Back in high school, my beloved best friend of 8 years started a terrible rumor about me, and I was devastated. The people closest to us can hurt us deeply because we love and trust them. Love has an immense capacity to trigger emotional pain. Still, the world would be desolate without it. The main purpose of my work in ministry is to spread God’s love. This is why people tend to ask me; how many times is love mentioned in the Bible?
The number of times love is mentioned in the Bible is not fixed. That is because different Bible translations use various words to mean love. For instance, the KJV version uses the word “charity” to mean love on several occasions. 1st Corinthians 13:8 begins with the line “charity never faileth.” In the NIV bible, the line is “Love never fails.” Sources indicate that the King James Version mentions love 442 times, while it is written 689 times in the NIV bible. In the English Standard Version, love appears 684 times. These variations are there in other Bible translations as well.
Join me as we study the different types of love in the Bible. We will also discover how many times the Bible talks about this word. Read on to understand what is so special about love.
The meanings of love in the Bible
The Bible talks about the love of material things. While it is not a sin to enjoy the fine things of life, the Bible is clear that materialism is a recipe for disaster. This is why 1st Timothy 6:10 says that evil is deeply rooted in the love of money. The Bible also talks about the love for other people in detail. This kind of love is complex in many ways. According to Philippians 2:4, you are not only required to love yourself and other pleasant people. On the contrary, scripture encourages people to show love even to unlikable persons. The Bible constantly discusses the unfailing love of God. In the book of Jeremiah 31:9, God speaks about his love for Israel. He compared it to the bond between a father and child.
What is the original word for love in the Bible?
The field of theology has determined that the Hebrew word “Ahab” was first used to mean love. In Genesis 24:67, the Bible uses “ahab” to illustrate the deep connection between Abraham and his wife, Sarah. Some bible versions also use this word to describe Abraham’s love for Isaac in Genesis 22:2.
What are the different types of love mentioned in the Bible?
The Bible classifies love into four categories. The first type of love is “Eros .”This kind of love is romantic and involves physical intimacy between a man and a woman. Song of Solomon 7:13. Gives a perfect illustration of Eros’s love.
The second type of love in the Bible is “storage.” This type of love people feel for their loved ones, such as family members and friends. It is the love of familiar faces. A good example is the love between brothers. In Genesis 43:16, storge love is evident between Joseph and his younger brother, Benjamin.
“Philia” is the third category of love in the Bible. You share this love with very close friends. David and Johnathan share philia love as illustrated in the book of 1st Samuel 18:4.
The last and most important type of love is “Agape.” The Bible teaches that Agape mirrors the type of love God has for Humanity. Christians are encouraged to embrace agape love and share it with everyone.
Why is love mentioned in the Bible so many times?
The Bible talks about love so much because God is love. Without love, Humanity would descend into anarchy. This is evidenced in Matthew 24:12, which says that in the last days, the world would become cold without love. He warns that it would result in violence and other hateful behavior. Therefore, love is the answer to the majority of society’s problems.
When is the word “Love” first mentioned in the Bible?
The word love makes its debut in the book of Genesis 22:2. God used this word to describe Abraham’s feelings toward his son. The Bond between a parent and a child is extremely strong. God wanted to test Abraham’s faith by demanding the one thing he (Abraham) loved the most. Sarah had spent many years without conceiving a child, which made it harder for Abraham to go through with God’s request. God was aware of the love they had for their son.
Last time love is mentioned in the Bible
The final mention of love in the Bible is in Revelation 12:11. This is not surprising since Revelation is the last book in the Bible. The NIV version states that the believers did not love their lives to the extent of denying the gospel. They were not afraid to die for their faith. These were celebratory words after the devil was defeated and chased from heaven.
Examples of love in the Bible
In the Bible, we encounter many different types of love.
Three illustrations of God’s love for Israelites
In Deuteronomy 4: 37, the Bible goes into detail about how much God adored the Israelites. This love was so strong that it was passed down to Israel’s descendants. It was the reason God saved the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. He also remained faithful throughout the journey to the Promised Land. In the book of Hosea 11:1, the prophet talks about how God loved Israel from their infancy. This is reminiscent of the love between God and Jacob, the ancestor of Israel.
Three scriptures showing the loving nature of God
1st John 4: 16 puts it simply by saying, “God is Love.” That means that human beings connect with God and man through love. This explains why the Bible says that God created human beings in His image. When God gave up His only son to die on the cross, He did it out of love. The book of John 3:16 says that God’s love for the world was so powerful that He sent Jesus to die a gruesome Death. The entire chapter of Psalms 136 is dedicated to the love of God. The Psalmist goes into detail, praising God for creating the universe. It continues to list all the things God has done out of love. The common theme in this chapter is the eternal love of God. The prophets were very keen on reminding the Israelites about God’s love.
Two illustrations of Humanity’s love for God
In Joshua 22:5, Joshua counsels the Israelites on how to be committed to God. He urges them to obey the Ten Commandments and remain faithful to the Lord. This scripture speaks about the love of man towards God. Jesus cements this point in the book of Matthew 22: 36-40. Here, Jesus makes it clear that the love of God is the most vital commandment. Furthermore, he emphasizes the need for Agape’s love toward other people.
Four examples of people’s love for each other
The love between Jonathan and David is something to admire. These men cared for each other deeply. Jonathan was the son of King Saul. During a time when King Saul wanted David dead, Jonathan defied his father and helped him (David) escape. The book of 1st Samuel 18:4 says that Jonathan loved David as much as he loved himself. In Leviticus 19:18, the Israelites are commanded to apply the same type of love to their neighbors. The scripture warns the Israelites against taking revenge and despising others. Romans 1:9-10 stresses the benefits of agape love. The apostle Paul argues that it is impossible to harm someone you love. Paul gives a vivid description of what love entails in 1st Corinthians 13:4-7. This scripture talks about love representing many good things, such as kindness and patience.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.