|THE SYNONYMOUS WORDS FOR "LOVE". Appendix 135 To The Companion Bible.|
I. The Verb.
1. agapao = to regard with favor, to make much of a thing or person, on principle. The cause or ground of No. 2.
2. phileo = to kiss, to be fond of, having regard to feeling as distinct from principle. The demonstration of No. 1. Hence No. 2 is never used of man's love to God: this is always No. 1. Both words are used of God's love to man. No. 2 is used of the Lord's love for Lazarus (John 11:3, 36), but not in verse 5, where the sisters are included. See the notes on John 21:15-17; and on John 12:25.
II. The Noun.1. agape. No. 2, below, was the common word used by the Greeks, for love; and even this is far lower than the
New Testament philadelphia (= love of the brethren). Agape is spontaneous love, irrespective of "rights". The word was supposed to be peculiar to the New Testament, but it is found in the Papyri. 2. philanthropia = philanthropy, or love of man, which did not go beyond giving man his "rights", among the Greeks. It is used in a far higher sense in Titus 3:4; occurs elsewhere only in Acts 28:2. Compare the Adverb philanthropos (Acts 27:3, "courteously").
III. The Adjective.agapetos = beloved. The word used of the Lord Jesus by the Father. See Matthew 3:17; 12:18; 17:5. Mark 1:11; 9:7. Luke 3:22; 9:35; and in Mark 12:6. Luke 20:13, by Himself. A special epithet of the Saints in the Epistles.