look at the following Greek words concerning Friend and Friendship, and it provides verses and study material from the True Bible Study (TBS) translation and studies.

Greek WordsTBS TranslationTBS Explanation
Verb: phileoto loveto love with the brotherly or friendly kind of love, the expressed love that close family members or friends evidence towards each other
Verb: philotimeomaito love-and-honorto exert oneself from the brotherly or friendly kind of love and a sense of honor to achieve a goal, to accomplish a task
Noun: philadelphiabrotherly-lovethe brotherly or friendly kind of love
Noun: philoxenialove-to-strangersthe hospitality towards guests, foreigners, those who are not immediate family members, with the brotherly or friendly kind of love
Noun: philanthropialove-for-manthe brotherly or friendly kind of love for/towards mankind, for human-beings
Noun / Adjective: philosfriendone who loves another with the brotherly or friendly kind of love, talking things over with each other
Adjective: philostorgoslovingly-affectionatewith brotherly or friendly kind of love in a natural family, tender affection normally shown, felt and expressed between parents and their children, which is also the natural instinct of most animals, birds, etc
Adjective:
philagathos
loving-gooda lover of good, loving good with the brotherly or friendly kind of love, loving what issues from God Who is good and sets the standard for what is good, loving what is perfectly admirable from God's viewpoint and according to His words and intention because He is the source of all true goodness
Adjective: philoxenosloving-strangersa lover of foreigners, loving strangers with the brotherly or friendly kind of love, hospitable towards guests, those who are not immediate family members
Adjective: philandroshusband-lovinga lover of her husband with the brotherly or friendly kind of love
Adjective: philoteknoschild-lovinga lover of the children she gives birth to with the brotherly or friendly kind of love
Adjective: prosphilestowards-lovewith/in motion towards producing the brotherly or friendly kind of love from God's viewpoint - the state being lovely

Acts 10:24 - noun / adjective: philos

Acts chapter 10 contains the record of the first Gentiles becoming holy-people (Christians). Verse 24 shows us that Cornelius thought it was such an important meeting that he made sure that his friends were with him.

Acts 10:24:
.24And on the morrow they went into Caesarea, and Cornelius was expecting them having called-together with-himself his family-kinsmen and constrained friends; 

Cornelius had invited his relatives and his necessary and close friends (those who loved him with the brotherly or friendly kind of love) into his house in preparation for what Peter was going to say. In verses 30-33 Cornelius explains what made this occasion so important to him:

Verses 30-33:
.30And Cornelius said, "From four days up-until this hour I was the ninth (hour) praying in my house, and look!, an adult-male stood before me in shining clothing .31and he says, 'Cornelius, your prayer was heard and your merciful-deeds were remembered before God, .32therefore you must send into Joppa and you must call-to-yourself Simon who is being called Peter, this-person is lodged-as-a-guest in (the) house of Simon, a tanner, beside (the) sea'; .33therefore from-this I sent towards you and you did beautifully having arrived; therefore now all we are-present before God to hear all-things, the-things having been arranged-towards you from the Lord."

Even though they were physically in Peter's presence, Cornelius understood that God (the Creator) had put these events in motion and that God had communicated certain information to Peter to speak to them.

Acts 19:31: - noun / adjective: philos

Acts chapter 19 tells us about a time when Paul's life was in danger and his friends came to help him so as to save his life from those who were threatening him.

Acts 19:30 and 31:
.30But (during) Paul's deliberately-determining to go into the people, the learning-disciples did not let him; .31and some also of the Asiarchs being friends with him, having sent towards him, encouraged (him) not to give himself into the theatre.

Paul was very concerned about a particular situation at that time and while he was purposefully willing to go in among the unbelieving people of Ephesus, the learning-disciples (students) were not permitting him to go inside the theatre.

Also some of the Asiarchs in Ephesus were friends with Paul. They loved him with the brotherly or friendly kind of love.  They sent messages to him encouraging (exhorting) him not to give himself into the theatre. They wanted to make sure that Paul was going to be safe because they were well aware that something bad could happen in the theatre among the unbelievers. Paul heeded their encouraging advice and was saved from this dangerous situation.

