RIENDSHIP / φιλία [philia]
Kittel  [ φίλος,  φίλη,  φιλία]


 φίλος,  φίλη,  φιλία

A. In Non-Biblical Antiquity: I. Meaning of the Words: 1. φίλος; 2. φίλη; 3. φιλία; II. Friendship in Antiquity.

B. φίλος, φιλία (φιλιάζω) in the Old Testament and Judaism: I. Usage: 1. φίλος; 2. φιλία; II. Friendship in the Old Testament and Judaism.

C. φίλος, φίλη, φιλία in the New Testament: I. Usage; 2. φίλος (and φίλη) in Luke’s Writings; 3. φίλος in John’s Writings. 4. φίλος and φιλία in James. D. φίλος and φιλία in the Post-New Testament Period: I. The Early Church; II. Gnosticism.



A. In Non-Biblical Antiquity.






I.     Meaning of the Words.

1.     φίλος.

a. In the light of → 115, 8 f. the meaning of the adj. φίλος is “intrinsic, belonging, proper to,” (→ 114, 8 ff.), “beloved,” “dear,” e.g., Hom.Il., 20, 347 f.: φίλος (→ n. 182), and for the noun φίλος “friend” in various nuances acc. to the relation, “personal friend,” e.g., Soph.Phil., 421: ὁ παλαιὸς κἀγαθὸς φίλος τ᾽ἐμός, Aristot.Eth. Nic., IX, 11, p. 1171b, 2: παραμυθητικὸν γὰρ ὁ φίλος καὶ τῇ ὄψει καὶ τῷ λόγῳ, the “loved one” in a homo-erotic sense, e.g., Xenoph.Resp. Lac., 2, 13, “the lover” e.g., Plat.Phaedr., 255b: ὁ ἔνθεος φίλος, “the lover inspired by eros”; the “favourite,” esp. of the gods, e.g., Aesch.Prom., 304: τὸν Διὸς φίλον (→ n. 1); the “ally,” e.g., Xenoph.Hist. Graec., VI, 5, 48: … πολλάκις καὶ φίλοι καὶ πολέμιοι γενόμενοι Λακεδαιμονίοις, usually plur.: the “followers” of a political leader, e.g., Plut.Apophth. Pisistratus, 1 (II, 189b), “friends” (“clients”) who cluster around a prominent and wealthy man; in contrast to the equal relation in personal friendship (but → 153, 5 ff.) the relation is now unequal (→ 153, 17 ff.), friendship embracing parasites, cf. Lux. Toxaris, 16, advisers (→ 148, 25 ff.), legal assistants and political supporters, cf. Velleius Paterculus Hist. Romana, II, 7, 3: amici clientesque Gracchorum. The most characteristic development of this use is in φίλοι τοῦ βασιλέως, e.g., Ditt. Or., I, 100, 1 f. (c. 200 b.c.), and φίλοι (τοῦ) Καίσαρος, e.g., Epict.Diss., IV, 1, 95 (→ 166, 29 ff.); PhiloFlacc., 40. Usually in the plur. φίλος is a (self-)designation for a philosophical or religious fellowship, e.g., the Pythagoreans, cf. Iambl.Vit. Pyth., 33, 237, and the Epicureans. There was a similar circle around Plato: φίλων βεβαίων τε καὶ ἦθος ἐχόντων ὑγιές, Ep., 6, 322d; μία φιλίας συμπλοκή, 332b. Sometimes φίλος occurs in a transf. sense with abstract concepts (gen), e.g., Aristot.Rhet., I, 11, p. 1371a, 17: ὁ φίλος τῶν ἡδέων → 148, 28 ff.; 157, 16 ff.

b. The multiplicity of meanings corresponds to that of the terms used as synon. or correlative concepts. Closest is ἑταῖρος (→ II, 699, 31 ff.). In Plat.Lys. the two words are used more or less interchangeably, cf. esp. 211e, 212a and also 206d with 207e. ἑταῖρος τοῦ Καίσαρος occurs with φίλος τοῦ Καίσαρος, e.g., Epict.Diss., IV, 1, 95 → n. 74. But some distinction must have been felt when the two words were paired, as often in Plat., e.g., La., 180e: ἑταίρω τε καὶ φίλω, cf. Leg., V, 729c; Aristot.Eth. Nic., VIII, 14, p. 1162a, 31–33.

c. Of terms which are synon. or almost synon. with φίλος, but may also be used along with it, we should note, too,ἴδιος → 114, 14 ff. with n. 12, e.g., Vett. Val., II, 16 (p. 70, 5); cf. → 129, 23 ff., οἰκεῖος, Plat.Resp., I, 328d; Tim., 20e; Ditt. Syll., II, 591, 59 (195 b.c.), γνώριμος, PhiloAbr., 273, and γνωστός, ψ 87:19 → n. 74; → 155, 8 f.

d. Closely connected with φίλος from an early time is συγγενής (→ VII, 736, 19 ff.), since relatives and friends form the closest living circle, e.g., Jos.Ant., 18, 23. οἱ συγγενεῖς may be identical with φίλοι to the degree that there is agreement of interests, Democr. Fr., 107 (Diels, II, 164). In the Hell. Roman sphere the linking of the two has a twofold political significance, as an honorary title at Hell. courts (the συγγενεῖς are the top group and the φίλοι next to the top), and then for an allied people, Ditt. Syll., II, 591, 18 f. (195 b.c.). The two words can also be related in a transf. sense, Plat.Resp., VI, 487a: φίλος τε καὶ συγγενὴς ἁληθείας, δικαιοσύνης, ἀνδρείας, σωφροσύνης. While the combination with συγγενής occurs at the highest social level, popular usage prefers to link φίλος with individual degrees of close relationship, parents and brethren, e.g., Preisigke Sammelb., I, 4086, 4 f. (4 a.d.), cf. also 4324, 4 f.; Epigr. Graec., 35, 7 f. (4th cent. a.d.). In Xen.An., VII, 2, 25 we find φίλος with ἀδελφός (not lit. → I, 146, 6 f.) in the hendiadys “brotherly friend.”

e. The orig. oriental, then widespread Hell. idea of “friends of the king” (→ 147, 14 ff.), who acted as counsellors etc., brought about a close connection with σύμβουλος or συμβουλευτής → 154, 23 ff.

f. φίλος has a pronounced political character when used with σύμμαχος, so Demosth.Or., 9, 12, esp. as the Romans made this pair an honorary title for nations in alliance with or belonging to the Empire → 155, 2 ff.

g. The whole φιλ—group can be used, for “hospitality”; φιλέω “to entertain,” e.g., Hom.Il., 6, 15 → 116, 4 ff.; in 6, 14 one might transl. φίλος δ᾽ ἦν ἀνθρώποισιν by “Axylos was hospitable to men,” and φιλότης can mean “hospitality” in Hom.Od., 15, 55 and 196 f. Often we find φίλος and ξένος (→ V, 1, 1 ff.) together, e.g., Διονυσίου φίλου ὄντος καὶ ξένου, Lys., 19, 19; cf. Luc. Toxaris, 63: Ps.-Luc. Asinus, 5, or φίλος and σύσσιτος, Isaeus Or., 4, 18.

2.     φίλη.

