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CONSIDERED as a monument of the Greek language at a particular stage of its development, the New Testament is a very interesting document; and not least so in the terminology which it employs to express the emotion of love. The end-terms of this development, so far as it is open to our observation, are found - we are speaking in broad categories - in the literature which we know as "classical" on the one side, and in the speech of the modern Greek world on the other. In passing from one of these end-terms to the other, a complete revolution has been wrought in the terminology of love; a revolution so radical that the ordinary verb for "to love" in classical Greek has lost that sense altogether in modern Greek, its place being taken by a verb in comparatively infrequent use in the classics; while the ordinary substantive for "love" in modern Greek, formed from this latter verb, does not occur even once in the whole range of classical Greek literature. Coming in somewhere between these two end-terms, the New Testament, flanked on the one side by the Septuagint version of the Old Testament and its accompanying Apocrypha, and on the other by the Apostolic Fathers, forms a compact body of literature in which alone we can observe the revolution in progress; or, we should better say, in which this revolution suddenly appears to sight already nearly completed. Without any heralding in the secular literature, all at once in this religious literature the change presents itself to our view as in principle already an accomplished fact.
All the terms expressing the idea of love current either in classical or in modern Greek are found in this body of religious literature. But they are found in it in such distribution as to make it evident that we are witnessing the dying of one usage while the other has already reached its vigorous youth. This phenomenon is the more impressive because this body of literature stands out in this respect in a certain isolation. Neither in the secular literature of the early Christian centuries, nor even in the immediately succeeding religious literature - in the Greek of the Apologists and the early Church Fathers - is the change in usage anything like so manifest. We have an odd feeling that, with respect to the expression of the idea of love at least, the Greek of the New Testament (along with that of the Septuagint and the Apostolic Fathers) has run ahead of its time, and reflects a stage in the development of the language not yet by some centuries generally attained. This is due doubtless in part to the extremely popular character of these writings. They tap for us the Greek language of their day as it was actually spoken; and enable us to see how far the spoken Greek was outstripping in its development the language of "the prigs who write books." In the Apologists at any rate we have a partial return to the more literary usage, with the effect that the language of the New Testament (with the Septuagint and Apostolic Fathers) seems more modern than that of even the Christian writers that came after them.
There are four verbs which, with their accompanying nouns (of course there are also various derivatives), are employed by the classical writers to express the idea of love. Of these filei/n (fili,a) is in universal use as the general term for love, though naturally it has its specific implication which on occasion comes sharply into sight. By its side stand its synonyms, evra/n( evra/sqai (e;rwj), ste,rgein (storgh,), avgapa/n (avga,phsij), each of which also is no doubt employed (with decreasing frequency in the order in which they are here set down) to express every kind of love, but each with a specific implication which comes clearly into evidence whenever there is occasion for it to do so. What we mean to say is that, as synonyms, these terms do not so much cover a common ground over the edge of which each extends at a particular place to occupy an additional field all its own; as that they are so used that, within the common ground which they all alike cover, each has a particular quality or aspect which it alone emphasizes, and which it alone is fitted to bring into sight. If we should endeavor to hit off the special implication of each with a single word, we might perhaps say that with ste,rgein it is nature, with evra/n passion, with filei/n pleasurableness, with avgapa/n preciousness. The idea of love includes all these things, and these terms come severally to mind, therefore, in speaking of love, whenever love is contemplated from the angle of the special implication of each. If it is a question of the constitutional efflux of natural affection ste,rgein is the most expressive word to use. If, of the blind impulse of absorbing passion, evra/n. If, of the glow of heart kindled by the perception of that in the object which affords us pleasure, filei/n. If, of an awakened sense of value in the object which causes us to prize it, avgapa/n. It is probable that no one of the terms is ever used wholly without some sense in the speaker's mind of its specific implication. Nevertheless each of them is actually employed of every kind and degree of love - because there is no object which is fitted to call out the emotion of love at all which cannot be approached from numerous angles and envisaged from distinct points of view. Not merely differences in the objects on which the affection terminates, but also differences in the mental attitude of its subjects, determine the appropriateness of one or another of the terms, when love is spoken of.
We may take ste,rgein as an illustration.2 We have no doubt that the characterization of it by J. H. Heinrich Schmidt is substantially right. "Ste,rgein," he writes,3 "does not denote a passionate love or disposition, not a longing after something that takes our heart captive and gives to our efforts a distinctive goal; it designates rather the quiet and abiding feeling within us, which resting on an object as near to us, recognizes that we are closely bound up with it and takes satisfaction in this recognition." "Of this sort," he adds, "is love to parents, to wife and children, to our close relations particularly, and then to our country and our king. There is revealed in ste,rgein, accordingly, the inner life of the heart which belongs to man by nature; while filei/n shows the inclination which springs out of commerce with a person or thing, or is called out by qualities in a thing which are agreeable to us; and evra/n expresses a passion pressing outward and seeking satisfaction." Nevertheless we can understand that one who, rising from reading this characterization, should light upon a passage like Plutarch's description of Pericles' love for Aspasia, might feel some doubts of its adequacy. "The affection (avga,phsij) which Pericles had for Aspasia," he explains,4 "seems to have been rather of a passionate (evrwtikh,) kind." Discarding his wife, "he took Aspasia and loved her exceedingly (e;sterxe diafero,ntwj). Twice a day, as they say, on going out and on coming in from the market place, he would salute her with a loving kiss (katafilei/n)." Ste,rgein is used here of a distinctly erotic love, such as we might expect to be expressed rather by evra/n, and seems to be described, as distinguished from avga,phsij, precisely by its quality as passion. And certainly it is not of "natural affection" in the ordinary sense of that phrase that Meleager expects us to think when he asks concerning Eros, "Is not Ares his mother's lover (ste,rgei)?"5 So little is it always conceived as independent of attractive qualities in its object, moreover, that Xenophon, in a discussion of the transitoriness of love (he is speaking of sexual love), uses it, when raising the question whether under the best circumstance -when namely the love is not only warm but mutual (h;n de. kai. avmfo,tera ste,rxwsi) - it can survive the fading of the charms of one or the other party.6 Passages like these show how widely the application of ste,rgein, storgh, is extended; and how nearly out of sight its specific implication of love as a natural movement of the soul - as something almost like gravitation or some other force of blind nature - may retire. Yet it probably never retires quite out of sight: the use of the word doubtless always suggests that in some way or other the love in question is natural, even if we must add that it has become natural only by the acquisition of a second nature. Even the love of sense may be conceived of, from this point of view, as a constitutional action of mere nature.7
Other and more numerous passages present themselves in which the native meaning of the word is thrown up strongly to observation. When Euripides wishes to reproach a father who has contracted a second marriage with neglect of the children of his dead wife, he naturally uses ste,rgein of the love for them that he has lost. The passage contains a contrast between filei/ and ste,rgei which puts a sharper point upon the specific meaning of the latter. "Hast learned this only now, That no man loves (filei) his neighbor as himself? Good cause have some; with most 'tis greed of gain - As here: their sire for a bride's sake loves (ste,rgei) not these,"8 The guilt and tragedy of the situation are greatly increased by the fact that it is a natural and constitutional movement of the human heart which is outraged. Accordingly a;storgoj - it is worth while to note it in passing, for a;storgoj is a New Testament word - is a word of terrible significance. "Especially, however," writes Schmidt,9 "is the meaning of ste,rgein and storgh, illustrated by a;storgoj, 'loveless.' It designates the unfeeling and hard, whose heart is warmed by no noble sentiment; it is applied particularly to inhuman parents, but also to animals who do not love their young. . . . How sharply the meaning of the word is differentiated is shown by the fact that it is used of women who have many love-affairs and who therefore are very certainly not avne,rastoi, but on the other hand lack the nobler love to their husbands."
It is this that is the natural use of ste,rgein, and it occurs in it very frequently. An instructive instance is found in a passage in Plato's "Laws."10 "I maintain," he writes, "that this colony of ours has a father and mother, which is no other than the colonizing state. Well, I know that many colonies have been, and will be, at enmity with their parents. But in early days the child, as in a family, loves and is beloved; even if there come a time later, when the tie is broken, still, while he is in want of education, he naturally loves his parents and is beloved by them, and flies to them for protection, and finds in them his natural defense in time of need; and this parental feeling already exists in the Cnosians." Some other term for love could no doubt have been employed in this passage. But the employment of the phrase ste,rgei te kai. ste,rgetai, which, in an effort to convey its implication, Jowett renders, "naturally loves his parents . . .," gives particular force to the remark; this is precisely what children and parents feel to one another.
Another instructive passage is found in the Ninth Book of Aristotle's "Nicomachaeon Ethics." It will repay us to run rapidly through it. Aristotle is remarking on the odd fact of experience that benefactors love (filei/n) the benefited, rather than the other way round. The explanation is, he suggests, that the benefited stand to the benefactors in a relation somewhat like that of their product. It is to be noted, he says, that those who have conferred favors love and prize (filou/si kai. avgapw/si, 'feel affection for and value') those who receive them quite irrespective of any hope they may cherish of a return. This is a feeling common to all artificers: each loves (avgapa/|) his own especial product much more than he could possibly be loved (ajgaphqei,h, 'prized') by it, could life be conferred upon it. The poets supply the supreme illustration; their love for their poems is inordinate (u`peragapw/si, 'the value that they place upon them'), and has a truly parental quality (ste,rgontej w[sper te,kna). It is a just simile: every workman lives in the product of his energy, for what is living but the expenditure of energy? We love (ste,rgein) what we make, because what we make is the extension of ourselves, and to love it is to love our own being. It will be noted that in this passage ste,rgein is raised so much above filei/n and avgapa/n that it is called in to give the specific quality of a u`peragapa/n. When our love becomes strong and tender like a parents' love for his children it is most naturally described by ste,rgein.
It is not, however, precisely the strength or the tenderness of a love which qualifies it to be described by ste,rgein. It is its obligatoriness - if we may use that term in a quasi-natural rather than an openly moral sense; its "necessity" under the circumstances; a necessity by virtue of which its absence becomes not merely distressing but also reprehensible.11 This is the proper term for the love which constitutes the cement by which any natural or social unit is bound together, and which is due from one member of every such unit to another. Of course such a unit may be mentally created out of any relation, natural or artificial, permanent or temporary; and the use of ste,rgein of the sentiment existing between individuals is evidence that they are, for the moment at least, thought of as constituting such a unit, - as "bound together in some bundle of life." Accordingly it is used of the love which binds friends together, and which a friend has the right to expect from his friend. "I do not love a friend who loves with words (lo,goij d vevgw. filou/san ouv ste,rgw fi,lhn)," says Antigone:12 and what she means is that she does not look upon one whose professed affection expresses itself only in words as bound up in one bundle of life with her and so worthy of the name of friend. Similarly when Lichas advises Deianeira to receive Iole, in the words ste,rge th.n gunai/ka,13 he means something more than is expressed in the several current renderings: "bear this woman with patience," "suffer this maiden gladly," "treat the girl kindly": he means, take her into a recognized relation to yourself, involving a duty of affectionate treatment. The isolation of Menon the Thracian could not be more strongly expressed than by Xenophon's description: "He evidently had no affection (ste,rgen) for anyone";14 it is implied that he was lacking in all that goes to bind a man to his fellows and them to him. When the sausage-vender cries out to Demos in Aristophanes' play:15 May I be minced up into very small meat indeed, eiv mh. se filw/( kai. mh. ste,rgw, - he quickly corrects the protestation of mere personal sentiment for Demos to an assertion of such a love for him as implied identification of himself with him. Demos here represents a whole people whom the sausage-vender describes as his friends, to whom he asserts himself to be bound by a - not merely class but organic - affection. It is just as easy to think of the whole world as such an organic unity, compacted together by mutual filanqrwpi,a. The Christian Apologists, rising to this conception, naturally give expression to it in the forms of speech long consecrated to such things. We are filanqrwpo,tatoi to such an extent, says Athenagoras,16 that we do not love (ste,rgein) merely our friends (fi,louj), for 'if ye love (avgapw/ntai) those that love you,' says He, 'what reward will ye have?"' And Justin:17 "But concerning our loving all (peri. de. tou/ ste,rgein a;pantaj), He taught us, 'If ye love those that love you (avgapa/te tou/j avgapw/ntaj u`ma/j), what new thing do ye do?"' It is exceedingly instructive to observe these writers, in the act of citing our Lord's great commandment of universal love, replacing His avgapa/n with ste,rgein in the interests of their own feeling for the solidarity of the human race. Ste,rgein, we see, is the love of solidarity.18
And if the Deity be solidary with men - as Plato and the Stoics taught? Why, then, of course, ste,rgein could be used of the love that binds the Deity and men together. Even the gods many and lords many could be said so to love, each its votaries. "This is right, Mr. Busybody, right," we read in Aristophanes:19 "for the Muses of the lyre love us well (evme. ga.r e;sterxan eu;luroi, te Mou/sai)." And on a higher plane Athene is made to declare that she loves (ste,rgein), even as one that tends plants, the race that has taken graft from the righteous.20 But gods many and lords many are divisive things. We must come at least to the recognition of to. qei/on before we can effectively conceive the divine and the human as bound up in one bundle of life, the cement of which is love. It is not without its deep significance, therefore, that the Emperor Constantine begins the oration which he delivered to "the Assembly of the Saints" with an allusion to the love (storgh,) to the Deity implanted in men,21 and closes it with an assertion of the love (storgh,) of God to man, which is manifested in His providence.22
What has been said of ste,rgein may in substance be repeated of evra/n, mutatis mutandis. What evra/n conveys23 is the idea of passion; and since all love is a passion evra/n is applicable to all love; but since evra/n emphasizes the passion of love it is above all applicable to especially passionate forms of love. It is naturally used, therefore, frequently to express the sexual appetite. This is not because it is a base word: it is no more intrinsically base than any other word for love. It is because its very heart is passion, and it therefore lends itself especially to express a love which is nothing but passion. But it just as readily lends itself to express a passion which is all love, and it accordingly is also used in the very strongest sense in which a term for love can be employed. Its characteristic uses thus lie at the two extremes of low and high, although of course it may be applied to any kind or degree of love lying between, if only it be for the moment thought of as passion. Schmidt24 has persuaded himself that the fundamental idea of the word is absorbing preoccupation with its object, complete engrossment with it, the setting of the whole mind upon it - in accordance with a passage in Aristotle's "Rhetoric"25 which tells us that people in love (evrw/ntej), no matter what they are doing - talking or writing or acting - are always brooding with delight on the beloved one (tou/ evrwme,nou). Aristotle, however, seems to be only noting here a familiar effect of the passion which evra/n really expresses.
It is one of the most characteristic applications of evra/n which is illustrated by a frequently quoted passage from Xenophon's "Cyropaedeia."26 This passage is a part of a disquisition designed to prove the voluntariness of love, and runs as follows. "'Do you observe,' said he, 'how fire burns all alike? That is its nature. But of beautiful things, we love (evrw/si) some and some we do not: and one [loves] one [person], another another; for it is a matter of free-will, and each loves (evra/|) what he pleases. For example, a brother does not [fall in] love [with] (evra/|) his sister, but somebody else [falls in love with] her; neither does a father [fall in love with] his daughter, but someone else does; for fear of God and the law of the land are sufficient to prevent [such] love (e;rwta). But,' he went on, 'if a law should be passed forbidding those who did not eat to be hungry, those who did not drink to be thirsty, forbidding people to be cold in the winter or hot in summer, no such law could ever bring men to obey its provisions, for they are so constituted by nature as to be subject to the control of such circumstances. But love (evra/n) is a matter of free-will; at any rate every one loves (evra/|) what suits his taste as he does his clothes and shoes."' And then the discussion proceeds to raise the question of slavery to the passion of this love, and deals with it lamely enough - on the theory that love is purely a matter of will. Here certainly it is said distinctly that "a brother ouvk evra/|, a sister - nor a father a daughter," and that assuredly means that evra/n designates distinctively sexual passion. So it does - in this passage: and this is one of the most characteristic applications of the term. It is not, however, its only application. In point of fact it may just as well be said of a given brother or father that he does evra/| his sister or daughter as that he does not. We read for example in a fragment of Euripides:27 "There is nothing dearer (h;dion) to children than their mother: love (evra/|te) your mother, children. There is no other love (e;rwj) so sweet as this loving (evra/n)."
