Kiss - "to touch with the lips." The touching of the lips is a gesture of affection or homage. When mentioned in the bible "kiss"or "kissing" is usually devoid of any erotic content. The Old Testament speaks of the "kiss" most often in the context of family. For example, children kissed their father, men kissed their children and grandchildren. Instances of brothers greeting one another with a kiss are recorded. We have records of women kissing their daughter-in-laws, and a man kissing his son-in-law.
The kiss was used in some pagan worship ceremonies. These kisses were prevalent when idols were kissed in worship. Some idolaters as a part of worship "threw kisses" to the moon. There are recorded in the Old Testament ceremonial kisses of a new king.
Kissing in the New Testament was similar to that of the Old Testament. The father in the story of the Prodigal Son embraced and kissed his son. The sinful woman who had been forgiven of her sins by Jesus kissed his feet. Jewish practices included placing a hand on an guest's shoulder then giving the guest the "kiss of peace." When Paul was traveling to Jerusalem and had called the Elders of the Ephesian church the bible tells us that they wept, embraced, and kissed Paul.
We do have examples recorded in the bible of diabolical kisses. These have been called "kisses" of the enemy. Of course the most infamous kiss is the kiss of Judas when he betrayed his friend and master for 30 pieces of silver.
For what it may be worth, the only mention of the erotic aspects of kissing are mentioned in the Old Testament. These types of kisses are connected to the seductive kiss of "the immoral woman" in Proverbs. (Now, for the record, the Old or New Testament does not prohibit or "frown on" the romantic kisses of a man and his wife. Those examples are simply not recorded other than in veiled references.)
There are references in the New Testament that would have believers greeting one another with a holy kiss. We find these references in Romans 16:16; I Corinthians 16:20, II Corinthians 13:12, I Thessalonians 5:26. The early church expressed the intimate fellowship of the redeemed community of believers. It is interesting to note, at least to me, that this practice was "highly regulated" in the churches lest improper behavior would occur. Men greeted men with kisses and women greeted women with kisses. This kiss was known as the "kiss of peace."
The earliest reference that we have to this "kiss" is in Justin's Apologies. He makes this notation, "when we have ceased from our prayers, we greet one another with a kiss." Tertullian spoke of the "holy kiss which is a sign of peace" and asked, "if whether any prayer could be complete separate from the holy kisses."
According to E. G. Selwyn, "by the middle of the second century it was in regular use in the liturgy at the conclusion of the prayers and immediately before the offertory." When the time of corporate prayer ended and as hands reached for the wallet to give in the offering, members of the church would wander around greeting one another with a "holy kiss of peace." We seem to have replaced the kiss portion of our liturgy with the "let's greet one another and shake hands" portion of the service.
Clement of Alexandria wrote, "Love is judged not in a kiss but in good will. Some do nothing but fill the Churches with noise of kissing."
Seems that many members would offer "kisses of peace" and then "live like the devil the rest of the week." In other words, like other parts of the service, even early church members played the hypocrite.
Clement seemed to be saying you can hear the church filled with the sound of a holy kiss of peace and all the while we are fighting and devouring one another. Eventually the practice of the "holy kiss" or the "kiss of peace" died out in the 13th century. Now we greet one another with a smile and handshake. Is that enough?