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Featured No love in Acts

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by rlvaughn, Dec 4, 2020.

  1. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    Why is there no love in the book of Acts? I had not thought about it before, but recently read the following statement:
    I did a quick check and it seems this is correct. Working from the KJV, Luke uses “love” 15 times in his gospel (usually agapao, Luke 6:27; Luke 6:32; Luke 6:35; Luke 7:5; Luke 7:42; Luke 7:47; Luke 10:27; Luke 11:43; Luke 16:13; and once phileo, Luke 20:46). I did not find any instances in the Acts of the Apostles.

    Why is this? Thoughts?
     
  2. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Interesting observation.
    I found beloved (Acts 15:25 ) and esteemed (Acts 5:13)
    In Acts 20:24 we find Paul"s life not as "dear" to him as his ministry for Jesus. Love by another name. (No greater love....)
     
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  3. Aaron

    Aaron Member
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    Good question. A cursory search of the Gospels shows that Christ didn't speak much to the public about God loving them. There is a lot of "The Father loves me and I love you" to the disciples. And it was in a private, one-on-one conversation that Christ mentioned God's love for the world.

    But that's just a cursory search...

    If one is too dense to see God's love in the fact that He sent His Son, perhaps that's not a revelation for them. Perhaps the truth that our God is a consuming fire is more appropriate--especially in a mixed company of sheep and goats. Jesus is the Good Shepherd, not the good goatherd. That which is holy isn't for the dogs, neither are pearls for swine. It may not be true to say to mixed company that "God loves you."

    Just initial thoughts about the question.
     
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  4. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    To say the words translated as "Love" are not in Acts, is pretty accurate, to say love is not demonstrated in Acts missing the mark. Note the behavior, including self sacrifice for the benefit of others, exhibited in Acts chapter 4.
     
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  5. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    ...and Stephen:

    59 And they stoned Stephen, calling upon the Lord, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.
    60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep. Acts 7
     
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  6. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member
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    In the very first verse!
    Acts 1:1 ...Theophilus...
     
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  7. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member
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    Ac 15:25, τοις αγαπητοίς ημων Βαρνάβα και Παυλω.
    Ac 10:24, τους αναγκαίος φίλους
    Ac 19:37, οντες αυτω φιλοι
    Αc 27:3, φιλάνθρωπως, φιλους
    Ac 28:2, φιλανθρωπιαν
     
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  8. Iconoclast

    Iconoclast Well-Known Member
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    The love of God is only in Christ.
    The Apostles preached the Kingdom of God spreading worldwide. They were concerned with presenting the unfolding plan and purpose of God in fulfilling all the Covenant promises, Abrahamic, Davidic, Everlasting Covenant as revealed by God to His Church.
    The weak preaching in our day avoids much substance cutting of the root, to cherry-pick what they think will be seeker-friendly mush.The result is stunted growth of adult Christians and a weakened Church from place to place.
    28 Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it.

    29 And when he had said these words, the Jews departed, and had great reasoning among themselves.

    30 And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him,

    31 Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.
     
    #8 Iconoclast, Dec 5, 2020
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2020
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  9. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    Thanks for the interesting comments.
    A given name, with the root meaning of friend of God.
    Mostly friends, but beloved or dear friends in 15:25. I think you have a typo on οντες αυτω φιλοι. I found that in 19:31.

    I think I got too cute with the title. I did not mean to imply that there are no words that share the same roots, neither that the love of God is never demonstrated in the book of Acts. What was on my mind is that there is never any English word translated love (as far as the translations I checked), nor any underlying Greek word that would properly be translated love. The gospel preached and recorded in the book of Acts is not explicitly about the love of God (i.e., as in “hey, God loves you”), but rather about the resurrection of Jesus Christ (i.e., Jesus died for our sins and rose from the grave). The gospel (1 Corinthians 15:3-4) is the love of God in action (John 3:16), and witnessing the gospel in the face of opposition is the love of Christ compelling those who do so (2 Corinthians 5:14). The apostles preached “Christ crucified” (1 Corinthians 1:23; cf. Acts 2:23-24, 36; 3:15; 4:2, 10; 13:29-30; 17:3). In contrast to the absence of the word “love,” “Jesus” is found 68 times; “the name,” “his name,” and “name” (referring to Jesus Christ), 34 times; his title “Christ” 31 times; and “Lord” over 100 times. (These English counts based on checking the KJV, if no mistakes were made.)
     
  10. RighteousnessTemperance&

    RighteousnessTemperance& Well-Known Member

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    It is a curious aversion given its described responses of disciples to the Gospel. Acts is replete with examples of deep Christian love through fellowship, devotion, and service, as well as descriptions of God's own love. No explicit talk about love, just living it out.
     
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  11. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member
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    founders.org/SS/090504.htm

    "Theophilus...name, which means 'One who loves God'"
     
  12. Jerome

    Jerome Well-Known Member
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    Perhaps you could share, just where you found the OP pronouncement, so we could understand what's motivating it.
     
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  13. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    I read the statement somewhere awhile back that the word love is not used in the book of Acts and made a note of it, to check to see whether it was true. My motivation was whether the statement was correct (and I now believe it is), and in the OP is to see what y'all think about it.

    I went searching online to see if I could find it again. I quickly found two places that discuss this. I think it was the first one below that I initially ran across.
    Love in the Gospel in Acts
    Is the Book of Acts Loveless?

    Hope this helps.
     
    #13 rlvaughn, Dec 5, 2020
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  14. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    I think φίλος is more generally translated friend rather than lover, but I am not dogmatic about it. Others can speak to that if they wish. Primarily, my point was that Theophilus is a person's name. That said, if correct, the word "love" is not there in Acts 1:1 (or only by way of hint).

    I looked to see if there is any translation that does not translate Theophilus as a proper name. There is at least one (there might be others, but it is not common).
     
    #14 rlvaughn, Dec 5, 2020
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  15. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    I think the intended point of the OP is the absence of the word AGAPE in the book of Acts, although it is demonstrated in the narratives..
     
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  16. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member
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    What does αγαπητοις then signify about Paul and Barnabas? The verb itself obviously is not absent in Acts.
     
  17. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    I'd say that Acts is not talking about love and is instead showing us the love others have spoken about. It goes along with Luke and shows us the effect of the gospel.
     
  18. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    An adjective, that they were beloved, dear friends of the church at Jerusalem.
    Which verses have the verb used?
     
  19. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member
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    Sorry... Adjective. But the adjective is a direct derivative from either the noun or verb.
     
  20. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn Well-Known Member
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    Thanks. I was not sure what you meant about the verbs.
     
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