Abarim Publications' online Biblical Greek Dictionary
The adverb πλησιον (plesion) means near or close and, when used substantially, is commonly translated with neighbor; not merely the person who lives next door but anybody who is in anyway close (locally but also in conviction or economic interests; anyone in whom we hold stake). The idea behind the command to "love your neighbor" is not simply a humanistic ideal but a very practical appeal to the strength of one's social network.
Our adverb stems from the unused adverb πελας (pelas), nearby, which in turn stems from the same Proto-Indo-European root "pelh-", to approach, from which Latin gets words like appello, compello and interpello, and hence English appeal, compel and interpellate.
Our adverb πλησιον (plesion), near or neighbor, is used 16 times in the New Testament, see full concordance, and from it comes:
- Together with the preposition παρα (para), meaning near or nearby: the adverb παραπλησιοσ (paraplesios) , meaning coming alongside of, becoming nearly equal to (Philippians 2:27 only). From this word in turn comes:
- The adverb παραπλησιως (paraplesios), meaning in a similar but not quite equal way (Hebrews 2:14 only).