When evra/n is employed in this latter fashion, something much more, not less lofty than filei/n is meant. Phrases in which it is brought into immediate contrast with filei/n to express something better than it, occur not infrequently. Plutarch, for example, tells us28 that Brutus was said to have been liked (filei/sqai) by the masses for his virtue, but loved (evra/sqai) by his friends; and Xenophon transmits29 an exhortation in identical terms - that we should seek not only to be liked (filei/n) but loved (evra/n) by men. Dio Chrysostom draws the same contrast in a passage30 which we may quote more at length for the sake of its discriminating use of the several terms for love. Cattle, says he, love (filei/n, 'are fond of') their herdsmen, and horses their drivers - they love and exalt them; dogs love (avgapa/n, 'prize') the huntsmen - love and guard them; all irrational things recognize and love (filei/n, 'are fond of') those that take care of them: how shall a king, then who is gentle and benevolent (h`me,ron kai. fila,nqrwpon) fail to be not only liked (filei/n) but also loved (evra/n) by men? In passages like these evra/n is exalted above filei/n not filei/n depressed below evra/n. The contrasted renderings "like" and "love" do not do justice to either. Both words mean "love" and what is intended to be expressed by evra/n is that high love of exalted devotion which, from this point of view, soars above all other love.
The same essential contrast between the two notions - the contrast between a love of liking and a love of passion - may occur, no doubt, with the balance of approbation tipped the other way. Thus Plato can tell us of some lovers really loving (filei/n) the objects of their passion (evra/n).31 And Aristotle can speak similarly of lovers who really have affection for one another (filou/sin oi` evrw,menoi).32 It is possible also to draw quite a different contrast between the two words, a contrast turning on the fact that passion is blind while true affection can see.33 Meanwhile we are effectually warned off from conceiving e;rwj as essentially a base word and confounding it with evpiqumi,a34 in order that we may escape confounding it with fili,a. We may observe the close affinity and real distinction of the three notions in a passage of Plato's which is, perhaps, the more instructive because in it evra/n is used in its lower application and still is separated from evpiqumei/n as sharply as from filei/n. " No one who desires (evpiqumei/) or loves (ejra|~) another," we read,35 "could ever have desired (evpiqu,mei) or loved (h;ra) him or become his friend (evfi,lei) had he not in some way been congenial to his beloved (tw|/ evrwme,nw|)." In every stage of its progress, attraction implies inherent congeniality: but the stages of attraction - desire, love, abiding affection - are distinct. When this is true of evra/n at its lowest, what are we to say of it at its highest, when it passes above filei/n itself and the series runs lust, affection, ardent love?
"Like our 'love' of which it is almost an exact equivalent," writes Charles Bigg,36 "e;rwj may be applied to base uses, but it is not, like evpiqumi,a, a base word. From the time of Parmenides, it had been capable of the most exalted signification." . . . We need not stay, however, to refer to the elevated doctrine of the Platonic Eros in detail. Through it, if no otherwise, an association of high things with e;rwj was formed, which penetrated wherever the influence of Platonic thought extended. It is not merely in Plotinus' great conception of the nou/j evrw/n that this lofty usage is continued. That the word e;rwj was not felt to be a term of evil suggestion is abundantly certified by the readiness with which Jew and Christian alike, touched by the same influences, employed it of their divine love. With Philo, it is precisely the e;rwj ouvra,nioj which leads to God, and brings all the virtues to their perfection.37 He often cites with deep feeling the great declaration of Deut. xxx. 20: "This is thy life, and thy length of days, - to love (avgapa/n) the Lord thy God"; and he does not scruple to define its avgapa/n in terms of e;rwj. "This is the most admirable definition of immortal life," he comments on one occasion:38 "to be occupied by a love and affection (e;rwti kai. fili,a|) to God which has nothing to do with flesh and body." To Philo, thus, e;rwj (along with fili,a) is a constituent element of avga,ph (for Philo has avga,ph), when conceived in its highest stretches, as the very substance of immortal life. There is a famous passage in Ignatius' letter to the Romans39 in which he gives, or has been misunderstood to give, Christ Himself the name of ;Erwj: "My Love has been crucified," he says. We need not go into the vexed question of the real meaning which Ignatius intends to convey by this phrase.40 It affords as striking evidence that e;rwj was not felt to be an intrinsically base term, that such a phrase should have been facilely misunderstood by Christian writers as referring to Christ, as that it should have been actually applied to Him by Ignatius. It does not appear that Origen was aware of the currency of any other interpretation of the words than his own, when he cites them in the prologue to his commentary on the Song of Songs in support of his contention that e;rwj and avga,ph may be used indifferently of love in its highest sense. "It makes then no difference in the Sacred Scriptures," Rufinus renders him as writing,41 "whether caritas is spoken of or amor or dilectio; except that the name of caritas is exalted so that God Himself is called Caritas. . . . Take accordingly whatever is written of caritas as said of amor, caring nothing for the names. For the same virtue is shared by each. . . . It makes no difference whether God is said amari or diligi. Neither do I think that, if any one should give God the name of Amor, as John does that of Caritas, he would be blameworthy. I remember, in fine, that one of the saints, Ignatius by name, said of Christ, 'My Amor is crucified,' and I do not think him reprehensible for this." Later writers, especially those of mystical tendencies, naturally follow Origen's reading of Ignatius. The Pseudo-Dionysius is even prepared to say that the name of ;Erwj was thought by some to be more divine than that of vAga,ph.42 But instances of the employment of words of this stem in a high sense are of course not lacking in earlier Christian writers: Justin,43 Clement,44 and Origen himself45 use e;rwj of divine love, and Clement calls our Lord o` evrasto,j.46
Clearly it is ardor not lasciviousness which gives its "form" to evra/n (e;rwj) as a designation of love. Our senses may be inflamed by passion, but the love of the seraphs "who of all love Godhead most" also burns with pure flame. vEra/n (e;rwj) is not the exclusive possession either of the one or of the other; by virtue of its fundamental implication of passion it is the appropriate designation of both. The prominent employment of it of these two end-terms of the series of varieties of love may leave the impression that the middle region is left uninvaded by it. Schmidt, endeavoring to explain its general usage in a word,47 even says formally that, when the object is a person, then either sensuous love is to be understood by evra/n or the highest and more or less passionate love. The vacation of the middle space is, however, an illusion. Since evra/n imports passion, the most passionate love is prevailingly designated by it; but since all love is passion all love may be spoken of in its terms. Whether it is employed will be determined by whether the love spoken of is at the moment thought of as passion. vEra/n, says Aristotle,48 is a kind of fili,a; when fili,a goes to excess, that is evra/n.
As it is over against filei/n (fili,a) that evra/n (e;rwj) stands out as designating the love of passion, we are sometimes tempted to render filei/n in contrast with it by "like"; and, indeed, because all love is passion, in doing so to define it below the concept of love altogether. But, although the words, because each has a specific implication, may be set in contrast with one another, they do not receive their specific implications as contrasts of one another, and they are not to be defined as contradictories. Because evra/n means passionate love, we are not to imagine that filei/n expresses a love which is devoid of passion, - whatever kind of love that may be. It is true enough that filei/n may be employed when no implication of passion is felt; and is the proper word to employ when relatively unimpassioned manifestations of love are described, as for example for what we may call "friendly love." But this is not because it excludes passion but because it describes love from a different angle and the presence or absence of passion is indifferent to it. It is just as appropriate for the strongest and most impassioned as it is for the quietest and least ardent love: no love lies outside its field. "Filei/n," says T. D. Woolsey justly,49 "we need not say, is as early as the earliest Greek literature itself, and as wide in its meaning as our verb to love, running through all kinds and degrees of the feeling, from the love of family and friend down to mere liking, and to being wont to do a thing; and passing over from the sphere of innocent to that of licentious love, whether passionate or merely sensual."
The approach of filei/n to the idea of love is made through the sense of the agreeable.50 It is the eudaimonistic term for love. Whatever in an object is adapted to give pleasure when perceived, tends to call out affection; and this affection is what filei/n expresses. It may be quiet or it may be passionate; it may be strong or it may be weak; it may be noble or it may be base: all this depends on the quality in the object which calls out the response and the nature of the subject which responds to the appeal. "Of filei/n," says Schmidt,51 "it is first of all to be said that it is the general designation for our 'love,' and has for its peculiarity that it designates an inner predilection (Neigung) for persons, and has for its contradictories misei/n and evcqai,rein; but, even when the presentation leaves no ambiguity, it can designate the love of sense. The notion of filei/n can be traced back to the disposition which grows out of an inner community (Gemeinschaft). We find therefore in Homer the meaning of 'to be in a friendly way at one's side,' ' to interest oneself in him in a friendly manner.' This happens, for example, on the part of the gods when they assist men in battle, or qualify them for manifold things: on the part of men, when they offer hospitality. For these transactions Homer has exact expressions, and filei/n is expressly distinguished from xeisi,zein or de,xasqai. The word designates, therefore, only generally the treatment of another as one that is dear (fi,loj) to me, or my friend (again fi,loj), and the context must show what kind of action is meant."
When Liddell and Scott say that "the ancients carefully distinguished between filei/n and evra/n," that is formally right, though we should prefer to say "instinctively" rather than "carefully." When, however, they add: "But filei/n sometimes comes very near in sense to evra/n," citing passages in which filei/n is used for the love of sense, a certain misunderstanding seems involved. Filei/n is used from the earliest dawn of Greek literature as clearly of the love of sense as of any other kind of love. But this is not to "come very near the sense of evra/n" : it is only to describe the same love which evra/n describes as passion, from its own point of view as delight. Nor is it easy to understand what Schmidt means when he appears to suggest that filei/n is applied to the love of sense only by a euphemism - "by way of insinuation": nor how the passage from Plato to which he appeals for the purpose can be thought to lend support to this opinion. What we read in this passage52 is merely that it is said of lovers (tou/j evrw/ntaj) that they show a very special affection (filei/n) for those they are in love with (evrw/si), because they are prepared to do hateful things for the pleasuring of their beloved ones (toi/j evrwme,noij). Filei/n here is certainly not used euphemistically for evra/n; it is simply the broad word for love used here in contrast with evra/n which is employed of a special variety of love. The employment of filei/n for the love of sense is from the beginning perfectly frank and outspoken. Take, for example, these frequentative imperfects from Homer: "a concubine whom he file,esken";53 "Melantho misge,sketo kai. file,esken Eurymachus."54 They do not in any way differ from the frequentative imperfect in "Il.," vi, 15: "and he was loved (fi,loj h=n) by men, for, dwelling by the road, file,esken all to his house," - except in the nature of the acts to which they are applied. The son of Teuthras showed himself a fi,loj to men by keeping open-house and welcoming all comers. The concubines of Amyntor and Melantho showed themselves fi,lai to their lovers by fulfilling the function of mistresses to them. The usage is as simple and direct in the one case as in the other. The constant use in Homer of filo,thj with mi,gnumi should dispel all doubt on this point. And what could be franker than the use of filei/n in Herodotus iv, 176?
The Greeks were very much preoccupied with the topic of Friendship: Plato, Xenophon, Aristotle discuss it endlessly: "in the circles of the philosophical schools interest in it far surpassed that of the family life."55 Filei/n was an ideal word for the expression of this form of affection, and this became one of its chief applications. Not, however, to the exclusion of other applications in which it gave expression to every variety of love which sentient beings could experience. Even, pace Hermann Cremer,56 the love of God to men and of men to God. Cremer has permitted himself the sweeping statement: "To attribute love at all to the Deity was utterly impossible to the Greek." He supports himself on two passages from Aristotle, neither of which supports him. In both passages Aristotle is (of course) discussing Friendship, - not the term fili,a but the "friendship" which fili,a is in these discussions employed to express. What he is suggesting is not that God can neither love nor be loved in any sense, but that there is a certain incongruity in speaking of God and man as united in the specific bond which we call "friendship." "Friendship" is a form of love which more properly obtains between equals: between superiors and inferiors the assertion of some other tie would be more appropriate. The matter is not of large intrinsic importance; but it is worth while to transcribe the passages somewhat at length for their illustrative value.
In them, as elsewhere,57 Aristotle divides friendship (fili,a) into three kinds, based respectively on virtue (avreth,), utility (crh,simon) and pleasure (h`du,); and then he divides the whole again into the cases between equals and those between unequals. True friendship is mutual and is found among equals only; love between unequals is only in a modified sense "friendship." "First, then," he writes in the former of the two passages now before us,58 "we must determine what kind of friendship (fili,a) we are in search of. For there is, people think, a friendship (fili,a) towards God (pro.j qeo,n) and towards things without life; but here they are wrong. For friendship (fili,a), we maintain, exists only where there can be a return of affection (avntifilei/sqai: why not say, "return of the friendship"?), but friendship (fili,a) toward God (pro.j qeo,n) does not admit of love being returned (avntifilei/sqai: why not say, "of the friendship being returned"?), nor at all of loving (to. filei/n: why not say "of friendly feeling"?). For it would be strange if one were to say that he loved Zeus (filei/n to.n Di,a: why not say "felt friendly to"?). Neither is it possible to have affection returned (avntifilei/sqai: why not say, "to have friendship returned"?) by lifeless objects, though there is a love (fili,a) for such things, for instance wine, or something else of that sort. Therefore, it is not love (fili,a) towards God of which we are in search, nor love towards things without life, but love towards things with life, that is, where there can be a return of affection (avntifilei/n)." Aristotle is not arguing here that there can be no such thing as love on the part of God, or to God; or that this love may not be properly expressed in either case by filei/n, fili,a. He is busying himself only with that mutual affection which we know as friendship; and it is this that he says is impossible between man and God because of the inequality between them. It is incongruous to say that Zeus and I are a pair of friends, - we might almost as well say we are a brace of good fellows or par nobile fratrum. He is speaking here, in a word, only of love based on mutual agreeability (h`du,) in which what is necessary is to be agreeable (to. h`de,sin ei=nai).59 If the love in question is based on utility or virtue, on the other hand, the case is different.60
The other passage61 takes up the case when love is based on virtue. "These, then," writes Aristotle here, "are three kinds of friendship (fili,a); and in all of them the word friendship (fili,a) implies a kind of equality. For even those who are friends (fi,loi) through virtue are mutually friends by a sort of equality of virtue. But another variety is the friendship [say rather 'love'] of superiority to inferiority, e. g. as the virtue of a god is superior to that of a man (for this is another kind of friendship [fili,a; say 'love'] ), and in general that of ruler to subject; just as justice in this case is different, for here it is a proportional equality - not numerical equality (kat v avnalogi,an; kat v avriqmo,n). Into this class falls the relation of father to son, and of benefactor to beneficiary; and there are varieties of these again, e.g. there is a difference between the relation of father to son, and of husband to wife, the latter being that of ruler to subject, the former that of benefactor to beneficiary. In these varieties there is not at all, or at least not in equal degree, the return of love for love (avntifilei/sqai: say 'mutual loving'). For it would be ridiculous to accuse God because the love one receives in return from Him is not equal to the love given Him, (to. avntifilei/sqai w=j filei/te), or for the subject to make the same complaint against his ruler. For the part of a ruler is to receive, not to give, love (filei/sqai ouv filei/n) or at least to give love (filei/n) in a different way. And the pleasure (h`donh,) is different, and that of the man who needs nothing over his own possessions or child, and that of him who lacks over what comes to him, are not the same. Similarly also with those who are friends [say rather 'who love one another'] through use or pleasure, some are on an equal footing with each other, in others there is the relation of superiority and inferiority. Therefore those who think themselves to be on the former footing find fault if the other is not equally useful to and a benefactor of them; and similarly with regard to pleasure. This is obvious in the case of lover and beloved (evn toi/j evrwtikoi/j); for this is frequently a cause of strife between them. The lover (o` evrw/n) does not perceive that the passion (proqumi,an) in each has not the same reason; therefore Ænicus has said, 'a beloved (o` evrw/menoj) not a lover (evrw/n), would say such things.' But they think that there is the same reason for the passion of each." We are here told that although friendship, properly so called - that is, mutual affection based on congeniality or reciprocal agreeability - can scarcely exist between beings so unequal as God and man, yet love can; as readily as it can exist between ruler and subject, or father and son. The term "love" (fili,a) is wide enough to describe all such cases, as it is wide enough also, as we learn at the end of the passage, to describe the mutual affection which binds "lovers" together: evra/n is a species of filei/n, because, no matter with what passion, it also rests on something agreeable perceived in its object.
