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Friends of God
(510 words)

[German Version]

Friends of God, an expression used to designate people who have a particularly close relationship to the deity. In Greek literature and philosophy, persons who stand out by virtue of their abilities and functions are thought to be particularly near to the gods and are known as ϕίλοι θεοῖς/phíloi theoís (cf. Hom. Il. 20.347; Plato, Nom. 716d). For the Septuagint, Moses (Exod 33:1) and Abraham (2 Chr 20:7) are “friends of God.” In the New Testament, Jesus calls his disciples “friends” (Luke 12:4; John 15:14), while Abraham, according to…

Cite this page
Langer, Otto, “Friends of God”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 22 March 2023 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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