Re: Jn 21:15-17

From: Paul S. Dixon (
Date: Sun Apr 19 1998 - 01:23:07 EDT

David et al:

Thanks to everybody for the interesting interaction on this discussion.
It has been profitable. I am preaching on this passage tomorrow (along
with the whole chapter) and am more convinced than ever of the synonymous
relationship between AGAPAS and FILEIS, at least in Jn 21:15-21. That
the two Greek words have the same Aramaic derivative only reinforces this
view in my judgement.

Dr. Paul S. Dixon, Pastor
Wilsonville, Oregon

On Sun, 19 Apr 1998 15:07:25 +1000 McKay family <> writes:
>So far, in the latest [but probably not last] discussion on this
>passage, I
>have not seen any citations of the way the 2 words for love are used
>in the
>rest of John's writings, and in the rest of Scripture. When I did a
>study on
>their use, I found that AGAPAW and FILEW are often used
>interchangeably in
>the Bible. The big distinctions people make between them are simply
>sustainable. This is why many Bible translations choose to translate
>both as simply "love."
>For instance: When Shechem raped Dinah, and fell in "love" with her
>afterwards, when
>Amnon "lusted" after and then raped Tamar, when Samson fell in "love"
>Delilah, the LXX uses AGAPAW. (It also uses it for David's love for
>Jonathan, Solomon's love for God, and God's love for us, of course.)
>It is used in Proverbs of the love of pleasure and wine and in
>of the love of your wife, but also of the love of money.
>In Hosea it is used of Ephraim's illicit lovers, of the love of a
>prostitute's earnings, of loving detestable things, and of loving to
>the weak. In Zechariah it is used of loving truth and peace, but also
>loving false oaths.
>In Isaiah it is used of God's love for man, but also of men's love of
>bribes, of an adulterer's love of his bed, and in Jeremiah it is used
>of the
>love God's people have for false gods, of Judah's love of false
>astrology, and of wandering away from God. In Lamentations it is used
>Jerusalem's false lovers, and in the same way in Ezekiel.
>And in the NT, it is true that it is often used of God's love for us.
>FILEW is also used this way.
>AGAPAW is also used of the ordinary love of sinners for one another
>Luke 6: 32)
>In Luke 11:43 it is used of the Pharisees' love of the place of honour
>the synagogue, and in John 12:43 it is used for loving the praise of
>more than the praise of God.
>In 2 Tim 4: 10, it is used of Demas' love for this present world.In 2
>2: 15, it is used of Balaam's love of the wages of unrighteousness.
>FILEW is often used of God's special love, and is not at all a lesser
>for love. Both FILEWand AGAPAW are used of "the disciple whom Jesus
>and in John 5:20 it is used of the Father's love of the Son (you can't
>get a
>greater love than that!) It is also used of Jesus' love for Lazarus,
>Father's love for us, and Paul uses it of our love for Jesus, while
>uses it of God's love for the Laodiceans.
>FILEW is, of course, also used negatively, but I don't need to give
>those references to establish my case that, to a degree, the 2 words
>used interchangeably.
>David McKay

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