Re: Synonyms (???) in John

From: Kevin and Sandi Anderson (
Date: Fri Feb 14 1997 - 13:29:25 EST

Because of the other synonymous vocabulary you have yourself noted, I have
also come to the conclusion that the verbs AGAPAW and PHILEW are used
virtually interchangeably in John. What's more, however, is the fact that
trying to draw fine distinctions between the vocabulary in John 21:15ff
stumbles over the importance of the repetition in the passage. The
climactic moment comes when it is said that Peter was grieved that Jesus
had questioned his love "a third time"--most important in light of Peter's
thrice denial of Jesus.

Yes, I think the variation in vocabulary is stylistic. It is an elegant
touch even for so elementary a writer as the fourth evangelist.

Kevin Anderson
GTU Area 1 Ph.D. student
> From: D. Anthony Storm <>
> To:
> Subject: Synonyms (???) in John
> Date: Wednesday, February 12, 1997 11:25 AM
> I rarely come out of lurking since I am no scholar, but here goes:
> So much discussion has been made as to whether AGAPAW and PHILEW possess
> distinct meanings or are synonymous in John. One argument for
> differentiation has been their close proximity.
> However, what about the close proximity of "sheep" (PROBATA, APNIA) and
> "tending sheep" (POIMAINE, BOSKE)? If we choose to see a fine difference
> between types of love, are we not compelled to distinguish between types
> sheep and ways of tending them?
> Aren't stylistic considerations a better explanation? Any thoughts?
> ----
> D. Anthony Storm

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