hose who visit an Apostolic Christian Church for the first time are bound to notice that Apostolic Christian Church members of the same sex greet one another with a kiss. Some may find this strange, even shocking! However, you can rest assured that it is not a sexual thing! Far from it! No, believe it or not, this is exactly the way Christians are supposed to greet each other, according to the New Testament. Just as the Bible directs Christians to practice holy communion and baptism, it also directs them to greet each other with a holy kiss:
Some liberal scholars have suggested that these verses are just the opinions of Peter and Paul and that we are free to ignore them. However, those who respect the Bible and strive to follow its teachings point out that Jesus Christ Himself expected to be greeted this way because he chided Simon the Pharisee because he did not greet Him with a kiss:
Thou gavest me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss my feet. (Luke 7:45)
And in Jesus's parable of the prodigal son, the father greeted the son with a kiss:
And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck and kissed him. (Luke 15:20)
And we know that Paul was greeted with a kiss by those in the early church:
"And they wept sore, and fell on Paul's neck and kissed him." (Acts 20:37)
And of course, probably the most infamous kiss ever was when Judas kissed Jesus in order to identify Him to those looking to capture (and crucify) Him. This would appear to indicate that this was a common greeting between Jesus and the disciples.
And while he yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss him. But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss? (Luke 22:47-48) (see also Matthew 26:48-49 & Mark 14:44-45)
You can see that Jesus appeared to be particularly offended because Judas used a kiss, of all things, to identify Him; Judas had turned an expression of love into something unholy. It would also seem to indicate that the kiss had special significance between Jesus and the disciples, it certainly had much more significance than the greeting of the handshake that is commonly practiced in today's society. According to the early church historian Henri Daniel-Rops, it was common at this time for those belonging to the same religious group in Judea to greet one another with a "kiss of peace," for example, we know that the Essenes (a Jewish religious group during Jesus's time) would greet each other with a kiss.5 As this greeting was an expression of love and religious solidarity, it should not be surprising that this special greeting was used by Christ and His disciples and that this practice continued into the Christian church.
Did The Early Christian Church Practice The Holy Kiss?
There are many written records of the use of the holy kiss in the early church.3,4 In fact, the church practiced this mode of greeting well into the 13th century!1,2 It was so prevalent that the Latin word "salutare" (to greet) acquired the meaning of "to kiss" in the French and Spanish languages because of this longstanding greeting practice!20 Here is a sampling of quotes regarding the holy kiss from the early church fathers (there are many more, for example, Tertullian devoted an entire chapter on the subject)!
Having ended the prayers, we salute one another with a kiss. (Justin Martyr, c. 160)
Another custom has now become prevalent. Those who are fasting withhold the kiss of peace (which is the seal of prayer) after the prayer made with brethren... What prayer is complete if separated from the holy kiss? (Tertullian, c. 198)
And when the crowd called for them to come into their view, that they might see the sword penetrate into their body, they rose up of their own accord, and moved to where the people wished; but they first kissed one another, that they might consummate their martyrdom with the kiss of peace. (from the account of two Christian martyrs thrown to the lions, The Passion of the Holy Martyrs Perpetua and Felicitas, c. 205)
Cyprian to Sergius and Rogatianus, and the rest of the confessors in the Lord, everlasting health. I salute you, dearest and most blessed brethren, myself also desiring to enjoy the sight of you, if the state in which I am placed would permit me to come to you... What more pleasant and sublime than now to kiss your lips, which with a glorious voice have confessed the Lord, to be looked upon even in presence by your eyes, which, despising the world, have become worthy of looking upon God? But since opportunity is not afforded me to share in this joy, I send this letter in my stead... (Cyprian, Epistle LXXX, c. 250)
All of a sudden, Archelaus appeared among them and embraced Diodorus, greeting him with a holy kiss. (Disputation of Archelaus and Manes, early church document c. 320)
The Kiss In The Time Of Jesus And The Early Church
The first thing one needs to understand when looking at the use of the kiss in New Testament times is that Jews were largely isolated from the Roman culture around them due to their religion. Roman pagan practices were tightly integrated with state & civic functions, festivals, entertainment and daily life for the Roman Empire, so their influence was great. Jews alone in the Roman Empire were exempted from the general pagan worship practices of Rome and therefore escaped much of their influence. Jews were allowed to elect most of their own leaders (for example, in the Sanhedrin), to maintain their own religious institutions and to follow their own religious laws. This status made them the object of derision and suspicion among some in the Roman Empire, but most Roman leaders recognized that allowing them this privilege would make them much easier to govern; it was a practical decision. This is not to say that the Jews were not at all influenced by Roman ideas. They could not help but be influenced, but it was largely in the secular realm. However, overall, the influence was minimal; their strong religious tradition insulated them a great deal from the culture around them. Let's take a look at the practice of kissing in both cultures.
