June 28, 2024
Ministry Voice

Exploring the Meaning of Agapetos in Greek



Parts of Speech: Adjective

Agapetos Definition

NAS Word Usage – Total: 61

  1. beloved, esteemed, dear, favourite, worthy of love


What is the Biblical Significance of the Greek word Agapetos?

In the context of the Bible, the Greek word “Agapetos” holds significant importance. This term, which translates to “beloved” or “dearly loved” in English, appears frequently in the New Testament to convey a deep sense of affection, endearment, and value. The term is derived from the root word “agape,” which refers to the highest form of love – unconditional, sacrificial love that seeks the best for others.

When the term “Agapetos” is used in the Bible, it typically signifies a close, intimate relationship characterized by love and devotion. It is often used by biblical writers to address believers in Christ, emphasizing the profound love that God has for His people and the reciprocal love that believers are called to have towards God and one another.

One of the significant uses of the term “Agapetos” can be found in the letters of the apostle Paul. In his epistles, Paul frequently addresses fellow Christians as “Agapetos,” highlighting the deep bond of love and fellowship that believers share as members of the body of Christ. For example, in his letter to the Philippians, Paul writes, “Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends” (Philippians 4:1).

The term “Agapetos” serves as a reminder of the profound love that God has for His people and the kind of love that believers are encouraged to demonstrate towards one another. It emphasizes the importance of cultivating relationships marked by selfless love, compassion, and unity – values that are central to the Christian faith.

How is Agapetos used in the New Testament?

Agapetos is a significant term found throughout the New Testament that holds great depth and richness in its meaning. In the Greek language, ‘Agapetos’ (ἀγαπητός) translates to ‘beloved’ or ‘dearly loved.’ This term is used to express deep affection, endearment, and intimacy, especially in the context of the relationship between God and His people.

The word ‘Agapetos’ appears numerous times in the New Testament, predominantly in the letters written by the Apostle Paul. In these letters, Paul often addresses fellow believers as ‘Agapetos,’ emphasizing the deep love and care he has for them as individuals cherished by God. For example, in his letter to the Romans (Romans 1:7), Paul refers to the recipients of his letter as “beloved of God, called to be saints.”

Furthermore, the term ‘Agapetos’ is also used to describe Jesus Christ in the New Testament. In the Gospels and epistles, Jesus is referred to as the ‘beloved Son’ of God, highlighting His special and unique relationship with the Father. For instance, at the Transfiguration, God declares, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him” (Matthew 17:5).

In the context of the Bible, ‘Agapetos’ conveys not just a superficial or fleeting love but a deep, sacrificial, and enduring love. It denotes a love that is rooted in God Himself, who is the ultimate source of love. This word reminds believers of their identity as beloved children of God, called to love one another with the same selfless and unconditional love that God has shown them.

Who are described as Agapetos in the Bible?

In the Bible, the term “Agapetos” is a Greek word used to describe individuals who are beloved, dear, or cherished. It is a term that conveys deep affection and intimate connection. In the context of the Bible, Agapetos is often used by biblical writers to refer to specific groups of people or individuals who hold a special place in the heart of God or in the community of believers.

One notable usage of the term Agapetos can be found in the New Testament letters written by the apostle Paul. In his letters to the early Christian communities, Paul frequently addresses fellow believers as Agapetos, emphasizing the love and care he has for them as well as the love they should have for one another. For example, in his letter to the Philippians, Paul writes, “Therefore, my dear friends (Agapetos), as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12).

This term of endearment is not limited to just Paul’s letters. In the book of Colossians, Paul refers to fellow believers as Agapetos, highlighting the deep bond and love that exists within the Christian community. He writes, “Tychicus, our dear brother and faithful servant in the Lord, will tell you everything, so that you also may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts. He is coming with Onesimus, our faithful and dear brother, who is one of you. They will tell you everything that is happening here” (Colossians 4:7-9).


In conclusion, the Greek word “agapetos” holds a significant and profound meaning in the context of the Bible. Often translated as “beloved” or “dearly loved,” it goes beyond mere affection to signify a deep and sacrificial love. Understanding the depth of this term enriches our comprehension of the love that God has for humanity and the love that believers are called to have for one another. By exploring the origins and implications of “agapetos,” we gain insight into the essence of Christian love and the central message of the Gospel. Embracing this concept can inspire us to strive towards a selfless and unconditional love that reflects the very heart of God.

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