Re: Synonyms in John 21 etc.

Date: Fri Jun 21 1996 - 20:29:01 EDT

>> Perhaps the best distinction (to add to DWilkens noted
     distinctions) is that agapaw is based on principles more than philew.
     Those principles may be selfish (Matt 5:46) or unselfish (Matt 5:44).
     But principled nonetheless. Agape may or may not include
     I forgot the application to John 21, but here's a suggested
     application for John 21:15,17 to add to Don Wilken's distinction.
     Jesus asked Peter "agapas me more than these?" Peter was a
     fisherman. Fish ("these") represented income, a career. But Peter
     may not have been particularly fond of or affectionate towards fish
     in themselves. Jesus may have been implying to Peter, "Do you love
     me more than your job? Your career?" These were principles involving
     sacrifice in "following" Jesus. Jesus may have been cautioning Peter
     to not return and focus on his previous "career," but instead to now
     devote his life to "following me," as he had been doing while Jesus
     was with him. Thus agapaw would be more appropriate than philew in
     this particular context. Peter had affection for Jesus, but that
     affection was not the focus of the use of agape here.
     This principled agape may be illustrated in English when a person
     says: "I love my country and will die for it." The individual holds
     to patriotic principles and may not be fond of wanting to die and may
     or may not be particularly fond of the country's leaders or other
     things about the country. This love is different than "I love my
     friend," or "I love chocolate."
     "Fileis me?" probably needs no additional commentary than what is
     already stated in this thread. A possible translation is:
     "Do you have affection for me?"
     Wes Williams

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