Agapao Can’t Mean, “The Unconditional, Divine Love of God” – and Phileo Can’t Mean, “Brotherly Love”

Love. This looks like an essential challenge location for Christianity. In reality, one should even contend it’s far a middle detail of the Christian religion. After all, the first commandment is the requirement to like God – with all our heart, thoughts, soul and strength (Mk 12:30). The 2nd commandment calls for us to love our neighbor as our self (Mk 12:31)! This “love” requirement covers all our crucial relationships – closer to self, neighbor and Creator! But the centrality of this “love doctrine” extends even in addition. The Bible states that love fulfills the Law (Ro thirteen:eight-10 and Gal 5:14)! So, all of the requirements of the Law of God … Are fulfilled by using acompanhante love?! It is evidently made of some thing that has the potential to fulfill the requirements the whole Old Testament theocracy! This is well worth concept, research and inquiry!

So, … What is love? If we’re to fulfill those commands, we want some kind of definition. How else can we recognise if we’re meeting His necessities?

A Common Teaching

There are two New Testament Greek words often translated “love” in English. Here is a common teaching – maybe the common coaching – on the which means of these Greek phrases.

1) Agapao (verb); Agapee (noun). God is agapee (1Jn four:8). As God Himself is agapee, and for the reason that He is divine, then it logically follows that He acts (the verb) in divine love – agapao. Agapee originates in God, and might in no way fail (1Cor 13:eight). This is certainly the best form of love. Therefore, many train agapao/agapee manner, “the unconditional, divine love of God.” It is also taught that non-Christians are separated from this love, however at conversion, one enters into this love. But, there is greater! The convert will become more than just a simple recipient of this love from God. He/she now will become a conduit for this “alien-to-the-global” like to float through. With Christ within the Christian, the divine love of God can unconditionally drift in the direction of the ones around the Christian. And because agapao as an act of God (unconditional and unfailing), the actions, or reactions, of the focused object are in the end irrelevant as this love is unbiased of human affectations.

2) Phileo (verb); Philos (noun). This is described as “cohesion,” or “man’s love.” It is the love expressed via unsaved human beings. Therefore, it is a lesser shape of affection than the divine agapao. Ultimately, it is a self-focused kind of love that does have situations to it – although now not without problems detectable. As certainly a human love, it’s miles innately fickle and may be turned on and stale as situations and situations exchange. The transliterated word, Philadelphia (philia + adelphphia fem.), approach, “the city of brotherly love,” and is often referred to for instance of the that means phileo.

This coaching sounds quite learned as it appeals to the unique New Testament language. It is likewise quite attractive as it separates the pure and holy love of God from the fickle, corruptible affections that periodically emanate from the unsaved. This absolutely does sound remarkable! But the part approximately the Christian entering into God’s divine love (agapao) upon conversion – the love the sector does no longer understand – nicely, that is extraordinary. And while you add that the convert can turn out to be a funnel for this divine fabric to waft even though – spontaneously, unconditionally, even divinely – to all the ones around – what a rush! The best problem with this coaching … Is that it is wrong. How can I be so confident approximately this assertion?

I were taught, and believed, the common coaching at the meaning of agapao and phileo (associated above). It had come through Biblical students and was even taught in numerous denominations to which I have been uncovered. I had no purpose to doubt the accuracy of this coaching as I was simply “a layman” and most effective knew English. And sincerely on such an crucial topic – Love – the teaching was correct. But then, I went to a Bible university. After completing my first 12 months of “Beginners Greek,” I started analyzing the Gospel of John – the only of the New Testament Greek. In describing what took place subsequent, I will now quote immediately from my Ebook, “Love and the Bible” (pages 9/11, 13, and 19).

As I started out in John, the whole thing was going along quite well. Eventually, I got here to John three:16. “For God so loved (agapao) the arena, that He gave His handiest begotten Son…” I concept, “I realize that phrase! That’s God’s love! That’s the love the world is incapable of generating!” I had run across the stuff of legend! There it become – the powerful, specific, love from God – in all it is purity and transcendency! A love generated from the deepest recesses of the heart of our benevolent Creator projected unconditionally upon an undeserving international! I notion, “Wow! This is notable!” I excitedly persisted my journey thru John. Then, 3 verses later ….

