Bible Question:

Why doesn't anyone say, “I love you” or “I forgive you” in the Bible?

Bible Answer:

The phrase “I love you” occurs multiple times in the New American Standard and New International Version Bibles. in fact, it occurs seven times. The first one occurs in Judges 16:15 when Delilah, Samson’s mistress, challenged him as to whether he really loved her. The second one is meaningful to us, because it is a true expression of love by King David to God.

I love You, O LORD, my strength. Ps 18:1 (NAS95S)

In Isaiah 43:4, God tells Israel that He loves them,

Since you are precious in My sight, Since you are honored and I love you . . . Isa 43:4 (NAS95S)

Just before Jesus ascended to heaven, He asked Peter, “Do you love Me?” three times and Peter responded with “I love you.”

So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My lambs.” He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Shepherd My sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Tend My sheep.” John 21:15-17 (NAS95S)

The final occurrence of the expression “I love you” occurs in 2 Cor 12:15 when Paul tells the Corinthians that he loves them. Paul also says, “I love you” using a different phrase in ! Corthians 16:24.

Finally, the phrase “I forgive you” occurs only one time in the New International Version Bible, but not in the New American Standard Bible (NAS95S). The NAS95S uses the word “pardon” instead of “forgiven.” Here is the passage.

Why should I forgive you? Your children have forsaken me and sworn by gods that are not gods. I supplied all their needs, yet they committed adultery and thronged to the houses of prostitutes. (NIV) Jer 5:7 (NIV)

However, this is not an expression of true forgiveness.


Even though the Bible does not have very many places where the first phrases occurs, the Bible is full of passages that speak of God’s love and forgiveness. In 1 John 4:8 and 16, we read that “God is love.” In John 3:16 we read that God “loves the world.” In Romans 5:8 we told that God has demonstrated His love for us when Jesus died for us. We are also told to love God in Matthew 22:37 and 1 Cor. 16:22. The Bible has many examples of people loving and forgiving . Husbands and wives are told to love one another and parents are told to love their children. Regarding the second phrase, in Mark 2:5 we are told that Jesus forgave the sins of a paralytic man. Jesus forgave many others and He will forgive the sins of those who look to Him and ask Him to forgive their sins. Listen to the apostle Peter,

Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins. Acts 10:43 (NAS95S)

Has God forgiven your sins? Where will you go when you die? God will forgive your sins if you will ask Him. He will change your life. That is a promise.

Suggested Links:

Searching For God