φίλη first means “dearest,” “love,” “beloved” (fem.) with no erotic suggestion, e.g., mother in Aesch.Pers., 832 and wife in Hom.Il., 9, 146 and 288. But then it acquires on the one side an erotic sense, Xenoph.Mem., III, 11, 16, perhaps also II, 1, 23, cf. Preisigke Sammelb., I, 4559, 5: τῆς φίλης αὐτοῦ, and on the other hand and esp. it is used for “friend” (fem.) of women. Thus Antigone says: λόγοις δ᾽ ἐγὼ φιλοῦσαν οὐ στέργω φίλην, Soph.Ant., 543; cf. Luc. Dialogi Meretricii, 12, 1; Jos.Ant., 9, 65 → n. 115; P. Tebt., II, 413, 18 (2nd/3rd cent. a.d.). As various motifs come together in the use of φίλη, so it is with the name φίλη → 113, n. 3. We find it for Aphrodite, Athen, 6, 255c, for hetaerae, and also for honorable women, Isaeus Or., 3, 2 etc. Finally φίλη is a political title → 147, 13 ff., though φίλη βασιλέως appears in a dubious light when used for the town of Tiberias in Jos.Vit., 384. In a transf. and disparaging sense φίλη occurs with ἑταίρα, as in Plat.Resp., X, 603b of μιμητική, the “art of mimicry”: ἑταίρα καὶ φίλη ἐστὶν ἐπ᾽ οὐδενί ὑγιεῖ οὐδ᾽ ἀληθεῖ

3.     φιλία.

a. φιλία “love,” “friendship,” has the same broad and varied range of meaning as φίλος → 147, 1 ff. As the stem φιλ— suggests (→ 114, 8 ff.; 115, 10 ff.) it is first of all love for οἰκειότατοι [=kindred/one's own people], Luc. Toxaris, 8;

this φιλία, then, is naturally κοινωνία βίου [common life/life together], Chrysipp. Fr., 112 (v. Arnim, III, 27). Primarily φιλία is thus φιλία συγγενική [love of relatives], loc. cit. → n. 27; Aristot.Eth. Nic., VIII, 14, p. 1161b, 12. Love for one’s mother, Epigr. Graec., 69, 4 f. (4th cent. b.c.), spouse and children, Eur.Alc., 279, and brothers and sisters, Epigr. Graec., 81, 2; 35, 7 (4th cent. b.c.), spouse μυρόμενος φιλίην τερπνοτάτην ἀλόχου, ibid., 550, 2 (2nd/3rd cent. a.d.) are the strongest ties of love, cf. Xenoph.Hier., 3, 7: βεβαιόταται μὲν γὰρ δήπου δοκοῦσι φιλίαι εἶναι γονεῦσι πρὸς παῖδας καὶ παισὶ πρὸς γονέας καὶ ἀδελφοῖς πρὸς ἀδελφοῦς καὶ γυναιξὶ πρὸς ἄνδρας καὶ ἑταίροις πρὸς ἑτάρους.

b. Connected with φιλία συγγενική in true marriage, and often in Gk. friendship too, is φιλία ἐρωτική, whether between the sexes, cf. Anth. Graec., 5, 52, 2 (Beckby), or homo-erotic: αἰ τῶν παίδων φιλίαι, Plat.Clit., 409d, ἡ παρ᾽ ἑραστοῦ φιλία, Phaedr., 256e. ἡ κατὰ τελείαν φιλία is possible only with one friend as in the case of the related sensual love ἐρᾶν, Aristot.Eth. Nic., VII, 7, p. 1158a, 10–13; cf. also IX, 10, p. 1171a, 10–12.

c. The third and typically Gk. form is φιλία ἑταιρική [love for a comrade/companion], “friendship” in the strict sense, pure φιλία for the Gks. This is the first form to bear the name φιλία in Gk. lit. in Theogn., 1, 306. 600; 2, 1278b. φιλότης is used instead in Hom. and Hes. Nor is φιλία used in Aesch. or Soph. But we find it in Hdt. (→ line 18) and Eur. (→ 149, 21 f.), cf. Cyc., 81: σᾶς χωρὶς φιλίας, the bond of love between Dionysus and the satyrs. It is common in Plat. and Aristot. The plur. is common too, e.g., φιλίαι ἐθνικαί, “friendships with pagans,” Herm.m., 10, 1, 4. Finally the usage becomes so gen. that φιλία denotes little more than a “pleasant relation” between two people, cf. P. Fay., 135, 9–11 (4th cent. a.d.), where a son asks his father to repay a debt: σπούδασον πληρῶσαι (“to pay”) ἵνα ἡ φιλία διαμίνῃ μετ᾽ ἀλλήλων. As with φίλος (→ 154, 14 f.) there are friendships across the generations; φιλία thus denotes “family friendship,” which usually carries the idea of “hospitality” too, so P. Tebt., I, 59, 6–8 (99 b.c.): … ἣν ἔχετε πρὸς ἡμᾶς ἄνωθεν πατρικὴν φιλίαν.

d. Like φίλος and φίλη, φιλία has a place in politics too; in Hdt., VII, 151 f. it is already an “alliance.” There is frequent ref. to the renewal of such a φιλία between states or rulers, P. Oxy., IV, 705, 31 f. (200 a.d.): ἡ πρὸς Ῥωμαίους εὔνοιά τε καὶ πίστις καὶ φιλία, Ditt. Syll., II, 674, 19. 43 (c. 150 b.c.): φιλίαν συμμαχίαν τε ἀνενεώσαντο → 151, 9 ff. Here and in many other passages we find the fixed combination φιλία καὶ συμμαχία, cf. φίλος καὶ σύμμαχος → 148, 28 ff.; examples are Thuc., VI, 34, 1; Polyb., 31, 1, 1 and 3.

e. In a transf. sense Emped. uses φιλία for one of the basic principles of all being, “harmony” as a principle of union in contrast to νεῖκος, that of separation. But usually, or always, he has φιλότης instead like Hom. and Hes. (→ line 7), Emped. Fr., 17, 7. 20 (Diels, I, 316 f.); 20, 2 (318); 21, 8 (320) etc. On the other hand the writers who quote him mostly use φιλία, e.g., Plut. De amicorum multitudine, 5 (II, 95b); Simpl. Comm. on Aristot.Phys., VIII, 1; Athenag.Suppl., 22, 1 f.; Hipp.Ref., VII, 29, 9 f. 13.

f. Already in Emped. Fr., 59, 1 f. (Diels, I, 333) φιλία and νεῖκος are to some extent personified. In a different way we find the same in, e.g., the elegy of Aristot. Fr., 1, 2 (Diehl, I, 115). Φιλία is also one of the many names of Isis (→ I, 38, 6 f.), P. Oxy., XI, 1380, 94 (1st cent. a.d.); one might regard it as the fem. of (Ζεὺς) Φίλιος, but since line 28 has ἀγάπη we have here personified φιλία.

g. Some special uses might be mentioned. The word can denote friendships with animals, sometimes with a positive and sometimes with a negative nuance, so Plat.Clit., 409d. The kiss as a sign of loving fellowship can also be meant, as among Christians at baptism, Chrys. Hom. de utilitate lectionis scripturarum, 6 (MPG, 51 [1862] 98): ἀσπασμοὶ καὶ φιλίαι. In the baroque style of the Byzantine age (6th–7th cent. a.d.) φιλία can also he a formal address or title. Other words can also be paired with it (→ 148, 1 ff.), e.g., ξενία ἀνανεούμενος τὴν φιλίαν καὶ ξενίαν τὴν πρότερον ὑπάρχουσαν, Isoc. Ep., 7, 13, ἔρως, e.g., PhiloFug., 58, also plur. Abr., 194, and συμμαχία → 150, 21 ff.

II.     Friendship in Antiquity.

1. Through the centuries a whole library has grown up around the theme of friendship among the Gks. and Romans. Here only a few aspects and facts can be discussed. Antiquity itself wrote a great deal on friendship. We have separate treatises, the most important and best known being Cic. Laelius sire de amicitia, Luc. Toxaris sive de amicitia and Plut. Quomodo adulator ab amico internoscatur, De amicorum amultitudine, and a letter de amicitia. We also have remnants of Chrysipp. Περὶ φιλίας (v. Arnim, III, 182), of Seneca’s Dialogue on friendship et al. There are ref. to lost works by Xenophanes in Diog. L., IV, 12; Theophr., ibid., V, 45; Gellius Noctes Atticae, 1, 3, 10–12, 21–29: Cleanthes in Diog. L., VII, 175. Individual sections of larger works also deal with the subject. The most significant discussions, apart from Cic. Lael, are in Plat.Symp., Phaedr. and Lys., in Aristot. Eth. Nic., VIII, 1, p. 1155a–IX, 12, p. 1172a; Eth. Eud., VII, 1–13, p. 1234b, 18–1246b, 36; Eth. M., II, 11–17, p. 1208b–1213b, in Xenoph.Mem., II, 4–6, in Isoc. Or., 1, 24–26, in Epict.Diss., II, 22, in Gellius, Noctes Atticae (→ n. 46), 1, 3; cf. 17, 5, in Valerius Maximus, IV, 7, and in Themist. Or., 22.

2. Antiquity’s views on friendship find very typical expression in a series of maxims and proverbs which in part are significant for the NT too → n. 52.

