Love is a complex emotion and state of mind. While most understand what love is, for a true spiritual connection, one must turn to the Bible.
There are numerous love quotes from the Bible used in wedding ceremonies, and the Bible provides insight into the various forms of love, including those between a man and a woman, friendships, neighbors, and of course, family.
Have you Ever Wondered How Many Times “Love” is Mentioned in the Bible?
Interesting fact: the word “love” appears in the Bible hundreds of times, but it depends on the version of the Bible you are studying. Even more interesting is some versions have almost double the use of “love” than others.
Here are the counts for “love” in the traditional versions of the Bible:
- The King James Version shows “love” 310 times.
- The word shows 348 times in the New American Standard Bible.
- “Love” is present 551 times in the New International Version.
- The New Revised Standard Version uses the word “love” 538 different times.
Even more impressive is the fact that certain versions use “love” more in the Old Testament, while other versions see the word used more frequently in the New Testament. Therefore, it is all based on translation and the type of translation used.
What Does the Bible Say About Love?
The term “love,” is often replaced by other words in the Bible too. Sometimes the words used mean affection or friendship, while others refer to erotic forms. However, the Bible does contain multiple examples and provisions for love. For example, the love that you need to care for someone is cited in Boaz for Ruth.
The love that stems from deep friendship is discussed in both David and Jonathan.
For those looking for passionate love, Solomon and Shulamite are both areas where you will find love referring to the passion between a couple.
Also, the enduring love and commitment to a stable marriage or relationship are cited in Hosea to Gomer.
However, the Old and New Testaments have different passages on love, and they do not necessarily say the same thing. So, when you ask what the Bible says about love, you must first consider the different Testaments.
Love in the Old Testament
In the Old Testament, love is referred to as affection, benevolence, romance, and more. The term “aheb,” is a Hebrew word used in the Old Testament that meant numerous things.
In the Old Testament, most of the loves quotes from the Bible focus on loving God. For example, the love of serving God and obeying His commandments.
What the Bible Says about Love in the New Testament
Love is clearer in the New Testament versus the old. Multiple Greek words were translated for the word “love,” and they are closer in meaning to the English “love” term.
Just some of the words translated in the Bible include “agape,” which is the word for affection, high esteem, concern about the welfare of others, and purposeful love.
The other term translated was “phileo,” which was emotional and impulsive love.
How Love is Projected in the Bible (Both Old and New Testaments):
- God’s Love for Mankind
- Loving the Lord, Your God
- Love Thy Neighbor
- Love is the Greatest Gift
- Love is the Essence of all Commandments
Jesus had expanded the scope of love in his teachings, telling his followers to love God and fellow man alike. It was equally important to love the meaning behind the commandments and follow their purpose. Also, some theorize that love was an essential item to receive gifts from God.