Thursday, August 12, 2010


Christ taken down from the cross.
Divine, unconditional, self-sacrificing,
active, volitional, and thoughtful love
of Christ
Agapē (ἀγάπη — affection, good will, love, benevolence, brotherly love) is one of several Greek words translated into English as "love." The word has been used in different ways by a variety of contemporary and ancient sources, including Biblical authors such as Matthew, John and Paul. Many have thought that this word represents divine, unconditional, self-sacrificing, active, volitional, and thoughtful love. Greek philosophers at the time of Plato and other ancient authors have used forms of the word to denote love of a spouse or family, or affection for a particular activity, in contrast to philia—an affection that could denote either brotherhood or generally non-sexual affection, and eros, an affection of a sexual nature. The term 'agape' is rarely used in ancient manuscripts, but was used by the early Christians to refer to the self-sacrificing love of God for humanity (cf. John 3:16), which they were committed to reciprocating and practicing towards God and among one another (also see kenosis, john 3:16).

Within the context of Matt 22:37 (ἀγαπάω agapaō) where Jesus quotes Deut. 6:5 (Authorship attributed to the Moses), the Hebrew word in Deuteronomy is אהב 'ahab Strong's H157 means (human love for another, human love for or to God, God's love toward man, etc.)

Strong's Lexicon, G25 defines agapaō as such:
  1. of persons

    • to welcome, to entertain, to be fond of, to love dearly
    • to be well pleased, to be contented at or with a thing


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