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Translating love

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Translating Love
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In the New Testament, the word love has been translated from three different Koine Greek words: philia, agape and storge.

Love is the fundamental essence of God. 1 John 4:8 says

John%204&verse=8&src=! 1 John 4 8 (agape)

Philia

Philia is often used in a sense that means the brotherly love of friendship.

Agape

Agape is often used to describe love that is unconditional and limitless.

William Barclay notes that "Agape has to do with the mind, it is not an emotion which rises unbidden in our hearts; it is a principle by which we deliberately live"

Note that Jesus said "Woe to you Pharisees! For you love [agape] the front seats in the synagogues, and the respectful greetings in the market places" in Luke 11:43. Agape tends to mean the total commitment and dedication to something and does not necessarily mean divine love.

The Koine Greek agape is used in this passage on love from 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Corinthians%2013&verse=4&src=! 1 Corinthians 13 4 Corinthians%2013&verse=5&src=! 1 Corinthians 13 5 Corinthians%2013&verse=6&src=! 1 Corinthians 13 6 Corinthians%2013&verse=7&src=! 1 Corinthians 13 7 Corinthians%2013&verse=8&src=! 1 Corinthians 13 8

Storge

Storge is often used for the natural affection of families.

Eros

Eros is usually used to mean sexual love, and is also the love of beauty. The word is not found in the New Testament.

Resources

The Four Loves is an excellent study by C.S. Lewis

Quotes

William Barclay on Agape

Agape has to do with the mind, it is not an emotion which rises unbidden in our hearts; it is a principle by which we deliberately live

Links




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