Since I now have a blog page included in my website, I thought I would expound on something written in chapter 2 of my book: “Jesus, a Man’s Man.” Here’s the excerpt:
“John 21:15: “When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon son of
John, do you truly love me more than these?" "Yes, Lord," he said, "you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my lambs."
The Greek word Jesus uses for love here is Agapao. It is a derivative of the word Agape, which is God's, perfect love. "…It expresses the deep and constant love and interest of a perfect Being towards entirely unworthy objects.“2 He is asking Peter if he dearly loves Him. If he loves Him with a committed kind of love.
When we connect it to the comment, "More than these". I believe Jesus was pointing to the fish. “Peter, do you love me more than your old way of life? More than your occupation? Do you love me more than anything else?”
Peter answers, “You know I love you.” But the word Peter uses for love here is Phileo- which is brotherly love and means “To be fond of, to like, to approve of, to treat affectionately or kindly, to welcome, befriend” 3
2. Vines expository dictionary of New Testament words. By W. E. Vine, M.A.
McDonald Publishing Company; McLean, Virginia. LOVE; (pgs 702-704).
3. Strong’s exhaustive concordance of the Bible. By James Strong, S.T.D., LL.D.,
McDonald Publishing Company; McLean, Virginia. 2. phileo (5368) (pg. 75).”
The English language is actually a very limited language. Add to that the fact that society wants to redefine words to fit their social or political views. This makes communication difficult and restricts our understanding of the Bible.
For instance, take the word Love. We use the same word when to express our feelings toward our spouses, children and friends. We love them. But we also use the same word to express our feelings toward everything else. “I love tacos, football, and reading.”
Obviously love then has an entirely different meaning for each of these things.
The first century Greeks didn’t face this problem. The Greek language was a very expansive language. Two of their words for love are shared and defined in the excerpt: Phileo and Agape.
There were at least two more: Eros and Storge.
Eros is the Erotic love. It was translated directly from Latin as “Passionate Love” or “Romantic Love.” It is often thought of as the type of love that people “fall” into. And…
Storge is a type of philia that is specific to families. It is often referred to as familial love, or the love between parents and children.
I still don’t know how to say: “I love tacos” in Greek!