Aristot.Eth. Nic., IX, 8, p. 1168b, 6–8 offers three of the most important:

κοινωνία Acc. to Diog. L., VIII, 10 and Porphyr.Vit. Pyth., 33 the last two go back to Pythagoras. The motif of κοινωνία esp. recurs with considerable monotony, from Eur.Or., 735; Andr., 376 f. and Plat.Lys., 207c; Phaedr., 279c; Leg., V, 739c; Resp., V, 449c; IV, 424a by way of Aristot.Eth. Nic., IX, 11, p. 1159b, 31 f.; Eth. Eud., VII, 2, p. 1237b, 32 f.; 1238a, 16; Pol., II, 5, p. 1263a, 30 to the later period, Diog. L., VI, 37 and 72; PhiloVit. Mos., I, 156; Muson. Fr., 13 (p. 67).

The thought of the “one soul” is also attributed to Aristot.: ἐρωτηθεὶς τί ἐστι φίλος, ἔφη· μία ψυχὴ δύο σώμασιν [one soul in two bodies] ἐνοικοῦσα, Diog. L., V, 20, cf. Plut. De amicorum multitudine, 8 (II, 96 f.).

The third saying ἰσότης φιλότης [friends are equals] vis very often quoted. Plat.Leg., VI, 757a adduces it as a word of ancient wisdom, ὡς ἰσότης φιλότητα ἀπεργάζεται. Aristot., apart from passages already quoted → 151, 28 ff., has it several times, e.g., Eth. Nic., VIII, 7, p. 1157b, 34–36; Eth. Eud., VII, 6, p. 1240b, 1 f.

A fourth saying is also said to be important: The friend is the alter ego of the friend. Diog. L., VII, 23 says of Zeno: ἐρωτηθεὶς τίς ἐστι φίλος, ἄλλος, ἔφη, ἐγώ, [a second self] cf. VII, 124. Aristot. expressly calls it a proverb: φίλος βούλεται εἶναι, ὥσπερ ἡ παροιμία φησίν, ἄλλος Ἡρακλῆς, ἄλλος οὗτος, Eth. Eud., VII, 12, p. 1245a, 29 f., cf. ἔστι γὰρ ὁ φίλος ἄλλος αὐτός, Eth. Nic., IX, 4, p. 1166a, 31 f.; ἕτερος γὰρ αὐτὸς ὁ φίλος ἐστίν, IX, 9, p. 1170b, 6 f., and Plut. De amicorum multitudine, 2 (II, 93e): … καὶ τὸ ἄλλον αὑτὸν ἡγεῖσθαι τὸν φίλον.

3. In spite of the importance of various groups of friends (→ 147, 8 ff.; 147, 14 ff.) personal friendship is still the heart of the matter for the Gks. and it is often emphasised that real friendship is possible only with a few, e.g., Aristot.Eth. Nic., IX, 10, p. 1170b, 20–1171a, 20; cf. Eth. Eud., VII, 12, p. 1245b, 20 f.: οὐθεὶς φίλος ᾧ πολλοὶ φίλοι. In Luc. Toxaris, 37 the πολύφιλος is even compared to a harlot and Plut. devoted a whole tractate to the theme, Περὶ πολυφιλίας (II, 93a–97b). But the Stoics took a different view; acc. to Chrysipp. Fr., 631 (v Arnim, III, 161) πολυφιλία is a good, cf. also Diog. L., VII, 124. Sometimes close personal friendship is contrasted with wider groups of friends who form the forces sustaining the polis → n. 31.

The true ideal, however, is the pair of friends. Early examples of such pairs are extolled in epic and drama. In the “much sung friendships of the past the ref. is always to pairs,” Aristot.Eth. Nic., IX, 10, p. 1171a, 15. We often have lists of pairs, e.g., Plut. De amic. multit., 2 (II, 93e): Luc. Toxaris, 10; Cic.Lael., 15; Fin., I, 65. Achilles and Patroclus usually come first. Inequality is already found here, since Patroclus is simply Achilles’ follower, the φίλος ἑταῖρος, Hom.Il., 1, 345: 11, 616. Yet acc. to Athen., 13, 601a this φιλία is construed as eros by Aesch., and rather differently Plat.Symp., 179e–180b, although Xenoph.Symp., 8, 31 rejects this interpretation. Orestes and Pylades are also revered, esp. by the Scythians (acc. to Luc. Toxaris, 7), who worshipped them as φίλιοι δαίμονες, cf. also Eur.Iph. Taur., 498. We also hear of Theseus and Peirithoos, Damon and. Phintias, Epaminondas and Pelopidas, whose friendship was thought to be the germ of the political renaissance of Thebes. Many friendships were also invented, since those who were akin in spirit could be depicted only as friends, e.g., Homer and Lycurgus, Numa and Pythagoras → IV, 416, 35 ff. There are also partly historical and partly fictional accounts of pairs of friends that were passed down from mouth to mouth, cf. the five stories recounted by the Greek and the Scythian in the discussion in Luc. Toxaris. Here one of the two is always the more active and the other more or less passive. The friendships between older and younger men practised and lauded by Socrates correspond in the main to the relation between teacher and student, so that friendship is the start of instruction, → 157, 20 ff.; 163, 24 ff.

In many variations the supreme duty of a friend is to sacrifice himself for his friend even to the pt. of death. Thus Aristot.Eth. Nic., IX, 8, p. 1169a, 18–20 says: “To a noble man there applies the true saying that he does all things for the sake of his friends … and, if need be, he gives his life for them,” cf. also line 25 f. Epicurus acc. to Diog. L., X, 121 was also of the opinion that the wise man must in some circumstances die for his friend. The Epicurean Philohides followed this saying of the master, for it is said of him that “for the one he loved most (ἀγαπωμένου) among those close to him or friends (φίλων) he was ready to offer his neck.” Epict.Ench., 32, 3 attributes to Socrates the thesis that συγκινδυνεῦσαι φίλῳ ἢ πατρίδι is so self-evident that one need not consult the oracle about this duty, and he concludes: Follow then the great seer, Apollo himself, who chased a man out of his temple who did not come to the aid of his friend when in mortal danger (ἀναιρουμένῳ τῷ φίλῳ), cf. Sen. Ep., 1, 9, 10: in quid amicum paro? ut habeam pro quo mori possim etc. Apollonius of Tyana acc. to Philostr.Vit. Ap., VII, 14 (p. 265) can even say that it is a command of φύσις to die for relatives or friends or beloved boys, cf. VII, 11 (p. 262): φιλοσοφίᾳ προσήκει ἀποθανεῖν ὑπὲρ φίλων ἀγωνιζόμενον. Hence examples of dying for friends are always highly extolled. esp. that of Damon, e.g., Diod. S., X, 4, 3–6; Valerius Maximus, IV, 7 ext. I (p.207 f.); Iambl.Vit. Pyth., 33, 234–6. Luc. Toxaris, 6 describes Scythian pictures of Orestes and Pylades which show each of the two παρ᾽ οὐδὲν τιθέμενον, εἰ ἀποθανεῖται σώσας τὸν φίλον, while in 36 the Scythian speaker says: ἐγὼ δέ σοι διηγήσομαι θανάτους ὑπὲρ τῶν φίλων, and in 37 he mentions the solemn pact of friendship (ὅρκος ὁ μέγιστος) among the Scythians: ἦ μὴν καὶ βιώσεσθαι μετ᾽ ἀλλήλων καὶ ἀποθανεῖσθαι, ἢν δέῃ, ὑπὲρ τοῦ ἑτέρου τὸν ἕτερον.