Jewish Kisses: The Jewish rabbis of the day recognized three types of kisses among adult non-family members; the first was the introductory greeting kiss, the second was the farewell greeting kiss and the last was a kiss of respect or veneration.12 An example of the kiss of respect would be when the woman in the Pharisee's house kissed the feet of Jesus (Luke 7:45). A kiss of respect would occur when a person of lesser social stature kissed someone of greater social stature. Jesus referred to the kiss of greeting when talking to Simon regarding the incident in the Pharisee's house (Luke 7:45) and of course, Judas used his infamous kiss of greeting (or perhaps it was meant as a kiss of respect) to reveal Jesus to His captors. There are no examples of a farewell kiss in the New Testament, but there is little doubt that they were practiced, introductory and farewell greetings are of the same substance, like our modern handshake with either a "Hello" or a "Goodbye."
Roman Kisses: Since all of the epistles, except one, where we are commanded to use the holy kiss are addressed specifically to churches outside of Judea (i.e., largely Gentile churches), we need to consider the use of the kiss in greater Roman society. The early Romans recognized four different types of kisses, the friendly kiss or kiss of greeting (oscula), the kiss of love (basia) and the passionate kiss (suavia) and the kiss of respect or veneration.12 The friendly kiss was basically a kiss of greeting and it was only used between those of the same sex. The kiss of love was generally limited to kisses between family members (between a mother and child, for instance). The passionate kiss was one with sexual overtones and between a man and a woman (unless it involved homosexuals). The kiss of respect was comprised of a person of lower social status kissing the hands or feet (but not the face) of someone of higher social status. Interestingly, the practice of kissing the hands has continued to this very day in some cultures, though its meaning has changed somewhat over the centuries.
However, according to the ancient Roman author Marcus Valerius Martial (c. 40-102 A.D.), the kiss of greeting was a recent innovation and a fad of sorts in the early Roman empire.14 It consisted of a kiss on the lips. It would appear that this practice became repugnant to the upper classes because they were reluctant to kiss commoners. According to the Roman historian Suetonius (c. 69-140 A.D.), the end result of this was that the Emperor Tiberius banned anyone from using the "cotidiana oscula," that is, the friendly kiss of greeting.15 Tiberius reigned from 14 A.D. to 37 A.D., which means he was in control of the Roman Empire during the ministry of Jesus and when the first Christian churches were being formed. So it is reasonable to assume that kiss of greeting was practiced very little, if at all during the this time in the Roman Empire (though Jerusalem was probably largely unaffected by this ruling because of their isolation).
The passionate kiss was not to be done in public, or even in the view of one's servants in Roman society. In fact, the Roman senator Manilus was demoted from his position because he had been seen kissing his wife in public!16 Such public displays were considered disgusting. Some Roman lawyers thought that if a woman was kissed by a stranger, even if against her will, she had committed adultery! This was due in part because a kiss between a man and woman made their marriage contract legally binding in Roman society.19 A kiss was a powerful thing in this society!
From this we can conclude two things. First, that a kiss of greeting between adults of the same sex was not socially acceptable in contemporary Roman culture (because of Tiberius's ruling on the matter). And second, that a kiss of greeting between adult members of the opposite sex was even less acceptable, because of the sexual connotations in the society. Intersex kissing was only acceptable between a child and a parent or married couples, (if done in complete privacy).
