Re: Philadelphia vs agape

From: McKay family (
Date: Wed Aug 13 1997 - 04:35:50 EDT

Jim West wrote, concerning the use of: FILADELFIA and AGAPH:

> Generally agape is taken as a description of God-like love; ...whereas
> philadelphia is
> used to describe the love which Christians ought to have for one
> another.
> I would say that when these words are used the exegete should be very
> careful to extract the full significance of their use; and should also
> attempt to convey to the modern reader or hearer the theological
> import of
> the term.

I would have thought that in 1 Thess 4:9, we have an excellent example
of the words being used interchangeably.All compound words containing
"love" in Greek combine with FILEW, not AGAPH.

But in verse 9 Paul uses FILADELFIA for brotherly love, but then talks
about the love we should have for one another with the word AGAPH.
Surely these words are used synonymously here.

And "the love which Christians ought to have for one another" is the
same love that the Father has for Jesus, and Jesus has for us, according
to John's Gospel.

See also John 17:26.

David McKay

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