(I understand that questions about Greek are on topic here, apologies if this doesn't cover Koine Greek.)

I'm wondering how to translate the following:

Ό του Χριστου σταυρος φιλος ανθρωποις

My translation is:

The cross of Christ is the love of men.

But I hesitate to say I'm correct because I can't see the word for "is" (εστιν) anywhere in the Greek. Also the sentence just sounds silly in general.

If my translation is correct, why is it that I can get away without writing "εστιν"?

  • 6
    In both Greek and Latin you can usually leave out your copulas (forms of eimi/esse) when they're inferrable from context
    – Draconis
    Mar 30, 2017 at 23:10

1 Answer 1


Indeed, you can leave out the verb "to be" in both Latin and Greek. But I have one issue with your translation.

φίλος is not a noun meaning "love". It is either an adjective meaning "dear" (or "beloved") or a substantive meaning "friend". The noun meaning "love" would be φιλία. (Keep in mind there are many words for love, each having its own nuance.)

There's more than one way to translate it, but I might go with this.

The cross of Christ is dear to men.

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