Saturday, February 13, 2010

Valentines Day ... a good day to read what the Bible has to say about marriage, huh? It seemed so serendipitous this morning as I began lesson 5 in Precepts's second Genesis study. Last week's snow had wiped out our session on lesson 4.

We plow ahead ...

Serendipitous, right. Yeah, in a couple of ways. First of all, a revisit of the John 21 stuff I had gone over in class Thursday night and posted on. I still really don't think there's anything to it but maybe I should spend more time thinking about it. BTW, this is not Precepts material but supplemental study material that our amazing leader provides us. It's usually original language background from academic references that I can't readily dismiss.

In this case, it's a dictionary. A fair portion of the material is found here, beginning at verse 15.

But the part that stopped me cold was the practical application that followed.
Agapáō and never philéō is used of love toward our enemies. The range of philéō is wider than that of agapáō which stands higher than philéō because of its moral import, i.e., love that expresses compassion. We are thus commanded to love (agapaáō) our enemies, to do what is necessary to turn them to Christ, but never to befriend them (philéō) by adopting their interests and becoming friends on their level.
To be honest, first thing that came to mind is the phrase "Friend of sinners" (Matt. 11:19; Lk. 7:34). Oh, but sinners can't be our enemies. Maybe if I had a precise enemy in view, this would all make sense. "The world" is pretty broad (James 4:4). Short of something concrete, I'm left in the abstract wondering how to distinguish between love and friendship.

Just something quick, then, on "helper," from the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament:
While this word (‘ēzer) designates assistance, it is more frequently used in a concrete sense to designate the assistant. (Cf. Gen 2:18, 20 where Eve is created to be Adam's help[er].) As to the source of the help, this word is generally used to designate divine aid.
And the fittingness of OLPH occurred to me.


Daughter of Wisdom said...

Teresa, for the past couple of weeks I have been thinking about love as well. I have discovered that the three forms of love - phileo, agapao, and eros are different expressions of agape love. God is love - agape love. Have a wonderful, and loving Valentine's day. As it says in 1 Peter 5:14, we are to greet each other with the kiss of love. Have a great day!

Moonshadow said...

We are thus commanded to love our enemies, ... but never to befriend them

I wonder how widespread is the idea that we aren't to be friends with our enemies? And whether it could be said that one doesn't practice a biblical lifestyle if she endeavors to befriend people who don't like her.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Teresa, I don't think phileo love can be practiced between enemies. Phileo love is a love that is cultivated through friendship. It is the love that grows from positive relationships with family and friends, and results in affection and genuine liking for each other. You could try to befriend your enemy, but if your enemy refuses to befriend you, then phileo love cannot develop. JMHO.


Daughter of Wisdom said...

Love your thoughts!

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