We have seen that from the beginning there was a natural tendency to carry filei/n over from the sentiment of love itself to its expression in outward act. Thus in a passage from the Iliad already quoted,62 Teuthramides is represented as habitually showing himself friendly by keeping open-house - pa,ntaj ga.r file,esken, "he made all welcome." Similarly Penelope is described in the Odyssey as receiving all visitors well and giving them welcome (file,ei):63 a phrase matched by a similar one in the Iliad: "I entertained (fi,lhsa) them."64 Along this line of development 0cAeiv early began to acquire the specialized sense of "to kiss." "Filei/n," writes Schmidt,65 "means directly, with or without the addition of tw/| sto,mati, to kiss, therefore that act which sensibly and externally brings to expression the fellowship of lovers or friends and, in general of those connected by a close bond (also of parents and children)." This usage does not yet occur in Homer: he employs kune,w, ku,sai for kissing. But it made its appearance soon afterwards,66 and ultimately completely superseded the richer and higher uses of the word. In Modern Greek filw~ means nothing else but "to kiss."67 In odd contrast with this development, avgapa/n, the great rival of filei/n in the expression of the general idea of love - a rival which finally drove it entirely from the field, - appears from the first in an analogous usage and is thought by many to have begun as a term to express the external manifestations of affection and only afterward to have come to be applied to the emotion itself. At least the external sense is predominant in Homer, both for avgapa/n and for its more frequently occurring doublet avgapa,zein;68 and it remained in occasional use throughout the whole history of Greek letters. The range of suggestion of the word in this external sense is rather wide. The instances in Homer may ordinarily be brought under the broad category of "welcoming," with suggestions of "embracing," or other signs of hearty welcome. Thus Penelope asks forgiveness for not "welcoming" her husband properly on his first appearing," "or," explains T. D. Woolsey,70 "treating him with affection," remarking that Eustathius glosses with evfilofronhsa,mhn. Again we read:71 "As a father, feeling kindly, welcomes his son (fi,la frone,wn avgapa,zei)." And yet again,72 bringing filei/n and avgapa/n together in this external sense: "Our people do not filou/si a stranger avgapazo,menoi - "do not receive him with signs of regard," as Liddell and Scott gloss it. In a very similar passage,73 we read of the swineherd kissing (ku,neon) Odysseus' head and shoulders avgapazo,menoj, that is to say with a display of affection. And we find in Pindar74 a passage like this: "And with mild words they welcomed him," where the action through which the affection is shown is defined as kind speech. In Euripides, in whom avgapa/n, avgapa,zein occur only three times (they do not occur at all in Æschylus or Sophocles), they "are only used in the sense of tender offices to the dead":75 as, for example, "Suppliants," 764: "You would have said so had you seen when he treated lovingly (Woolsey glosses: " made much of ") the dead." In the light of such passages it is probable that when Xenophon, speaking of the transports of delight with which the Greeks at first welcomed the Hyrcanians as friends, says76 that they almost carried them about in their bosoms avgapw/ntej, the avgapw/ntej means something more definite than "affectionately" - say "fondlingly." In an interesting passage in Plutarch77 the sense is certainly "fondle." "On seeing certain wealthy foreigners in Rome carrying puppies and young monkeys about in their bosoms and fondling them (avgapw/twn), Caesar asked," we are told, "if the women in their country did not bear children. Thus in right princely fashion he rebuked those who squander on animals that proneness to love (filhtiko,n) and loving affection (filo,storgon) which is ours by nature and which is due only to our fellow men." In this passage the native sentiment of "fondness" and the stirrings of "natural affection" are given expression through other forms of speech; avgapa/n is employed of the external acts in which these movements of soul are manifested.
The persistence of this external use of avgapa/n is illustrated by its appearance in the letters of Ignatius. A probable instance occurs in "Smyrn.," 9: "In my absence and in my presence ye hvgaph,sate me," where Lightfoot renders "cherished." The instance in "Magn.," 6 can scarcely be doubted. E. A. Abbott fills out the passage thus:78 "Since then I beheld in faith and embraced (in the spirit) the whole multitude (of the Magnesian church) in the above-mentioned persons (of their deputation)."79 But the most interesting passage is "Polyc.," 2: "In all things I am devoted to thee - I, and my bonds which you hvga,phsaj." "Kissing the chains" of the prisoners of Christ, it seems, was a current figure by which the early Christians expressed their ardent sympathy for their martyrs.80 Bunsen, followed by Th. Zahn, therefore, translates here, "which thou didst kiss."81 Lightfoot demurs to this as too specific, and points out that the precise sense of "kissing" is not elsewhere verifiable for avgapa/n, - although he is very willing to allow that the actual thing referred to by the broader term may well have been in this instance kissing the chains. He proposes the synonyms, "didst welcome, caress, fondle," and somewhat infelicitously translates in his version, "cherished." Interest in this discussion is increased by the suggestion that, when we read in Mk. x. 21 of the rich young ruler that "Jesus looked on him and hvga,phsen auvto,n" we are to understand the hvga,phsen not of the sentiment of loving but of the act of caressing: Jesus, in a word, kissed the young man in greeting him. This suggestion was made by Frederick Field a third of a century ago,82 and has often since been repeated.83 It does not commend itself particularly from an exegetical point of view:84 but the fact that, as Abbott points out, the phrase is rendered in one Latin MS. "osculatus est eum" supports the supposition that avgapa/n was in use in the sense of kissing during the early Christian centuries. The collocation of the words in the comment of Clement of Alexandria, likewise adduced by Abbott, suggests that he also may have understood hvga,phsen here in the sense of an external manifestation. "Accordingly Jesus," he writes, "does not convict him as one that had failed to fulfil all the words of the Law; on the contrary He" - so Abbott paraphrases - "loves and greets him with unusual courtesy." The Greek words are avgapa|/ kai. u`peraspa,zetai; and it would not be unnatural to give them both an external meaning.85
This usage of avgapa/n of the manifestation of love in act, although possibly (we can scarcely say very probably) original,86 and certainly real, is yet, in any case too infrequent to be of large importance for the explanation of the word. Unlike the corresponding usage of filei/n it was a waning instead of a waxing usage; and therefore it exercised less and less influence on the general usage of the word. After all said, the word stands in Greek literature as a term for loving itself, not for external manifestations of love, more or fewer. And like other terms for love, it is applied to all kinds and degrees of love. This includes also the love of sense. It is true it seems to have acquired this application only slowly, and, one would think, with some difficulty. There is nothing in the native implication of the word to suggest such an application; and the conjecture lies close that it was not until it had become the general term for love in common use for the whole notion that it was applied to this variety of love also, - at first doubtless by way of pure euphemism. Such euphemistic applications to the sexual impulse of all words denoting love are inevitable;87 and unhappily many good words, euphemistically applied to lower uses, end by losing their native senses and sinking permanently to the level to which they have thus stooped, - as, for example, our English words "libertine," "harlot."88 Fortunately this did not happen to avgapa/n, although its extention to cover the love of sense also became a fixed part of its ordinary usage. Liddell and Scott remark that it is "used of sexual love like evra/n, only in late writers, as Lucian "Jup. Trag.," 2;89 for in Xenophon, "Mem.," I. 5.4. po,rnaj avgapa/n is not = evra/n, but to be content, or satisfied with such gratifications."90 This explanation of the passage in Xenophon is certainly right. But it is not quite exact to speak of the appearance of this usage in Lucian, say, as marking its beginning. It already occurs in Plato.91 And in any event the Septuagint is three or four hundred years older than Lucian, and not only is avgapa/n - and also its substantive (not found in the classical writers) avga,ph - used in it of the love of sense, but so used of it as to make it plain that they had long been used of it, and had become the current terms for the expression of this form of love also. To be convinced of this we have only to read the thirteenth chapter of II Samuel, - the story of Amnon and Thamar - the whole shocking narrative of which is carried on with avgapa/n and avga,ph, culminating in verse 15: "And Amnon hated her with exceeding great hatred, because the hatred with which he hated her was greater than the love (avga,phn) wherewith he loved (hvga,phsen) her." This love was mere lust: and it is very apparent that avga,phn and avga,ph are used of it with perfect simplicity, undisturbed by any intruding consciousness of incongruity. This phenomenon means, of course, that in the Greek of the Septuagint we tap a stratum of the language of more popular character than that which meets us in the literary monuments of the times; and we see changes not only preparing but already accomplished in it which the recognized literary mode of the times had not yet accepted. Meanwhile, for literary Greek, it remains generally true that avgapa/n had not yet acquired the breadth of usage which led to its frequent application to the love of sense also; and so far as appears it did not acquire it for two or three centuries to come.
In the monuments of classical literature, avgapa/n, although in use from the beginning and occupying a distinctive place of its own, is never a very common word. It, and its doublet avgapa,zein, occur in Homer but ten times, in Euripides but three times, and not at all in Æschylus or Sophocles.92 The substantive avga,phsij is rare before, say, Plutarch;93 while avga,ph appears first in the Septuagint, and has not as yet turned up with certainty in any secular writing.94 vAgapa/n owes its peculiarity to its etymological associations, which could not fail to suggest themselves to every Greek ear. Connected with a;gamai, it conveyed the ideas of astonishment, wonder, admiration, approbation.95 It expresses thus, distinctively, the love of approbation, or, we might say, the love of esteem, as over against the love of pure delight which lies rather in the sphere of filei/n. It is from the apprehension of the preciousness rather than of the pleasantness of its object that it derives its impulse, and its content thus lies closer to the notion of prizing than to that of liking.96 It is beside the mark to speak of it as a "weaker,"97 or as a "colder"98 word than filei/n: the distinction between the two lies in a different plane from these things. A love rooted in the perception in its object of something pleasing (that is, of the order of filei/n), or of something valuable (that is, of the order of avgapa/n), may alike be very weak or very strong, very cold or very warm: these things are quite indifferent to the distinction and will be determined by other circumstances, which may be present or absent in either case.
It is even more wide of the mark to speak of avgapa/n as distinctively voluntary love, or reasonable love. The former is the position taken with great emphasis by Cremer (it is also the view of Cope); the latter is strongly argued for by Schmidt. "We shall make no mistake," says Cremer,99 "if we define the distinction thus - that filei/n designates the love of the natural inclination, of the emotion (Affects), the so-to-say originally involuntary love - amare, - while avgapa/n designates love as an effect (Richtung) of the will, diligere." It may be suspected that those who speak thus have in part misled themselves by the Latin analogy. The parallel is, it is true, very close with respect to the usage of the two pairs of words; but it does not extend to the etymological implications on which in each case the usage rests.100 The conception underlying diligere is that of selection; the word bears an implication of choice in it. There is no such underlying suggestion in avgapa/n, its place being taken by the emotion of admiration.101 In point of fact, the rise in the heart of love for an object perceived to be precious, is just as "originally involuntary," just as much a matter of pure feeling, as the rise in it of love for an object perceived to be delightful. The distinction between these two varieties of love rests on the differing qualities of the object to which they are the reactions, not on the presence or absence of volition in their production. "There can but two things create love," says Jeremy Taylor:102 "perfection and usefulness; to which answer on our part, first, admiration, and secondly desire; and both these are centered in love." This is a piece of good psychology.
The form of statement which Schmidt prefers is that avgapa/n designates the love which arises by "rational reflection."103 Citing a passage from Aristotle's "Rhetoric"104 where he speaks of filei/sqai as being "avgapa/sqai for one's own sake," Schmidt argues that "it follows from this passage that avgapa/n is not, like filei/n, an inclination attached to the person himself, as called into being by close companionship and fellowship in many things, but a love for which we can give ourselves an account with our understanding; less sentiment than reflection."105 As a result, he concludes that "the avgapw/n holds the qualities of a person in view, the filw/n the person himself; the former gives itself a justification of its inclination, while to the latter it arises immediately out of an intercourse whish is agreeable to oneself." This reasoning rests on a confusion between the production of an emotion by rational considerations, and the justification of it on rational grounds. Of course the love of avgapa/n is more capable of justification on rational grounds than the love of filei/n. It is the product of the apprehension of valuable qualities in the object, and may be defended by the exhibition of the value of these qualities. The love of filei/n, on the other hand, as the product of the apprehension of agreeable qualities in the object, may be able to give no better defence of itself than the traditional dislike of Dr. Fell: "I do not like you, Dr. Fell; the reason why I cannot tell." But this subsequent justification to reason of the love of avgapa/n affords no warrant for declaring it the product of will acting on rational considerations. The perception of those qualities constituting the object admirable is an act the same in kind as the perception of those qualities constituting it agreeable; and the reaction of the subject in the emotion of love is an act of the same nature in both cases. The reaction of the subject in the love of the order which is expressed by avgapa/n is just as instinctive and just as immediate an affectional movement of the soul, as in the order of love expressed by filei/n. The two differ not in their psychological nature but in the character of the apprehended qualities to which they are emotional responses. It is meaningless to say that the one terminates on the person himself and the other only on certain of his qualities: both terminate, of course, on the person whose quality as precious or agreeable as apprehended has called them into being.