One of the most popular Roman pagan rumors about the Christians was that they practiced cannibalism! This most likely originated from their misunderstanding of the communion ceremony where eating of and drinking of blood and flesh are mentioned (1 Corinthians 11:24-25, Matthew 26:27-28, etc.). Also, the pagans believed that all Christians had incestuous relationships!9 Where did this strange idea come from? No doubt, word got out that in Christian churches, adult men and women kissed each other on the lips, greeting one another with the words, "brother" or "sister." In other words, the ignorant Romans assumed that biological brothers and sisters were exchanging "passionate" kisses and had the audacity to do it in front of everyone else in the church! The practice had become quite scandalous!13
This contemporary social environment goes a long way to explain why the Gentile churches of Corinth, Galatia and Rome had to be instructed on five different occasions (that we are aware of) to practice the holy kiss. After all, if the kiss was as common as a handshake as many suggest, it should be second nature to them! If you belong to a church that does not practice the holy kiss, think for a minute how likely it would be to be admonished by your pastor to shake hands with your fellow sisters and brothers in the church. It would be extremely unlikely as greeting with a handshake is an ingrained part of our contemporary culture. It would be akin to reminding you to say "Hello" instead of "Who are you?" or some other greeting when you answer the telephone--how ridiculous would that be! Therefore, it stands to reason that Paul had to remind them because the greeting of a kiss was not a part of their culture. Furthermore, we have records of the early church fathers also reminding their congregations to practice the holy kiss--would this really be necessary if it were as common as the handshake or "hello" of our day?
Was There Kissing Between The Sexes?
It would appear from early church documents that intersex kissing was practiced, as least in the western regions of the Roman Empire. Also it was apparently fairly common at their so-called love feasts (a practice believed to be abolished by Apostle Paul, see 1 Corinthians 11:19-22).13
And we know that the early church father Athenagoras warned about entertaining sexual thoughts while practicing the holy kiss in church (and it is most likely he was referring to heterosexual temptations, not homosexual ones). Clement was worried that the practice of the holy kiss was fueling rumors, probably the rumors about incest mentioned above. Both Athenagoras and Clement were in Alexandria.
For the word again says to us, "If anyone kisses a second time it has given him pleasure [he sins]." He also adds, "Therefore the kiss, or rather the salutation, should be given with the greatest care, since if there are mixed with it the least defilement of thought it excludes us from eternal life." (Athenagoras, in an document addressed to the pagans, defending the use of the holy kiss in the church, c. 175).
But there are those who do nothing but make the churches resound with a kiss, not having love itself within. This very thing, the shameless use of a kiss . . . causes foul suspicions and evil rumors. The apostle calls the kiss holy. (Clement of Alexandria, c. 195)
However, from second century church documents of the Eastern church fathers, we can see that intersex kissing was explicitly discouraged as men in the church were instructed to only kiss men and women to kiss only women (see quotes below). That these church fathers had to explicitly explain that kissing was to be between the same sex only may possibly indicate that intersex kissing had been practiced earlier in the East as well. However, later church documents clearly show that same-sex kissing had become the only accepted way to practice the holy kiss in the Christian church.
The Bible does not specify whether there was to be kissing between the sexes or not, however it is probably safe to assume from Paul's warnings about bodily contact between men and women of the church (1 Corinthians 7:1) that intersex kissing was not intended to be part of the holy kiss. And no doubt, the wild rumors and resulting persecution from intersex kissing may have spurred the church to evaluate the way they practiced the holy kiss in the light of the Scriptures.
Then let the men apart, and the women apart, salute each other with a kiss in the Lord. (Justin Martyr, c. 160)
Then let the men give the men and the women give the women the Lord's kiss. But let no one do it with deceit, as Judas betrayed the Lord. (Apostolic Constitutions, compiled c. 390 from older sources)
And let the bishop greet the church, and say, The peace of God be with you all. And let the people answer, And with thy spirit; and let the deacon say to all, Greet you one another with the holy kiss. And let the clergy greet the bishop, the men of the laity greet the men, the women, the women. (Apostolic Constitutions, Book VIII, compiled c. 390 from older sources)
The Decline And Revival Of The Holy Kiss
Sadly, in the Middle Ages, the practice of the holy kiss was gradually relegated to a few special ceremonies, generally only amongst the clergy. Eventually it disappeared altogether.18 The decline in the practice paralleled the elevation of the clergy above the laity in the Roman Catholic Church (amongst many other heretical practices that took hold at about this time; click on "History" above for more details of the decline of the Christian church). For example, it became common practice for the laity and lesser clergy to kiss the feet and gold rings of bishops and of the pope as a sign of servitude---in stark contrast to the holy kiss shared equally between the laity and clergy in the earlier church. Also, the laity were encouraged to kiss the cross and pictures and statues of Mary and the saints.17 These practices have continued to this day into the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches.
