Feb 15, 2012 David Lang

The REAL Love Chapter

Quick! Name the "Love chapter" in the New Testament.

That label is usually applied to 1 Corinthians 13, but another chapter looks to be far more deserving of it. To see what I mean, try searching by the root αγαπη in a tagged Greek New Testament. Simply type a plus sign (to indicate a root search) followed by αγαπη, then hit Return.

Searching by root will automatically include every lexical form derived from this root, including the verb ἀγαπάω ("to love"), the noun ἀγάπη ("love"), and the adjective ἀγαπητός ("beloved"). That's a more comprehensive search than looking for just one of these lexical forms.


Having done this search, we can easily get a breakdown of where these words appear most often by selecting Table Bar Chart from the Graphs and Stats menu.


By default, the Table Bar Chart graphs the average number of hits per book, but you can customize the appearance of this graph by using the keyboard shortcut command-T to open the Set Graph Display dialog. In this dialog, check the boxes for Sort by count and Show chapter detail. I also chose the options to show the count to the right of each bar and to use a black background.


When you're finished, click OK. Your graph should now look like this.


From this we can see that when looking at the average number of hits (that is, the number of hits per 1000 words), 1 Corinthians 13 comes in a distant second to 1 John 4.

If we change the pop-up menu in the bottom right corner of the graph window to show the Total Hits, we see 1 Corinthians 13 shift even further down into a three-way tie for fourth!


From this it would appear that 1 John 4 is the real love chapter in the New Testament.

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Archived Comments

Jonathan Morgan

February 16, 2012 5:18 AM

I would still maintain that 1 Corinthians 13 is the true love chapter because all of it is talking about love, while if we go to 1 John 4 no matter how many mentions of love it has it does not mention it in the first six verses.