Re: Sunday Dispatch
"For God so loved..."
~ First words of John 3:16
The New Testament originally written in GREEK. The basic reason why this language was chosen instead of Aramaic or Hebrew was that the writers wished to reach a broad, Gentile (non-Israelite) audience, not just a Jewish audience. The spoken tongue used by both the disciples and Christ was highly likely Aramaic, even though such a Semitic language was not the original one used by the Jews.
Greek was the leading written and spoken language of the eastern Mediterranean world when Rome ruled the world during the New Testament period. Indeed, it remained the dominant language, especially in the large cities of Alexandria, Antioch, etc., until after the Arab Muslim conquest, long after the time the Western Roman Empire fell in 476 A.D.
By the time of the New Testament church in the first century A.D., Hellenism had greatly influenced and changed the people and culture of Judea. Greek, not Hebrew, was the commonly used language of Palestine during the rule of the Roman Empire.
The ability to speak this language was a needed skill in the Roman world as it was used as the standard way of communicating, carrying out business, and so on. Greek was written and used during the early church period to communicate between people who grew up in different areas of the world and whose native tongues were quite different.
The well-known Jewish historian of the first century, Josephus, stated that the ability to speak Greek was very common.
Some evidence that Christ spoke the Greek language does exist in the Bible. Jesus utilized at least two Grecian words for love in his well-known post-resurrection conversation with Peter regarding how much he loved him. He used the word AGAPE, which is a deep love and PHILEO, which is brotherly love toward someone we like (see John 21: 15 - 17). These words have no exact corresponding word either in Old Testament Hebrew or in Aramaic.
AGAPE and PHILEO are two of the four works in Greek for love. It was a precise language.
The Four Loves:
The first love is called “phileo” love and that is the love that the city of Philadelphia was named after…brotherly love. This type of love is that friends have for one another. This type of love can also exist between brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles and other family members but it is most frequently associated with a deep, abiding friendship…a love that is shared between the best of friends,
The next type of love is what is called in the Greek “eros” which is a romantic sexual love. You can probably see that is the root word for erotic.
Most people probably have not heard of this type of love but they exhibit it without even knowing about it. This kind of love is what a sister and brother for one another and the kind that they have for their siblings and like phileo
This is the Greek word for love at its ultimate. It is the most self-sacrificing love that there is. This type of love is the love that God has for His own children. This type of love is what was displayed on the cross by Jesus Christ. In John 3:16 it is written that “God so loved (agapao) the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.”
Agape love is that which is always associated with the love of God and rarely does it occur when it involves one person in relations with another. The Greek word agape was hardly ever used in Greek-speaking societies but in the New Testament, it occurs 320 times.
~ Selected from an essay by Jack Wellman and the Bible Study Guide
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Last edited by the iron horse : 11-26-2017 at 12:21 PM.