The use of the holy kiss as specified in the Bible was renewed by some of the pre-Reformation groups such as the Albigenses and Waldenses in the 1100's. H. J. Warner gives an interesting account of a person who had left the Roman Catholic church and joined the Albigenses. Following the rite of baptism and the laying on of hands he states, "All then [they] place their hands on his head, and kiss him, and from that hour he is one of them."6
However, it was not until the Swiss Reformation in the early sixteenth century that a sustained revival of the holy kiss returned to Christian churches on a large scale. It was most widely practiced in one Reformation group--the Anabaptists. The Anabaptists were the only Protestant Reformation group that had dared to sweep away all of the centuries of Roman Catholic traditions, papal pronouncements and Catholic teachings and put their total trust in the Bible (which was extremely radical at the time). They saw that the Bible commanded Christians to practice this and there is some evidence that their scholars were aware that it had also been practiced by the early church as well.
Many interesting and heartwarming accounts are given on how Anabaptist martyrs had practiced the holy kiss. For instance, in Martyr's Mirror an account is given of an incident that took place in 1546 in Styria, a province of Austria, among a group of Anabaptists:
They were led in iron chains through Styria and delivered into the bailey at Vienna, to the jailer who said, "Come, I will bring you to a vault where are others of your brethren". When they met, they embraced and kissed each other and praised the Lord."7
In the same book, reference is made to a group of believers facing execution in 1528 at Bruck, on the Mur, Styria.
A circle having been formed, they all knelt down to pray. Then they arose and submitted to the sword. The youngest of them all entreated his brethren that they should let him suffer first. He then kissed them and said, God bless you my beloved brethren; today, we shall all be together in Paradise.8
However, most of the Protestant reformers followed the lead of the Roman Catholic Church from which they originated and ignored the scriptures regarding the holy kiss and did not reinstitute the practice. Unfortunately, most newer Protestant denominations have blindly followed the lead of these reformers.
One exception was the early Baptists. Their practice of the holy kiss (as well as their practice of adult baptism) most likely had its origins in their founder's early contacts with European Anabaptists and of course, the many verses in Scripture which endorse the practice (some recent revisionist Baptist historians have tried to avow any early Baptist association with Anabaptists--despite clear evidence to the contrary--because they find the idea of having anything to do with Anabaptists repugnant, but that is a story for another article).
When the Baptists came to America, they flourished, but they were not looked on very fondly by the Anglicans who hoped to extend the power and predominance of the Church of England to the New World (a hope which did not die until after America gained its independence, at which time the American Anglican churches renamed themselves "Episcopalian" to demonstrate their denomination's independence from England). American Anglican Bishop Charles Woodmason (1720-1776) could not conceal his contempt for this radical religious group with their adult baptisms and their "calls [to repentance], convictions, conversion" and "what they call their love feasts and kiss of charity."21 We are not aware of any Baptist group still practicing the holy kiss today and few Baptists even know that the holy kiss was a Baptist church belief and practice that their denomination held dear in its early years. Sadly, other than the Apostolic Christian Church and a number of other conservative Anabaptist denominations, there are only a handful of denominations (most of them very small) that practice the holy kiss today.
The Holy Kiss For Today Or Just An Old Custom?
Over the years various arguments have been advanced to justify eliminating the holy kiss and replacing it with a handshake or even a hug or dispensing with a Christian greeting altogether. Of course, the real motive behind those who want to do away with the holy kiss is not that the they are convinced that the Scriptures forbid the practice of greeting with a holy kiss, but that the kiss is not a socially acceptable or politically correct greeting. In other words, they find the holy kiss embarrassing; to practice it would force them to look conspicuous for the purpose of devotion to Christ and brotherly love--it is a price they are not willing to pay. So many arguments have been conjured up to enable many denominations to quickly rationalize the holy kiss away.
Amazingly, this line of thinking has even found its way into some of our English Bibles! Specifically, authors of some paraphrased versions of the Bible have chosen to replace the words "holy kiss" in their versions of the Bible with the words "handshake" or "hug" (if you don't find the holy kiss in your Bible, that's why). It is a terrible thing that authors of these Bible versions found some words in the original Scriptures so offensive that they resorted to substituting "less offensive" words. It should make you wonder what else they have censored out of their "Bibles" for your "benefit." Thankfully, the better translations like the KJV, NKJV, NASB and even the NIV stayed true to the Greek of the New Testament Scriptures (the New Testament was written in Greek).
The most common argument for not practicing the holy kiss is that the holy kiss was only a social custom at the time of the Apostles and since our modern culture no longer practices this custom, the Biblical directives regarding the holy kiss do not apply. And if one looks up "holy kiss" in the typical Christian encyclopedia, if it appears at all, you will probably find a mention of the Jewish practice of greeting with a kiss and the implication that this is an obsolete custom not to be practiced in modern times. But never will you find any substantial supporting evidence given for that position and for good reason: there isn't any! Let's look at three reasons why Christians should continue to practice the holy kiss.
