Re: Jn 21:15-17

From: myron c kauk (
Date: Sun Apr 19 1998 - 17:15:38 EDT

I'm jumping in at the tail end of this discussion, but let me add my two

1) The Aramaic vorlage of Jn 21:15-17 seems irrelevant. For those having
a high view of biblical authority it must be the Greek text that is
considered inspired and for those with a lower view who may question any
historical basis for the text it is still the Greek text and the meaning
of the author that must be considered.

2) Let us concede that AGAPAW and FILEW are synonyms. This does not mean
that they are strictly equivalent though but only that their semantic
domains overlap significantly. The question must still be asked whether
the present context accents the similarity in the terms or the
distinction between them. Personally, I cannot escape the impression
that it is the distinction that is being highlighted by the way these
terms are juxtaposed.

3) Part of the objection to seeing a distinction in terms here is the
conception that FILEW must then be considered a lower form of love. This
does not necessarily follow. Perhaps the following rendering will help.

        Are you committed to me?
        I feel strongly for you.
        Are you commited to me?
        I feel strongly for you.
        Do you really feel strongly for me?

4) Or imagine a similar conversation taking place between husband and
wife. Whatever word I substitute I can just hear my wife saying, "why
can't you use the same word I use?"

Grace be with you,


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