A strong, warm, personal attachment, such as that existing between genuine friends.
The Hebrew word cha·shaqʹ, translated ‘show affection’ in Deuteronomy 7:7, has the root meaning “be attached to.” (Ge 34:8) The Greek verb phi·leʹo is translated ‘have affection,’ “like,” ‘be fond of,’ and “kiss.” (Mt 10:37; 23:6; Joh 12:25; Mr 14:44) ‘To have affection’ expresses a very close bond, of the kind that exists in close families between parents and children. Jesus felt such a deep affection for his friend Lazarus, so that he “gave way to tears” in connection with the death of Lazarus. (Joh 11:35, 36) The same expression is used to show the strong, warm, personal attachment Jehovah has for his Son and for his Son’s followers, as well as the warm feeling of the disciples for God’s Son.—Joh 5:20; 16:27; compare 1Co 16:22.
It is to be noted that there is a distinction between the Greek verbs phi·leʹo and a·ga·paʹo, although many translators do not differentiate between these words. (See LOVE.) Regarding the difference between these words, F. Zorell (Lexicon Graecum Novi Testamenti, Paris, 1961, col. 1402) says: “[A·ga·paʹo] signifies a kind of love for someone or something occasioned freely and of our own accord because of clearly perceived reasons; [phi·leʹo] differs from this in that it indicates a tender and affectionate kind of love such as arises spontaneously in our souls towards relatives or friends, and towards things we deem delightful.”
The use of these two verbs in John 21 is worthy of note. Twice Jesus asked Peter if he loved him, using the verb a·ga·paʹo. Both times Peter earnestly affirmed that he had affection for Jesus, using the more intimate word phi·leʹo. (Joh 21:15, 16) Finally, Jesus asked: “Do you have affection for me?” And Peter again asserted that he did. (Joh 21:17) Thus, Peter affirmed his warm, personal attachment for Jesus.
Brotherly love (Gr., phi·la·del·phiʹa, literally, “affection for a brother”) should exist among all members of the Christian congregation. (Ro 12:10; Heb 13:1; see also 1Pe 3:8.) Thus, the relationships within the congregation should be as close, strong, and warm as in a natural family. Even though the members of the congregation already show brotherly love, they are urged to do it in fuller measure.—1Th 4:9, 10.
The Greek word phi·loʹstor·gos, meaning “having tender affection,” is used of a person who is close to another in warm intimacy. One of the roots of this compound term, sterʹgo, is frequently used to denote a natural affection, as between family members. The apostle Paul encouraged Christians to cultivate this quality. (Ro 12:10) Paul also indicated that the last days would be characterized by people “having no natural affection” (Gr., aʹstor·goi) and that such persons are deserving of death.—2Ti 3:3; Ro 1:31, 32.
The Greek noun phi·liʹa (friendship) is found only once in the Christian Greek Scriptures, where James warns that “the friendship with the world is enmity with God . . . Whoever, therefore, wants to be a friend [Gr., phiʹlos] of the world is constituting himself an enemy of God.”—Jas 4:4.
Fondness for Money. One may develop a love of money (Gr., phi·lar·gy·riʹa, literally, “fondness of silver”) and cause much damage to himself. (1Ti 6:10, Int) In the first century C.E. the Pharisees were money lovers, and this would be a characteristic of people in the last days. (Lu 16:14; 2Ti 3:2) In contrast, a Christian’s manner of life should be “free of the love of money” (Gr., a·phi·larʹgy·ros, literally, “having no fondness of silver”). (Heb 13:5) To attain the office of overseer in the Christian congregation, one of the qualifications that has to be met is to be “not a lover of money.”—1Ti 3:3.
Tender Affections (Tender Compassions). Strong emotions often have an effect on the body. Hence, the Greek word for intestines (splagʹkhna) is often used to denote “tender affections” or “tender compassions.”—See 2Co 6:12; 7:15; Php 2:1; Col 3:12; Phm 7, 12, 20; 1Jo 3:17; see PITY.