First: While we know that a kiss of greeting was practiced in Jewish cultures, it was most likely not practiced in the greater Roman Empire, in fact, there was an imperial edict against the practice! And let us not forget that all but one of the Biblical letters encouraging the practice of the holy kiss were written exclusively to churches outside of Jerusalem. Therefore, we know that Paul was encouraging these churches to do something which was contrary to their own culture and even against the law! Paul was very familiar with their culture because he lived in these areas for months and even years, so he knew of the raised eyebrows and hardship that the practice of the holy kiss might bring to those who practiced it.
So why would Paul instruct the early Gentile churches to practice the holy kiss at such great cost? It is very unlikely that Paul was trying to force a Jewish custom on those who lived outside of Judea and who were not Jewish. After all, let's not forget that Paul was the one who was trying to free the Gentiles from the Jewish customs of the Pharisees and from the Jewish Law, he would not want them encumbered with yet another Jewish custom!
And we know that the holy kiss was most likely responsible for vicious rumors which led, in part, to the severe persecution and death of many early Christians. Yet even this did not cause the early Christians to abandon the practice of the holy kiss! If the holy kiss were only regarded as an old Jewish custom, wouldn't they have quit observing it? It is only reasonable to conclude that the holy kiss was not just a Jewish social custom, but something of much greater importance.
Second: We need to remember that the holy kiss is called holy. The word "holy" here comes from the Greek word "hagios," literally meaning "set apart" from that which is common according to Strong's Concordance. This is the very same "holy" found in the "Holy Spirit" (or Holy Ghost) in the Bible. Does anyone believe that the Holy Spirit is just any old spirit? Let's hope not, for blaspheming the Holy Spirit is the one unforgivable sin! This is also the same "holy" found in "Holy Father"--meaning God (John 17:11) in Jesus's prayer on Mount Gethsemane just before His crucifixion. And this is the same "holy" as we shall appear before God if we remain true and faithful to Christ (Colossians 1:21-23). This word appears over 200 times in the New Testament and not once is it used to define something common or less than holy.
The holy kiss is called just that to separate it from the ordinary, common kiss. It has special, godly, significance and that is why the Gentiles were instructed to practice the holy kiss, even when such kissing broke more than one cultural taboo! We should not take things the Bible calls "holy" lightly, they are called holy for a reason!
Third: The fact that a the kiss of greeting and a kiss of solidarity between those of the same religious group was practiced in Jewish culture in Biblical times does not make the holy kiss any less holy. Baptism was also a part of Jewish culture, Jews would regularly ceremonially bath in observance of the Law and also as an initiation into a religious group. Baptism was a practice that was much less common than kissing in the ancient world, yet few would suggest that we throw out the practice of baptism because of its cultural origins! We know that baptism has a special significance of its own for Christians.
There can be no doubt that communion has its origins in the Jewish observation of Passover. But obviously, Jesus changed the significance of this meal to something that the Jews of His time would not identify with. Yet we do not know of a single denomination that has thrown out communion because it has Jewish origins! The holy kiss is no different. We know that the greeting of the kiss was practiced between Jesus and His disciples. The Apostle Peter instructed both Gentile and Jewish churches alike to practice it. The churches practiced it because it had a special religious significance to them, it was no ordinary greeting, but a holy one.
To avoid the holy kiss because it is not politically-correct, or socially acceptable means that we place more importance on pleasing men than pleasing God. Jesus made it perfectly clear that we should not place the approval of man before the approval of God. And to assert that a handshake or hug may be substituted for the holy kiss is adding to the Word of God.
The Holy Kiss In The Apostolic Christian Church
The holy kiss has been practiced since the beginning of the denomination, which is not surprising considering that the majority of its beliefs and practices are of Anabaptist origins. The founder of the denomination, Samuel H. Froehlich, wrote in 1846, "This holy kiss is known as a holy kiss, that it may be set apart from that of common usage, as a holy thing, and also that it may not degenerate into a lifeless form."10 Later in 1856 he wrote, "This spiritual union and holy fellowship (among believers) finds expression in the brotherly kiss, if this kiss truly be the expression of brotherly love."11 By the mid-nineteenth century the church came to America, where the practice of the holy kiss continued. At no point was there ever any inclination to abandon the use of the holy kiss because the church could see that the Bible clearly commanded that Christians should practice it.