It is only by an artificial explanation of it, furthermore, that Aristotle's phrase, - that "filei/sqai is avgapa/sqai for our own sake" - can be made to suggest that avgapa/n expresses a love based on rational considerations. It only suggests that Aristotle saw in filei/n a love which found its account in the agreeableness of the object. What Aristotle is saying in this passage is that it is pleasant alike to love and to be loved; for one loves only because he enjoys it; and if he is loved - that makes him happy because he fancies there must be something fine in him to call out the passion. He explains this by adding that filei/sqai is avgapa/sqai for one's own sake. Here is a quasi-definition of filei/n: filei/n is a love founded on nothing outside the object. But the most that can be inferred about avgapa/n is that it is a love which has cognizable ground. To conclude that that ground is or may be outside the object, or must be of the nature of a rational consideration operating through acts of reflection, and judgment, and will, is sufficiently illegitimate to be absurd. The actual ground of the particular act of avgapa/n here spoken of is the total personality of the object conceived as good, and as therefore justifying his becoming the object of filei/n. Filei/n is subsumed under avgapa/n taken for the moment as a wider category; and the avgapa/n which includes the filei/n in itself cannot have as such a ground of essentially different nature.106
We are not left by the ancients, however, without very clear intimation of how they conceived filei/n and avgapa/n in relation to one another. There is, for example, what amounts to a direct definition of the two words in their distinctive meanings in an interesting passage in the "Memorabilia" of Xenophon, with which the commentators have rather fumbled.107 B. L. Gildersleeve, in that unfortunate edition of Justin Martyr (1877) which brought only grief to his admirers, goes the length of saying,108 with his eye on this passage, that "Xenophon uses avgapa/n and filei/n as absolute synonyms"; and, what is even stranger, Moulton and Milligan repeat this judgment - for this special passage at least with the added emphasis of pronouncing it "undeniable."109 These, however, are eccentric opinions. That a distinction is made between the two words lies on the face of the passage and is, of course, universally recognized.110 The only question that is open is what precisely that distinction is. What has often been overlooked is that Xenophon actually defines the two terms in the clauses, which, because their relations to one another have not been accurately caught, have given the commentators all their trouble. Socrates, we are told, found Aristarchus peevish, because, owing to the civil disturbances of the time, he had had fourteen female relatives - sisters, nieces, cousins - dumped on him, and he did not see why he should be held responsible for their support. He did not like it; and the women, on their part, did not like the condition of affairs either. "Neither do you filei/j them," says Socrates in diagnosing the situation, "nor they you": a settled mutual dislike threatened to be the outcome. The remedy which Socrates proposed was that Aristarchus should put the women to work at useful employment; and he promised that, on that being done, their indifference to each other would pass away: Aristarchus would acquire an affection for them arising out of a sense of their value to him; and they would come to prize him on perceiving his pleasure in them. "You will filh,seij them," says Socrates, "when you see that they are profitable to you; and they will avgaph,sousin you, when they perceive that you take pleasure in them." What is to be observed is that the clauses here are so balanced that the participial adjunct in each defines the verb in the other; so that what is said is equivalent to saying: "You will filh,seij them when you see that they avga,pousin you; and they will avgaph,sousin you when they perceive that you filei/j them." Instead of mutual dislike, a mutual liking and esteem will supervene. To the filei/n, then, in the first clause the "take pleasure in" of the other corresponds: and to the avgapa/n of the second clause the "being profitable to you" of the first corresponds: and thus we have in effect definitions of the two verbs - filei/n is taking pleasure in, avgapa/n is ascribing value to. Now, Xenophon continues, Aristarchus tried it and it worked. He put the women to work and at once there was a change: "They evfi,loun him as a protector, and he hvga,pa them as profitable." They came to take pleasure in his protection, and he came to value them for their profitable labor. The relation of protector of useless women, as barely tolerated dependents, with their natural resentment of a grudging bounty, passed, by the simple expedient of the introduction of productive employment, into a relation of mutual affection and esteem. They came to like the man who gave them back their self-respect; he came to prize the women whose labor brought him profit. The words in this last clause, so far from reversing their positions as compared with the former (this is the chief source of the difficulty the commentators find in the passage) are in their right places according to their definitions there. Filei/n, defined there as delighting in, is properly used here to describe the attitude of the women towards their protector: avgapa/n, defined there as attaching value to, is properly employed here of the attitude of an employer to profitable workers.
The definition of avgapa/n which Xenophon here gives us - by which it expresses the love of prizing as over against the love of simple liking - verifies itself in a survey of the general usage of the word. This may be illustrated by attending to the other passages in which filei/n and avgapa/n are brought together, that are cited by Abbott in connection with his discussion of this one. We see at once that it is Xenophon's distinction which is in the mind of Dio Cassius,111 when he tells us that it was said to the Roman people at the death of Julius Caesar: Ye evfilh,sate him as a father, and hvgaph,sate him as a benefactor - that is to say, they both felt true affection for him and greatly valued him. The case is equally simple with the passage from Plato's "Lysis"112 with which Abbott deals with somewhat clumsy fingers, ascribing to avgapa/n the sense of "being drawn towards," and to filei/n that of "drawing towards oneself." The passage is taken from a long discussion on friendship which is conducted throughout with filei/n( fili,a( filoi,, until, it having been concluded that only the good can be friends, the question is raised, How can those be valued (avgaphqei,h) by each other who can be of no use to one another, and how can one who is not valued (avgapw|/to) be a friend? The good man being sufficient to himself - so far as he is good - stands in need of nothing; and therefore would not attach value (avgapw|/h) to anything; and because he cannot attach value (avgapw|/h) to anything, he cannot be fond (filoi,) of anything. And yet they who do not make much of one another (mh. peri. pollou/ poiou,menoi evautou,j) cannot be friends. These last words, "make much of" define for us the sense in which avgapa/n has been used throughout; and we perhaps can hardly do better than render the crucial sentences: "He who lacks nothing will attach value to nothing (ouvde. ti. avgapw|/h a;n)": "what he does not attach value to, he cannot be fond of (o[ de. mh. avgapw|/h oud v a;n filoi,)." A little later in the discussion113 the two words are coupled in the reverse order from that in which they occur in Dio Cassius. We read: "For if there is nothing to hurt us any longer we should have no need of anything that would do us good. Thus would it be clearly seen that we did but hvgapw/men kai. evfilou/men the good on account of the evil, and as the remedy of the evil which was the disease; but if there had been no disease there would have been no need of a remedy." Jowett renders the pair of verbs by "love and desire" which certainly is wrong. Woolsey renders much better by "highly judge and love"; adding the comment: "The latter word contains something more of feeling, while the former contains more of regard, and a higher degree of respect." We can scarcely do better than render: "And thus it would be clear that we attached value to the good and looked with affection on it, only on account of the evil." Abbott's last example is drawn from Ælian's description of Hiero's love for his brothers.114 He lived on terms of great intimacy with them, we are told, "holding them in very high regard (pa,nu sfo,dra avga,phsij), and being loved (filhqei/j) by them in return." The meaning seems to be what we might express by saying that he valued his brothers and they repaid him by true affection.
It is not intended to suggest that the content of avgapa/n is exhausted by the concepts esteem, value, prize. The word expresses the notion of love. What is contended for is that the particular manner love which the word is adapted to express, is the love which is the product of the apprehension of value in its object, and which is therefore informed by a feeling of its preciousness, so that it moves in a region closely akin to that of esteeming, valuing, prizing. The region in which it moves is, indeed, so closely akin to that of these conceptions, that there are occasions when the idea it expresses is scarcely distinguishable from them. Take for example these two instances from Isocrates.115 "The same opinion is also held concerning the Lacedemonians; for in their case their defeat at Thermopylae is more admired (a;gwntai) than their other victories, and the trophy erected over them by the barbarians is an object of esteem (avgapw/si) and frequent visits (qewrou/si), while those set up by the Lacedemonians over others, far from being commended (evpainou/si), are regarded with displeasure; for the former is considered to be a sign of valor, the latter of a desire for self-aggrandizement" (V. 148). "Now, I am surprised that those who consider it impossible that any such policy should be effected do not know from their own experience, or have not heard from others, that there have been indeed many terrible wars the parties to which have been reconciled and done each other great service. What could exceed the enmity between Xerxes and the Hellenes? Yet every one knows that both we and the Lacedemonians were more pleased (avgaph,sontej) with the friendship (fili,a) of Xerxes than with that of those who helped us to found our respective empires" (V. 42). In the former passage avgapw,si kai. qewrou/si are put in a sort of parallel with ouvk evpainou,sin avll v avhdw/j o`rw/sin, and may perhaps be not inadequately represented by "prized and gazed at," as over against "not praised but looked askance at." The idea conveyed by avgaph,santej in the latter passage lies very close to that of "prized more," "valued more" "set more store by." Nevertheless Isocrates preferred to employ a word which said these things with a slight difference; a slight difference which enhanced the effect. He preferred to say that the trophy at Thermopylae was loved, and that the Greeks loved the friendship of Xerxes more than that of their allies - employing, however, for "loved" a term through which sounded the notions of esteeming, valuing, prizing, rather than that of enjoying.
We see the same implications shining through the word when we read in Demosthenes such phrases as these: "Neither did I love (hvga,phsa) Philip's gifts," for which Woolsey suggests, "neither did I value":116 "These he loves (avgapa|/) and keeps around him," which Woolsey renders "these he makes much of."117 Examples, however, need not be multiplied. The word designates love - "without reference to sensuousness, closeintercourse, or heart-inwardness " - from the distinct point of view of the recognition of worthiness in its object. It is, therefore, intrinsically a noble word for love; or, let us give to it its rights and say definitely it is the noble word for love. It is in its right company when Plutarch118 joins it with tima|/n and se,besqai in the declaration that "the people ought to love and honor and revere the gods according to righteousness." But like other noble words it was possible for it to lose the sharpness and force of its higher suggestions. It became ultimately, in the development of the language, the general word for love. And in proportion as it became the general word for love and was applied without thought to all kinds of love, it naturally lost more or less of the power to suggest its own specific implications. The time came when it could be applied to the basest forms of love without consciousness of incongruity. Its lofty implications remained, however, embedded in its very form, and could always be recalled to consciousness and observation by a simple emphasis. And as long as any other term for love was current, sharing the field with it, it was always possible to throw the high implications intrinsic to it up to sight by merely setting the two in contrast.
This, then, is the equipment of the Greek language for the expression of the idea of love, which is revealed to us in the monuments of classical Greek. There were, we see, four terms which served as vehicles of it. Filei/n held the general field, though not without its distinctive implications which were on occasion thrown into clear emphasis, and which were always more or less felt coloring the conception of love as it expressed itself by its means in current speech. These implications represented love as the response of the human spirit to what appealed to it as pleasurable; therefore at bottom as a delight. Filei/n was supported on both sides, however, by other terms of other implications. There was ste,rgein in which love was presented as a natural outflow of the heart to objects conceived as in one way or another bound up very closely with it and making, therefore, a claim upon it for affection. There was evra/n which conceived love as an overmastering passion, seizing upon and absorbing into itself the whole mind. And there was, on the other side, avgapa/n which presented love as the soul's sense of the value and preciousness of its object and its response to its recognized worth in admiring affection.119
During the classical period these terms did not so much encroach on the dominance of filei/n in the literary expression of love as rather come to its aid, bringing into fuller expression the several sides and aspects of love. A change, however, was preparing beneath the surface, in the broad region of popular speech. How this change was inaugurated, through what stages it passed, what were the forces which drove it forward, we are left to conjecture to suggest. There is no direct evidence available. We only know that in that body of literature constituted by the New Testament, along with the Septuagint version of the Old Testament and the Apostolic Fathers, a body of literature the peculiarity of which is that it dips into the popular speech, we suddenly see the change well on its way. The most outstanding feature of it is the retirement of filei/n into the background and the substitution for it of avgapa/n as the general term for love. We must not permit to fall out of sight that this means the general adoption of the noblest word for love the language possessed as its common designation in every-day speech. One may well suppose that an ethical force was working in such a change.120 Such a supposition would find support in the general deepening of the ethical life which, as we know, was taking place during the closing centuries of the old era. We may readily suppose that in the increasing seriousness of the times the current conception of love too may have grown more grave; and that it may have, therefore, seemed less and less appropriate to speak of it in any lighter than the highest available terms. Whatever may have been the cause, however, it is plain matter of fact that avgapa/n, a word of essential nobility in its native implications, did gradually through the years become the ordinary term for the expression of love in the most general sense. And this necessarily wrought a distinct ennoblement of the common speech with respect to love.
The effect of the change on avgapa/n itself naturally was not so happy. The application of it indiscriminately to every form and quality of love unavoidably reduced its current acceptation to the level of every form and quality of love. The native implications of the word could not, to be sure, be entirely eradicated. But they could be covered up and hidden so as not to be noted in the ordinary use of it, and only now and again brought back into view, when in one way or another they were thrown into emphasis. How thoroughly they were thus obscured we should not have been able to guess had we the witness of the New Testament alone in our hands. The Septuagint, however, reveals it to us. There avgapa/n appears as in such a sense the general term for love that it is readily applied to every form and quality of love, apparently in the case of the lower forms without any consciousness whatever of its higher connotations. This phenomenon occurs, it is true, occasionally also in classical Greek. It is incidental to the free use of any word that it should get its edges worn off in the process, and become more or less a mere symbol for the general idea connected with it, without regard to any specific modifications of that general idea which it may embody. But it becomes much more marked in the Septuagint. Because avgapa/n has become the general word for love, what was exceptional in the classics has here become the rule. In the Septuagint the word has lost the precision of its specific notion and become merely a general term to express a general idea. A much nobler term for love has come into general use for the expression of the broad idea of love; and this ennobles the whole speech concerning love. But the word itself has suffered loss in thus permitting itself to be applied indifferently to all kinds and conditions of love.
On another side, however, the employment of avgapa/n as the general term for love brought it a great elevation in its Septuagint usage. If there was no love too low to be spoken of in its terms, there was equally no love too high for its use of it. And the application of it to describe the higher aspects of love as presented in the Old Testament revelation added great stretches to its range upwards. We are in the presence here of a double movement through which avgapa/n was prepared for its use in the New Testament. By the obscure linguistic revolution wrought among the peoples of Greek speech, as a result of which avgapa/n superseded filei/n as the general Greek term for the expression of the idea of love, intrinsically the noblest word for love the Greek language afforded, came naturally to the hands of the Septuagint translators for rendering the idea of love as it appeared in the pages of the Old Testament. By the rendering of the idea of love throughout the Old Testament by avgapa/n, the whole content of the Old Testament idea of love was poured into that term, expanding it in its suggestions upwards, and training it to speak in tones indefinitely exalted. The total effect of this double change was immensely to extend the range of the word. As it was the noblest word for love in Greek speech, its range could be extended, on its becoming the general word for love, only downward. It was extended also upwards only by becoming the vehicle for the deepened conception of love which has been given to the world by the self-revelation of God in the Scriptures. When we open the Septuagint, therefore, and see avgapa/n lying on its pages as the general term for love, we are in the presence of some very notable phenomena in the preparation of the terminology of love in the New Testament.
The story of the Septuagint usage of the terms for love is almost told by the simple statistics. The verb avgapa/n occurs in the Septuagint about two hundred and sixty-six times, filei/n about thirty-six times, evra/sqai only three times, and ste,rgein just once. Even this does not give the whole state of the case, for in the majority of its occurrences filei/n is used in the sense of "to kiss." It occurs only sixteen or seventeen times with the meaning of "love." That is to say, this word, the common word for love in the classics, is used in the Septuagint in only a little more than five per cent of the instances where love falls to be mentioned: in nearly ninety-five per cent avgapa/n is used. Here is a complete reversal of the relative positions of the two words.
In more than a third of the instances in which filei/n is used of loving, moreover, it is used of things - food or drink, or the like (Gen. xxvii. 4, 9, 14, Prov. xxi. 17, Hos. iii. 1, Isa. lvi. 10), leaving only a half a score of instances in which it is employed of love of persons. In all these instances (except Tob. vi. 14, where it is a demon that is in question) it is a human being to whom the loving is ascribed. The love ascribed to him ranges from mere carnal love (Jer. xxii. 22 [paralleled with evrastai,], Lam. i. 2, Tob. vi. 14, cf. Tob. vi. 17), through the love of a father for his son (Gen. xxxvii. 4), to love for Wisdom (Prov. viii. 17, xxix. 3, Wisd. viii. 2). Cremer drops the remark: "In two passages only does filei/n occur as perfectly synonymous with avgapa,w, Prov. viii. 17, xxix. 3."121 This cannot mean that avgapa/n does not occur in the senses in which filei/n is used in the other passages: avgapa/n is used in all these senses. What is really meant is that in these two passages alone filei/n bears a sense which Cremer is endeavoring to fix on avgapa/n as its distinctive meaning - the sense of high ethical love. In both passages it is love to Wisdom that is spoken of: "I (Wisdom) avgapw/ them that filou/ntaj me" (viii. 17); "When a man loves (filou/ntaj) wisdom, his father rejoices" (xxix. 3) ; and they bear witness that this high love could readily be expressed by filei/n, as well as by avgapa/n. It is not obvious, however, that filei/n is used in these passages as perfectly synonymous with avgapa/n. On the face of Prov. viii. 17, there is a difference between the love (avgapa/n) ascribed to Wisdom and that (filei/n) ascribed to her votaries, if the distribution of the words be allowed any significance. Perhaps it may be conjectured that some flavor clings to filei/n which renders it less suitable for the graver affection proper to Wisdom herself.
