or Phileo?

For the
mystery of
 iniquity doth already work:…”
( 2 Thessalonians 2:7 )


Which of the following is `agape' love and which is `phileo' love?

You know the difference, don't you? You've heard it enough from the pulpit. `Agape' love is Godly love (God's love) and `phileo' love is human love and the love of man towards other men. Got it? Right Have a go. The answers are at the end (no peeking now).


a. "Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king." (1 Pet 2:17)

b. "He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him." (1 John 2:10)

c. "In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother." (1 John 3:10)

d. "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death." (1 John 3:14)

e. "And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also." (1John 4:21)

f.   "Woe unto you, Pharisees! for ye love the uppermost seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets." (Luke 11:43)

g.    "And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you:" (1 Thess 3:12)

h. "So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself." (Eph 5:28)

i. "For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God." (John 16:27)

j. "As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent." (Rev 3:19)

k. "But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared," (Titus 3:4)

I.  "For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel." (John 5:20)

m. "Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him. (John 20:2)


How easy was that? OK, have a peek at the answers. How many did you get right? All? Two? Some people get none!              

The answers are at the end.


Don't fret! Let's continue and all will come clear.

How many times have you sat through a sermon on John 21:15-17 on "Feed my sheep" where the pastor uses it to impress you with his knowledge of Greek? You know how it goes:

Jesus says to Simon, son of Jonas, "Lovest (agape) thou me?" And Peter says ""You know that I love (phileo) you."

The preacher pauses to remind us that Jesus has asked Peter if he loves Jesus with a deep godly love and Peter replies that he does, but only with a human type of love. Jesus, not having received the answer he wants, tries again.

"Do you love (agape) me?" And Peter answers the same with 'phileo'.

The preacher then points out that on the third time, Jesus changes his word from `agape' to `phileo' in order to jolt Peter to his senses and shame him.

He says "Do you love (phileo) me?" Peter is shocked and says "You know that I love (phileo) you."

At this point, the preacher waxes lyrical about the riches of the Greek language that can't be had in the English.

And of course, you're just sitting there thinking "Man, aren't we fortunate to have a pastor that knows his Greek."

The preacher then points out to the congregation that we're all like Peter. Everyone nods in agreement. The preacher then says that we should re­double our efforts to love Jesus with a more `agape' love than we do. He then says we just give Jesus second best and we all know that this is true. He then leads the congregation in prayer and everyone prays that they will have more of this `agape' love toward God. Suitably chastened, a last hymn is sung and everyone goes home.

Hasn't the Greek been wonderful?

Deeply entrenched in the minds of the people in the pews is that isn't it wonderful to have the richness of the `Greek' brought out by such a learned pastor as theirs. The Greek has once again exposed the absolute poverty of the English. No-one would have seen Peter's spiritual lukewarmness to Jesus unless it was for the Greek.



The answer is simple - there is absolutely no difference whatever between the meanings of the words "agape" and "phileo".

Let me say it again - there is there is no difference whatever between the meanings of the words "agape" and "phileo".

Both words are used interchangeably in the New Testament in spite of the fact that your pastor will tell you otherwise.

The explanation - Satan is angry

When the Roman Catholic system held complete sway over the Bible, it was kept under wraps in monasteries in Latin. As such, the common man couldn't get hold of it and it wouldn't have been much good anyhow because he couldn't read Latin. Now this suited Satan just fine. His disciples, the Roman Catholic church, could then tell the people whatever they liked about the Bible. However Satan’s 'Latin gig' soon got exposed and for over two hundred and fifty years the world was given the true Bible. During this time, there was unprecedented world–wide evangelism with God’s word – the King James Bible. The common man could understand the English. This greatly upset Satan and his church in Rome.

What could he do to get interpretation back into the hands of man?

The satanic plan was hatched.

Satan had to devise a much more sinister plan to get the Bible back into the hands of the scholar and here is the mystery of iniquity. He has succeeded by placing the scriptures, not into the hands of those ungodly, Latin-languaged Roman Catholics, but good, godly, `Greek' preaching Christian scholars.

Now, if you're still a little taken aback at all this, why don't we let scripture speak for itself?



Answers to Test: a-h are 'agape' & i-m 'phileo'


Harley Hitchcock

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