The holy kiss is used discreetly only between fellow Apostolic Christians of the same sex (a handshake is used when greeting the opposite sex or non-members) and generally only in church settings or at their homes when they entertain other Apostolic Christian Church members. And in case you are wondering, it is quite permissible for church members to temporarily excuse themselves from using the holy kiss if they are suffering from a possible contagious illness, such as a cold or sore throat.
While it is perfectly natural and not uncommon for new converts to have some trepidation about beginning the practice of the holy kiss because of the widespread ignorance in the Western world about this Biblical practice, all agree that it soon becomes a very natural and valued part of their Christian faith and practice. Experience has taught us that truly converted people, those who have fallen upon the Rock and been broken, who have repented of their sins and been converted and are living sanctified lives do not find the holy kiss an unbearable burden, but rather count it as a privilege.
Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another. (Romans 12:10)
Unfortunately, in today's society much has been lost because the kiss has come to be seen chiefly as expression of erotic love. However, clearly it is still used as an expression of a much deeper love in some instances, for example, when a mother or father kisses their young child. This is not unlike the deep, brotherly, Christian love between Christian brothers and sisters in the church; the kind of love that was present in the time of the Apostles and that should be present in any church of truly converted believers according to the Scriptures. A kiss is a perfectly understandable expression of this kind of love and also of Christian unity, the unity of the body of Christ. It is perfectly understandable why Jesus and the Apostles and the early Christian church used the holy kiss as their form of greeting. Indeed, Peter calls the holy kiss a kiss of love and reminds the church to use it as their greeting (1 Peter 5:14).
The holy kiss has been practiced for over 160 years in the Apostolic Christian Church, and despite the fact that most denominations no longer abide by this Biblical directive, it is still considered essential and a wonderful blessing for all members of the church. The Apostolic Christian Church, with a sharp eye on Scriptures, is intent on retaining this Biblical practice. The church realizes it has no authority to casually dismiss a Biblical directive. Do you love Christ enough to use His greeting of love and Christian unity? It is something to think about.
1 The Encyclopedia of the Lutheran Church: "Since the time of St. Augustine, it was only the communicants who exchanged the kiss, a custom prevailing until the 13th Century".
2 The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge: "In Western Christendom the kiss of peace continued to be observed until the waning period of the Middle Ages, though it is open to question to what extent and in what particular forms"
3 The Dictionary of Christian Antiquities, page 902: "The kiss, the instinctive token of amity and affection from the earliest times, found a place in the life and worship of the Christian church. The symbol of peace and love could nowhere find a more appropriate home, in its highest and purest ideal, than in the religion of peace and love.'
4 Love in the New Testament; James Moffat, pages 245-246, "The holy kiss was exchanged by primitive Christians who felt they were members of a real family. The naive consciousness of belonging to the household of faith led them to adopt this practice of kissing one another. Paul's term for it is a holy kiss, distinguishing it as a sacred kiss from the oriental kiss of courtesy. This practice prevailed long in worship. Tertullian observes at the end of the second century that no prayer was complete apart from the kiss that followed in the congregation".
5 Daily Life In Palestine At The Time Of Christ, 1962, Henri Daniel-Rops, English translation by Weidenfeld & Nicolson, page 308.
6 The Albigenesian Heresy; Volume I., H. J. Warner, page 67.
7 Martyrs' Mirror, Thieleman J. van Braght, Herald Press, pages 473-474.
8 Martyrs' Mirror, page 429.
9 Defending The Cannibals, 1998, J. David Cassel; Christian History Magazine, Volume XVII, No. 1, pages 12-17.
10 Individual Letters and Meditations From the Legacy of S. H. Froehlich; Apostolic Christian Publishing Co. (Nazarene), page 45.
11 Ibid, page 51.
12 The Kiss And its History, 1901, Dr. Christopher Nyrop, (reissued in 1968), pages 8, 144.
13 Ibid, page 103
14 Ibid, pages 145-147
15 Ibid, page 148
16 Ibid, page 56
17 Ibid, pages 104-105, 118
18 Ibid, pages 106
19 Ibid, pages 161-162
20 Ibid, page 150
21 Quoted in The Religious History Of America: Revised Edition, 2002, Edwin S. Gaustad & Leigh E. Schmidt, pages 107-108.
Note: Some parts of this document were adapted from The Holy Kiss: Apostolic Christian Church Practices Bible Study Series