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II Corinthians 13:12 Greet one another with an holy kiss.

"greet" = the Greek word aspazomai
"holy" = the Greek word hagios
"kiss" = the Greek word philema


Philema is the Greek word used for "kiss" in the New Testament. Philema comes from the same root as the word phileo which is the word for "brotherly love." Phile means friend. The word is talking about a friendly kiss as a greeting. This is not a kiss of passion between a man and a woman. This is the kiss of a friend. Like a kiss on the cheek.


Hagios means "holy." It is translated "holy" or "saint" in the New Testament. There is only one way to be "holy." To be holy a person must have holy spirit born within. God called us to be holy.

Ephesians 1:4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

We became holy by believing God's Word in Roman's 10:9-10. We received holy spirit and were born again.

Ephesians 1:13 In whom [Christ] ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise.

The word "saint" used in the church epistles to refer to believers is also the word "hagios." We are "saints." We are "holy" because we have holy spirit abiding within.

Ephesians 2:19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

If you are a "fellowcitizen" with an American then you are an American. If you are a "fellowcitizen" with the saints then you are a saint. The church epistles are addressed "to the saints."

Romans 1:7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints:...

I Corinthians 1:2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:

The reason you can greet one another with a "holy" kiss is because God has made you "holy."


The Greek word "aspazomai" is translated "greet," "salute," "embrace," and "take leave." It literally means "to enfold in the arms." Aspazomai is like a "hug" used as a greeting. Five times in God's Word believers are told to "greet one another with a holy kiss."

Romans 16:16 Salute [aspazomai] one another with an holy kiss...
I Corinthians 16:20 ...Greet [aspazomai] ye one another with an holy kiss.
II Corinthians 13:12 Greet [aspazomai] one another with an holy kiss.
I Thessalonians 5:26 Greet [aspazomai] all the brethren with an holy kiss.
I Peter 5:14 Greet [aspazomai] ye one another with a kiss of charity.

In Peter the phrase "kiss of charity [agapeo]" is used instead of "holy kiss." Agapeo is the Greek word used for the love of God. As with the word "hagios" a person can not love with God's love unless he or she is born again with holy spirit abiding within.

Aspazomai is a greeting. That may mean saying "hello." It may mean a hug or a kiss or a hand shake. The emphasis is that we greet one another. We are holy. We are God's family. We should be blessed to see one another and greet one another as holy brethren.

Check out Believer Links and Greet One Another.

As cold waters to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country. Proverbs 25:25

November, 1996
Michael Cortright