B. φίλος, φιλία (φιλιάζω) in the Old Testament and Judaism.



B. φίλος, φιλία (φιλιάζω)



I.     Usage.

1.     φίλος.

a. It is obvious from even a cursory glance at LXX usage that only in a minority of instances do φίλος and φιλία render Hbr. words, φίλος in 70 out of some 180 cases and φιλία only 7 times out of 38. In more than 30 instances the original of φίλος is רֵעַ (→ VI, 312, 19 ff.; V, 14, 8 ff.), although mostly, some 112 times, this is transl. ὁ πλησίον (→ VI, 312, 17 ff.).  In 27 instances it stands for אהב q and pi, in 4 for מֵרֵעַ (→ VI, 313, n. 13): Ju. 14:20; 15:2, 6; Prv. 12:26, and in 2 each for אַלּוּף “friend,” “confidant,” Prv. 16:28; 17:9, and חָבֵר, Sir. 7:12; 37:6. Aram. חֲבַר, Hb. חָבֵר, is also transl. φίλος in Da. 2:13, 17 f. Θ. In LXX usage, as in common Gk. usage (→ 147, 1 ff.), we have a scale of nuances: the very close “personal friend” ὁ φίλος ὁ ἴσος τῆς ψυχῆς σου, Dt. 13:7 (→ n. 54), the “friend of the house” φίλος πατρῷος, Prv. 27:10 (→ 150, 14 ff.), the “friend of the bridegroom,” the “best man,” 1 Macc. 9:39 (→ 165, 1 ff.), the “client” or “political supporter” of someone in high position, Est. 6:13, as a title “friend of the king,” φίλος τοῦ βασιλεώς, 1 Ch. 27:33 (→ 147, 14 ff. with n. 4; VI, 313, 1 with n. 10), cf. Est. 6:9; Δα. 3:94; 1 Macc. 10:20.

In the LXX φίλος is used with many related terms in combination or parallelism, e.g., ἀδελφός Prv. 17:17, ἑταῖρος Sir. 37:2 (→ 148, 2 ff.), ὁ πλησίον ψ 37:12, ψ 87:19 where οἱ λνωατοί is a third synon., οἰκεῖος (→ 148, 10 f.) Prv. 17:9, γείτων 3 Macc. 3:10 (→ 159, 34 ff.). Gen. Hell. is the thinking of φίλος with σύμβουλος (→ 148, 25 ff.) or συμβουλευτής, since the friends of the king and of leading men were also their advisers. Thus the φίλοι of King Artaxerxes in 1 Εσδρ. 8:13 are obviously οἱ ἑπτὰ σύμβουλοι in v. 11 and οἱ ἑπτὰ σύμβουλοι in 2 Εσδρ. 7:14. But the two groups are found side by side in 1 Εσδρ. 8:26. Finally the combination of φίλος σύμμαχος (→ 148, 28 ff.) has a political character in 1 Macc. 14:40: φίλοι καὶ σύμμαχοι καὶ ἀδελφοί (an honorary Roman title for the Jews).

b. Much the same may be said about the usage in Philo. He often has φίλος as an adj., e.g., Poster. C., 172 and he links it, esp. as a noun, with many related terms: συγγενής Leg. All., III, 71 and 205; Flacc., 72, ἀδελφός Leg. All., III, 71, ἑταῖρος Vit. Cont., 13; Omn. Prob. Lib., 44; Flacc., 32, οἰκεῖος Leg. Gaj., 343; Leg. All., III, 205, λνώριμος Abr., 273, σύμβουλος Agric., 95 (the serpent as φίλος καὶ σύμβουλος … of Eve!), σύμμαχος Spec. Leg., IV, 219, ἔνσπονδος Spec. Leg., IV, 224, cf. Migr. Abr., 202.

2.     φιλία.

φιλία is used 6 times for אַהֲבָה or אַהַב Prv. 5:19 (twice); 10:12; 15:17; 17:9; 27:5 and once for דּוֹד “sensual love,” Prv. 7:18. Thus there are Hbr. equivalents only in Prv., where we also find it without original at 5:19 vl.; 25:10a. Apart from that it occurs only in Wis., Sir. and Maccabees. This is just as noteworthy as that φίλος is not as common in any other OT book as in Prv., Sir. and Macc. → 154, 20 ff.

In the LXX there are two main kinds of φιλία, ἐρωτική (→ 149, 27 ff.) whether with respect to the wife in Prv. 5:19 or the harlot in 7:18, and political, esp. in Macc., e.g., 1 Macc. 8:1, 11, esp. with συμμαχία, 8:17; 2 Macc. 4:11, and sometimes with ἀδελφότης, 1 Macc. 12:10. The vocabulary of politics has some established tt: φιλίαν ἵστημι at 1 Macc. 8:1, 17; 10:54; 12:1, φιλίαν ἀνανεοῦμαι (→ 150, 19 ff.), 12:1, 3, 10; 14:28, 22; 15:17: φιλίαν συντηρέω, 8:11; 10:20, cf. v. 26. With this collective political friendship, as with φίλος (→ 147, 13 ff.), there is also an individual political use, cf. 4 Macc. 8:5: ἡ ἐμὴ φιλία, which, said of a king, describes the position of a φίλος τοῦ βασιλέως → 154, 17 f.

The LXX use of the stem φιλ— includes the verb φιλέω, which in the sense “to love” relates to φιλία as “love,” and also φιλιάζω, which is derived from φιλία as “friendship” and can thus be closely related to φίλος “friend,” as in the expression φιλιάζω φίλοις at Ju. 5:30 Cod. A; 1 Εσδρ. 3:22. Elsewhere, too, it mostly takes the dat., so 2 Ch. 19:2; 20:37; Prv. 22:24 Σ; Ps. 59:10 Θ; but abs. Sir. 37:1. It means “to be friend,” “to act as a friend” at Sir. 37:1; Ju. 5:30 Cod. A; 1 Εσδρ. 3:22, “to become a friend,” “to make friends” at Ju. 14:20 Cod. B; Prv. 22:24 Σ.

II.     Friendship in the Old Testament and Judaism.

1. The very fact that φίλος and φιλία occur predominantly in the originally Gk. texts of the LXX shows that we have here a concept which is fundamentally alien to the OT world. רֵעַ is something quite different (→ VI, 312, 24 ff.). Its far more common rendering by (ὁ) πλησίον (→ VI, 312, 13 ff.) is to the point, for translation by φίλος is strictly a μετάβασις εἰς ἄλλο γένος, at least when one has in view typically Gk. ideas of friendship. But the Alexandrian translators, who naturally thought of friendship in Hellenistic categories, arbitrarily introduced φίλος for רֵעַ at many points (→ 154, 8 f.) and the authors of works originating in the world of Hellenism used φίλος and φιλία in the current sense.

2. It is to be noted, however, that the OT contains one of the finest instances of friendship. In the final strophe of David’s lament for Saul and Jonathan we read: “I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women,” 2 S. 1:26. The final thought is common to antiquity and David and Jonathan are also worthy to rank with the other pairs of friends extolled in ancient lit. → 153, 1 ff. The story that ends with the lament is itself a song in praise of friendship. It is said of the two friends in 1 S. 18:1, 3, cf. 19:1; 20:17 that they loved one another as their own life, the supreme stage of human fellowship, cf. Dt. 13:7 → n. 54. It is also characteristic of antiquity that the friendship should be sealed with a solemn pact and thus made unbreakable, 1 S. 18:3 f. The decisive symbolical act is the handing over of cloak and weapons by the king’s son and heir to David, so that he is made the alter ego of his friend. Probably this ceremony itself involved an oath before Yahweh. Certainly such an oath is expressly mentioned in 1 S. 20:16 f., and it applies to their children too even after death, 2 S. 21:7. On the other hand, this classic instance of friendship in the OT shows that there is no tt. for it, cf. the circumlocutions in 2 S. 1:26, where even LXX twice has ἀγάπησις and does not use φιλία.

3. In contrast there are many friendship sayings in OT Wisdom lit., esp. Prv. and Sir. Sir. 6:5–17 even offers a small connected section comparable to similar passages in Gk. and Hell. lit. → 151, 13 ff. Sir. 6:8–13 deals mainly with dubious friends; indeed, scepticism and warning are gen. more common in Wisdom writings than is the praise of friendship, cf. esp. Sir. 37:2 οὐχὶ λύπη ἔνι ἕως θανάτου ἑταῖρος καὶ φίλος τρεπόμενος εἰς ἔχθραν; and cf. Lk. 21:16 → 163, 7 ff. The reason for this is often the misfortune of a friend. Warning to this effect is a common theme in Wisdom exhortation, e.g., Sir. 5:15: ἀντὶ φίλου μὴ γίνου ἐχθρός. Many statements and teachings remind us vividly of Gk. wisdom and esp. of Theogn. (→ 150, 6 f.; → n. 95), who seems to have had esp. bad experiences with unreliable friends. In both cases we get the same thought that there are very few real friends. Most friends are egoists; hence only the fortunate, esp. the rich, have many friends. But many only protest friendship; the true friend will not be known in times of prosperity. Friends can even be a gt. danger. Since finally Jewish Wisdom could agree with ancient popular wisdom that a man’s best friend is himself, it is the more significant that like the Gks., who could regard only the good as capable of friendship, it advanced the principle of Sir. 6:16 f.: Only those who fear God are capable of true friendship and they alone find true friends. Relatively early in the OT one finds political friendship, e.g., that between David and the Philistine king Achish, or that between Jehoshaphat and Ahab, cf. 2 Ch. 19:2, and later Ahaziah, 2 Ch. 20:37. Ch. also records the appointment of the πρῶτος φίλος τοῦ βασιλέως (→ 154, 17 f.) in the time of David, 1 Ch. 27:33, and a ἑταῖρος τοῦ βασιλέως (of Solomon) is mentioned in 3 Βας. 4:5 → n. 74.

