Re: Synonyms in John 21 etc.

From: Dale M. Wheeler (
Date: Mon Jun 24 1996 - 14:09:01 EDT

Don Wilkins wrote:

>Dale drew attention to the comments of Carson and Silva and very subtly and
>kindly suggested that their views are to be preferred to mine, if I read him
>correctly. There would be no shame in being rejected for the views of the
>best of scholars and gentlemen.

Actually Don, I must confess red-faced that I hadn't read your post; I didn't
realize how extensive this thread was, since I had just transfered several
recent bgreeks to a mailbox to be read later, and had forgotten that I'd done
that. All I was referring to was Eric post, since he seemed to be unaware of
the synonymous views and where they come from. Carson's comments are really
an abridged version of the info in Silva's book, which has the documentation
for his conclusions; thus the appearance of superficiality in Carson (knowing
Carson, the book was originally 500+ pages, but the publisher wanted something
he could sell quickly to a larger market; btw, a new edition of "Fallacies" is
underway, in which Don admits to more of his own fallacies, as I understand
My tacit rejection of the "other" views had to do with earlier written works
which tried to draw a distinction between the two words.

Having read your post, I think the point to be wrestled with is whether by
the 1st century the semantic ranges of FILEW and AGAPAW have been so squeezed
in Koine, that distinction has become virtually impossible in a context like
John 21. The contextual argument, it seems to me, only holds weight if the
words can bear the distinct meanings within the language at that point in
history [now if we just had a native 1st cent Koine speaker here we could
resolve this thing once and for all ! :-) ]. This, I believe, is the point
being made by Silva, and those he cites. If that argument is wrong, then
John 21 is certainly open again for evaluation. BTW, the references cited
by Mike Holmes may or may not be germane to the discussion of synonymy in
John 21, since they have different objects, albeit they show some interesting
variety in the usage of these two verbs.

Dale M. Wheeler, Th.D.
Research Professor in Biblical Languages Multnomah Bible College
8435 NE Glisan Street Portland, OR 97220
Voice: 503-251-6416 FAX:503-254-1268 E-Mail:

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