love (Luang)

The various Greek terms that are translated as “love” in English can be translated with various terms in Luang with different shades of meaning.

For Acts 7:46 and Titus 1:8, “ralamni nala” (“insides take”). “This term has the sense of finding favor with or being pleased by someone and is used for love between a man and a woman, between a parent and a much-loved child. It is also used of God’s being especially pleased with a human, such as he was with Noah and Moses. It can refer to loving objects good or bad, and to loving the world. The focus here is on some pleasing characteristic of the person or thing loved.”

For Mark 6:34, “nmawaldoinla” (“insides turn completely over”). “Love mixed with pity and distress. One can feel this for oneself as well as for others. Jesus felt this way when he looked at the multitudes who were like sheep without a shepherd.”

For Mark 1:11, “lilili” (“take care of, honor”). “Loving with special care, attention, and honor. This is the term often used for loving a dear child and God’s loving his Son.”

For 1 Thess. 2:8 and Mark 1:11, “siayni” (“love, pity”). “Affection for children or for those in difficult circumstances.”

For Titus 3:4 and 1 Thess. 1:2-3, “ralamni kalwieda-paitiota” (“good insides”). The focus of this term is the goodness of the one who loves. There is absolutely no focus whatsoever on the one loved, who may even be despicable. This term is often used for God’s love and mercy toward us especially in such verses as ‘God loved us, not because of what we have done, but because of his great mercy.'”

For 1 Thess. 1:4 and 2 Tim. 4:10, “napalniana” (“insides face”). “The sense of this term is very close to that of the sense of ‘ralamni nalal’ for ‘love’. It indicates something about the thing or person loved that pleases the one loving. However, the sense ‘ralamni nalal’ refers generally to love as an outcome of the loved one’s pleasing characteristics, while this term, when it collocates with human beings, is used more for love that results from the loved one’s loving actions. It is not used for the love between a man and a woman.”

The following are service-related terms for “love.” “There are several different words for love where the focus is on the act produced by love, not on the goodness of the one loving, the one being loved, or any emotion of affection or pity. These words are differentiated by the particular service given and are mainly used in verses where people are commanded to love one another.”

For 2 Thess. 1:3 and 1 Tim. 6:18, “ra’a-palu” (“love-widow”). “This term’s focus is on love displayed by giving to one another financially.”

For 1 Thess. 3:12, “nhimpai-nmanatu” (“hold out hands, place carefully”). This term’s focus is more on daily practical care of someone.

For Titus 2:2 and 1 Tim. 6:11, “hima-re’a” (“hold out hands”). “This term’s focus is on helping someone with their work.”

For 1 Thess. 4:9, “mpiehwa-mliakta kalwiedweda” (“good/careful actions”). “This term’s focus is on the proper treatment of others on meeting them. It implies being hospitable, polite, respecting.”

Source: Kathy Taber in Notes on Translation 1/1999, p. 9-16.