In a transf. sense (→ 150, 5 ff.; 147, 19 ff.; 148, 18 ff.) the Wisdom lit. can speak of friendship with wisdom, cf. Wis. 8:18: ἐν φιλίᾳ αὐτῆς τέρψις ἀγαθή. Test. L. 13:8 says of the σοφία achieved in the fear of the Lord: καὶ ἐν μέσῳ ἐχθρῶν εὑρεθήσεται φίλος.

4. In Palestinian Judaism we find certain forms of friendship, but these are all different from Gk. friendship. In Rabb. Judaism the concept is applied to the relation between students and teachers of the Law. Probably Test. L. 13:4 already has students in view when it speaks of those who know the Law: πολλοὺς φίλους κτήσεται. The ref. is to colleges for the study of the Torah when we read of friends whose honour should stand as high as reverence for God, Ab., 4, 12. The close friendship between those studying the Law comes to light in the sorrow of R. Jochanan for Resh Laqish, b.BM, 84a. It is worth noting that b.AZ, 10b ref. to a very one-sided friendship between RJehuda Hanasi and the Emperor Antoninus (Marcus Aurelius or Septimius Severus) and even to a pact of friendship between the two, 10b, 11a. Similarly in Ab RNat, 6 and 19 Jochanan bZakkai is called a “friend of the king” (the emperor).

The most significant example of close and comprehensive fellowship in the Judaism of NT days is to be found in the יחד of Qumran. As the name indicates, κοινωνία, PhiloOmn. Prob. Lib., 84 and 91 (→ III, 803, 23 f. with n. 46), τὸ κοινωνικόν, Jos.Bell., 2, 122. is the chief mark of the sect. But is this really a fellowship of friends? Jos.Bell., 2, 119 certainly says of the Essenes that they display more mutual friendship than other groups in Judaism, φιλάλληλοι τῶν ἄλλων πλέον, and one of the proverbial sayings with which the ancients described the essence of friendship, φίλοις πάντα κοινά (→ 151, 28 ff.) is certainly carried out as fully at Qumran as anywhere in antiquity, for the πάντα really does apply to every aspect of life apart from marriage. In no other fellowship do we find to a higher degree a genuine sharing of lodging, mode of life, or table, PhiloOmn. Prob. Lib., 86. Knowledge, talents, abilities and work all belong to the πάντα κοινά, cf. 1 QS 1:11f. PhiloOmn. Prob. Lib., 84 also lauds the ἰσότης of the Essenes, another mark of friendship, → 152, 9 ff. But this is offset by the pedantically strict ranking, cf. 1 QS 2:22f., and the sharp separation between members and novices, cf. Jos.Bell., 2, 150; 1 QS 5:13–18. Hence it is hardly correct to apply the concept of friendship to the Qumran community.

5. In distinction from the statements of Palestinian Judaism, Philo the Hellenist, while developing OT ideas (→ 167, 12 ff. with n. 180 f.), esp. those of Wisdom (→ 157, 16 ff.; n. 181), can speak of a mutual friendship between God and His human friends, Fug., 58; Plant., 90. The boldness with which Moses speaks to God, Ex. 32:32; Nu. 11:12 f., 22; Ex. 5:22 f., is a mark of his friendly relation φιλία to God: παρρησία φιλίας συγγενές, Rer. Div. Her., 21. His φιλία is mediated to the Therapeutae through the ἀρετή which commends them to God, Vit. Cont., 90. For Philo the “friends of God” are first Abraham, Sobr., 56, cf. Abr., 273 (→ n. 184), and the two other patriarchs, cf. Abr., 50, then Moses, Sacr. AC. 130; Migr. Abr., 45; Vit. Mos., I, 156; cf. Rer. Div. Her., 21; Ebr., 94. Acc. to Philo’s understanding these are all examples of σοφοί, cf. οἱ σοφοὶ πάντες φίλοι θεοῦ, Rer. Div. Her., 21; cf. Leg. All., III, 1 → n. 182. From these and other passages, e.g., Fug., 58; Ebr., 94, one may infer that in Philo’s sense all the righteous may be called “friends of God.” τὸ τῶν φίλων συνέδριον in Som., I, 193, cf. ὁ φιλικὸς θίασος in 196, may be taken the same way, though the context shows that in Rer. Div. Her., 265 the ref. is to τὸ προφητικὸν γένος to which special revelations are given in ecstasy. The title οἱ φίλοι is here used in the abs. as in the philosophical schools (→ 147, 16 ff.), perhaps in the mystery cults too (→ n. 137), and then among Christians (→ 162, 16 ff.; 166, 16 ff.). Yet what may or may not apply there definitely applies in Philo, namely, that τοῦ θεοῦ is to be supplied; for φίλος ὁ προφήτης ἀνείρηται θεοῦ, Vit. Mos., I, 156 (cf. → n. 181).

In keeping with his Hell. tradition we also and esp. find in Philo statements about the friendship between men. Thus he sees in Moses and Joshua a gt. pair of friends (→ 156, 16 ff.), Virt., 55 and 60, and with honouring parents, mercy to the poor, and sacrifice in defence of one’s country, he calls φίλους εὐεργετέω an act pleasing to both God and men, Mut. Nom., 40. For οὔτε φιλικῶν ἀμελὴς δικαίων θεὸς ἑταιρεῖος (not φίλιος → n. 60) “God, the refuge of friendship, does not despise the rights of friendship” and has regard to the rules obtaining among comrades, Omn. Prob. Lib., 44. An odd statement is that God is His own συγγενής, οἰκεῖος, φίλος, Leg. All., III, 205. Like Aristot. and others (→ 147, 19 ff.), Philo can also use φίλος variously in a transf. sense, e.g., Deus Imm., 55: τῶν ἀνθρώπων οἱ μὲν ψυχῆς, οἱ δὲ σώματος γεγόνασι φίλοι.



C. φίλος, φίλη, φιλία in the New Testament.



B. φίλος, φίλη, φιλία



1.     Usage.

φίλος occurs 29 times in the NT, φίλη and φιλία only once each. As in the OT φίλος and φιλία (→ 155, 14 ff.) are used only in books under strong Hell. influence, so in the NT the group is almost entirely confined to the Lucan and Johannine writings. Only once does φίλος occur in Q at Mt. 11:19 and par. and we find it twice in Jm. at 2:23; 4:4, the only instance of φιλία being also in Jm. 4:4. In the meaning and use of φίλος Jm. differs from Lk. and Jn. → 167, 6 ff.

