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Question:  Could you translate the four types of love into Latin for me?  At this time I have Phalos, Agape, and Eros (Love for brother, love for all, and attraction love). 


I cannot translate them into Latin but I will transliterate them from the Greek.  

How can a simple word “love” be so difficult to study and understand in the Bible?  Well, not only because the Bible translated different Greek words to the English word ‘love’, but various commentators have differing opinions on what those Greek words really mean in the original.

There are four words in Greek commonly translated as love in English.  They are storge, philia, eros and agape.  Both eros and storge were never used in the New Testament. Eros is commonly understood as expressing sexual or physical love, while storge is known to express family or natural affection like that of a parent to his/her child.  The remaining two words for love are the most commonly used words for the English "love" in the New Testament.  Agape is known as the self-giving or Godlike love, while phileo is seen as friendly affection.  Not only can these two (agape and phileo) overlap each others meaning in the Bible, but it can also be argued that these four words have different shades of meaning in depending on the time and the culture where they are being used.

Instead of trying to look at the original Greek to understand the proper meaning of ‘love’ in a particular passage in the Bible, it is better to understand this word in its context.  The most commonly used example of understanding between phileo and agape is on John 21:15-17

15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you truly love [agape] me more than these?”  “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love [phileo] you.”  Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”  16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you truly love [agape] me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love [phileo] you.”  Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.” 17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love [phileo] me?”  Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love [phileo] me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love [phileo] you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. (NIV)

Although some commentators will explain that Jesus Christ and Peter are referring to two different kinds of love, a careful study of these two words in the New Testament usage will reveal that it is more accurate to interpret them in the current passage as synonymous or the same in meaning.  The use of different words in Greek is more likely on the habit of John, the author, in using synonyms.  (note feed/take care and lambs/sheep)

Do you agree or disagree? 

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