By: Rex Duff

The Bible in the New Testament, commands a Holy Kiss, five times!  This is not a suggestion, but a clear command.

Romans 16:16, “Salute (greet) one another with an holy kiss.”

I Corinthians 16:20, “Greet ye one another with an holy kiss.”

2 Corinthians 13:12, “Greet one another with an holy kiss”.

I Thessalonians 5:26, “Greet all the brethren with an holy kiss”.

I Peter 5:14, “Greet ye one another with a kiss of charity”.

The only question is, what is a holy kiss? Can there be an unholy kiss?

Often I have heard the Baptist say, “we don’t practice (OBEY GOD) concerning the Holy Kiss, because we are not queers!

God, knowing all knowledge, past, present, and future, would He have placed these verses in the Bible, knowing that in the future, the appearance, would be thought of, as being a queer (even among His children)?

On the other hand, I have heard Mennonites say that they want to obey God, but admit feeling uncomfortable, about the holy kiss.

What then is the problem? Can both groups be right, and at the same time, both be wrong?

The answer is yes!

For a man to kiss another man on the lips, is clearly an act that I would agree copies the Sodomites. The Baptist are right, but is this a HOLY kiss?

On the other hand, why do the Mennonites feel uncomfortable doing the holy kiss?  Answer- They have a man kiss another man on the lips. This is really what bothers the Baptist! Is this really a holy kiss?  What is the problem? A kiss on the lips is a kiss that is between a husband and wife. The Bible states in I Corinthians 7:1, “It is good for a man not to touch (light the fires of passion) a woman.”

It is not to be practiced until marriage, for it is a kiss of intimacy. This is not the Holy kiss!

Why do the Mennonites kiss on the lips, men with men?  The answer is found in Proverbs 24:26. This verse reads as follows:

“Every man shall kiss his lips that giveth a right answer”.  Just looking at this verse would cause one to think the Mennonites are right, no matter how uncomfortable one feels!  Notice however, his is in italics.  That means this word has been added.

A study of this verse will show to kiss lips is a Hebrew idiom which means, pay homage to the one, that is truthful, honor him.

Literally, put your hand to your lips, and throw him a kiss.  Pay the truthful man, honor.  This verse is not teaching physical intimate contact at all, between men!  Besides, this verse is not taking about a New Testament holy kiss anyway!

What then is a holy kiss?

The Bible states in 2 Samuel 20:9, “Art thou in health, my brother?  And Joab took Amasa by the beard with the right hand to kiss him”.

Notice also Matthew 26:49, “And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, master; and kissed him”.

This would have been only on the beard also.

According to Isaiah 50:6, at the crucifixion, they plucked Jesus beard, and this was shameful.

Notice Isaiah 50:6, “I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting”.

It was clearly a practice in Bible times, for a man to kiss another man’s beard.  This was a sign of friendship and closeness.

However, such a kiss would have always been on the side of the face.  I will agree, that I have no problem kissing a beard on a brother’s face.  However, there is no New Testament command that states you have to have a beard.  Taking a position on a beard, one way or another, is adding to the Bible.  This is probably more cultural, than we want to admit.  I agree I have my preferences. I cannot teach these things as sinful. I have in the past, but when I am wrong, I admit it, and change.

New Testament Christians are not under the law. Israel could not shave, (Lev 19:27) but we are not Old Testament Jews.

The proceeding quote from Q&A: What Is the Hoy Kiss?, by Larry Spargimino, taken from Bible In The News, April, 2004, PO Box 100, Bethany, Ok, 73008, is very helpful here.

“In the ancient Middle East, as well as in the Middle East today, it is customary to greet one another with a kiss.  This kiss was not on the lips, but a head-to-head, shoulder-to-shoulder greeting that bears little resemblance to kissing in the modern world.  It was a greeting that sometimes involved kissing the individual on the forehead, or the beard.  In the New Testament era this greeting was especially meaningful to new Jewish Christians who had become outcasts to their families because they identified with Jesus Christ and His followers.  It was always between men and never between a man and a woman.  The fact that the Bible calls it a holy kiss should guard against any mistaken notions as to its purpose and intent”.

The point is this, the New Testament commands the holy kiss. It should not be done on the lips ever.

Are you going to obey God?

   | General Editor: Rex Duff | Webmaster: Charles Felts | Updated: 03/01/2008 |
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