2.     φίλος (and φίλη) in Luke’s Writings.

a. Of the 29 NT instances of φίλος, 17 are in Lk., and so, too, is the one example of φίλη. At various pts. Lk. has φίλοι where the par. tradition has not, cf. Lk. 7:6 with Mt. 8:8; Lk. 12:4 with Mt. 10:28; Lk. 15:6 with Mt. 18:13; Lk. 21:16 with Mk. 13:12 and par. Yet Lk. the Hellenist shows restraint in that he never calls Jesus φίλος except in the taunt in 7:34 which he takes from Q → 161, 8 ff. Almost always the use in Lk. falls into the common categories of profane speech. Only three times at Lk. 12:4; 16:9; Ac. 27:3 can one speak of special NT usage → 163, 16 ff.; 164, 10 ff.; 162, 16 ff.), though most of the other passages have some theological significance. In the first instance φίλος is the “friend” as “one who is close or well-known,” cf. συγγενής → VII, 740, n. 19); it is usually in the plur., so Lk. 14:12; 15:6, 29; 21:16 and Ac. 19:31, where the Asiarchs are well-known to Paul. The “boon-companion” of Lk. 7:34 and par. is a special form of this general use, and cf. 15:29, though here more in the sense of “friend of youth.” The Hell. Luke can also employ the term for “close personal friend,” Lk. 11:5, 8; 23:12, “guest,” Lk. 11:6 and member of a circle of friends gathered around a leader (→ 147, 9 ff.; 154, 16 f.), Lk. 7:6; Ac. 10:24 and also 16:39 Cod. D. Lk. alone in the NT combines φίλος with two related terms often found with it elsewhere, συγγενής (→ n. 112) and γείτων, so Ac. 10:24: συγκαλεσάμενος τοὺς συγγενεῖς (→ VII, 740. 26 ff.) φίλους φίλους, Lk. 15:6: συγκαλεῖ τοὺς φίλους καὶ τοὺς γείτονας, and cf. φίλη in v. 9: συγκαλεῖ τὰς φίλας καὶ γείτονας. Furthermore, Luke with his stylistic liking for groups of four puts φίλος in such groups in Lk. 14:12; 21:16 → VII, 740, 19 ff.

b. The rule of Lk. 14:12: “When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbours,” stands in open antithesis to the conventions of antiquity. Here everything is based on the principle of reciprocity, whereas Jesus expressly excludes this: μήποτε καὶ αὐτοὶ ἀντικαλέσωσίν σε καὶ γένηται ἀνταπόδομά σοι. The sayings in Mt. 5:46 f. and par. correspond exactly to the rule of Lk. 14:12. Some witnesses (W Θ and koine text) read ἐὰν ἀσπάσησθε (→ I, 499, 1 ff.) τοὺς φίλους (for ἀδελφοὺς) ὑμῶν, 5:47. Acc. to the parallelism οἱ φίλοι ὑμῶν corresponds to ἀγαπῶντες ὑμᾶς (v. 46), and, as the first and second ἀγαπᾶν correspond to one another in v. 46, so do φίλον εἶναι and ἀσπάζεσθαι in v. 47. The wall of the exclusiveness of fellowship and love which is at issue here, and of which all groups at all times have been guilty, is what Jesus is trying to break down in His community, cf. along with Mt. 5:42–48 and par. and Lk. 14:12–14 such passages as Lk. 14:21–23 and esp. 10:27–37.

Lk. 14:12 also shows that friendship and table fellowship are correlative. Thus when the elder brother hears of the feast given for the returning prodigal he at once thinks of his friends, Lk. 15:29. The feasts he has not held for them (→ VII, 794, 19 ff.), even though he wanted to, are a secular counterpart to the father’s feast of friendship and reconciliation. When the fortunate finders of Lk. 15:6, 9 summon their friends, it is again to a feast. We find the same connection and thinking, although now given a sinister connotation, in Lk. 7:34 and par.: ἰδοὺ ἄνθρωπος φάγος καὶ οἰνοπότης, φίλος τελωνῶν (→ VIII, 104, 29 ff.) καὶ ἁμαρτωλῶν (→ I, 303, 31 ff.). The fact that Jesus sits at table with notorious sinners is the specific basis of the charge that He is a “boon-companion of publicans and sinners.” The kerygma of Jesus takes up the charge in a positive way. φίλος is both active and passive. Jesus loves sinners and is loved by them in return, as shown in Lk. 7:37–50 by the washing of His feet (→ V, 25, n. 177), the kiss (→ 139, 10 ff.) and the anointing with costly ointment (→ IV, 801, 6 ff. with n. 9), which are manifestations of grateful love → II, 472, 10 ff. The close relation between friendship and table fellowship found very early expression in hospitality → 148, 31 ff. This is the basis of the parable in Lk. 11:5–8. φίλος occurs here 4 times, three times almost in the sense of “good neighbour” (v. 5, 8) and once (v. 6) in that of “guest” with a close approximation to the idea of hospitality, cf. φιλέω “to entertain” → 116, 4 ff. The two relations of neighbourliness and hospitality carry with them a sacred duty. The friend as a neighbour and host must be available for a friend. These relations are decisive in relation to the application, namely, that the friend may ask and the friend wants to be asked (→ 164, 2 ff.), for the parable stands in the Lucan Prayer Catechism, Lk. 11:1–13.

c. Friendship and joy are closely related. Friends are invited for merry-making (→ 165, 7 ff.), Lk. 15:6, 9, 29. Yet the opposite relation is even more important and characteristic, namely, that of sharing in the lot of a friend, especially when it is hard: λέγω δὲ ὑμῖν τοῖς φίλοις μου, μὴ φοβηθῆτε ἀπὸ τῶν ἀποκτεννότων τὸ σῶμα, Lk. 12:4. Friendship means service, concern, and sacrifice even to the point of life itself → 153, 21 ff. The parable of the friend who asks and is asked in Lk. 11:5–8 makes this clear. Whether in terms of hospitality or of neighbourliness, the friend can expect help from his friend even when it is inconvenient. The friends of the centurion of Capernaum are obviously at his service, Lk. 7:6. Conversely the centurion Cornelius wants to give his acquaintances and close friends a share in the greatest experience of his life as this was brought to him by God’s messenger, Ac. 10:24. In Ephesus the asiarchs, who according to Luke’s remarkable note were friends of Paul, even though they were probably the chief pagan priests of the province of Asia, intervened to save the life of their friend, Ac. 19:31.

Only here and perhaps in Ac. 27:3 (though → lines 13 ff.) do we hear of friends of Paul. Once Lk. ref. to μαθηταί of Paul at Ac. 9:25; these were probably (young) friends, since nowhere else do we read of these disciples → IV, 459, 20 ff. Paul himself never uses the terms φίλος and μαθητής (→ VII, 742, 13 ff.); he has ἀδελφός and τέκνον instead. It seems from Lk. that Paul was the head of a large circle of friends that had gathered around him.

In Ac. 27:3 there is again an obvious co-ordination of the word φίλος with solicitude for the friend. The φίλοι are neither Paul’s hosts in Sidon nor, as Lk.’s terminology might seem to indicate, personal friends of the apostle to whose friendly care he was committed during his stay in Sidon. Rather the φίλοι are Christians whose care for the apostle is continually mentioned by Luke and Paul (e.g., 2 C. 11:9; Phil. 4:10, 16, 18).

The question arises whether Luke with his class. education himself chose the term οἱ φίλοι for Christians. A point against this is that John knows the designation and himself has it in 3 Jn. 15, → 166, 16 ff. But if Luke takes over the term, the further question arises: What is the derivation of this description which in both Lk. and Jn. is far less prominent than other terms like οἱ ἀδελφοί (→ I, 145, 10 ff.)? It is conceivable that in native Hell. churches there was borrowing from the terms which other Hell. groups used for themselves. But it is much more likely that the primitive Chr. communities took over traditions from the disciples’ band. It is precisely Lk. (12:4) and Jn. (15:13ff. → 165, 19 ff.; Jn. 11:11 → 165, 16 ff.) and they alone who tell us that Jesus called His disciples φίλοι. But behind this, esp. in Jn. 15, lies the thought that Christians. as friends of Jesus and also φίλοι among themselves, are at the same time the new friends of God (→ 164, 7 ff.), and that they are this as members of the familia Dei, as οἰκεῖοι (→ V, 134, 29 ff.) τοῦ θεοῦ, Eph. 2:19. Even when the term φίλοι does not occur, many features in the picture of the primitive community are to be regarded as outworkings of this φιλία, esp. in Ac. 2:44–46; 4:32 → n. 52. The name φίλοι seems not to have found any further use in the main body of the Church, but is was possibly employed in Gnostic groups.

d. In contrast to the varied positive aspects of friendship in Lk. there is also a negative side. Among the motifs of the Messianic Woes in Lk. we find not only the reversal of love for parents, children and brothers into hate (cf. Mk. 13:12 and Mt. 10:21 → IV, 690, 23 ff.) but also the changing of friends into enemies: παραδοθήσεσθε δὲ καὶ ὑπὸ γονέων καὶ ἀδελφῶν καὶ συγγενῶν καὶ φίλων καὶ ἔσεσθε μισούμενοι ὑπὸ πάντων, Lk. 21:16 f. The motif of reversal is not in itself eschatological, for it is part of the common experience of life. This is why we find both in the paganism of the time (→ 157, 1 ff.) and also in Judaism (→ 156, 30 ff.) concern and warning and complaint about the unreliability of friends.

e. Jesus calls His disciples φίλοι Lk. 12:4. This does not have to be a Lukan (→ 162, 19 ff.) addition to the picture of the relation between master and disciples; the parallels in John (→ 165, 18 ff.) are an argument against this. It is possible, of course, that both Luke and John had Hellenistic court style in view when using this designation (→ 148, 25 ff.). But there are other possibilities. In the last resort the term φίλοι is part of the imagery of the family of God. This connection is supported especially by the fact that in almost the same sense (cf. Jn. 15:15 with 20:17) Jesus also calls the disciples ἀδελφοί (→ I, 145, 26 ff.). As distinct from Gk. φιλία (→ 152, 9 ff.), this is not a friendship of equals. It is the Master and Teacher who is calling His disciples and pupils φίλοι, → 153, 18 ff. To this extent it is worth noting that in Luke and John Jesus uses the designation φίλοι when He is teaching the disciples about their future tasks and destiny, cf. Lk. 12:4 f.; Jn. 14:26.

f. In some parables and comparisons the thought is implied that God is the Friend of men and esp. of the disciples. Although we have in Lk. 11:5–8 (→ 161, 19 ff.) a comparison with a conclusion a minori ad maius—if even a true friend does not hesitate for a moment to meet the requests of his friend, how much more prompt will God be!—there still lies in the background the idea that God is the best friend who grants the requests of His friend and who indeed wants to be asked. Hence we have the corresponding thought that the disciples are God’s friends → 167, 12 ff. The same idea may be seen in the implication of the parable in Lk. 14:11; God is both the Lord and also the Host at the eschatological banquet who elevates His friend, v. 10. Possibly the saying at Lk. 16:9: ἑαυτοῖς ποιήσατε φίλους ἐκ τοῦ μαμωνᾶ (→ IV, 390, 2 ff.) τῆς ἀδικίας (→ I, 152, 30 ff.), ἵνα ὅταν ἐκλίπῃ δέξωνται ὑμᾶς εἰς τὰς αἰωνίους σκηνάς, also has in view God as Friend. We should use as ἀγάπη to God and men all that life offers us in this wicked world so that we may win God as our Friend. The plur. φίλοι might seem to be against this interpretation but it is determined by the two examples in vv. 5–7 and it also makes possible the understanding of δέξωνται in v. 9 as a circumlocution for the name of God → 168, 7 ff. The primitive community saw concealed in the reviling of Jesus in Mt. 11:19 and par. the insight that His love for sinners is an enacted parable expressing His message that God makes Himself the Friend of sinners,

3.     φίλος in John’s Writings.

John alone in the NT uses φίλος in the specific sense of the (special) “friend of the bridegroom,” the “best man,” Jn. 3:29 → 154, 16; IV, 1102, 2 ff. As a metaphor for John the Baptist this brings out both his close relationship and also his unselfish subordination to Jesus, for the tasks of the best man presuppose most unselfish friendship, but cf. Ju. 14:20; 15:2, 6.

As in many other areas, Jn. has striking similarities to Luke in his concept of the friend; the correlation of friendship and joy (→ 161, 27 f.) comes out particularly well in the similitude of the friend of the bridegroom: φίλος τοῦ νυμφίου, ὁ ἑστηκὼς καὶ ἀκούων αὐτοῦ, χαρᾷ χαίρει διὰ τὴν φωνὴν τοῦ νυμφίου, Jn. 3:29. The connection between friendship and table fellowship (→ 161, 11 ff.) also finds clear expression in the Bethany family, Lk. 10:35–42; Jn. 12:1–8. Luke never calls the brother and sisters φίλοι of Jesus, but John often expresses the close relation of friendship between them and Jesus, Jn. 11:3, 5, 11, 36. While this is shown to be personal friendship by the use of the verb φιλέω (11:3, Cod. D and v. 36), Λάζαρος ὁ φίλος ἡμῶν in 11:11 makes it plain that discipleship is involved too → 130, 25 ff.

Jn. 11:11 is an indication that the Johannine Jesus called His disciples “friends.” Their position as friends of Jesus (15:13–16) dates from the day of His selection. This was the free choice of the κύριος by which He raised His δοῦλοι to the status of φίλοι → II, 276, 15 ff. As God chose His friends in the OT (→ n. 184; → 169, 8 f.), so Jesus chooses His friends. Their obedience to His ἐντέλλεσθαι (v. 14) brings out very sharply the fact that this is not at all a friendship between equals (→ 163, 23 ff. with n. 145). He remains the κύριος. But His ἐντολή is defined as the command of love (v. 17) which He Himself fulfils perfectly, cf. v. 10. He thus makes Himself like them. This is the point of v. 15b: μείζονα ταύτης ἀγάπην οὐδεὶς ἔχει, ἵνα τις τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ θῇ. Elsewhere, too, unrestricted self-impartation is a mark of genuine friendship, → n. 180. But the disciples must do the same, esp. in the love (v. 10) which is even ready for the laying down of life, v. 13, cf. 1 Jn. 3:16. In the statement μείζονα ταύτης ἀγάπην οὐδεὶς ἔχει, ἵνα τις τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ θῇ (→ VIII, 155, 30 ff.) ὑπὲρ τῶν φίλων αὐτοῦ (Jn. 15:13) John is probably clothing an ancient rule of friendship in biblical speech in order to apply it to the relation of Jesus to His disciples and also to that of the disciples with one another. Here, then, the rule of friendship is made to serve the NT thought of substitution which John applies not merely to Christ Himself but also to Christians, 1 Jn. 3:16. The demand that the disciples should give their lives for their friends (or brothers) as Jesus did is basically contained already in Jn. 15:12: They will show themselves to be Jesus’ friends, who love as He did, by their laying down their lives for one another. Hence the saying about supreme love (v. 13) applies to the disciples as it does to Jesus. The friend-saying has twofold significance; it is first soteriological and then hortatory.

Like Luke (→ 162, 13 ff.) John is acquainted with the use of φίλοι as a self-designation for Christians. 3 Jn. closes with the mutual salutations of friends: ἀσπάζονταί σε οἱ φίλοι. ἀσπάζου τοὺς φίλους κατ᾽ ὄνομα (v. 15). Undoubtedly the term φίλοι in this connection with the salutations (→ 160, 9 ff.) has a share in the exclusiveness of the Johannine communities (→ 130, n. 162). Nevertheless the translation “partisans” or “party members” misses the real point which it at issue here too, namely, that they have become friends by relationship to Jesus, that they are “fellow-believers.” The author of 3 Jn. is undoubtedly adopting a common formula (→ 137, 1 ff. with n. 214). But in this letter as distinct from secular letters it is fully stamped with the character of the Johannine communities (though → I, 501, 24 f.). It is fellow-believers who send and receive the greetings; the same exclusiveness attaches to this ἀσπάζεσθαι as in Mt. 5:47 → 160, 12 ff.

Once in John—the only instance in the NT—φίλος is used as a political term. When Pilate is hesitating to condemn Jesus, the Jews cry out to him: ἐὰν τοῦτον ἀπολύσῃς, οὐκ εἶ φίλος τοῦ Καίσαρος (Jn. 19:12). Whether the title is used in a technical sense here (→ 147, 13 ff.) is open to question, for the Jews can hardly take the title away from Pilate; they are rather delivering a judgment on the relation between Pilate and the emperor. But the word is, of course, associated with the common court title → 148, 15 ff.

4.     φίλος and φιλία in James.

