Re: Synonymy in John 21

(Sorry for being slow in responding to this thread--I've been busy :-).

I would like to differ with my betters about John 21 and Synonymy (add
Louw-Nida to the list of people who see synonymy here). I am completely
unconvinced that John sees no distinction between these words. I think that
the previous upper room discourse helps to define these words and agapaw is
being defined as an action verb in john's story. Since Peter has failed in
his actions, he thus cannot bear to use that word back to Jesus, etc. If
there is just synonmy, what is the point of the dialog?

>In addition, if this account is understood to be based on a real event, 
>it should be noted that the original conversation would have been in 
>Aramaic rather than Greek, and that all the variations, including the 
>distinction of phileo and agapao, are devices of the writer, not of the 
>original speakers.

I don't think it matters what the source material was. I think you have to
deal with the story as it stands. And my opinion, contra my betters, is that
you misunderstand the author if you do not see a dinstinction between the
words here.

-John Baima