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The Greek word agape is often translated "love" in the New Testament. How is "agape love" different from other types of love? The essence of agape love is goodwill, benevolence, and willful delight...
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Unconditional love. The Father Loves us unconditionally. There's no ending in His love.
I suggest that the uniquely defining characteristic of agape love as it relates to God's love for us is that in agape love, God looks upon no one as "unlovable." Therefore, as we become more Christlike, we should find that we are no longer striving to "love the unlovable," because - like Jesus - we will find all persons equally lovable.
Agape Love is known as God's love and it is unconditional love, the love that God has for us. He loves us in spite of our faults. Regardless of what we have done God still loves us. Unlike the Philo love know as brotherly love, which is dependent on how we feel about each other based on conditions. Many people don't love people based upon where they are from or simply because they don't know them. There are conditions and they have to be met. The same is said for the Eros love that is really based upon our erotic desires. That love is conditional as well as we see by the number of divorces in this country. Another type of love based on conditions. God's love is the highest form of love that can be displayed from anyone. To unconditionally love someone like God loves us takes a lot and when we reach that stage in our ministry and life we can indeed truly be our brother's keeper. This is the type of love that the world truly needs now as the songwriter says.
There is a reason that the translators of all the version simply render AGAPE as "love". That is because AGAPE DOES NOT MEAN A SPECIAL KIND OF LOVE THAT IS FROM GOD. Here's the proof that Agapao/agape has a wide range of meaning, very well covered by the word used in English to translate it: "love"-- First, the Old Testament: KJV 2 Samuel 13:4 And he said unto him, Why art thou, being the king's son, lean from day to day? Wilt thou not tell me? And Amnon said unto him, I love Tamar, my brother Absalom's sister. [The Septuagint uses "agapao". This is a purely sexual desire in this passage. Amnon raped his half-sister Tamar, then abandoned her.] KJV 1 Kings 11:1 But king Solomon loved many strange women, together with the daughter of Pharaoh, women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites;2 Of the nations concerning which the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Ye shall not go in to them, neither shall they come in unto you: for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods: Solomon clave unto these in love. [Purely sexual love] KJV Psalm 4:2 O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? How long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing? Selah. [Agapao used of an evil love]. KJV Proverbs 8:36 But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death. [Another instance of agapao used by the Septuagint for an evil love] KJV Proverbs 21:17 He that loveth pleasure shall be a poor man: he that loveth wine and oil shall not be rich. [Another use of agapao for sensuality. Note that the second "love" in this verse is "phileo", which shallow scholarship often encourages people to think is "brotherly love", but which is, in fact larely synonymous with agapao, as can be seen here.] KJV Ecclesiastes 5:10 He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity. [Here we "agapao" money! Hardly a noble, spiritual love.] KJV Isaiah 1:23 Thy princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards: they judge not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them. [Covetous "agape"!] KJV Jeremiah 2:33 Why trimmest thou thy way to seek love? Therefore hast thou also taught the wicked ones thy ways. [Purely sensual desire]. Now, the New Testament: KJV Matthew 5:46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans the same? [Common social companionship that is basically selfish--same as the following, which makes it more plain that "agapao" can refer to the basest kind of attraction--] KJV Luke 6:32 For if ye love them which love you, what thank have ye? For sinners also love those that love them. KJV Luke 11:43 Woe unto you, Pharisees! For ye love the uppermost seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets. [The worst kind of love, covetous, selfish, and hypocritical] KJV 2 Timothy 4:10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia. ["Agapao" in an extremely negative sense] KJV 1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. [Here we see agapao/agape in both evil and good senses, which is in accord with what the translators have selected as the translation of the word, into the English word "love", which has the same range of meanings.] The real lesson from the word AGAPE...IS THAT YOU CAN TRUST THE TRANSLATIONS! The translators know that the word AGAPE just means the same as our English word love--a strong affection for something. It can be good or bad. The translations have it right, and there is no "hidden" meaning. The second great lesson, is that things that are patently false can come to sound like absolute truth, if repeated enough. God's Word is SO good!
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