Acts 27:3 - noun / adjective: philos

Acts 27 describes a portion of Paul's journey while he was a prisoner on his way to meet with Caesar in Rome.

Acts 27:3:
.3And on a different (day) we were led-down into Sidon, and Julius having used Paul with-love-for-man permitted (him) to attain care having journeyed towards (his) friends.

Paul was delivered into the custody of a centurion (commanding 100 soldiers) named Julius of the imperial corps. Luke and Aristarchus were able to travel with Paul probably as his servants.

When they got to Sidon, Julius treated Paul with a brotherly or friendly kind of love for mankind (humanely) and thus allowed Paul to travel towards his friends in order to obtain the care and attention that he needed.

Romans 12:10 - adjective: philostorgos and noun: philadelphia; Romans 12:13 - noun: philoxenia

Romans 12 provides some of Paul's teaching on behavior:

Romans 12:10-13:
.10lovingly-affectionate with brotherly-love into one-another, leading-before (the mind to regard) one-another with honor, .11not slothful with earnest-diligence, boiling with spirit, serving-as-slaves to the Lord, .12joying with hope, patiently-enduring with pressure, being strong with prayer, .13sharing-in-common with the needs of the holy-people, pursuing the love-to-strangers.

All holy-people (Christians) are to behave in accordance with God’s intention during the everyday living of our lives. In verse 10 Paul writes that we should be:

  • lovingly-affectionate (with the brotherly or friendly kind of love in a natural family, tender affection normally shown, felt and expressed between parents and their children, which is also the natural instinct of most animals, birds, etc)
    • with brotherly-love into one-another (the brotherly or friendly kind of love for each other because we are brothers in the holy spirit category).

Paul adds in verse 13 that we should be:

  • sharing-in-common with the needs of the holy-people (participating by helping each other, whenever there are necessities due to lack of something for use, and so you share what then becomes common to all of you),
    • pursuing (following or proceeding earnestly after)
      • the love-to-strangers (the hospitality towards guests, foreigners, those who are not immediate family members, with the brotherly or friendly kind of love).

Romans 15:20 - verb: philotimeomai

Romans 15 shows how Paul felt about the good message:

Romans 15:20 and 21:
.20Thus I love-and-honor to good-message - not where Christ has been named in order that I may not build on another's foundation .21but according as it was written2, "To-whom it was not announced concerning him they will see, and the (people who) did not hear2 they will understand";

Paul writes that he exerts himself from the brotherly or friendly kind of love and a sense of honor to achieve the goal, to accomplish the task, which is - to good message (to evangelize, gospelize, preach the gospel, the good message)...

  • not where Christ has been named (in a place where people have already called or pronounced him by name to incorporate everything that Christ stands-for and represents - where they have become holy-people, Christians recognizing and living according to his authority and power in force)
    • for the purpose and result that I would not build down on another's foundation (the foundation that somebody else has already laid; refer to I Corinthians 3:8-11 and Ephesians 2:20)

...but on the contrary, I love and honor to good-message according as it was written and continues written...

  • "To the people whom it was not announced (messaged up, reported back)
    • concerning him (about the Christ)
    • they will see (the good-message concerning Christ will be presented to be perceived with their eyes and known by them),
  • and the people who did not hear and continue not to hear
    • they will understand (they will put the information together in their minds to the end of gaining insight regarding him)".

Titus 1:8 - adjectives: philoxenos and philagathos

Titus 1 lists many attributes of an overseer/elder in service within the church:

Titus 1:7 and 8:
.7for it is necessary (for) the overseer as God’s steward to be not-arraigned, not self-delighted, not wrathful, not wine-oriented, not quick-to-stroke, not shameful-gain, .8but loving-strangers, loving-good, sound-thinking, righteous, holy, self-controlled,

Verse 8 includes the following two:

  • loving-strangers (a lover of foreigners, loving strangers with the brotherly or friendly kind of love, hospitable towards guests, those who are not immediate family members),
  • loving-good (a lover of good, loving good with the brotherly or friendly kind of love, loving what issues from God Who is good and sets the standard for what is good, loving what is perfectly admirable from God's viewpoint and according to His words and intention because He is the source of all true goodness).

