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Bible Dictionaries

Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words


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A — 1: φίλημα

(Strong's #5370 — Noun Neuter — philema — fil'-ay-mah )

"a kiss" (akin to B), Luke 7:45; 22:48 , was a token of Christian brotherhood, whether by way of welcome or farewell, "a holy kiss," Romans 16:16; 1 Corinthians 16:20; 2 Corinthians 13:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:26 , "holy" (hagios), as free from anything inconsistent with their calling as saints (hagioi); "a kiss of love," 1 Peter 5:14 . There was to be an absence of formality and hypocrisy, a freedom from prejudice arising from social distinctions, from discrimination against the poor, from partiality towards the well-to-do. In the churches masters and servants would thus salute one another without any attitude of condescension on the one part or disrespect on the other. The "kiss" took place thus between persons of the same sex. In the "Apostolic Constitutions," a writing compiled in the 4th century, A.D., there is a reference to the custom whereby men sat on one side of the room where a meeting was held, and women on the other side of the room (as is frequently the case still in parts of Europe and Asia), and the men are bidden to salute the men, and the women the women, with "the kiss of the Lord."

B — 1: φιλέω

(Strong's #5368 — Verb — phileo — fil-eh'-o )

"to love," signifies "to kiss," in Matthew 26:48; Mark 14:44; Luke 22:47 .

B — 2: καταφιλέω

(Strong's #2705 — Verb — kataphileo — kat-af-ee-leh'-o )

denotes "to kiss fervently" (kata, intensive, and No. 1); the stronger force of this verb has been called in question, but the change from phileo to kataphileo in Matthew 26:49; Mark 14:45 can scarcely be without significance, and the act of the traitor was almost certainly more demonstrative than the simple kiss of salutation. So with the kiss of genuine devotion, Luke 7:38,45; 15:20; Acts 20:37 , in each of which this verb is used.

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Bibliography Information
Vines, W. E., M. A. Entry for 'Kiss'. Vine's Expository Dictionary of NT Words. 1940.

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