The two places where φίλος occurs in Jm. (2:23; 4:4, where we also find φιλία) centre in different ways on friendship with God. In 4:4 ἐχθρὸς τοῦ θεοῦ presupposes φίλος τοῦ θεοῦ as its opposite, and similarly φιλία τοῦ κόσμου presupposes φιλία τοῦ θεοῦ. He who seeks friendship with the world necessarily becomes an enemy of God. The basis of this thesis is a dualism similar to that of John as this comes to expression especially in 1 Jn. 2:15. Jm. 2:23 is the only v. in the NT which has the title “friend of God”: ἐπληρώθη ἡ γραφὴ ἡ λέγουσα· ἐπίστευσεν δὲ Ἀβραὰμ (→ I, 8, 17 ff.) τῷ θεῷ καὶ ἐλογίσθη αὐτῷ εἰς δικαιοσύνην, καὶ φίλος θεοῦ ἐκλήθη. Whether the third statement is seen as part of the quotation along with the first two is not quite certain but very likely. There is probably allusion to verses like Is. 41:8 and 2 Ch. 20:7 and we are to seek the origin of the idea of the friend of God in the OT and not in Greek or Egyptian usage. Abraham is the only one to whom the NT grants the honorary title of φίλος θεοῦ → n. 177, just as he is the one who is most commonly called this in the whole sphere of Judaism. Due to the link with Gn. 15:6 the meaning of φίλος θεοῦ is very close to “he who is just through faith.” The ἐκλήθη added to the title adopted from the OT is to be construed as a pass. divinum, like ἐλογίσθη. That is, God Himself has given Abraham the title “friend of God” cf. Jn. 15:15: ὑμᾶς εἴρηκα φίλους, → 165, 19 ff. The aorist suggests that we are to relate it to a specific event in Abraham’s life. According to the context the works of faith done by Abraham are the reason why God conferred this title on him. If the title “friend of God” carries with it the thought of Abraham’s love for God (→ n. 186), the passive element is still predominant in contrast to φιλία and φίλος in Jm. 4:4 and φιλόθεος in 2 Tm. 3:4 → n. 2. The same applies to the pass. ἐκλήθη; Abraham is the man who is loved and chosen by God.

D.     φίλος and φιλία in the Post-New Testament Period.

I.     In the Early Church.

1. In the main there is only a slender use of the group in post-NT lit. It is much less prominent than ἀγάπη—ἀγαπάω and ἔρωσ—ἐράω. Yet words of the stem φιλ— occurs sometimes in NT quotations when the NT employs other terms; thus ἀγαπᾶτε in Mt. 5:44 and par. is replaced, with φιλεῖτε in Did., 1, 3 → n. 120. In many cases such linguistic changes are accompanied by more important changes in the NT statements. Thus in Ign. Pol., 2, 1 Lk. 6:32 (cf. Mt. 5:46) occurs in the form: καλοὺς μαθητὰς ἐὰν φιλῇς, χάρις σοι οὐκ ἔστιν. The gen. rule of Jesus is reapplied to the bishop who is to be concerned about the λοιμότεροι in his congregations rather than being friendly only to good Christians. 2 Cl., 6, 5 changes the saying about the two masters in Mt. 6:24 and par. into a saying about the two aeons: οὐ δυνάμεθα τῶν δύο (sc. αἰώνων) φίλοι εἶναι· δεῖ δὲ ἡμᾶς τούτῳ ἀποταξαμένους ἐκείνῳ χρᾶσθαι → 170, 29 ff.; n. 173. Const. Ap., IV, 13, 2 seems to be a variant of the thought of R. 13:8: μηδενί τι χρεωστεῖν εἰ μὴ τῆς φιλίας σύμβολον, ὃ ὁ θεὸς διετάξατο διὰ Χριστοῦ. Another alteration of a NT saying is to be found in Ev. Pt. 2:3. Here Joseph of Arimarhea, who certainly belonged to the wider circle of disciples acc. to Mt. 27:57 and Jn. 19:38, but can hardly have known Pilate previously (cf. τολμήσας, Mk. 15:43), is presented not merely as a friend of Jesus but also as a friend of Pilate. Thus two very different friendships are brought under the one term “friend,” which is admittedly a fairly broad master-concept in all languages.

2. The divine friendship of Abraham (→ 167, 12 ff.) is often ref. to in the post-NT period, cf. 1 Cl., 10, 1; 17, 2; Ps.-Cl. Hom., 18, 13; Tert. Adv. Judaeos, 2 (CSEL, 70 [1942], 256). Acc. to Alexander Polyhist. in Eus.Praep. Ev., 9, 19, 2 (Apollonius) Molon. took the name Abraham to mean πατρὸς φίλος and he equated this with θεοῦ φίλος. Moses, too, was sometimes called God’s friend; thus Greg. Nyss. thinks friendship with God was the goal and climax of his ascent.,  More common is the collective use of the title, → 158, 24 ff.; n. 182. Thus Aphrahat in Hom., 17, 3 says that God describes the men in whom He is well-pleased, like Moses, as “my children and friends.” Cl. Al.Prot., 12, 122, 3 can even apply the syllogism of Diogenes in Diog. L., VI, 37 to man in gen., so that man is the friend of God. Cl. Al.Strom., VII, 68, 1. 3 calls true Gnostics “friends of God,” while Tert. De poenitentia, 9 and Cyprian Ad Demetrianum, 12 use the term for martyrs, and Aug. Conf., 8, 6, 15 (CSEL, 33 [1896], 182 f.) thinks in terms of ascetics. ὁ θεοῦ φίλος is the title of a bishop in a 3rd cent. inscr. from Isaura Nova in Asia Minor.

3. The name of friend which Jesus conferred on His more immediate disciples acc. to Lk. 12:4 and Jn. 15:14 f. (→ 163, 16 ff.; 165, 18 ff.) undergoes extension and alteration to the degree that in the apocr. apostolic writings it acquires in part a mystico-gnostic and in part an erotic nuance. Mart.Pt., 10 in its seven-membered list of Christ-predicates is trying to characterise the close relation of the disciple to his Master from every possible standpt.: σύ μοι πατήρ, σύ μοι μήτηρ, σύ μοι ἀδελφός, σὺ φίλος, σὺ δοῦλος, σὺ οἰκονόμος· σὺ τὸ πᾶν καὶ τὸ πᾶν ἐν σοί → n. 207. In Act. Jn., 113 Jn. in his dying prayer claims for himself a φιλία ἄσπιλος with Jesus. In some preceding depictions of this φιλία, esp. 89 f., it has an almost homosexual colouring (→ n. 173), appealing to the physical proximity which Jesus allowed in the case of the beloved disciple, Jn. 13:23, cf. 20:2 → 131, 9 ff.

4. A special problem was posed, for Christians by φιλίαι ἐθνικαί, i.e., friendships with non-Christians contracted either in pre-Chr. days or later. These often seemed to be incompatible with the principles of the Chr. life and carried with them dangers to the maintaining of a Chr. ethos. Hence Herm.m., 10, 1, 4 groups such φιλίαι ἐθνικαί with πλοῦτος etc. among the πραγματεῖαι τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου (cf. 2 Tm. 2:4) which burden an incomplete Chr. state and should thus be avoided by the advanced. This is why, e.g., Paulinus of Nola broke all ties with non-Chr. friends, esp. Ausonius, after his conversion.

The friendships suitable for Christians are of a new kind quite different from pagan friendships with their dangerous religious and moral implications. True friendship between Christians is based on two-sided communion with Christ. Hence Paulinus of Nola writes to his friend Sulpicius Severus: totus es meus in Christo domino, per quem sum invicem tuus. Paulinus had a singular and very close friendship with St. Felix, who was interred at Nola, cf. the Carmina Natalicia (thirteen poems on the feast of the saint) → n. 20.

5. The heavenly original of a circle of friends is depicted in Herm.s., 5, 2, 6–5, 3 in one of his incomplete similitudes. It is obviously modelled on the rulers and nobles of the Hell.-Roman world around which larger groups of friends clustered who were also their advisers → 147, 13 ff.; 154, 22 ff. Here too, then, the δεσπότης (sc. God), is surrounded by φίλοι who at all times can be summoned as His σύμβουλοι, s., 5, 2, 6. 11. In answer to the question of the seer in s., 5, 4, 1 it is then explained that these φίλοι are οἱ ἅγιοι ἄγγελοι οἱ πρῶτοι κτισθέντες, 5, 5, 3, the ref. being (v., 3, 4, 1) to the archangels to whom the whole creation is committed and who will perfect the Church.

II.     Gnosticism.

A special Gnostic vocabulary of friendship is reflected in the many conversations between the Redeemer and the redeemed. Thus in the Manichaean member-hymns the Redeemer says: Thou art my beloved, the love in my members. Man also calls the Redeemer “friend” in the sense of “friend of lights, i.e., beings of light.” This two-sided address expresses the reciprocity → 115, n. 20; 133, 25 ff.) of love and friendship in the sense of the Gnostic unio mystica between the Gnostic and his Redeemer.




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