Despite the fewness of the occurrences of filei/n, there are quite a number of instances in which it is brought into more or less close conjunction with avgapa/n, and a glance over these may help us to some notion of the relation which the two words bear to one another. Gen. xxxvii. 3, 4: "And Jacob hvga,pa Joseph more than all his sons. . . . And his brothers, seeing that his father filei/ him above all his sons, hated him." Prov. viii. 17: "I (Wisdom) avgapw/ them that filou/ntaj me." Prov. xxi. 17: "A poor man avgapa/ mirth, filw/n wine and oil in abundance." Isa. lvi. 6, 10: "The strangers that attach themselves unto the Lord . . . to avgapa/n the name of the Lord. . . . Dumb dogs, . . . filou/ntej to slumber." Lam. i. 2: "Weeping, she weeps in the night and her tears are upon her cheeks; and there is none of all that avgapw,ntwn her to comfort her; all those that filou/ntej her have dealt treacherously with her." Hos. iii. 1: "And the Lord said to me, Go yet and avga,phson a woman that avgapw/san evil things and an adulteress, even as the Lord avgapa/ the children of Israel, and they have respect to strange gods, and filou/si cakes and raisins." Wisdom viii. 2, 3: "Her (Wisdom) I evfilh,sa, and sought out from my youth, and I desired to make her my wife and was an evrasth,j of her beauty. . . . Yea, the Lord of all things Himself hvga,phsen her" (and then immediately below, at verse 7: " If a man avgapa|/ righteousness"). Perhaps we should add Prov. xix. 7, 8, in which the noun fili,a and the verb avgapa/n occur, in distinct clauses no doubt, which yet stand rather close together: "Every one who hates a poor brother is also far from fili,a. . . . He that procures wisdom avgapa|/ himself."
To fill out the general picture we may adjoin a few passages in which other combinations of terms for love are made. In his praise of woman in I Esd. iv. 14 ff., Zorobabel brings together these two statements - that a man can look a lion in the face, and can plunder and rob in the darkness - all to bring his spoil to th|~ evrwme,nh|; "yea a man avgapa|/ his own wife more than father or mother." In Jer. xxii. 22, we read: "The wind shall tend all thy shepherds and thy evrastai, shall go into captivity; for then shalt thou be ashamed and disgraced by all tw/n filou,ntwn se." In Prov. vii. 18: "Come, and let us enjoy fili,aj until the morning; come, and let us embrace e;rwti" And again, in Sir. xxvii. 17, 18: "Ste,rxon a friend (fi,lon) and be faithful unto him; but if thou betrayest his secrets . . . thou hast lost the fili,an of thy neighbor."
It cannot be pretended that it is an easy task to find one's way through these passages, assigning a distinctive sense to each term. By one thing we are struck, however, at the first glance. In all the combinations of avgapa/n and filei/n, the higher role is assigned to avgapa/n. The historian tells us in Gen. xxxvii. 3 that Jacob hvga,pa Joseph; but when he repeats what the envious brothers said, filei/n is used, as if they would suggest that their father's special love for him was an ungrounded preference. It is Wisdom who avgapa|/ her votaries (Prov. viii. 17); they, on their part, filou/ntai her; and the Lord hvga,phsen Wisdom, while her servant evfilh,se her (Wisd. viii. 2, 3). There is some appearance here that avgapa/n was felt to be in some way the more appropriate word with which to express love of a superhuman order. Only in the case of Lam. i. 2 does the variation from avgapa/n to filei/n seem to be purely rhetorical; and there the variation imitates a variation in the underlying Hebrew, and gives avgapa/n the place of honor.122 Similarly, in the passages in which avgapa/n does not occur there appears to be in mind always some valid distinction between the terms that are used, although it is not always easy clearly to grasp it. It must be confessed, for example, that it is difficult to discover the precise reason for the variation from evrastai, to filou/ntej in Jer. xxii. 22, or from fili,a to e;rwj in Prov. vii. 18. In the former of these passages it is obvious enough, of course, that the filou/ntej are intended to embrace both the shepherds and the lovers, and doubtless that is the reason that a broader word is chosen. In the latter the variation in terms reflects a variation in the underlying Hebrew, but it is not clear that it reflects it accurately, or what is the exact distinction intended. The general impression left by the series of passages is that the several terms for love were used quite freely and with various natural interchanges, as substantial synonyms; but that avgapa/n was felt to be in some sense of the highest suggestion, and when they were brought into contrast, the higher place was instinctively given to it.
Certainly avgapa/n is used with the utmost freedom for every conceivable variety of love, from the love of mere lust on the one hand (e. g., II Sam. xiii. l, 4, 15, Isa. lvii. 8, Ezek. xvi. 37) up to the purest earthly love on the other (Lev. xix. 18, 34, Deut. x. 19, I Sam. xviii. 1, xx. 17, II Sam. i. 23), and beyond that to the highest love which man can feel, love to God (Ex. xx. 6, Deut. v. 10, vi. 5, vii. 9, x. 12, xi. 1, 13, 22, xiii. 3, xix. 9, xxx. 6, 16, 20, Judges viii. 3, Jos. xxii. 5, xxiii. 11, I Kings iii. 3, Ps. xvii. 1, xxx. 23, lxviii. 37, xcvi. 10, cxvi. 7), and even above that, to the inexplicable love of God Himself to His people (Deut. iv. 37, vii. 8,13, x.15, xxiii. 5, II Sam. xii. 24, II Chron. ii. 11, ix. 8, Isa. xliii. 4, xlviii. 14, lxiii. 9, Jer. xxxviii. 3, Mal. i. 2, Prov. iii. 12). It is quite true that it is used for the higher reaches of love far more frequently than for the lower-lying varieties. This was the inevitable effect of the proportionate place occupied by the higher and lower forms of love in the pages of the Old Testament, and argues little as to the relative adaptability cf the term for expressing them severally. The plain fact is that avgapa/n is the general term for love in the Greek Old Testament, employed in some ninety-five per cent of the instances in which love is mentioned; and therefore it is employed of the several varieties of love, not in accordance with its fitness to express one or another of them, but in accordance with the relative frequency of their occurrence in the Old Testament. The five per cent or so of occurrences which are left to be expressed by other terms seem not to be divided off from the rest on the ground of the intrinsic unfitness of avgapa/n to express them. They include next to no kinds of love which avgapa/n is not employed to express in other passages.123 It is not to be supposed, of course, that pure caprice has determined the employment of these terms in these few instances. There is doubtless always a reason for the selection which is made; and ordinarily the appropriateness of the term actually employed can be more or less clearly felt. But it does not appear that the reason for passing over avgapa/n in these cases was ordinarily its intrinsic incapacity for the expression of the specific love that is spoken of. As the general word for love it no doubt could have been used without impropriety throughout.
It is possible, moreover, to overpress the intrinsic significance of the predominant use of avgapa/n for the higher varieties of love. Both filei/n (Prov. viii. 17, xxix. 3) and evra/sqai (Prov. iv. 6, Wisd. viii. 2), along with it (Prov. viii. 21), are used for love to Wisdom. But no other term except avgapa/n happens to be employed of God's love to man, or of man's love to God, or even of that love to our neighbor which with them constitutes the three conceptions in which is summed up the peculiarity of the teaching on love of the religion of revelation. This is a notable fact; and it had notable consequences. It did not, however, so much result from, as result in, that elevation of avgapa/n above other terms for love, which fits it alone to express these high forms. It is probable that had the Septuagint translators found filei/n still in use as the general term for love, they would have employed it as their own general word, and it would have fallen to it therefore to be used to express these higher forms of love. Instead, they found avgapa/n, an intrinsically higher word than filei/n and more suitable for the purpose; and they trained it to convey these still higher conceptions also. Thus they stamped avgapa/n with a new quality, and prepared it for its use in the New Testament. What is of importance to bear in mind, however, is that the elevation of avgapa/n to this new dignity was not due to its greater intrinsic fitness to express these new conceptions (though it was intrinsically more fit to do so), but to the circumstance that it happened to be the general term for love in current use when the Septuagint was written. This is proved by the fact that it was not employed by the Septuagint writers as a special word for the expression of the loftier aspects of love alone, but as a general word to express all kinds and conditions of love. It is simply the common term for love in the Greek Old Testament, and the new dignity which clothes it as it leaves the Old Testament has been contributed to it by the Old Testament itself.
The account given of avgapa/n by Hermann Cremer, while in its central statement perfectly just, is deformed by some remarkable inaccuracies, arising from a fruitless attempt to establish certain stated exceptions to this central statement. "The New Testament usage with reference to the words avgapa/n, avga,ph, avgaphto,j," he writes,124 "is in a very special manner a consistent and complete one. It was prepared for by the use, presented by the Septuagint, of avgapa,w for the Hebrew bha in the whole range of its applications, with one or two characteristic exceptions. The Hebrew word includes in itself the significance of all three Greek synonyms" [i.e., filei/n, evra/n, and avgapa/n]; "it is especially frequently used in an application in which the Greeks do not speak of love, that is to say, of the love enjoined for God and His will, as well as of the love ascribed to God Himself (Deut. vii. 13, x. 15, 18, xxiii. 6, II Sam. xii. 24, Ps. lxxviii. 68, lxxxvii. 2, cxlvi. 8, Isa. xliii. 4, xlviii. 14, particularly the last, which is a conception beyond the imagination of the Greeks.125 Apart, now, from a few passages in which the rendering is only according to the sense (Mic. iii. 2 = zhtei/n, Prov. xviii. 21 = kratei/n, xvii. 19 = cai,rein), bha is regularly translated by avgapa/n, with the exception of when it stands for sensual love (sixteen times in all), in which case evra/n( evrasth,j are constantly used (see above), and when it denotes a sensuous inclination or a natural affection (ten times), and then it is rendered by filei/n and its compounds - Gen. xxvii. 4, 9, 14, Isa. lvi. 10, Ecc. iii. 8; cf. II Chron. xxvi. 10, filogewrgo,j, A, hm'd'a; bheao, as also two passages where there is mention of an objectionable disposition, I Kings xi. 1 filogu,naioj (filogu,nhj, B), and Prov. xvii. 19, filomarth,mwn." W. G. Ballantine, commenting on the latter half of this passage, remarks trenchantly, but we are afraid not unjustly:126 "Cremer's assertions regarding the translation of bha in the Septuagint are sheer misstatements, as anyone who has Trommius' Concordance in his hands can see. We have already referred to half a score of passages where avgapa,w, as the translation of bha, expresses lustful love. File,w, as we saw above, but once expresses a natural affection, and but four times a sensual inclination. vAgapa,w expresses a natural affection in Gen. xxii. 2, xxv. 28, xxxvii. 3, xliv. 20, Ruth iv. 15, Prov. iv. 3, xiii. 24. vEra,w translates bha but twice. Cremer says that avgapa,w 'never means to do anything willingly, to be wont to do'; yet we have it in Jer. xiv. 10, 'They have loved to move their feet,' and in Jer. v. 31, 'And my people loved to have it so."'
Cremer's statement certainly conveys the impression that avgapa/n is never used in the canonical Septuagint (as a rendering of bha) for sensual love, or for a sensuous inclination or natural affection, its place being taken in the former case (there being sixteen instances in all) by evra/n( evrasth,j, and in the latter (ten instances) by filei/n and its compounds. For the sixteen cases of evra/n rendering bha, used of sensual love, he refers us to a list previously given - " see above," he says - and that list proves to run as follows: " vEra/n is found only in a few passages in the Old Testament (Esth. ii. 17, Prov. iv. 6, bha; Wisd. viii. 2; evrasth,j, Ez. xvi. 33, 36, 37, xxiii. 5, 9, 22, Jer. xxii. 20, 22, Lam. i. 19, Hos. ii. 7, 9, 12, 14, 15, the stated rendering of the Hebrew bhea'm. in the sensual sense)." There are seventeen passages enumerated here; but they are not seventeen passages in which bha and bham are used in a sensual sense and are rendered by evra/n and evrasth,j; they profess to be passages rather in which evra/n and evrasth,j are found in the Old Testament - Wisd. viii. 2, of course, having no Hebrew base. They do not, to be sure, exhaust the list of occurrences of words of this group in the Old Testament: evra/sqai occurs three times, not two as here (add I Esdr. iv. 24); e;rwj, not mentioned here, occurs twice (Prov. vii. 18, xxiv. 51 [xxx. 16]); and evrasth,j appears nineteen times, as against the fifteen here enumerated. But much less do the sixteen of them which are renderings of bha justify the description of them given in the main passage. One of the two passages cited for evra/n, indeed - "Love (Wisdom), and she shall keep thee" (Prov. iv. 6) - refers to high ethical love; as does also indeed Wisd. viii. 2 (evrasth,j), "I was a lover of her (Wisdom's) beauty." The other passage cited for evra/n, "And the king loved Esther and she found favor beyond all the virgins; and he put on her the queen's crown" (Esth. ii. 17), while certainly referring to sexual love, can scarcely be spoken of as referring to dishonorable love, as neither, indeed, can I Esd. iv. 24, the third passage in which evra/n occurs (not mentioned by Cremer) : "And when he hath stolen, spoiled, and robbed, he bringeth it to his beloved (evrwme,nh|) ; wherefore a man loveth (avgapa|/) his wife better than father and mother."
As it is thus clear that the words of the evra/n group do not always express lustful, and not even always sexual, love, it is even more clear that sensual or even lustful love is not expressed exclusively by words of this group. We have seen the carnal love of a demon for a mortal maid expressed by filei/n Job. vi. 15), and the wicked lovers of Zion, in parallelism with evrastai,, expressed by filou/ntej (Jer. xxii. 22). The Hebrew piel participle bham, rendered in the fifteen passages enumerated by Cremer by evrastai,, occurs also in Jer. xxx. 14, Zech. xiii. 6, the former of which is certainly of the same class with its fellows, and the latter not certainly of a different class (so Hengstenberg). In Jer. xxx. 14, however, it is rendered by o` avgaphto,j , "All thy lovers have forgotten thee," and in Zech. xiii. 6, taken as a singular, by o` avgaphto,j, "With these I was wounded in my beloved house," or, as in the Alexandrian MS., "in the house of my beloved." It has already been intimated that numerous passages exist in which sensual love is expressed by avgapa/n. If we are to take sensual love in a sense broad enough to include Cremer's examples, we may adduce such passages as Gen. xxiv. 67, xxix. 30, 32, xxxiv. 3, Ex. xxi. 5, Deut. xxi. 15, 16, Judges xiv. 16, xvi. 15, I Sam. i. 5, xviii. 28, II Chron. xi. 21, Ecc. ix. 9, and perhaps even I Kings xi. 2. If dishonorable love is to be insisted upon, we may refer to II Sam. xiii. 1, 4, 15, Ezek. xvi. 37, Hos. iii. 1, or we may content ourselves with the single passage Isa. lvii. 8: "Thou hast loved (hjvga,phsaj) those that lay with thee, and now hast multiplied thy whoredom (pornei,an) with them." It is beyond question that not evra/n but avgapa/n is the regular word to express sexual love in the Septuagint, and this fact is not to be obscured by pointing to evrasth,j as the standing word for " lover " - which is a different matter.