Titus 2:4 - adjectives: philandros and philoteknos

Titus 2 includes attributes that young women ought to have:

Titus 2:4 and 5:
.4in order that they may sound-thinkingly-cause the young-women to be husband-loving, child-loving, .5sound-thinking, pure, good home-workers, subjecting-themselves to (their) own husbands in order that the word of God may not be blasphemed;

The elderly women are to have sound thoughts in their minds so that they would cause the young women to be...

  • husband-loving (lovers of their husbands with the brotherly or friendly kind of love),
  • and child-loving (lovers of the children they give birth to with the brotherly or friendly kind of love).

Titus 3:4 - noun: philanthropia

Titus 3 includes some of the teaching of Paul to Titus about God's love for mankind:

Titus 3:4-7:
.4but when the benevolence and the love-for-man of God our Savior was brought-to-light-upon (us), .5not out-from works, the (works) in righteousness which we did, but according to His mercy, He saved us by means of (the) washing of re-genesis and (the) newing-up of holy spirit .6which He poured-out on us wealthily by means of Jesus Christ our savior .7in order that having been made-righteous with the grace of that-one we may be caused-to-become inheritors according to hope of eternal life 

When…

  • the benevolence (the kindness, supplying what is appropriately needed for use in specific situations)
  • and the love-for-man (the brotherly or friendly kind of love for/towards mankind, human-beings)
    • of God our Savior (the only true God is the source of salvation for all holy-people) 

…was brought to light upon us... - ...God saved us.

Titus 3:15 - verb: phileo

Titus 3 records Paul instructing Titus regarding who to greet:

Titus 3:15:
.15All-people with me greet you. You must greet the (people) loving us in belief. (May) the grace (be) with all of you.

You should greet (salute, draw to yourself)...

  • the holy-people who are loving us (with the brotherly or friendly kind of love),
    • in belief (within the sphere of action of faith, trust relative to God and the things of God).

Hebrews 13:1 - noun: philadelphia; Hebrews 13:2 - noun: philoxenia

Hebrews 13 contains additional teaching that Paul gives to holy-people:

Hebrews 13:1 and 2:
13:1Brotherly-love must remain. .2You must not forget the love-to-strangers, for by means of this some-people un-noticed having lodged angels as-guests.

It is imperative that love, which is the brotherly or friendly kind of love, remain (stay, continue, abide) among the brothers who are all holy-people during the everyday living of our lives.

All holy-people (true Christians) are brothers in the spirit category because all of us have received the same gift of holy spirit, and therefore we are brothers of the Lord Jesus Christ because God is his Father and God is the Father of all holy-people.

You must not cause yourselves to forget (to willingly escape to place notice resting or based on, to cease to pay attention to, to disregard)…

  • the love-to-strangers (being hospitable towards strangers, guests, foreigners, love those who are not immediate family members, with the brotherly or friendly kind of love).

In truth, it is through this brotherly love to strangers that some people did not notice (it by-passed their minds’ knowledge) that those whom they were receiving into their company as guests were angels. Examples of this were: Abraham and Sarah, Lot, Manoah, and Gideon. They did not know that they were being hospitable towards angels until later.

James 2:23 - noun / adjective: philos

James 2 includes a well-known phrase regarding Abraham:

James 2:23:
.23and the writing was fulfilled, the (writing) saying, “But Abraham believed God and it was calculated to him into righteousness”, and he was called ‘friend of God’.
The old covenant writing was fulfilled which says…
  • “But Abraham believed God (he had faith in or trusted that-which God gave him to believe)
  • and Abraham’s belief of what God said to him was calculated (reckoned, computed, counted)
    • to him into righteousness (for or resulting-in justness, justification; Abraham was being and doing what was just/right from God's point of view)”
  • and he was called ‘friend of God’ (Abraham loved God and God loved Abraham with the brotherly or friendly kind of love, referring to the fact that they talked things over with each other, they discussed their plans).

