Saturday, 11 February 2017


With Valentine's day this Teusday I'm doing a hybrid post today comparing Classical and NT Greek usage.

#classicalgreek #eros #newtestamentgreek #agape #philia

One of the most striking differences between Classical Greek and New Testament Greek is the preference for AGAPE over EROS and PHILIA.

In Classical Greek Prose and Poetry, Drama and Comedy, Eros and Philia are the verbs most frequently loved to describe relationships of desire,  love and friendship, and familial affection is rarely discussed.

However in the NEW Testament GOD IS LOVE - AGAPE

Now one idea I have seen is that AGAPE is actually a loan word based on the AfroAsiatic HBB stem and given how the Greeks altered  other loan words from Egyptian and Phoenician that seems possible but I think another reason was cultural. The NT writers wanted to distance themselves at first from Greek philosophers' ideas about love, Platonic or other.

Eros even in its widest meanings refers to passionate love usually with  sexual or romantic element.

Philia is friendship

Storge Affection.

HBB / Agape covers all those things and more though we should bear in mind Aramaic also used other words.

A possible issue is people using Greek as a second language. Look at the differences between the declensions of EROS and Agape and their connected Verbs. People learn the simplest forms first.

With Latin usage starting to spread into the Eastern empire Philia could have caused confusion as the Romans had filius and filius to describe children  and since neither Greek or Aramaic used a F sound in the initial position  at that time period that I know of ...

Agapaa agape agapoo easy to pronounce and write and read no need to remmeber eroos has a T in other cases than nominative and the initial Consonant cluster in STORGEE plus an R next to a G .

AGAPE WINS! with so many advantages over other words, philosophical, semantic, theological, cultural, sociolinguistic, and artistic. The return of Eros to Western art though is a subject best discussed over on my Glyphika blog.