Synonomy in John 21

    While I tend to agre that there is probably no significance in the

alteration of agapao and phileo, I would add my two cents (probably less to 
some) that there is good evidence that Jesus would have been conversant
in Greek and spoken in Greek on multiple occasions.  Whether JOhn 21 
rrepresents such an occurence is of course impossible to tell.  In most
any situation, it is a toss up bwtween saying Jesus spoke Aramaic that is
translated into Greek in the Gospel text and saying he spoke in Greek
influenced by a Semitic language.  If Jesus did in fact speak in Greek on
this occasion (and I am not mounting that argument as I don't think there
is good evidence either way), these two verbs coould be deliberate choices.
On the other hand, given that the author of John is probably also the
author of 1st John, and in 1st John 2 the author uses agape to refer to 
loving the world, and he certainly doesn't mean agape in the "devotional"
sense commonly given it, even a delierate choice on the original speaker's part
may not have the devotional connotation we would like it to have (you do have 
to admit, it is a nice thought devotionally, even if it isn't correct and 
should therefore not be taught).

Ken Litwak