Abraham believed the words that God spoke to him regarding the Christ (the Anointed-one, Messiah, the redeemer, the savior, God's promised seed of Genesis 3:15). What was written in Genesis 15:6 as prophecy was fulfilled after he had offered-up Isaac his son on the sacrificial altar; refer also to Genesis 22:1-18; Galatians 3:6, 8 and 16; and Hebrews 11:17-19.

Matthew 10:37 - verb twice: phileo

Matthew 10 records part of what Jesus Christ was teaching the people:

Matthew 10:37:
.37The (person) loving father or mother over me is not worthy of me, and the (person) loving son or daughter over me is not worthy of me,

The person who is loving father or mother (with the brotherly or friendly kind of love)...

  •  over/above me
    • is not worthy of me (is not of equal-value, of like-worth to/with me, as being correctly weighed on a scales, and thus deserving).

And the person loving son or daughter (with the brotherly or friendly kind of love)...

  • over/above me
    • is not worthy of me.

Philippians 4:8 - adjective: prosphiles

Philippians 4 contains some verses of Paul advising the holy-people regarding their behavior:

Philippians 4:8 and 9:
.8As-to-the-rest, brothers, as-many-things-as are true, as-many-things-as (are) reverential, as-many-things-as (are) righteous, as-many-things-as (are) pure, as-many-things-as (are) towards-love, as-many-things-as (are) good-report, since (there is) some virtue and since (there is) some praise, these-things you must calculate; .9the-things-which also you learned and received and heard and saw in me these-things you must practice, and the God of the peace will be with you.

One of the words that Paul writes in verse 8 is translated "towards-love":

  • as many things as are towards love (with and in motion towards producing the brotherly or friendly kind of love from God's viewpoint - the state being lovely).

I Thessalonians 4:9 - noun: philadelphia; I Thessalonians 4:11 - verb: philotimeomai

I Thessalonians 4 records Paul encouraging the brothers who are holy-people:

I Thessalonians 4:9-12:
.9But concerning the brotherly-love you do not have a need (for me) to write to you for you yourselves are people-taught-by-God with-a-view to love1 one-another .10for you also do it into all the brothers in (the) whole of Macedonia, but we encourage you, brothers, to rather exceed, .11and to love-and-honor to be quiet, and to practice (your) own-things, and to work with your hands, according as we charged to you .12in order that you may walk decorously towards the (people) outside and you may have need of nothing.

In verse 9 Paul writes:

  • Concerning the brotherly-love (the brotherly or friendly kind of love that all mankind is capable of doing, and which all holy-people are to manifest towards each other because we are all brothers in the holy spirit category) –
    • you do not have a need (you don't have a necessity, no use, it is not needful)
      • for me to write to you.
  • In truth, you (emphatically) yourselves
  • are God-instructed ones (you are people taught by God, God is the One Who does the teaching and you are the people who are being taught by Him)
    • for the purpose to love1 each other (this "love" comes from the Greek word agape which is God's kind of love);
  • in truth you also do it (you perform it, you evidence Godly-love)
    • directed to all the brothers in the whole of Macedonia.

Paul continues in verse 11:

  • But we encourage (exhort) you,
  • brothers:
    • to rather exceed (to very much more abound),
    • and to love-and-honor (to exert yourselves from brotherly or friendly kind of love and a sense of honor to achieve a goal, to accomplish a task, which is)
      • to be quiet (to live with quietness from within, tranquility from within, and therefore causing no agitation or disturbance around you, to rest from being noisy seeking attention but to behave quietly during the everyday living of your lives)....

Reference: John 15:13-15. You may also like to review the article regarding the Love of God in First Corinthians chapter 13.