Word Summary
phileō: to love
Original Word: φιλέω
Transliteration: phileō
Phonetic Spelling: (fil-eh'-o)
Part of Speech: Verb
Short Definition: to love
Meaning: to love
Strong's Concordance
to love

From philos; to be a friend to (fond of (an individual or an object)), i.e. Have affection for (denoting personal attachment, as a matter of sentiment or feeling; while agapao is wider, embracing especially the judgment and the deliberate assent of the will as a matter of principle, duty and propriety: the two thus stand related very much as ethelo and boulomai, or as thumos and nous respectively; the former being chiefly of the heart and the latter of the head); specially, to kiss (as a mark of tenderness) -- kiss, love.

see GREEK philos

see GREEK thumos

see GREEK agapao

see GREEK ethelo

see GREEK boulomai

see GREEK nous

Thayer's Greek Lexicon
STRONGS NT 5368: φιλέω

φιλέω, φιλῶ; imperfect 3 person singular ἐφίλει; 1 aorist ἐφίλησα; perfect πεφίληκα; (φίλος); from Homer down;

1. to love; to be friendly to one (the Sept. several times for אָהַב): τινα, Matthew 10:37; John 5:20 (here L marginal reading ἀγαπᾷ); ; 1 Corinthians 16:22; Revelation 3:19; with ἐν πίστει added, with a love founded in and springing from faith, Titus 3:15; τί, to love i. e. delight in, long for, a thing: τήν πρωτοκλισίαν, Matthew 23:6; ἀσπασμούς, Luke 20:46; τήν ψυχήν, to be desirous of preserving one's life (opposed to μισεῖν, to hate it when it cannot be kept without denying Christ), John 12:25; with nouns denoting virtues or vices: τό ψεῦδος, Revelation 22:15 (σοφίαν, Proverbs 29:3; Proverbs 8:17); followed by an infinitive, like the Latinamo facere, to love to do, i. e. to do with pleasure: Matthew 6:5 (Isaiah 56:10; Pindar Nem. 1,15; Aeschylus septem 619; Agam. 763; Suppl. 769; Euripides, Iph. Taur. 1198; Rhes. 394; Xenophon, hipparch. 7, 9; Aelian v. h. 14, 37).

2. to kiss: τινα, Matthew 26:48; Mark 14:44; Luke 22:47 (often in the Greek writings; the Sept. for נָשַׁק, Genesis 27:26f, and often).

3. As to the distinction between ἀγαπᾶν and φιλεῖν: the former, by virtue of its connection with ἄγαμαι, properly denotes a love founded in admiration, veneration, esteem, like the Latindiligere, to be kindly disposed to one, wish one well; but φιλεῖν denotes an inclination prompted by sense and emotion, Latinamare; μή τοῦ δεόμενος οὐδέ τί ἀγαπωη ἄν. δέ μή ἀγαπωη (ἀγαπῶν (?)), ὀυδ' ἄν φίλοι, Plato, Lysias, p. 215 b.; ἐφιλησατε αὐτόν (Julius Caesar) ὡς πατέρα καί ἠγαπησατε ὡς εὐεργέτην, Dio Cassius, 44, 48; ut scires, eum a me non diligt solum, verum etiam amari, Cicero, ad fam. 13, 47; L. Clodius valde me diligit vel, ut ἐμφατικωτερον dicam, valde me amat, id. ad Brut. 1. Hence, men are said ἀγαπᾶν God, not φιλεῖν; and God is said ἀγαπῆσαι τόν κόσμον (John 3:16), and φιλεῖν the disciples of Christ (John 16:27); Christ bids us ἀγαπᾶν (not φιλεῖν) τούς ἐχθρούς (Matthew 5:44), because love as an emotion cannot be commanded, but only love as a choice. Wisdom says, τούς ἐμέ φιλοῦντας ἀγαπῶ, Proverbs 8:17. As a futher aid in judging of the different, between the two words compare the following passages: John 11:3, 5, 36; John 21:15-17; (even in some eases where they might appear to be used interchangeably (e. g. John 14:28; John 16:27) the difference can still be traced). From what has been said, it is evident that ἀγαπᾶν is not, and cannot be, used of sexual love (but it is so used occasionally by the later writers; cf. Plutarch, Pericl. 24, 12, p. 165 e.; symp. 7, p. 180 b. ἐρώμενος τόν ἐραστην ἀγαπᾷ; cf. Stephanus Thesaurus i., p. 209 a.; Sophocles' Lexicon, under the word ἀγαπάω, 2; Woolsey in the Andover Rev. for Aug. 1885, p. 170f). Cf. Tittmann, Syn. N. T. i., p. 50ff; Cremer, under the word ἀγαπάω (4te Aufl., p. 9f); Trench, § xii.; (Schmidt, chapter 136, especially § 6; Cope, Aristotle, rhet. vol. 1m Appendix A. (also given in the Journ. of Philol. for 1868, p. 88ff); also Höhne in (Luthardt's) Zeitschr. f. kirchl. Wissensch. as above with for 1882, p. 6ff; especially Woolsey as above Compare: καταφιλέω.)