I got here to John 3:19. “And that is the judgement; that the mild has come into the arena, and guys cherished (agapao) the darkness instead of the mild….” It took me a 2d, and then I stated, “Say, what?” I examine the verse again. I become taken aback. Even now, twenty plus years later, that moment is still frozen in time. I notion, “I did now not study what I just examine. This is an not possible declaration. Men … With divine love – for the darkness?! WHAT?? How can men divinely love darkness??” I saw that agapao became in the Aorist temper and active voice, so I straight away went to my lexicon to ensure it changed into agapao. Sure enough … It became. In disbelief, I examine it once more and inserted the definition for agapao I have been taught. “… And men had a divine, unconditional love – the love of God, the affection from God – FOR DARKNESS!!!” The surprising fact then struck me – “Agapao can’t imply divine love!! I were taught mistakes … Approximately love!!” Aughhhhhhh. And is there a subject extra crucial to Christianity than Love?? I’m telling you – alarms went off everywhere! A biblical understanding of affection is vital – to the whole lot as a long way as Christianity is worried! We are commanded to like God, love our neighbor, love our wife, love our youngsters, love the brethren, love life, love His coming – love our enemies!! We are not to love money, love the chief seats, love the first vicinity … Love is all around the place – in attitudes, behaviors, actions and reactions. “I have been taught error about … LOVE!!!” For me, this created an emergency of the primary order. But, as this eBook is inquisitive about your enter, I would really like with a view to now go to a poll I even have on my website. It asks:

“The statistics I have simply been exposed to has:

1) created an emergency of the primary order,

2) honestly pricked my hobby,

3) created no emergency in any respect, or

four) has accomplished not anything, as I don’t know what the heck you are speakme about.”

The Search for Truth Begins in Earnest!

God most effective has to mention some thing one time for it to be all the time true and absolutely empowered. But if we can discover different corroborating witnesses in His word on a particular situation place, to be able to help us to make sure we efficiently understand and constitute His view on that subject matter. With that during thoughts, I without delay grabbed my Greek concordance if you want to look at every use of the word agapao. The verb shape seems almost one hundred fifty times in the New Testament. Here are 5 of them.

2Ti four:10 “Demas, having loved (agapao) this gift international, deserted me…”

2Pet 2:15 “… They (false instructors) … Followed the manner of Balaam … Who cherished (agapao) the wages of unrighteousness.

Jn 12:43 “For they (the Pharisees) cherished (agapao) the approval of men in preference to the approval of God.”

Lk eleven:43 “Woe to you Pharisees! For you adore (agapao) the front seats within the synagogues, and (you love – agapao) respectful greetings inside the market locations.”

Lk 16:thirteen “No servant can serve masters; for he will either hate the one, and love (agapao) the other …. You can not serve God and mammon.”

There are 16 makes use of of agapao/agapee in this vein. These will all be indexed later.

“Ohhh … What approximately phileo?”

Immediately, any other word came to thoughts. “What about phileo? Does that mean, ‘concord’? Is it a human love not so good as agapao?” Within mins, I discovered that phileo had not anything to do with brotherly love! NOTHING!! In John 5:20, Jesus said, “For the Father loves (phileo) the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing….” In this passage, phileo is an pastime among God the Father and God the Son!! This “stuff,” is generated from interior God the Father and its target is God the Son! Man is absolutely outdoor the loop! I idea, “Phileo can not imply ‘concord’ or some 2d rate man’s love! It cannot! Furthermore, how can or not it’s not so good as agapao when it’s miles generated by means of God Himself?

So, there I stood ….

So, there I stood, six years into my Christian revel in – without a idea what the Bible itself truly taught about love! What a betrayal! I had naively relied upon the integrity of these Greek “pupils” in my beyond – and I propagated their errors – their fake coaching – their heresy! And the errant material treated – Love! What a topic to be screwed up on! After the emotions of surprise, anger, and grief … Came cool resolve. A journey was released for me the day I ran across the announcement that “guys cherished (agapao) the darkness alternatively that the mild; for their deeds were evil” (Jn three:19).

My Starting Point

While I did now not realize what the Bible did teach on this problem, I did recognize this. Agapao couldn’t imply divine love, and phileo couldn’t mean brotherly, or guy’s, love. So, I already did understand extra than my “teachers” knew at the situation! That advocated me a touch bit. Things ought to handiest get better – if God would provide me the wisdom, information and perception needed to grow into fact. So, I asked Him for that help. That turned into my place to begin. If this sounds affordable to you, perhaps you may take a second and ask the equal.

Back to this Article

Here is a list of all the “profane uses” of agapao and agapee. Plug within the common teaching’s definition of “divine love,” and you may see it’s far not possible for agapao/agapee to mean, “divine love.”

Evil (or Neutral) or Non-Divine Agapao (verb) Uses:

Only loving folks who love you (Mt 5:46).

Two masters – hate one and love the alternative – can pick out agapao for money over God (Mt 6:24).

Sinners also love those who love them (Lk 6:32 – this is two makes use of in a single breath!).

Which launched debtor will love the liberating lender maximum? (Lk 7:42).

Pharisees love the uppermost seats and respectful greetings (Lk eleven:forty three).

Men loving darkness (Jn three:19).

Pharisees loving the reward of fellows extra than the praise of God ( Jn 12:43).

Peter being requested if He loved Jesus “greater than those” (Jn 21:15).

Demas having cherished this gift age (2Ti 4:eight).

Balaam who cherished the wages of unrighteousness (2Pet 2:15).

