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one another with a kiss

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that is holy. All the call-out ones who belong to Christ greet you.


Wrap each other up in a close greeting that shows affectionate friendship and has pure motives. All the churches who are completely linked to Christ and are totally yielded to His will, send you affectionate greetings.



The Greek word for “greet” comes from a word meaning “to draw someone close, or embrace,” but in common usage the word referred to various types of greetings. However, from the root word we know it was intended as a warm, close, affectionate greeting. This word appears at the beginning and at the end of the verse; I have rendered it two different ways to show how it could be used in that day.


The word for kiss points directly to an affectionate relationship between friends. It comes from the same root from which we get the word which is often rendered in English as “brotherly love.” However, the kiss was also a symbol of various types of greetings, as long as they were heartfelt.

What Makes This Kiss Holy?

Here we find a double emphasis on the idea of affection since both the word for “greet” and the word for “kiss” emphasize closeness, affection, unity, and intimacy. True affection in the relationship is more important than the means used to show it (an embrace or a kiss). We know that a kiss can used without true affection because Judas used a kiss to betray Jesus. Sometimes affectionate greetings have been used to butter someone up in order to get something from them. That is why the greeting is described by an adjective that specifies what type of greeting it should be. It should not only be affectionate, but it must be motivated by selflessness and purity. There is no room here for a personal agenda; it is all about the other person, their needs, and the strengthening of the relationship between the two.

Do I need to kiss the men I my local congregation in order to show proper affection and a close relationship? No, the means of showing it is not the point. Do I need to show affection in some way to others in my local congregation? Do I need to foster a close friendship with them, one which is selfless and pure? Yes, I do. The means of expressing those things is different in our culture, but the need for those life principles and relational priorities is the same.

This is mostly about relationships, and our relationships should be honest; no games allowed. Our communication should reflect the things we claim to be priorities. Love and purity should mark all that we do and say.