Are there 4 word in Greek for love / to love?

Semantic Range, Lexicography, and other approaches to word meaning - in general, or for particular words.
cwconrad
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Re: Are there 4 word in Greek for love / to love?

Post by cwconrad » November 2nd, 2014, 8:09 am

If anything is demonstrated by these sermons that build upon the supposed distinction between φιλεῖν and ἀγαπᾶν, it's perhaps that the minimal exposure to Biblical Greek that has been required of ministerial candidates is of questionable value, insofar as it brings an illusion (delusion?) of intimate familiarity with the original of the Biblical text. Perhaps we're fortunate if we haven't experienced this ostentatious homiletic display very often; the only preacher I can recall who really had a command of the languages and used them effectively was George Buttrick, when he was preacher in Harvard's Memorial Church in the late 1950's.
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οὔτοι ἀπ’ ἀρχῆς πάντα θεοὶ θνητοῖς ὑπέδειξαν,
ἀλλὰ χρόνῳ ζητέοντες ἐφευρίσκουσιν ἄμεινον. (Xenophanes, Fragment 16)

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Retired)

Wes Wood
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Re: Are there 4 word in Greek for love / to love?

Post by Wes Wood » November 2nd, 2014, 8:43 am

cwconrad wrote:...it's perhaps that the minimal exposure to Biblical Greek that has been required of ministerial candidates is of questionable value, insofar as it brings an illusion (delusion?) of intimate familiarity with the original of the Biblical text.
Of the people that I have known, Dr. Dowell Flatt had a superb handle on Greek. In the four years I heard him speak, I don't recall him directly mentioning it once. I, even as young as I was, recognized this as being unusual and thought more highly of him for it. It wasn't that he couldn't have done it, it was to avoid the air of authority you are speaking of.

I think the "illusion" you are speaking of often captivates both the performer and the intended audience. This makes it highly dangerous.

On a side note, I heard a sermon like this a few weeks ago, well at least part of it. I got sidetracked trying to think of all the words that I thought might be appropriately translated, at least occasionally, as love. I counted at least four. :lol:
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Ἀσπάζομαι μὲν καὶ φιλῶ, πείσομαι δὲ μᾶλλον τῷ θεῷ ἢ ὑμῖν.-Ἀπολογία Σωκράτους 29δ

TimNelson
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Location: Australia, Victoria, Geelong

Re: Are there 4 word in Greek for love / to love?

Post by TimNelson » November 2nd, 2014, 5:56 pm

I'm fortunate in that my minister had some time in Classical Greek before studying for the ministry (and had done Latin throughout high school -- even starting "fights" (prearranged staged things) on the sporting field so as to be sent inside to do more Latin). So he has a grip on this, and is even beginning a Th. D. on some of the interrelationships between the NT and a Classical Greek author.
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Tim Nelson
B. Sc. (Computer Science), M. Div. Looking for work (in computing or language-related jobs).

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