Philia Over Phobia

Hebrews 13:2
"Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it."

The word here for hospitality, also used in Romans 12.13, is φιλοξενία.

Transliterated into English φιλοξενία is philoxenia. It's a combination of two words you likely know. The first word is philos, Greek for "brother" or "friend" from philia the word for "brotherly love."

The second word is xenos, the word for stranger. You have seen this word before in xenophobia, the fear (phobia) of strangers (xenos).

And xenophobia, you might have heard, has been in the news lately.

Hospitality, then, is the exact opposite of xenophobia. Opposed to xenophobia is philoxenia.

Instead of phobia--fear and suspicion--the stranger (xenos) is greeted with philia, familial affection and love.

Philia over phobia. That is the practice of hospitality.

This entry was posted by Richard Beck. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply