Re: AGAPW, FILW: etymologies - Was: What language(s) did Jesus

From: Isidoros (
Date: Wed Feb 12 1997 - 23:00:26 EST

Walt McFall wrote:

>Hi David,
>Just a note here. I have often heard many (well intentioned)
>preachers claim that the word AGAPh *really* means a
>"God-type of Love". This makes me cringe...

Dear Walt,

Please, let go of the odontic sphinctiirae. Tightening of teeth has more
appropriate usages than this. Peace. Preachers can be victims as anyone
else to the religious paraxosm of the GRAPHAI whenever translated,
and especially when there is a desperate need to believe, or to proclaim
belief in, goodness.

>In 2 Sam 13 (LXX) both AGAPAO and AGAPh refer to Amnon's
>love (which included his incestuous *rape*) of his half sister Tamar !
>Also, in 2Tim 4:10 Demas forsook Paul because he *loved* (AGAPAO)
>this present, evil world !

On the other hand; regarding the first example, to read myth as fact,
to stay at the common level of "letter," is just as great an error
(an AMARTIA, in this case, indeed-- and I do not mean "sin") if not
one greater. That is "bas-ic" level. There layers of semantics to be
*catechein* here that, I see, you are not even suspecting.

Regarding your second example: I'd say, better read 2 Tim 4:10 again.


(Tip-tip: Paul does not speak "straight" in this passage. Somewhat
despodent, as he may be, and near the end of life, taking stock of
the whole of condition he lets show to his AGAPHTO TEKNO Timothy
some of the bad straights he is in, his purpose there being to
get him to "rush" near him. Eo he paints the scene blue. Everybody's
left him--Kriiskiis to Galatia, Titos to Dalmatia, even... Diimas,
AGAPHSAS... TON NYN... AIWNA. (ho, ho, ho, that is a schema oxymoron,
if there is ever one! "Loved," hmm, maybe, but certainly in context of
this interjected antiphasis, it is meant to be read upside-down.
It is still love in the proper active sense, of engaging in order to
take to the higher level, but here is, too, irony; there is a play
here with NYN AIWNA, "Hey, Tim, look, he says, "down" to the cosmic
Thessalonikii chose to go our dear boy; he let me down, opting to serve
the eternity of... nothingness." [And I do not mean here "nothingnes" in
the sense that Mahayana Buddhism, as well as certain Vedic, Homeric,
Platonic and Neoplatonic, as well as modern, texts use it] There is a
play to mitigate for the slight pain. A self-addressed sense of
therapeuticly meant, in the letting go of it, irony. Do you read it?!

>For an interesting look at this topic (specifically regarding the verse
>you're discussing)... take a look at D.A. Carson's book "Exegetical
>Baker Books, pp. 31-33 and pp. 51-53 (Word-Study Fallacies).

Oh, fallacies. And fallacies of fallacies, of... (Don't have the book here.
What does it say? and what do you!
>Semper Fi, >Walt McFall


The Ionic Centre, Athens

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