No assertion could be more unfortunate, then, than that evra/n is the constant vehicle in the Septuagint for the expression of sensual love; and it is no mitigation to confine the assertion to the instances of renderings of bha by evra/. Unless, indeed, it be held even more unfortunate to assert that filei/n and its compounds supply the stated means of the expression of the love of sensuous inclination or natural affection - connected with the further implication that there are only ten instances in which love of this kind comes to expression in the Old Testament. A full list of the ten instances he has in mind is not given by Cremer, and it would be difficult to fill out such a list with instances exactly like the half-dozen which he adduces. These half-dozen instances do represent one side of the usage of filei/n and its compounds - a usage in which it perhaps holds a unique position in Old Testament Greek. We are not sure that avgapa/n is found in any precisely similar applications. There is even an appearance that such applications are avoided for avgapa/n. Look, for example, at Prov. xxi. 17: "A poor man loveth (avgapa/n) mirth, loving (filei/n) wine and oil in abundance." There seems to be reflected here a distinction in the usage of the two terms, according to which filei/n and not avgapa/n is preferred for loving food and drink, just as in English we say we "like" but only abusively that we "love" articles of diet. But this is only a pocket in the usage of filei/n, and does not justify the broad characterization formulated by Cremer. The love expressed by filei/n includes also the elevated love of Wisdom by her votaries (Prov. viii. 17, xxix. 3); and if Ecc. iii. 8, "There is a time to love (filh/sai) and a time to hate" shows that natural affections are expressed by filei/n, what does Sir. xiii. 15, "Every beast loves (avgapa|/) his like, and every man his neighbor"127 show? The fundamental fault of Cremer's statement lies in a zeal to mark off a special region within which each term - evra/n( filei/n, and above all, avgapa/n - shall be confined. Accordingly, he arbitrarily narrows the range of the usage of each, and very especially of avgapa/n. In point of fact, the usage of avgapa/n covers the whole field which bha itself covers, and there is no real variety of love for which it is not employed somewhere or other in the Septuagint. Even such a conspectus of the kinds of love for which it is used as that drawn up by Ballantine in the following summary is only generally complete, although it will doubtless serve to bring home to us the very wide field covered by the word. "It is the word," he says,128 "in constant use to express (1) God's love to man, (2) God's love for truth and other virtues and worthy objects, (3) man's love for God, (4) man's love for salvation and worthy objects, (5) man's conscientious love for man, (6) ordinary human friendship, (7) parental and filial affection, (8) the love of husband and wife, (9) impure sexual love, (10) man's love for cursing and other vices and sinful objects."
One of the most striking accompaniments of the appearance of avgapa/n in the Septuagint as the general term for love, is the appearance by its side of two abstract substantives formed from this stem - avga,phsij and avga,ph. The classical writers got along without these substantives. vAga,phsij has, it is true, been turned up in Aristotle. But it does not come into wide use in profane literature until Plutarch - after the opening of the Christian era. vAga,ph has not hitherto been discovered in any profane author at all, unless a somewhat conjectural reading in Philodemus, an Epicurean writer of the first century before Christ, be an exception.129 In a true sense, then, both of these words make their first appearance in the Septuagint. vAgapa/n itself was in comparatively limited use among the classical writers; and, with storgh,( e;rwj and fili,a in their hand, they apparently felt no need of a substantive representing the peculiar quality of avgapa/n, in order to give expression to all their conceptions of love. When, however, avgapa/n became the general word for love, a need for corresponding substantives seems to have come to be felt, and they were supplied. Of course the Septuagint did not invent these substantives: not even avga,ph, which is not found in any earlier writing. It took them over with avgapa/n from the common usage of the people. This appears very clearly from the nature of their use in the Septuagint. They are used as general terms for love, covering the whole range of the conception, and with the utmost simplicity and directness. A very careless manner of speaking of avga,ph is current, as if it were in some way a gift of revealed religion to the world, not to say a direct product of divine inspiration. When Trench says that "It should never be forgotten that the substantive avga,ph is a purely Christian word, no example of its use occurring in any heathen writer whatever," he has no doubt by a mere slip of the pen said "Christian" when the historical revelation of God in its entirety was what was in his mind. That correction, however, will not save his remark from being misleading. It is not true that "the word was born within the bosom of revealed religion"; it is true only that it has hitherto been found in the use only of adherents of revealed religion. What Zezschwitz means by saying that it "first makes its appearance as a current term in the Song of Solomon" is not clear, unless it be that it occurs more frequently in the Song of Solomon than in any other Old Testament book (eleven times as over against eight in the whole Old Testament besides). The plain fact about the word is that, as it appears in the pages of the Septuagint, it bears all the marks of being already an old word with a settled general usage.
Additional evidence of its general currency is supplied by its appearance in Aristeas (second or first century B.c.) and Philo (early first century A.D.). Each uses it a single time, and both in a noble sense - as the content of true piety. Aristeas, positing the question, What is equal to beauty? answers:130 "Piety (euvse,beia); for that is an excellent beauty. But its power consists in avga,ph; for this is a gift of God. And," he adds, to the king whose inquiry he is answering, "you possess this, embracing in it all that is good."131 Philo writes more elaborately to much the same effect. "And therefore it is," says he,132 "that it appears to me that with these two principal assertions above mentioned, namely that God is as a man and that God is not as a man, are connected two other principles consequent upon and connected with them, namely that of fear and that of love (fo,bon te kai. avga,phn); for I see that all the exhortations of the laws to piety (euvse,beian) are referred either to the love (to. avgapa/n) or the fear of the living God. To those, therefore, who do not attribute either the parts or the passions of man to the living God, but who, as becomes the majesty of God, honor (timw/si) Him in Himself, and by Himself alone, to love (to. avgapa/n) Him is most natural; but to the others it is most appropriate to fear Him." It would, of course, be possible to say that both Aristeas and Philo got the word from the Septuagint; but it would be very difficult to prove that, and it seems vastly unlikely. Their use of it is highly individual,133 and their independence in employing it is supported by its appearance in other Greek versions of the Old Testament in passages in which it is not found in the Septuagint.
There is a superficial appearance that avga,ph and avga,phsij are used by the Septuagint far less freely than avgapa/n. The verb certainly occurs much more frequently than the substantives - it, about two hundred and sixty-six times; they, together, only thirty times - avga,ph twenty times and avga,phsij ten. The relatively small number of the occurrences of the substantives is accounted for in part, however, by the comparative infrequency of the noun hb'h}a; in the Hebrew Old Testament, which the Septuagint translates. That substantive occurs only forty times, in sixteen of which it is rendered by avga,ph (which include all the occurrences of avga,ph in which it has a Hebrew base), six by avga,phsij (all its occurrences with a Hebrew base), and thirteen by some form of the verb avgapa/n,134 while it is rendered in only five instances by fili,a (a little more than half of its occurrences with a Hebrew base). That is to say, it is rendered in nearly ninety per cent of its occurrences by some form of the avgapa/n group, and in nearly half of these by avga,ph itself. The question remains an open one naturally why the translators resorted so frequently to a paraphrase of the verb to render the Hebrew substantive, and did not in all instances employ the substantive avga,ph; they paraphrase by the verb (thirteen times) almost as often as they render by avga,ph (sixteen times). The distribution of the several manners of rendering hbha through the Septuagint is also rather odd. The paraphrase by the verb is fairly evenly distributed through the volume from the Pentateuch to the Prophets and Psalms (none in the Wisdom books). No substantive for love occurs in the Greek Bible, on the other hand, until II Samuel; practically none until the Poetical and Prophetic books.135 The use of these substantives belongs thus almost entirely to the latter portion of the Septuagint. And even there their distribution is somewhat notable. The use of avga,ph centers in the Song of Solomon: it occurs in it no less than eleven times, more than half of all its occurrences in the Septuagint; it and its verb (avgapa/n) are the sole vehicles in this book of the notion of love. Outside the Song of Solomon, it occurs only eight times, widely scattered through the volume. vAga,phsij is found in five of its ten occurrences in the Prophets, and in four of the others in the Poetical books. Fili,a occurs only in two wellmarked groups: in the great Wisdom books, Proverbs, Wisdom, and Sirach, and in I and II Maccabees. It is well to note this last fact, because it contributes to the understanding of what seems, at first sight, a preponderance in the use of fili,a over avga,ph and avga,phsij. Fili,a occurs thirty-five times, and avga,ph and avga,phsij together but thirty times. More than half of the occurrences of fili,a, however, fall in I and II Maccabees, where it is employed exclusively in the highly differentiated sense - one might even say the technical sense - of political amity.136 Only sixteen instances remain (all in the Wisdom literature) for the expression of love in the ordinary applications of the word.
After all, therefore, the chief vehicle for the idea of love in the Septuagint, even in its substantival expression, is furnished by the terms of the avgapa/n group. vAga,ph, avga,phsij together occur thirty times, fili,a sixteen, e;rwj twice (Prov. vii. 18, xxiv. 51 [xxx. 16], and storgh, not at all in the Septuagint proper, but four times in III and IV Maccabees (III Macc. v. 32, IV Macc. xiv. 13, 14, 17).
In range of meaning, avga,ph is spread thinly over the whole field; necessarily thinly, because of the infrequency of its occurrence. Its preponderant sense is sexual love. That is secured for it by its eleven occurrences in the Song of Solomon. But outside the Song of Solomon it is used in II Sam. xiii. 15 of the merely lustful love of Amnon for Thamar, as well as in the figurative passage Jer. ii. 2. In II Sam. i. 26, it is used of "the love of women" to which Jonathan's love there spoken of as avga,phsij is compared: "Thy avga,phsij to me was wonderful, beyond the avga,ph of women" - as if avga,ph had some special fitness for the expression of the "love of women." At the opposite extreme are the four passages in the Wisdom books which carry us up to the highest reaches to which human love can ascend. The transition is made by two passages in Ecclesiastes (ix. 1, 6) in which it is used quite generally of love, as a universal human emotion, in contrast with hate: "My heart hath seen how the righteous and the wise and their works are in the hands of God, and there is no man that knoweth whether (it is) love or hate": "But the dead know nothing . . . and their love and their hate and their envy have perished." In Wisdom vi. 18 we have a passage built up in a kind of sorites, which reminds us of the passage in Aristeas: "For the most unerring beginning of wisdom is desire of discipline, and heed to discipline is love, and love is the keeping of her laws, and attention to the laws is the assurance of incorruption, and incorruption bringeth near to God." Here the love of wisdom is the secret of law-keeping and a step on the stairs that lead up to God. The climax is reached, however, in Wisd. iii. 9 and Sir. xlviii. 11, where love to God is spoken of, and its exceeding great reward. In the former passage we read: "They that put their trust in Him shall understand the truth, and they that are faithful in love" - that is, in love to Him - "shall abide with Him, because there is grace and mercy for His elect." In the latter, the "famous men, even our fathers that begat us," are praised in these great words: "Blessed are they that saw Thee, and they that have fallen asleep in love; for we too shall surely live."137 The employment of the word in the other Greek versions of the Old Testament is remarkable chiefly for a tendency to invade with it the book of Proverbs, which in the Septuagint is the especial field of fili,a. Aquila and Theodotion both use it in vii. 18 of sexual love; Aquila and Symmachus in x. 12, where it stands in contrast with hate; and all three, Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion in xv. 17, where it is praised as the condition of all happiness in life. Besides, it is used by Symmachus, in addition to some passages in the Song of Solomon (Aquila also uses it in one of these), in Psalm xxxii. 5, and Ezekiel xvi. 8. Commenting on this usage, Moulton and Milligan remark that it shows that the word "retained in independent writers the connotations we find in Canticles and Ecclesiastes."138 The evidence as a whole goes to show that it was in full popular use during the later pre-Christian centuries as a general word for love of all kinds and degrees; and that it was taken over by the Septuagint writers in this general sense, and employed by them indiscriminately to express the idea of love as it fell to their task to speak of it. The effect was, as in the case of avgapa/n, to add depth to the word, because it was employed to express, among other kinds of love, also that love to God which is characteristic of the Biblical revelation.
It remains somewhat of a puzzle why the Septuagint writers, in no less than thirteen instances of the occurrence of hbha, preferred to translate it by forms of avgapa/n; and the occurrence of avga,phsij by the side of avga,ph in their pages is susceptible of the interpretation that avga,ph did not hold the whole field in the popular Greek of the time, but shared it with the sister word. The instances in which hbha is paraphrased by forms of the verb the more call for remark, because they move in the high places. There is no instance of sexual love among them except [Gen. xxix. 20] where this form of love is at its height; and but three [four] in which love from man to man is spoken of (Ps. cviii. 4, I Sam. xx. 17 bis, [xviii. 3]), and in two [three] of these it is the supreme type of human love which is celebrated, the love of David and Jonathan: "And Jonathan swore yet again unto David because he loved (hvga,phse) the life of him that loved (avgapw/ntoj) him." After that, we have an instance in which the love of mercy is expressed by it (Micah vi. 8), and all the others speak of the supernal love of God to man (Deut. vii. 8, I Kings x. 9, II Chron. ii. 11, ix. 8, Isa. lxiii. 9, Hos. iii. 1, ix. 15). Why should the Septuagint writers refuse just these passages to avga,ph and paraphrase them? One of the results is that they render hbha, in no instance in which it expresses either love to God or God's love, by avga,ph; the instances in which avga,ph is used to express love to God (Wisd. iii. 9, Sir. xlviii. 11) come from that portion of the Septuagint which has no Hebrew base, as does also the instance in which avga,ph is used of love to Wisddm. The general concept of love as distinguished from hate (Ecc. ix. l, 6) is the highest to which avga,ph attains when rendering hbha. The impression made by these facts is increased when we observe that the usage of avga,phsij in general also moves on a higher plane than that of avga,ph. In only one instance does it allude to sexual love (Jer. ii. 33). In three others it is the love of man to man that is in question - II Sam. i. 26, Ps. cviii. 5, and we add Prov. xxx. 15 (xxiv. 50), where the noun is used adverbially to strengthen the verb: "the horse-leech had three daughters avgapw,menai avgaph,sei, loved with love," i.e., dearly loved. In one instance (Sir. xl. 20) it expresses man's love to Wisdom, and in two (Hab. iii. 4, Sir. xlviii. 11) man's love to God. In three instances (Jer. xxxviii. 3, Hos. xi. 4, Zeph. iii. 17) it expresses the love of God to man. Certainly an appearance is created that avga,ph lent itself with less readiness to the expression of the higher than of the lower forms of love. Perhaps just because it was the most popular word for love in circulation, though it was a perfectly general term and was used for all forms of love alike, its chief associations were with those forms of love which fell to be most frequently mentioned in everyday speech. It was accordingly predominantly used for those forms of love in the Septuagint, and owes the exaltation of meaning with which it comes out of its hands less to its own usage in the Septuagint than to its association with avgapa/n. There is a sense, then, in which we may speak - as Moulton and Milligan do - of "its redemption from use as a mere successor to the archaic e;rwj," although we should not ourselves make use of just this language. It was the successor of the classical fili,a, not of e;rwj; e;rwj was scarcely "archaic," as its continued use in much later Greek shows; and we think it a mistake to speak of e;rwj as if it were exclusively a designation of sexual love. Nor can we ascribe quite the role which Moulton and Milligan do to "Alexandrian Jews of the first century B.C." in the "redemption" of the word. We see this redemption taking place in Aristeas and Philo, it is true; but we do not see it in the Jewish translators of the Old Testament (Aquila, Symmachus, Theodotion). After it leaves the Septuagint we get no full evidence of the usage of the word until we reach the New Testament. We are chary of concluding from the single instance of its use, each, in Aristeas and Philo, that it was they and such as they who wrought the work. All that we can be sure of is that the redemption of the word was the work of those who had learned what love is from the Divine revelation. If the word was not "born in the bosom of revealed religion," it was apparently redeemed to its nobler uses under the influences of that religion.139
Of the other substantives used for love in the Septuagint, fili,a is, of course, the most important. We have already pointed out the odd division of its usage into two well-marked groups. We are concerned now only with the sixteen instances in which it occurs in the great Wisdom books - nine in Proverbs, two in Wisdom, and five in Sirach. Its usage here is a broad one; but, although it starts at the same low level with avga,ph, it does not scale the same heights. It is used occasionally of purely sexual love, even when this appears as mere lust (Prov. v. 19; vii. 18, where it is parallel with e;rwj in the same sense; Sir. ix. 8). It is used once of love, or perhaps we may even say here, of friendship, to God: "For she (Wisdom) is an eternal treasure to men, those who possess which have prepared fili,an to God" (Wisd. vii. 14). And it is used once of love to Wisdom herself: "And great good is in fili,a of her" (Wisd. viii. 18). But in the majority of cases it expresses merely that love which binds men together in the friendly intercourse of life: Prov. x. 12, xv. 17, parallel with ca,rij, xvii. 9, xix. 7, xxv. 10, parallel with ca,rij, xxvii. 5, Sir. vi. 17, xxii. 20, xxv. 1, "harmony of brothers, and fili,a of neighbors, and a wife and husband who agree together," xxvii.l8, "ste,rxon a friend and be faithful with him; but if thou betray his secrets . . . thou hast destroyed the fili,an of thy neighbor." These are all natural uses of fili,an, quite in accordance with its previous history. The impression is conveyed that it has suffered less from the revolution which had been wrought in the common terms for love than its verb.
