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Loving-kindness (or "lovingkindness") is a term coined by Myles Coverdale for his Coverdale Bible of 1535,[1][2] as an English translation of the Hebrew word hesed (which appears in the Latin Vulgate as "misericordia"); in that text it is spelled "louinge kyndnesse". It is also used in this sense in the American Standard Version and various other versions of the Bible.[3] It is sometimes associated with the Greek term agape.

Use in Buddhism

"Loving-kindness" is also used as an English equivalent for the Buddhist term Mettā, as described in the Metta Sutta of the Pali Canon's Sutta Nipata (Sn 1.8) and Khuddakapatha (Khp 9), and practiced in Loving kindness meditation.

Use in Bahá'í Faith

English translations of the writings of the Bahá'í Faith often use the term "loving-kindness" when referring to the original Persian "mohabbat". This is in line with the style chosen by Shoghi Effendi to use a slightly archaic form of English.[4]

See also

  • Chesed Hebrew word, given the association of kindness and love
  • Agape Greek word, given the association of "loving-kindness" or "love"
  • Mettā Sanskrit word, given the association of "loving-kindness" and "friendliness"


  1. OED
  2. Grave Cathedral episcopal church: "Brush Up Your Bible"
  3. Agape. General Information.
  4. Bahá'í Sacred Writings

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