From: Wayne Leman (
Date: Mon Mar 20 2000 - 22:28:17 EST

<x-charset iso-8859-1>>Bob I have read the later replies to your post of these two verses and I
>disagree with them. I think that you have placed your finger on the
>achilles heel of any interpretation that tries to maintain an essential
>difference in the uses of AGAPAW and FILEW in John's gospel. In fact no
>matter how hard I strain at it I cannot find any differences between these
>words any where in the NT.

Thank you, Carlton, for speaking up. I too have been concerned that some
recent messages seem to border more on a "Bible study" approach to the
meanings of Greek words, instead of the rigorous scholarly effort that needs
to be made to form a foundation for any subsequent theological applications
one might desire to make.

I also appreciated the citation from D.A. Carson someone on the list
recently posted, but it seemed not to get the attention it deserved, IMO.
Carson, who has written an thorough exegetical commentary on the Gospel of
John, says what you have, that there is no clear evidence of any difference
in semantics between AGAPAW and FILEW in John's Gospel.

Personally, I'm not even convinced that there is an intended difference in
John 21, even tho I have heard many sermons claiming that there is.

The tough work of exegesis must be based on solid science, and such science
is not an enemy of good Bible study for those of us who want that,
eventually, also.

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