[b-greek] Re: AGAPAW, FILEW

From: Mark Wilson (emory2oo2@hotmail.com)
Date: Wed Oct 17 2001 - 17:24:59 EDT


> >Antonius, in the funeral discourse addressed the Roman
> >people over the body of Caesar in this way:
> >
> >
> >- Trench, Synonyms of the NT, pg. 42, citing Dion Cassius, xliv, 48).

Carl wrote:
>Of course any such speech delivered by Antony before the Roman throng would
>have been in Latin rather than Greek; I have no idea what Latin verbs Dio
>meant to represent by means of FILEIN and AGAPAN.

Trench actually addresses this, at least partly.

The two Latin words were diligo (AGAP-) and amo (FIL-).
Or, amare, which answers to FILEW, is often stronger than diligere,
which corresponds to AGAPAW, per Trench.

Cicero, he says, often sets these words in instructive antithesis
to one another. Thus, writing to one friend of the affection in
which he holds another:

Ut scires illum a me non diligi solum, verum etiam amari.

"I do not esteem (AGAP) the man merely, but I love (FIL) him."
(This is not my translation for one simple reason: I don't know Latin.)

And elsewhere,

L. Clodius valde me diligit, vel, ut EMFATIKWTERON dicam, valde me amat.

Trench also notes: "the Vulgate, by the help of diligo and amo, has
preserved this distinction which we have let go. This is especially to
be regretted at John 21..."

To Paul Dixon:

Peter stands his ground with FILEW, for AGAPAW will not do. As
Trench concludes:

And now at last he (Peter) has triumphed; for when his Lord puts
the question to him a third time, it is not AGAPAiS any more,

To which I would add:

In essence, Peter insisted that his love for the Lord was
a personal, passionate one, not AGAPAW only. It would have
started as AGAPAW, but it soon encompassed his affections,
desires, and human passions, thereby progressing into FILEW.

I realize this is not the final word on it, and Trench does
acknowledge that at times these words can be substituted in
given contexts. But if the context centers around love, it would
be hard to imagine that John was unaware of the already observed
distictions that these words were capable of conveying. Any
"stylistic variation" in John 21 would hardly be advised, not
when so much is riding on each word.

Just as I would have found it odd had Paul threw in a FILEW
in 1 Cor 13. That would not be the time to introduce a synonym,
not when the passage is on love.

Then again, these are just my thoughts (and some of Trench's).

I hope this has not gone beyond B-Greek. I think it is sometimes
helpful for others to give me their reasons for why a word is
translated a certain way. (Sorry Carl if this has crossed the line.)

Mark Wilson

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