Word Study, G5368, philo

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Van, Aug 19, 2014.

  1. Van

    Van
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    John uses agapao to express a different idea than when he uses philo. Both are verbs that mean to love another. Philo comes from an adjective (G5384) and has the meaning of loving someone as a family member, i.e. brotherly love. Families share everything, so the nuanced meaning is to be kindly toward another and share with them what you have. So rather than exercising the sloppy eisegesis of claiming there was no intended difference in meaning, let’s let the word usage speak for itself.

    Lets look at a few verses from John where he uses philo rather than agapao.

    John 5:20, For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel.

    So the Father "brotherly loves" the Son and treats Him as family, sharing with Him all that the Father has been doing.

    John 11:3, So the sisters sent word to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.

    Here in the view of the sisters, Jesus loved his close associates as members of his family, thus ... he whom You love as family is sick. Now we will learn at the end of the book that Jesus also displayed agapao love by laying down His life for His present and future "family" that includes Lazarus.

    John 11:36, So the Jews were saying, “See how He loved him!

    In the view of those seeing Jesus weep, they understood that Jesus loved Lazarus like a lost brother. And they were right! Too bad the translation does not present the full message of God, i.e. "See how Jesus loved him as family."

    John 12:25, He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.

    Contextually, he who is friendly toward his or her life in the world will lose it, but he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. The idea is not that we should not love ourselves, i.e. love your neighbor as yourself, but friendship with the world makes us enemies of God.

    John 15:19, If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.

    Same usage of “philo” referring to a relationship (friendship) between the elect and the world.

    John 16:27, for the Father Himself loves you, because you have lovedMe and have believed that I came forth from the Father.

    Here, the Father loves us as His children, because (1) we have loved Jesus as a brother, and (2) we believed that Jesus is the Christ sent from God.

    John 20:2, So she ran and came to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.”

    Here we have Mary’s perspective, Jesus loved John as a brother, which is not to say Jesus did not also love John to the greatest extent, i.e. He died for John and all mankind.

    John 21:15, So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love (agapao) Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love (philo) You.” He said to him, “Tend My lambs.”

    Here, some mistakenly claim John is using the words interchangeably, but nothing could be further from the truth. Peter loves Jesus as a brother, but is not prepared to die for Jesus. And that distinction is essential to the message of God.

    John 21:16, He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love(agapao)Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love(philo) You.” He said to him, “Shepherd My sheep.”

    Peter is still not prepared to die for Jesus. And Peter is distraught; because He does not think his all too human love is enough for his Lord and Master.

    And now we come to one of the most powerful and compassionate verses in all scripture, and one which some seek to obscure.

    John 21:17, He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love (philo)Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love (philo)You.” Jesus *said to him, “Tend My sheep.

    Rather than asking Peter if he loves Jesus with the greatest, willing to die for, love, Jesus asks if Peter loves Jesus as a brother? But note that this human love, imperfect and falling short of our goal, was acceptable to God.
    Jesus will accept us where we are, warts and all.
     
    #1 Van, Aug 19, 2014
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  2. Yeshua1

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    John appears to be saying that "love" is how jesus loves him and us who are saved, and that we are to love as he loved us, not trying to qualify what kind of love that is, other then "Gods Love"
     
  3. Van

    Van
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    John clearly is saying Jesus loved him (the Apostle John) as family, but Jesus demonstrated an even greater love when He died for John and all mankind. So simple a child could understand it, if indiscriminate translation had not obliterated the message.
     
  4. Greektim

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    Is there any synchronic morphological reason to believe that in the first century CE, there was a distinction between the 2 words?

    Let me just quote Dr. Black on this as it sheds light on this issue:

     
    #4 Greektim, Aug 20, 2014
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  5. Van

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    Hi Greektim, apparently you did not read the OP. It showed Dr. Black was pushing sloppy eisigesis when he claimed, based on selected verses, that John used these words interchangeably. There is no doubt that many Greek words have a range of meanings that overlap with other Greek word meanings. And since all the usages come from John, the reasoning is absolutely synchronic. :)

    John clearly is saying Jesus loved him (the Apostle John) as family, but Jesus demonstrated an even greater love when He died for John and all mankind. So simple a child could understand it, if indiscriminate translation had not obliterated the message.
     
    #5 Van, Aug 20, 2014
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  6. Yeshua1

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    The point here is that John uses either term to express to us the great truths that God/Jesus loved us s, and he asks us to love him and the bethren in like fashion!

    Don't get into the nuances of the greek wording, and miss his main point while doing all that!
     
  7. Van

    Van
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    Once again, we find that folks with PhD's disagree on whether agapao and philo are always uses interchangable, as many times the context points to different shades of meaning.
     