Fi,loj has apparently suffered not at all. It occurs with extraordinary frequency (about a hundred and eighty-two times), and is used quite along classical lines, chiefly as a noun to designate those who are bound to one another by an affection which does not root in ties of kinship (consult such conjunctions as "friends and neighbors," Ps. xxxvii. 12, lxxxvii. 18, Prov. xiv. 20, xviii. 25; "friends and kindred," Prov. xvii. 9). vAgaphto,j (twenty-two times) occupies a different field, and can scarcely be said to encroach upon that appropriated to fi,loj. It is used chiefly in the singular - often of an only child (Gen. xxii. 2, 12, 16 [Judg. xi. 34], Amos viii. 10, Zech. xii.10)140 - to designate one especially loved; and there is already a class which is called God's avgaphtoi,, beloved ones, so that this phrase is here seen in the making (Ps. lix. 5, cvii. 6, cxxvi. 2). Of course, compounds in fil- abound; the Greek language has never lost them, and has never formed corresponding compounds in avgap- which might supersede them.141 Of these we are particularly interested in such as fila,delfoj (II Macc. xv.14, IV Mace. xiii. 21, xv. 10); filadelfi,a (IV Macc. xiii. 23, 26, xiv. 1); filanqrwpei/n (II Macc. xiii. 23); fila,nqrwpoj (I Esd. viii. 10, Wisd. i. 6, vii. 23, xii. 19, II Macc. iv. 11, IV Macc. v. 12); filanqrw,pwj (II Macc. ix. 27, 111 Macc. iii. 20); filanrwpi,a (II Macc. vi. 22, xiv. 9, III Macc. iii. 15, 18); filo,storgoj (IV Macc. xv. 13); filosto,rgwj (II Macc. ix. 21); filostorgi,a (II Macc. vi. 20, IV Macc. xv. 6, 9). By filadelfi,a and its companions, love to one's people - in this case the Jews - or, in other words, patriotism is expressed. Filanqrwpi,a with its group is used as a general term for kindness, graciousness, such as that shown by superiors to inferiors, especially by monarchs to those having official dealings with them (consult the paralleling of the adverb with evpieikw/j, "fairly," "moderately," in II Macc. ix. 27).142 The fundamental sense of filostorgi,a and its group comes out clearly in IV Macc. xv. 6, 9, 13, where it is used of mother-love; in other passages its application is extended to any strong affection: "I would with fitting affection have remembered your kindness" (II Macc. ix. 21); "there are things which it is not lawful to do even for natural love of life" (II Macc. vi. 20). A great elevation of sense awaited these words in the future as a new religious spirit was breathed into them. "Be filo,storgoi to one another in filadelfi,a," says Paul (Rom. xii. 10), plumbing the depths of the feeling of brotherhood. "But when the filanqrwpi,a of our Savior, God, appeared," he writes again (Tit. iii. 4), soaring to the heights of the divine "humanity." Or we may find our examples of the heightened sense of the terms, if we prefer, in the filadelfi,a which Clement of Rome (xlviii. 1) demands that the Corinthian Christians should more fully manifest; or in the filostorgi,a which the writer of the Epistle to Diognetus (i. 1) asserts to be the cement which binds the Christian brotherhood together; or in the "great filanqrwpi,a kai. avga,ph" for which this latter writer celebrates his God (ix. 5).
It is worth while, perhaps, to turn directly from the Septuagint to the Apostolic Fathers, that we may observe how the great revolution in the usage of the Greek terms for love, of which we get our first glimpse in the Septuagint, looks, after its complete adjustment to the high conceptions of divine revelation. The Greek of the Apostolic Fathers is, like the Greek of the Septuagint, fundamentally the popular Greek of its day; but, no doubt, it can scarcely be looked upon as simply the same popular Greek upon which the writers of the Septuagint draw, at a later stage of its development. The religious language of the Apostolic Fathers has been profoundly influenced directly by the usage of the Septuagint itself. From the Septuagint they derive a large part of their religious inspiration, and upon it they draw in great part for the vocabulary in which they express their religious conceptions. Still more profoundly the religious language of the Apostolic Fathers has been influenced by the usage of the New Testament, itself deeply affected by that of the Septuagint. The fundamental basis of the language of the Apostolic Fathers nevertheless is the common Greek of the day; and that, needless to say, is just the common Greek which the Septuagint uses, at a stage of its development some three centuries later. To say this, obviously, is to question the propriety of describing the Greek of the Septuagint as in any very distinctive sense Judaic or Alexandrian. In the matter of the linguistic phenomena which are for the moment occupying our attention - the supersession of filei/n by avgapa/n as the general term for loving, the coming of the substantive avga,ph into employment - it happens, no doubt, that they meet us first in the writings of Alexandrian Jews; and we may be tempted to conjecture on that ground that they are peculiarities of the speech of Alexandrian Jews. This conjecture loses its plausibility, however, when the usages in question are observed in an even more extreme form in the Apostolic Fathers. The Apostolic Fathers were not Jews of Alexandria; they fairly ring the Mediterranean basin in their provenience; and it is incredible that, great as is the influence of the Septuagint upon their religious terminology, it has given them their fundamental language. Whenever a usage is common to the Septuagint, Philo, and the Apostolic Fathers, it is safe to say not only that it was familiar to the Greek-speaking Jews of Alexandria, but also that it was not alien to the Greek-speaking world at the opening of the Christian era.143
The compositions of the Apostolic Fathers differ very greatly in general character and subject-matter from the series of writings which the Septuagint translators rendered into Greek. If we think of the Apostolic Fathers in their narrowest compass, as including only the Epistles of Clement, Barnabas, Ignatius, and Polycarp, they are merely a collection of hortatory letters, devoted to the enforcement of religious and ethical duty. In such writings we may anticipate relatively more frequent mention of love as a religious and ethical conception on the one hand, and much less mention of it as a mere fact of daily occurrence on the other, than was natural in a varied assemblage of historical, poetical, and prophetic writings such as we have in the Septuagint. The addition to these simple letters of the other compositions which it is the custom to class with them under the caption of Apostolic Fathers - the homily commonly called II Clement, the book of Church-order known as the Teaching of the Apostles, the lengthy Apocalypse which goes under the name of the Shepherd of Hermas, the anonymous apology called the Epistle to Diognetus - brings no great change into the linguistic character of the whole. So far as the usage of the terms denoting love is concerned, these books are all of a piece, a fact which gives us confidence in viewing them as mirroring the established usage in the Christian churches of the time.
The chief fact which attracts our attention is a negative one: that filei/n( fili,a have practically no place in these writings. Each occurs but a single time; and both in sufficiently weak senses. Ignatius exhorts Polycarp (ii. 1) thus: "If to good scholars only thou dost feel kindly (filh/j), this is not thankworthy in thee; rather bring the pestilent to submission by gentleness." The content of filei/n here lies close to prau?thj: to love is not much more than being mild and gentle in behavior. Hermas ("Mand.," 10, 1, 4) reprobates being "mixed up in business affairs, and riches, and heathen entanglements (fili,aij), and the many other concerns of this world." Even fi,loj occurs only eight times; and the list of compounds of fil- is comparatively small.144 It looks almost as if filei/n was ready to vanish away. Even evra/n (Ign. "Pol.," iv. 3, "Rom.," ii. 1, vii. 2), e;rwj ("Rom.," vii. 2), and ste,rgein (I Clem. i. 3; Polyc. "Philip.," iv. 2) occur more frequently. Ste,rgein is used in its fundamental sense of natural affection - here of the love of wives for their husbands - and in one of the instances of its occurrence is brought into contrast with avgapa/n as a word of deeper intensity of significance: I Clem. i. 3: "Loving their own husbands as is meet"; Polyc. "ad Philip.," iv. 2: "And, then, let us teach our wives also to walk in the faith that hath been given unto them, and in avga,ph| and avgnei,a|, stergou/saj their own husbands in all truth, and avgapw,saj all men equally in all chastity." vEra~n is in every instance used of "desiring" something or "desiring" to do something - in one case preparing the way for the famous exclamation, which has already been spoken of, "My ;Erwv has been crucified! "
Quite a different state of affairs meets the eye when we look at avgapa/n and its accompanying noun and verbal adjective. vAgapa~n occurs about seventy-nine times; ayamq about ninetyfour times; and avgaphto,j about twenty-five times, of which seventeen are in the plural avgaphtoi,. Ignatius (20, 40, 6) and I Clement (8, 27, 18) are the largest depositories of these terms; but avgapa/n and avga,ph at least are fairly well distributed through the whole series of writers.145 Too much stress must not be laid upon the fact that no instances of the lower senses of avgapa/n( avga,ph occur; that, for example, in no single case is either term used of sexual love. There was little occasion to speak of sexual love in these writings. But it may be worth noting that it almost seems as if avgapa/n was felt as a contrast to sexual love. When the twelve virgins require Hermas to pass the night with them, at all events, they emphasize that it is to be as a brother and not as a husband; and they add, "Hereafter we will dwell with thee, for we avgapw/men thee exceedingly" (Sim. ix. 11, 3; cf. Yis. i. 1, "I began to avgapa/n her as a sister"). This could scarcely have been said precisely thus, unless avgapa/n had been felt in the circles for which Hermas wrote as a word of higher than sexual suggestion. A somewhat similar impression may be made when we read in Polycarp ("Philip.," iv. 2) an exhortation to wives to walk in the faith that has been given them, stergou/saj their own husbands in all truth, and avgapou/saj all men equally in all chastity." The words could not easily change places, and avgapa/n appears to be contrasted with even the purest sexual love. Saying this, however, is in any event saying too little for these special writings. The usage of avgapa/n and avga,ph alike in them is at the top of their applications. They are here very distinctly words of ethical and spiritual import. This too, no doubt, finds its account less in the implications of the words themselves than in the subjects dealt with in these writings. But it has this not unimportant significance with respect to the words themselves, that, when these high ethical and spiritual aspects of love were dealt with, it was, among the words for love, avgapa/n and avga,ph which suggested themselves to express them; and that with such inevitableness that only these terms were employed for the purpose. No doubt we must keep in consideration that avgapa/n and avga,ph were very distinctly the common words for love and may have been the first terms to suggest themselves for the expression of any kind of love. There were, however, other terms still in use, and they would have been employed had there been any unnaturalness in using avgapa/n, avga,ph in these high senses.
There is an occasional use of avgapa/n with the infinitive, to express what one "loves" or would "love" to do (e. g., Ign. " Trall.," iv. 2: "I desire to suffer"). But what is almost uniformly expressed by it is the love of the Christian proclamation in its three great exemplifications of the love of God or of Christ to man, the love of God's people to Him or to Christ, and the love of the Christian brethren to one another. Polycarp accordingly tells (iii. 3) the Philippians that Paul's letter to them had the power to build them up into the faith given to them, "which is the mother of us all, while hope followeth after, and love goeth before - love," he proceeds to explain, "towards God and Christ and towards our neighbor." Christians are "the children of love," as Barnabas phrases it; or as Polycarp calls Ignatius and his companions ("Philip.," i. init.) "the followers of the True Love," that is to say, of Christ, here called by the great title of `H vAlhqh/j vAga,ph; and if they are to be imitators of Him who so loved us ("Diog.," x. 3), they must love, "love in Christ," "love according to Jesus Christ." "Faith is the beginning, and love the end of life" (Ign. "Eph.," xiv.1); "faith and love are all in all and nothing is preferred before them" (Ign. "Smyr.," vi. l). As a typical passage, exhibiting the lofty sense which these terms had acquired in the familiar speech of these Christians, we may take perhaps the encomium on love which Clement pens to the Corinthians, inciting them to practice it in their own lives. It is full, it is true, of echoes of Paul's great hymn to love in the thirteenth chapter of his own First Letter to the Corinthians; but it is not less representative of the speech of the Apostolic Fathers on that account. "Let him that hath love in Christ," we read (c. 49), "fulfil the commandments of Christ. Who can declare the bond of the love of God? Who is sufficient to tell the majesty of its beauty? The height whereunto love exalteth is unspeakable. Love joineth us with God; love endureth all things, is longsuffering in all things. There is nothing vulgar, nothing arrogant in love. Love hath no divisions, love maketh no seditions, love doeth all things in concord. In love were all God's elect made perfect; without love nothing is well-pleasing to God; in love the Master took us unto Himself; for the love which He had towards us, Jesus Christ our Lord hath given His blood for us by the will of God, and His flesh for our flesh, and His life for our lives. Ye see, dearly beloved, how great and marvelous a thing is love, and there is no declaring its perfection. Who is sufficient to be found therein save those to whom God shall vouchsafe it?" It is this kind of love which, in the Apostolic Fathers, avgapa/n and avga,ph are practically exclusively used to express. "Oh the exceeding great filanqrwpi,a kai. avga,ph of God" ("Diog.," ix. 2): "How wilt thou avgaph,saj Him that so proagaph,santa thee!" (x. 2-3) : "Now He that raised Him from the dead will raise us also if avgapw/men the things that He hvga,phsen" (Polyc. "Philip.," ii. 2). This is the circle through which the idea of love runs in them.
It ought perhaps to be mentioned before we leave the subject that in Ign. "Smyrn.," viii. 2 we have an instance of a usage of avga,ph created by Christianity and vocal with the significance which love had for Christianity. "It is not lawful," we read, "apart from the bishop either to baptize or aga,phn poiei/n" - that is to say, as the parallel with baptizing suggests, " celebrate the Lord's Supper."146 The Lord's Supper was the feast of love. "I wish the bread of God," says Ignatius in another place ("Rom.," vii. 3), "which is the flesh of Christ, who was the seed of David; and I wish for a draught of His blood, which is love (avga,ph) incorruptible." And in yet another place ("Trall.," viii. 1): "Do ye, then, arm yourselves with gentleness and recover yourselves in faith, which is the flesh of the Lord, and in love (avga,ph) which is the blood of Jesus Christ." An extension of the usage of avga,ph like this is vocal with the place which the conception and the word had taken in the Christian community.