Admonition to not love the sector. If one does, the love of the Father is absent (1Jn 2:15).

Not to like with word or tongue, but in deed and fact (1Jn 3:18).

Evil or Non-Divine Agapee (noun) Uses:

Love of many that grows cold (Mt 24:12).

Leaving old flame (Rev 2:four).

The Bible teaches:

Agapao and Agapee are routinely expressed by man (stored and unsaved) and also through God.

Agapao (verb) displayed by way of God: “… For God loves a cheerful giver.” 2Cor 9:7. This use can be found in dozens of different passages.

Agapao (verb) displayed by means of stored guy: “He that loves his brother abides within the mild ….” 1Jn 2:10. This use can be found in dozens of different passages.

Agapao (verb) displayed with the aid of unsaved guy: “… Guys loved darkness in preference to the mild ….” Jn 3:19. Also see, Mt 5:26, Mt 6:24, Lk 6:32, Lk 7:42, Lk 7:47, Lk eleven:forty three, Jn 12:43, 2Ti 4:10, 2Pet 2:15, 1Jn 2:15, 1Jn 3:18 and Mt 24:12. A couple of those are injunctions to Christians to direct agapao within the proper direction (e.G., 1Jn 2:15 and 1Jn three:18).

Agapee (noun) in connection with God: “God counseled His love towards us, in that while we had been but sinners, Christ died for us.” Ro five:eight, plus dozens of other examples.

Agapee (noun) in reference to stored man: “…And stroll in love, simply as Christ additionally loved you ….” Eph five:2. (This is the passage where the noun and verb aren’t divorced – “just as Christ also cherished (agapao) you!” The identical stuff!

Agapee (noun) in connection with unsaved guy: “And due to the fact lawlessness is elevated, the majority’s love will develop bloodless” (Mt 24:12). See additionally Revelation 2:4.

The fact is, agapao abounds all around us, being practiced via sinners and saints alike. And it’s far directed closer to animate as well as inanimate objects! It is practiced toward money, in the direction of locations of honor, and closer to the sector! Once you recognize what agapao is, you will start to understand its presence all round you. The Bible does no longer list each use of expressed agapao in its pages. But it offers sufficient examples to set us on the trail to peer its expressions and activities on this world. You see, agapao does abound – whether you see it or not, whether you apprehend what it’s far or not, or whether or not you are inclined to renowned it or not. And sinners exude it in all guidelines as they “agapao the darkness!” (Jn 3:19).


Here are some passages where phileo is used – and can not mean “brotherly love,” or a “man’s love.” Plug in either definition, and you’ll see it is impossible for the commonplace coaching to be correct.

The Father’s love for the Son (Jn five:20).

Jesus’ love for Lazarus (Jn eleven:3).

The Father’s love for the disciples (Jn 16:27).

Jesus’ love for John (Jn 20:2).

Jesus’ love for His personal (Rev three:19).

The Bible teaches:

Phileo is routinely expressed through guy (stored and unsaved) and additionally by using God!

Phileo displayed by way of God: “Those whom I love, I reprove and field.” Rev 3:19. See also Jn five:20, Jn 11:three, Jn eleven:36, Jn sixteen:27a, and Jn 20:2.

Phileo displayed by way of stored guy: “Greet them that love us in the faith.” Tit 3:15. See additionally, Jn sixteen:27b, Jn 21:15,sixteen,17, and 1Cor sixteen:22 (a critically essential use to be examined in element later).

Phileo displayed by means of unsaved guy: “Outside … (is) all of us who loves and practices mendacity.” Rev 22:15. There are seven different uses like this. See Mt 6:five, Mt 10:37 (two times), Mt 23:6, Lk 20:46, Jn 12:25, and Jn 15:19.

As you can see, it’s miles not possible for phileo to mean, “brotherly love.”

So, agapao and agapee are expressed with the aid of guy (stored and unsaved), and through God. Phileo is likewise expressed via guy (saved and unsaved), and with the aid of God! Man and God show each.

I pay attention a lot of you currently asking, “So, what does agapao/agapee imply? And what does phileo imply? And why are such a lot of ‘Greek pupils’ in blunders on what the Bible teaches about love?” Well, the intent of this Article has been to show that agapao/agapee can not imply, “the unconditional, divine love of God” – and that phileo can’t mean, “brotherly love.” This has been performed by using absolutely quoting Bible passages that confound such definitions. Even those who’ve no knowledge of New Testament Greek can see these definitions are not possible – as a result refuting the commonplace teaching approximately biblical love. In order so as to discover what those Greek words truly do suggest – and why such a lot of “students” are in such super errors – you could discover in my loose Ebook, “Love and the Bible” at my Website listed inside the Author Bio. Of direction … Perhaps an accurate knowledge of what the Bible certainly does teach approximately love is not definitely that vital….

Author: blog-admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *