Many people know that there are four Greek words for love (e.g.
Did God love Moses more than Miriam and Aaron which is why He spoke face to face with Moses but not with his brother or sister? It is my impression that the church in general—and perhaps the most studious of us in particular—put too much weight on looking up Bible words and not enough weight on reading Bible sentences in their contexts. If you enjoy our Hebrew Word Studies please “LIKE” us on FaceBook….Thank You! On this view the question of what language the imaginary conversation took place in is not relevant. Salvation is not just about getting saved and going to heaven, it is about completing the love that God has for us, bringing that joy and celebration to the heart of God that has been. The Gospel of John tells us: For this is how God loved the world: he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life ( John 3:16 ) . His value consists simply in the fact that God loves him. Nearly any controversial position is controversial precisely because accredited people hold to opposing viewpoints. To learn more, see our tips on writing great answers. To this end, Carson does not argue in his editorial in the Pillar New Testament Commentary from the vantage point of discourse but rather from the vantage point of vocabulary, as you have done, my Brother! My concern, actually, is not so much whether or not Jesus intended any difference between the verbs here. There isn’t a pattern in John, or in the New Testament, of noticeable difference between ἀγαπάω and φιλέω—so what’s the difference here? Perhaps he had not truly loved Him at all; but at any rate he was definitely His friend who cared passionately about Him, and there was great work for him still to do for Jesus. What version of the bible do Greek speaking Christians use? AGAPE – GREEK WORD FOR LOVE. I’ve said it before but I am so very glad that our Beloved pointed me to your writings. It is not unusual to use synonyms for purely stylistic reasons. John 14:6-11 and John 17. That is the view of some who reject the Resurrection as a literal event. . 200–201). I have been thinking how to love Him with my mind! I stand in an Augustinian tradition which views Nygren’s position as problematic. Hey Mark, Hence, when it is said that God loves man, this is not a judgment on what man is like, but on what God is like.” Agape is not “conditioned by the worthiness of its object.” Instead. But I want to question these common assertions, give you a liberating tip for using Greek in your Bible study (whether you know Greek or not), and then apply that tip to one passage in which the meaning of agape figures prominently. Another observation, “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” The denotative meaning of words is synthetic until placed within the organic “sitz im liben” of sentences, paragraphs, and extended discourse. Additionally, my assertion was “…there are grammarians of greater experience and noteworthiness than someone, SUCH AS MYSELF, who hold to the intentional view.” I didn’t want to objectify anyone, so I used myself as the referent. I do it all the time—and if you’re curious as to what I think “love” really means, I actually believe the standard Greek dictionary (BDAG) defines it pretty well if you put senses one and two together: “to have a warm regard for and interest in another; to have high esteem for or satisfaction with something, cherish, have affection for, love, take pleasure in.” (citation).
It is the tracing of these connecting points in the syntax of a passage that is so vital in constructing sermons that reflect the original authority of the word of God. The first use of ἀγαπάω in John is in 3:16: God loves the world so much that he gives his one and only Son. People who can read the Bible only in English can still know what love is. But I do not believe this is what Christian love in the New Testament is. There’s a broader, theological reason that this discussion is significant; and that is that the difference between the two verbs is very commonly taken to be that one (φιλέω) is emotional and therefore inferior, and the other (ἀγαπάω) is non-emotional, willed, self-sacrificial, “spontaneous and creative of value.” Beyond the fact that Koine usage in and outside the NT doesn’t fit this view (in my opinion), my concern is that if this is the kind of love we are called to have for our neighbors—and for God—we are actually lowering the bar set by the New Testament. We can all choose to do what is best for our neighbors regardless of how we feel about them. “The Four Loves” by C.S.Lewis): eros (commonly understood as a kind of physical/sensual love); storge (affection or heartily kind of love); philea (friendship or emotional kind of love) and agape(sacrificial or spiritual love).