Re: Was: "a question from a novice"

From: Barry D. Murrell (
Date: Tue Mar 21 2000 - 23:11:16 EST

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Carlton wrote:

> make for good preaching, but not much else. A bit of evidence that would
> sway me is if someone could translate the conversation between Jesus and
> Peter in Aramaic with two verbs that tracked what some claim for these two
> Greek verbs. I do believe that Jesus spoke to his disciples (even after
> resurrection) in Aramaic. Could he have made that same distinction. Until
> that is done I suspect that if there is a difference of emphasis intended,
> it is from the writer and not the speaker.

Although I would respond to the point about "good preaching" by saying that
the only good preaching is that which is "accurate"; and hence importance of
this discussion of AGAPAW/FILEW. <grin>

Your point concerning the Aramaic is nonetheless a valid one. I know nothing
of Aramaic. I hope considering the interest of the thread that this question
is not off topic, but could someone give us (or perhaps point to) the
evidence of how the different ideas of love in Greek would have been
expressed in Aramaic?

I would like throw out an idea for consideration regarding your point
concerning the possibility of Aramaic having only one term, and thus AGAPAW
and FILEW would be synonymous. In many languages there and instances where
only one term exists which is USED (as Jim pointed out) in different
contexts. (The local Cebuano language has numerous cases when translating
into English.) But when this term is being translated into a child language
which DOES have specific words to differentiate between the different
contexts then the translator would then use the words at his disposal to
prevent any possibility of a reader misunderstanding the real gist of what
was being communicated. Isn't it possible that this MIGHT be the case here
with John 21, (and others)?

If Aramaic in fact HAS different words similar to the ones we find in Greek
then our
questions could perhaps be resolved by finding a copy of the text in

I am ignorant but willing to consider any and all evidence.


Barry Murrell
Cebu City, Philippines

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