Third of Four Greek Words for Love
The Written Word
Numerous people viewed last week’s post, but I did not get much feedback. Two weeks ago we looked at eros, the love shared between lovers. Last week we looked at storge, the love shared within a family. Also, for those who may not have read the previous blog posts, I would once again note that when I refer to the written word, I am referring to words put in writing, whether God’s words (the Bible) or the written words of this blog or my books, etc. And my desire in writing this blog is to pique your interest and stimulate your mind.
Revisiting the Four Loves
As previously mentioned, three of the four loves are found in the New Testament. Eros is not. Besides eros there are storge (pronounced store’-gay), which is family love; philia (pronounced fill’-ee-uh), which is affection or friendship; and agape (pronounced a-ga’-pay), which is a selfless, sacrificial love of choice.
Third of the Four Loves
Philia is not chosen as the third love as relative to order of importance. Each love is important in its own right. As we will see next week, from a biblical perspective agape is the highest of the loves. Not necessarily more important, but certainly the highest, although I have heard one Bible teacher argue that philia is the highest. After reading next week’s blog you can let me know your opinion on the matter.
Philia is defined as “affectionate regard, friendship”, usually “between equals.” Strong’s Greek Dictionary defines it as, “to have affection for (denoting personal attachment, as a matter of sentiment or feeling).” It is the love of intimate friendship, of warm fuzzies, of shared enjoyment. It is often expressed in terms of, “You know, I really like so-and-so,” or when using it to refer to a thing, it would be like the expression, “I love chocolate!”
Philia is often used in conjunction with adelphos, the Greek word for brother, thus philadelphia is generally translated brotherly love, brotherly kindness, or love of the brethren in the New King James Version (6 occurrences). The word philia standing alone is translated love twenty-two times and kiss three times. The latter were when Judas betrayed Jesus with a kiss in Gethsemane (Mark 14:44 and Luke 22:47, 48). Judas betrayed Jesus with an “act” of affection. Yet, it was only a façade, which tells us that philia can be faked. One can act like they really care when they don’t.
Peter addresses this problem of insincere love by telling us to love one another with true, or sincere hearts: “Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart… (I Peter 1:22)
You can find more information on philia or phileo love (noun form vs. verb form) at Got Questions.
The Written Word: Wrapping it up!
Intimate friendship is a wonderful gift from God. Value your friends and let them know that you care, that they are important to you. Demonstrate friendship, true brotherly love by acts of friendship not just words. In other words don’t let your friendships be mere pretense to your own benefit, as with Judas, but be a friend with purity of heart.
Once again, I would greatly appreciate your comments on this article.
The Written Word: Another Fascinating Book!
This week I am introducing two books, Unlikely Heroes and Once Upon a Knight, for the young readers on your Christmas giveaway list, and I am confident the older reader would enjoy them as well. Perhaps the best description I can give of each book is a review that appears on Amazon.
Unlikely Heroes Review by a Kindle Reader
Great Family Read: This book is actually four stories, each with a life lesson tucked in. My heart was especially touched by the way it deals with the issue of physical handicaps, genetic defects, and in general people (and creatures) who are “different.” Many in our society equate “different” with “unacceptable”; thus, sadly, they are often societal discards.
Denaar, the main character in the 4 stories, is employed as a dung cart driver, the lowliest of jobs, and whose feelings of self-worth are about equal to that. Injured as a baby, he is left with one leg. Through the kindness of an old man, a clockmaker, he begins to see his life as having usefulness and hope. The other characters in the stories, with their own peculiarities, join Denaar in a series of adventures that are sure to inspire and entertain children and adults alike!
Unlikely Heroes gives a clear picture of the reality that there is evil in this world, and the life choices we make are critical in overcoming. It is also about how God loves even the unlovely and can use the most “unlikely” of us if we will trust him.
Once Upon a Knight Review by B. Ann
A fairy tale-type fantasy, the story will appeal to young people as well as adults who love a good adventure story about overcoming odds and finding the abundance of God’s goodness in the most unexpected places!
Aphendle, or “Ash” as he is commonly known, the story’s protagonist, is believable and extremely likeable. He is the hero we all want at times in our life……one who is able, through his total dependence on Adonel (God), intelligence and his gift of extraordinary logic to solve problems that no one else could solve. The story does not preach Christianity, but it certainly incorporates its principles….what a refreshing change of pace for the reader in this post-modern world of corrupted morals!
His adventures take you to mystical realms of fantasy creatures and places, to imaginary worlds where anything is possible! The story intrigued me, page after page, and left me wanting a sequel to Ash’s life exploits.
I see elements of C.S. Lewis’ creative genius in every one of John Edgell’s stories, which we rarely see in works of fantasy these days.
The Rest of My Books
As mentioned last week, I write a broad spectrum of books, from a Christmas anthology to fantasy, pirate stories, fairytales, allegories and some non-fiction. All of my books can be found at Amazon (including for Kindle versions) and Barnes & Noble. Remember, Christmas will be here before you know it, so you’ll want to take time to check out some good reading gifts.
Again, your feedback is welcome.