I did a search on this blog today for the word “love.” Wow. A lot of my posts have the word “love” in them.

In the English language, the word “love” has a vast symantic range. In the same sentence, I can say “I love peanut butter,” and say “I love my family.” The question is do I love peanut butter in the same way that I love my bride and children? Of course not. The meaning is different (at least I hope so!)

In the Greek language, there are at least three words for the English word “love.” They all convey different concepts. They are:

1. Eros – Erotic love; the kind of love between lovers. Romance and sexual attraction is the foundational idea here.
2. Phileo – Familial love; the kind of love between family members or friends. This kind of love is based on the condition of being related or mutual appreciation and respect, and is bi-lateral in that both parties involved feel the same way.
3. Agape – Unconditional love; the kind of love that is one-sided and has no conditions placed on the other person. This kind of love is supernatural, and the source of this kind of love comes from God.

May we all learn to Agape love one another!

  • Gramma B

    Yes, the English language is impoverished by the overuse of one word, "love." I think ther are at least 4 Greek words which are translated as love. Your definition of phileo sounds more like "storge" to me. It is a familial affection. Have you ever done a study on the use of phileo and agape (including their other forms)in the scripture? We are told not to "agapao" the world and that the religious leaders of Jesus' day "agapao-ed" the best seats at the feasts. "Phileo" is used to describe Jesus love for his disciples.

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