Re: A question from a novice!

From: Barry D. Murrell (
Date: Sun Mar 19 2000 - 21:50:46 EST

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<DIV><FONT size=2>Peter,</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2>In doing my own research into the meaning of AGAPAW and how it
relates to the other words in Greek which are translated "love", I came to the
conclusion that AGAPAW is not centered on an warm emotional attachment (while
the others ARE emotionally motivated in one degree or another) it always shows
itself through actions of goodwill. It could be perhaps best described as
<STRONG>doing what is best for someone (even&nbsp;applied inward toward oneself
in cases of selfishness) regardless of how you feel about them</STRONG>. The
emphasis is upon the action and not upon the emotion.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2>Therefore, in some contexts AGAPAW&nbsp;might speak of the
various "spins" which many have mentioned in this thread, but one thing which
AGAPAW always seems to speak of is love which is expressed in ACTION which is
NOT attached (or motivated) by emotion.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2>I have often spent time wondering why we see AGAPE and its
various forms used so much and the others used so little. Then one day it dawned
upon me that it is because God has in fact called us to action. Your original
question of this thread got me thinking about it again. The post which spoke of
the time variations in word meaning got me back into the thread and all of the
variations found and brought out in the various posts moved me to jump in.
<DIV><FONT size=2>You know, perhaps the reason why so many misunderstand the
intention of the word "love" found in the Bible is because our modern concept of
"love" is emotion based. If people approach the message of the Bible with an
emotion based picture of love then they will never really grasp the full meaning
of what God is calling his people&nbsp;to do. As&nbsp;an example I would cite
Matthew 5:44, where Jesus tells us to AGAPE our enemies. If we try to apply the
"warm fuzzy"&nbsp;paradigm surrounding love in OUR world then this command of
Jesus causes much distress and confusion. However, if we apply the
idea&nbsp;mentioned above then the command makes sense and is achievable. If we
apply this same idea to the various relationship passages then we really get a
dose of reality. For example, Ephesians 5 suddenly says, "Husbands, <STRONG>do
what is best for </STRONG>your wives <STRONG>regardless of how you
feel</STRONG>." </FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2>In fact, it was this passage (Ephesians 5:19-ff) which first
put me onto this idea. (Also the "second greatest" command (Mark 12:31) where
the "pattern" for the love (AGAPE) that we are to give to our neighbor is that
which we are <STRONG>already giving to ourselves</STRONG>. The love which a man
gives to "his own flesh" (Ephesians 5:29) and that which a person gives to
themselves is not <STRONG>emotion based</STRONG>, but <STRONG>action
based</STRONG>. It is <STRONG>consistent</STRONG>, it is
<STRONG>ongoing</STRONG>, it is&nbsp;<STRONG>not dependent upon an
accompanying&nbsp;warm feeling</STRONG> in the heart. </FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2>To me this is what distinguishes AGAPAW.</FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2>Hope this helps..</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2>Barry D. Murrell</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2>Missionary/Director </FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2>Christian Learning Center</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2>Cebu City, Philippines</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2>
<DIV>----- Original Message -----
<DIV>From: "Peter Osborne." &lt;<A
<DIV>To: "Biblical Greek" &lt;<A
<DIV>Sent: Monday, March 20, 2000 4:10 AM</DIV>
<DIV>Subject: A question from a novice!</DIV></DIV>
<DIV><BR></DIV>&gt; Hi,<BR>&gt; I have a question on the definition of
AGAPH:&nbsp; What distinguishes this word<BR>&gt; from other Greek words meaning
love?&nbsp; From its usage in 1 John 3:16 and<BR>&gt; elsewhere, I have always
connected this word with self-sacrifice or self<BR>&gt; denial.&nbsp; However
hardly any lexicons I have used seem to make this link.&nbsp; Am<BR>&gt; I
correct in believing that AGAPH is self-denying love and this is what<BR>&gt;
distinguishes it from other Greek words for love?<BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; Peter
Osborne.<BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; ---<BR>&gt; B-Greek home page: <A
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