June 28, 2024
Ministry Voice

Exploring the Meaning of Agapao in Greek



Parts of Speech: Verb

Agapao Definition

NAS Word Usage – Total: 143

  1. of persons
    1. to welcome, to entertain, to be fond of, to love dearly
  2. of things
    1. to be well pleased, to be contented at or with a thing



What is the significance of the Greek term Agapao in the New Testament?

In the New Testament, the Greek term agapao holds profound significance in its portrayal of love, particularly in the context of Jesus Christ’s teachings. Understanding the meaning of “agapao” sheds light on the depth and essence of love as emphasized in the Bible.

Derived from the root word “agape,” which signifies a selfless, sacrificial, and unconditional love, “agapao” reflects an active choice to love others genuinely. This term goes beyond mere feelings or emotions; it denotes a deliberate act of the will to show kindness, compassion, and care towards others without expecting anything in return.

One prominent example of the use of “agapao” is found in John 3:16, where it is written, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Here, the term highlights the incomparable love of God towards humanity, manifested through the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.

Moreover, in Matthew 5:43-44, Jesus instructs His followers to “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” illustrating the radical nature of agape love that transcends conventional boundaries and societal norms. This concept challenges believers to embody a love that surpasses personal preferences and extends even to those who may harm or oppose them.

The significance of “agapao” in the New Testament underscores the central theme of love as a transformative force that has the power to reconcile, heal, and bring about redemption. It serves as a guiding principle for believers to emulate the selfless love exemplified by Jesus Christ in their interactions with others.

How does the use of Agapao differ from other Greek words for love in the Bible?

In the context of the Bible, the term “agapao” holds a significant place in understanding the concept of love. In Greek, there are multiple words that can be translated to love in English, but each carries a slightly different connotation and usage in the text. One of the key distinctions comes from the difference between “agapao” and “phileo,” two commonly used Greek words for love in the New Testament.

While “phileo” refers to a deep friendship or brotherly affection, “agapao” goes beyond mere emotion or feeling. It encompasses a selfless, sacrificial love that is rooted in choice and action rather than just sentiment. The word “agapao” signifies a love that seeks the well-being of its recipient, even at the cost of personal sacrifice.

When we encounter the term “agapao” in the Bible, it often highlights the divine, unconditional love of God for humanity. This type of love is exemplified in the teachings of Jesus Christ, who urged His followers to love one another as He has loved them. This love is not based on merit or reciprocation but flows freely and abundantly from a heart of compassion and grace.

In contrast, “phileo” love, while still valuable and significant, typically denotes a warmer, more affectionate type of love that is shared between friends or family members. This kind of love is based on mutual affection, shared experiences, and common interests.

Throughout the New Testament, the distinction between “agapao” and “phileo” love can be observed in various passages. For instance, in John 21:15-17, Jesus asks Peter three times if he loves Him, using both “agapao” and “phileo” in the exchange. This nuanced dialogue underscores the depth and complexity of these different forms of love and their implications for relationships and faith.

Ultimately, the use of “agapao” in the Bible serves as a reminder of the selfless, sacrificial nature of love that believers are called to embody in their lives. By understanding the nuances of this Greek word and its implications in Scripture, we can deepen our appreciation for the profound love that God has for us and the transformative power of unconditional love in our relationships with others.

In what ways does understanding Agapao impact interpretations of Biblical passages on love and relationships?

The Greek word “Agapao” holds significant importance in the context of the Bible, particularly when it comes to discussions surrounding love and relationships. Understanding the depth of meaning behind this word can greatly influence how we interpret various passages within the Biblical text.

Agapao is a verb that stems from the noun “Agape,” which is often translated as “divine love” or “unconditional love” in English. Unlike other Greek words for love, such as Eros (romantic love) or Philia (brotherly love), Agape carries a unique connotation of selfless, sacrificial, and unconditional love – a love that seeks the best for others without expecting anything in return.

When we encounter the term Agapao in Biblical passages, particularly in verses that speak about love and relationships, understanding its true essence can profoundly impact our interpretation. For example, in John 3:16, one of the most well-known verses in the Bible, the use of Agapao in describing how God loved the world sheds light on the magnanimity and unconditional nature of God’s love for humanity.

Furthermore, in passages like 1 Corinthians 13, often referred to as the “Love Chapter,” the use of Agapao emphasizes the qualities of love that are patient, kind, not envious or boastful, and devoid of self-seeking. This sheds light on the importance of embodying selfless love in our relationships with others, reflecting the divine love that Agapao signifies.

By grasping the full meaning of Agapao, readers of the Bible can gain a deeper understanding of the kind of love that God calls us to exhibit in our interactions with others. This comprehension can lead to a transformation in how we perceive and practice love in our relationships, emphasizing sacrificial and selfless love as exemplified by Christ’s own sacrifice on the cross.


In conclusion, the Greek word “agapao” holds a significant and profound meaning in the context of the Bible. It goes beyond a mere expression of love to encompass sacrificial love, selflessness, and a deep, abiding affection. Understanding the nuances of this word deepens our comprehension of the love that God has for humanity and the love that believers are called to demonstrate towards one another. By delving into the origins and meanings of Greek Biblical words like “agapao,” we gain a richer understanding of the scriptures and are better equipped to live out the teachings of love and compassion found in the Bible.

About the Author

Ministry Voice

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Want More Great Content?

Check Out These Articles