  8. Van

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    Hi Yeshua1, you seem not to have read the OP. The context of John 21:15-19 points to the shade of meaning of "willing to die for sacrificial love." Is agapao always used with that context? Nope. When Jesus tells him that one day Peter will not only be willing to die for Jesus, but in fact he would, it underlines that philo was being used for a lesser level of love.
     
    #8 Van, Aug 20, 2014
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  9. Van

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    Many times folks claim our two words are used "interchangeably" in John's writings. Lets look at some of the examples. Philo refers to loving someone as if a family member, and carries the idea of being willing to share what we have with our "brethren." Agapao refers more generally to love, but carries with it as one shade of meaning to be willing to die for the loved one.

    If we look at John 5:20 and John 3:35 we see the phrase "the Father loves the Son...." In one verse we have philo and the idea of the Father sharing with the Son, and in the other verse we have agapao and the idea of the Father giving the Son authority. To claim the differing word choice does not point to a differing level of sacrifice is weak.

    Next, lets look at John 11:3 and John 11:5, where we see the a reference to Lazarus, "whom Jesus loved" and again in one verse (11:3) we have philo, and in verse 11:5 we have agapao. In verse 3 we have the view of the sisters, i.e. they know Jesus loves their brother as family. And in verse 5, we have the view of the author presenting the insight of the Holy Spirit. And the inspired word choice is "agapao" This parenthetical insight makes clear Christ's delay was not driven by indifference, but by His love for these and those of the village who would witness the miracle and believe in Him. So yet again, the premise that the words are being used interchangeably is unsound.

    In John 11:36, we again see that when people assess Christ's feelings for Lazarus, they characterize the love as philo, i.e. brotherly love or love of a family member. To conclude this consistent usage is haphazard is unsound.
     
  10. Yeshua1

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    It goes right back to the point though that to John, both greek terms were used to be basically meaning same thing!
     
  11. Van

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    Since you do not do word studies, your claim is based on reading one side of the issue and proclaiming its truth. The post demonstrates John frequently uses the words to convey a different meaning.

    One of Philo's shades of meaning refers to a loving relationship, as if with a member of ones own family. Thus to love (philo) our life in the world means to have a loving relationship with the world. And if do, then we lose our life.
     
    #11 Van, Aug 21, 2014
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  12. John of Japan

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    Um no. First of all, it's phileo not philo (fido?).

    Secondly, the Greek noun for natural love (as in loving a relative) is storge, appearing only in compounds in the Greek NT. Phileo (philos as a noun) is traditionally described as the love of friendship, but the Fribergs' Anlex describes it as "devotion based in the emotions" (accessed through BibleWorks).
     
  13. Van

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    Fine, phileo it is, G5368. Pronounced fil-eh-o.

    Loving someone as if family is my understanding of one of its shades of meaning.

     
    #13 Van, Aug 22, 2014
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  14. John of Japan

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    Glad you're willing to listen. :thumbs:

    Sorry, but I've seen that in no lexicon, and I can't think of where in the NT you might have deduced that nuance. And you're quote is from Strong's, which is so old as not to be reliable. Even so, pay more attention to the first part of Strong's definition: "to be a friend to."
     
    #14 John of Japan, Aug 22, 2014
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  15. Van

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    Word Study, G5368, phileo

    John uses agapao to express a different idea than when he uses phileo. Both are verbs that mean to love another. Phileo comes from an adjective (G5384) and has the meaning of loving someone as a family member, i.e. brotherly love. Families share everything, so the nuanced meaning is to be kindly toward another and share with them what you have. So rather than exercising the sloppy eisegesis of claiming there was no intended difference in meaning, let’s let the word usage speak for itself.

    Lets look at a few verses from John where he uses phileo rather than agapao.

    John 5:20, For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel.

    If we use the more specific meaning, the verse could be translated as “For the Father loves the Son as family, and shows Him everything He does; and the Father will show Him even greater works than these, so that you will marvel.

    John 11:3, So the sisters sent word to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.

    Here in the view of the sisters, Jesus loved his close associates as members of his family, thus ... he whom You love as family is sick. Now we will learn at the end of this gospel that Jesus also displayed agapao love by laying down His life for His present and future "family" that includes Lazarus.

    John 11:36, So the Jews were saying, “See how He loved him!

    In the view of those seeing Jesus weep, they understood that Jesus loved Lazarus as family. And they were right! Too bad the translation to not present the full message of God, i.e. "See how Jesus loved him as family."

    John 12:25, He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal.

    Contextually, he who has a loving relationship with his or her life in the world will destroy it, but he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. The idea is not that we should not love ourselves, i.e. love your neighbor as yourself, but a loving relationship with the world makes us enemies of God. Here, I think the best that can be done, is to footnote “loves his life” with “or has an affectionate relationship with his worldly life.”

    John 15:19, If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.

    Same usage of “phileo” referring to a relationship (friendship) between the elect and the world. A better translation choice would be “…the world wouldlove as family its own….”

    John 16:27, for the Father Himself loves you, because you have lovedMe and have believed that I came forth from the Father.

    Here, the Fatherloves you as family because (1) we have loved Jesus as family, and (2) we believed that Jesus is the Christ sent from God.

    John 20:2, So she ran and came to Simon Peter and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.”

    Here we have Mary’s perspective, Jesus loved as family the other disciple, which is not to say Jesus did not also love John to the greatest extent, i.e. He died for John and all mankind. The claim of interchangeability rest on the idea both words mean the same thing, rather than Jesus loves others in two different ways, as family and as someone He would die for.

    John 21:15, So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love (agapao) Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love (phileo) You.” He said to him, “Tend My lambs.”

    Here, some mistakenly claim John is using the words interchangeably, but nothing could be further from the truth. Peter loves Jesus as a brother, but is not prepared to die for Jesus. And that distinction is essential to the message of God.

    John 21:16, He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love(agapao)Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love(phileo) You.” He said to him, “Shepherd My sheep.”

    Peter is still not prepared to die for Jesus. And Peter is distraught; because He does not think his all too human love is enough for his Lord and Master.

    And now we come to one of the most powerful and compassionate verses in all scripture, and one which some seek to obscure.

    John 21:17, He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love (phileo)Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love(phileo) Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love (phileo)You.” Jesus said to him, “Tend My sheep.

    Rather than asking Peter if he loves Jesus with the greatest, willing to die for, love, Jesus asks if Peter loves Jesus as a brother? But note that this human love, imperfect and falling short of our goal, was acceptable to God. Jesus will accept us where we are, warts and all.

    Finally, let’s consider why Peter said that Jesus had said to him a third time, “Do you love (phileo) me, when this is actually the first time Jesus had used that word. Since agapao is a general term for love, and therefore has shades of meaning that overlap with phileo, it appears Peter did not immediately grasp any significant difference in Christ’s question. Jesus realizes this oversight by Peter, and thus explains it to him in verse 18. Peter will grow in his devotion to Jesus, and one day will die for Jesus.

    So while it seems a fad to claim interchangeability, the evidence stacks up highest on the other side.
     
    #15 Van, Aug 22, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 22, 2014
  16. John of Japan

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    Well, I thought Van might be willing to learn this time, but I guess not. He has decided what the Greek word phileo means with no lexicon or semantic analysis whatsoever to back him, and he's going to stick to it no matter what anyone says! :rolleyes::tongue3:

    He'll say he proved his point here, but his effort from John 11 is woefully inadequate. The family was not that of Jesus. Rather they were friends, as it clearly says in v. 11, so phileo (love as a friend) is appropriate.

    There are several other linguistic/Greek errors in his above post, but I'm not going to touch them. Anyone who believes what Van says here is on their own.
     
  17. Van

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    Yet another "taint so" dismissal with no meat on the bones.

    I see JOJ did suggest "love as a friend" over love as family. I am not saying they were family, clearly the word is used to refer to our relationship with our spiritual family, our brothers and sisters in Christ. When we are born anew, we become members of God's family and we are loved as family.
     
    #17 Van, Aug 22, 2014
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  18. Van

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    One of Phileo's shades of meaning refers to a loving relationship, as if with a member of ones own family. Thus to love (phileo) our life in the world means to have a loving relationship with the world. And if we do, then we destroy our life. Friendship with the world makes us an enemy of God.
     
  19. John of Japan

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    Strange that you would say this while totally ignoring my point straight from Scripture about that family being friends of Jesus. You also completely ignored my previous note that the Greek word for family or natural love is storge. Don't take my word for it. C. S. Lewis has a great book on love in Greek, The Four Loves.

    Then you "prove" your point by quoting yourself. Interesting approach to debate.
     
    #19 John of Japan, Aug 24, 2014
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  20. Van

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    Has anyone noticed the posts really do not say anything about the topic, but only convey disdain.

    My study has nothing to back it up was posted. Then I post #17, with three separate published citations supporting my view.

    So my Word Study understanding of one of Phileo's shades of meaning - a loving relationship as if with a family member - remains unchallenged.

    1) Did John use Phileo and Agapao interchangeably, or were differing shades of meaning intended. I say yes, differing shades of meaning were intended.

    2) Is Phileo used for God's love toward members of his spiritual family? I say yes.

    Therefore, Phileo is used for relationships with dear friends, as if they were family members, and for relationships with members of God's spiritual family.
     
    #20 Van, Aug 25, 2014
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