The New Testament stands between the Septuagint and the Apostolic Fathers, receiving from the one, giving to the other, sharing the particular type of Greek common to both. In this type of Greek, avgapa/n( avga,ph had become the general terms for the expression of love; and the Greek of the New Testament participates fully in this usage. vAgapa/n occurs about a hundred and forty-one times in the New Testament, avga,ph about a hundred and eighteen times, and avgaphto,j about sixty-one times, while filei/n (excluding three instances in which it means "to kiss": Mat. xxvi. 48, Mk. xiv. 44, Lk. xxii. 47) occurs only about twenty-two times, fili,a but once, and even fi,loj only about twenty-nine times. vEra/n( e;rwj, and ste,rgein( storgh, do not occur at all. It is perhaps worth while also to observe the distribution of the several terms through the New Testament. The book of Acts contains no one of them except fi,loj (x. 24, xix. 31, xxvii. 3) and avgaphto,j (xv. 25).147 Hebrews has avgapa/n and avga,ph each twice; James avgapa/n three times and fili,a once - the only occurrence of fili,a in the New Testament; I Peter avgapa/n four times and avga,ph three times; II Peter avgapa/n twice and avga,ph twice; Jude avgapa/n once and avga,ph three times. Filei/n does not occur in Hebrews or any of the Catholic Epistles; fili/a only in James. In the Synoptic Gospels avgapa/n occurs twenty-three times (8, 6, 9), filei/n five times (4, 0, 1); avga,ph only twice (once each in Matthew and Luke). The great depository of avgapa/n is John: it occurs thirty-seven times in the Gospel, twenty-eight times in the First Epistle, and twice and once in II and III John respectively - making sixty-eight times in all, to which may be added four times in Revelation. Next to John comes Paul, with thirty-three occurrences, distributed through all the epistles except Philippians, Philemon, II Timothy, and Titus. Ephesians is the most copiously supplied of the Epistles (ten times), and Romans next (seven times). With avga,ph the tables are turned. It is predominately a Pauline term, being found in every epistle without exception (I Cor. fourteen, II Cor. ten, Eph. ten, showing the highest figures), and totaling seventy-eight occurrences. Over against this copious use by Paul, it is found in John only twenty-eight times (Gospel seven times, I John eighteen, II John two, III John one, to which Rev. adds two). vAgaphto,j also is a Pauline term, its sixty-one occurrences being distributed thus: Synoptic Gospels nine times, Acts once, Paul twenty times, Hebrews once, James three times, Peter eight times, Jude three times, John's Epistles ten times. It is particularly in the Gospels that filei/n is used: in John thirteen times, and in the Synoptics five (4, 0, 1). In all of Paul's epistles it occurs but twice, twice also in Revelation, and nowhere else in the New Testament. We may perhaps generalize by saying that avgapa/n is distributed fairly evenly through the New Testament with some accumulation in the Gospel and First Epistle of John; that avga,ph is predominantly a Pauline word with a secondary depository in I John; and that filei/n belongs particularly to the Gospel of John and after that to the Synoptics.
The highly preponderating use of avgapa/n, avga,ph in the New Testament is not due primarily to the deliberate selection of these terms by the writers of the New Testament as the fittest to express the high idea of love to which they had to give expression, though they were the fittest of Greek words to express this high idea and had moreover been prepared to express it by their usage in the Septuagint.148 It is due primarily to the currency of these terms in the Greek native to the New Testament writers as the general terms for love - for love at its highest, no doubt, but also for love at its lowest. There can be little doubt that, had the New Testament writers had occasion to speak at large of sexual love - to write, for example, a series of narratives like those of Genesis xxiv. and Judges xvi. and I Samuel xiii. - they would have employed avgapa/n and avga,ph in them just as the writers of the Septuagint have done. Ballantine is so far quite right, when, criticizing Trench's suggestion that the explanation of the absence of e;rwj( evra/n( evrastah,j from the New Testament is, no doubt, in part "that these words" by the corrupt use of the world "had become so steeped in earthly sensuous passion," carried such an atmosphere of this about with them, "that the truth of God abstained from the defiling contact with them," he declares149 that "This family of words was not used for Christian love for the very same reason that evpiqume,w and its family were not used, namely, because they were not the general words in Hellenistic Greek for love." When he proceeds to say that "they were not used in their own proper senses simply because there was no occasion to refer to those ideas by any words," he is right in the main affirmation, but wrong, as we have seen, in seeming to assign sexual love to evra/n( e;rwj as their "proper sense." The simple truth is that the New Testament writers use avgapa/n( avga,ph to express the idea of love because it was the word for love current in their circle and lying thus directly in their way. They do not use evra/n( e;rwj, ste,rgein( storgh, because they had no such occasion, in speaking of love, to throw up into emphasis the peculiar implications of these words - of passion or of nature - as to demand their employment. So far as such occasion arose, they had no difficulty with the words (Rev. xii. 10, filo,storgoj; Rom. i. 31, II Tim. iii. 3, a;storgoj). They do not push filei/n into the background; they found it in the background, - from which they do not draw it, not because they looked upon it as a base word, but because it had become too inexpressive a word to meet their needs, especially since the Septuagint had communicated to the ordinarily current word for love additional shades of suggestion which enlarged its range of application precisely on the side on which the New Testament writers desired to speak of love. When filei/n served their purpose better than avgapa/n, they used filei/n; but this use could not escape being exceptional just because avgapa/n had become the general word for love, and the Septuagint had prepared it for New Testament use by filling it with the content which the New Testament writers most needed to express.
In the actual use which the New Testament writers make of filei/n it is made evident that its distinctive suggestions have not faded out of sight; it is because of these distinctive suggestions that the New Testament writers occasionally make use of it - as it was doubtless because of them that it maintained its shrunken, if we cannot yet say its precarious, existence in the current speech of the day. It is meaningless for Gildersleeve to say that "The larger use of avgapa/n in Christian writers is perhaps due to the avoidance of filei/n in the sense of 'kissing,"' although Moulton and Milligan think it worth while to quote the remark. And we can hardly account for Woolsey's suggestion that "The increased use of avga,ph and its family in the Septuagint and in the Christian Scriptures is probably to be accounted for by the frequent use of filei/n and its derivatives in denoting sensual love, and in covering up foul acts under the veil of words so common and important." vAgapa/n had itself been current from its earliest recorded usage in senses as external as "kissing"; and in the Septuagint itself it is employed in senses quite as foul as any for which filei/n was ever used. Ballantine's remark is again quite apposite: "If husbands are commanded to avgapa/n their wives because the other verb would have suggested sensual passion, it is unaccountable that wives should be commanded to be fi,landroi (Tit. ii. 4). If men are not commanded to filei/n God, as being inappropriate, it is strange that they are condemned for not being filo,qeoi (II Tim. iii. 4)." The plain fact is that filei/n had come to be comparatively little used because, avgapa/n having superseded it as the general term for love in common use, there was very little need for it. It had shrunken from the general term for love to the designation of a particular aspect of love, and was called for only when this particular aspect of love required emphasizing.
It is only right, then, that we should look, in each instance of its employment, for the reason why filei/n is preferred instead of the prevailing avgapa/n. That such a reason exists it is natural to assume. It is not easy to believe that a body of writers have deserted their habitual usage in a few instances without some reason for it. This reason may, no doubt, be found in merely grammatical or purely rhetorical considerations, or in personal habits of speech belonging to individual writers; but it may also be rooted in the underlying implications of the words themselves by which a rarer form is given the advantage in special circumstances. It may not be easy to trace it; but pure caprice is not to be lightly assumed; and ordinarily some special fitness in the language actually employed may at least be suggested, if not actually shown. We may take the usage of Paul as an example. It is sheerly incredible that he should desert his copious use of avgapa/n (avga,ph) in just two instances in favor of filei/n without some reason for it. We may perhaps see that reason in the more pointed suggestion of personal predilection which filei/n conveys. This appears fairly clear in the case of I Cor. xvi. 22, when we observe that ouj filei/ there, in accordance with a frequent usage of ov in conditional clauses, coalesce in a sharply positive notion, so that we are to read, not "If anyone falls short of really loving the Lord," but, "If anyone not-loves the Lord" - that is to say, "hates Him." Filei/n rather than avgapa/n is the proper word to use, remarks T. C. Edwards, because it expresses a natural affection, in this negative statement a personal antipathy. Paul "is thinking of a deep-seated antipathy, a malignant hatred of Jesus Christ": "If anyone turns away from Jesus Christ with antipathy." It is not of failure to love Jesus Christ supremely of which Paul is speaking; it is of failure to love Him at all. It is more difficult to see our way in Tit. iii. 15, "Salute them that love us in faith"; but the same general influences may not improperly be assumed to have determined the language here too. As Huther remarks, filei/n may here mark "the inner personal relation." In other words, Paul is sending greetings to certain personal friends in the Christian body. The addition of evn pi,stei is not fatal to this assumption. It may mean no more than that these friends of Paul's were also fellow-Christians (cf. for the order of the words, Eph. vi. 1).
When we turn to the larger body of instances which confront us in the Synoptic Gospels, we find ourselves in the same atmosphere. Only in a single passage has filei/n a personal object, Mat. x. 37: "He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me." Th. Zahn's comment seems to meet the case: "Jesus declares him unworthy of Him, who, in the case of the decision under consideration, permits love to parents and children to obtain the upper hand of love to Jesus (cf. viii. 21 ff.). Through the contrast with kindred, to whom we are bound by natural love, already prepared for in verse 25 (oivkiakoi,, as verse 36), it is brought about that Jesus here represents the right relation to His person by filei/n, not by avgapa/n (v. 43-46, vi. 24), because only filei/n clearly expresses the hearty affection (Zuneigung) which roots in affinity - whether bodily or elective." That is to say the love of Jesus' people for Him is expressed here by filei/n because thus it is brought expressly into comparison with the love of affinity: this spiritual affinity is to take precedence of all other. What He is saying is, not that His people must give their supreme love to Him rather than others, but that they must manifest in their conduct that their fundamental inclination, "drawing," is to Him above others; He must be supremely attractive to them.
In the other Synoptic instances filei/n is followed by the accusative of the thing (Mt. xxiii. 6, Lk. xx. 46), or in one case (Mt. vi. 5) construed in the same sense with the infinitive - the only passage in the New Testament in which either filei/n or avgapa/n is construed with the infinitive. From the point of view of the classical usage, filei/n is properly used in these passages; and it bears its ordinary classical sense in them150 - which is not quite the sense that avgapa/n bears in similar constructions. In its best classical usage, avgapa/n with the accusative of the thing means not so much to like a thing, to be pleased with it, as to content oneself with it; with the infinitive not so much to be wont to do a thing, as to put up with it. Meyer is perfectly right, then, when he finds filei/n the proper word at Mt. vi. 5, and comments: "They have pleasure in it, they love to do it - a usage frequently met with in the classical writers." We must note, however, that avgapa/n with the infinitive had already acquired this sense in the Septuagint (e. g., Ps. xxxiii. 13, Prov. xx. 16, Jer. v. 31, xiv. 10), and is repeatedly used in the New Testament with the accusative of the thing in the sense of liking, taking pleasure in,151 not of contenting ourselves with, putting up with; and indeed we have merely to turn to Lk. xi. 43 to find avgapa/n instead of filei/n in a passage which seems the exact parallel of Mt. xxiii. 6, although filei/n is used at Lk. xx. 46. We are in the presence, here, apparently of an unsettled usage. It seems still to be more natural to use filei/n in the sense of liking things, or of liking to do things; but avgapa/n is fast encroaching upon it in this usage also.
So long as filei/n remained in use at all in this sense, one would think it would be inevitable in such a passage as Rev. xxii. 15: "Without are the dogs, and the sorcerers, and the fornicators, and the murderers, and the idolaters, and everyone that loveth and doeth a lie." It is a personal affinity with the false, inward kinship with it, leading to its outward practice, which is intimated;152 and this is even more emphatically asserted if the other order of the words be adopted, and the progress of thought be from the mere doing of a lie to personal identification with it. The use of filei/n in Rev. iii. 19 is probably determined by the contrast between the treatment described and the sentiment asserted. What our Lord is saying is that reproof and chastening from Him are proof, not of hatred but of love; and it was natural to employ in this assertion the most personal and therefore in such a connexion the most emotional term for love. The emphasis on the pronoun should not be neglected: "As for me, whomsoever I love, I reprove and chasten." The most intimate relations are suggested, and the most intimate feelings are naturally put forward: it is the love of a parent disciplining his child for its good which is pictured. And the use of filei/n is all the more striking, that in the underlying passage, Prov. iii. 12, "For whom the Lord loves, He rebukes," avgapa/n is the word employed. There is an advance made even on this affecting passage of Proverbs in tenderness of expression.153
It is especially in the Gospel of John that filei/n occurs (thirteen times), as indeed does avgapa/n also (thirty-seven times).154 In about one out of every four instances of the occurrence of a verb for love in this Gospel, filei/n is employed; the proportion is even greater for Revelation, no doubt (one out of three), and not very much less in the Synoptic Gospels, but the absolute number of occurrences in these cases is not large enough to be impressive. In all of its occurrences in John's Gospel, moreover, except one (xii. 25), filei/n has a personal object. The single instance in which it is construed with the accusative of a thing (xii. 25) is altogether similar to the instances of like construction in the Synoptic Gospels and Revelation. Loving is brought in it into sharp contrast with hating: "He who loves his life shall lose it, and he who hates his life in this world shall preserve it unto eternal life." It is a proverbial saying of universal application, adduced here in support of the solemn declaration of the preceding verse that fruit-bearing comes through sacrifice. The loving of life spoken of, then, is such pleasure in it, such a fixing of the heart upon it and doting on it, that nothing else comes into consideration in comparison with it. Pure joy in living, says our Lord in effect, is a short-sighted policy, because there lies something beyond this living which is absorbing our attention. Undoubtedly filei/n is the appropriate word to express this idea, and has a pungency when employed to express it which the more customary avgapa/n would lack.
In one of the instances in John in which the object is personal, the subject is "the world"; and those whom the world is said to love are described as "its own" (xv. 19) : "If the world hateth you, ye know that it hath hated me first: if ye were of the world, the world would love its own; but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you." The appropriateness of filei/n here is striking: it is very especially adapted to express the love of inner affinity - the love that grows out of the perception of something in the object especially attractive to the subject; and inner affinity is precisely what is emphasized here. Had avgapa/n been used, the simple fact of the love would be stated, and the fitness, inevitableness, of the love and hatred spoken of would have remained unexpressed.155
In two other instances what is spoken of is the love of the man Jesus for a friend (xi. 3, 36, cf. xi. 11): "Behold, he whom Thou lovest is sick"; "Behold, how He loved him!" Here, too, the use of filei/n is so obviously appropriate as to seem inevitable; the love of friendship might almost seem to be the special field of filei/n. vAgapa/n of course, could have been employed in its stead. It is actually used in xi. 5, where the Evangelist states the simple objective fact, for the purpose of his narrative: "Now Jesus hvga,pa Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus"; that is to say, Jesus felt sincere regard for them. Filei/n is used when the words are taken off of the lips of the anxious sisters in their petition for aid, and of the Jews when they observed Jesus' tears. It emphasizes the personal intimacy of the affection, such personal intimacy as justified the appeal to Him for prompt aid, and His tears at the grave.156 It is Jesus' human heart which is here unveiled to us.
Quite close to these instances lies the employment of filei/n in xx. 2 to express the affection of Jesus for John and Peter. Mary Magdalene, we are told, when she saw the stone removed from the grave on the Resurrection morn, "runneth and cometh to Simon Peter and the other disciple whom Jesus loved (evfi,lei)" -where it seems most natural to understand both disciples to be described as loved by Jesus. 117 "The disciple whom Jesus hvga,pa" is the standing description of John in the latter part of the Gospel (xiii. 23, xix. 26, xxi. 7, 20); and obviously hvga,pa is used in this description of intimate personal affection, and not of what we may speak of as the official love of Jesus for His disciples or of the saving love of the Redeemer for His children. Woolsey does not go too far, when, having regard to the imperfect tense, he remarks:158 "It was an intimacy between the Master and the disciple of no short acquaintance.... He loved him with a continuous love." It has disturbed the commentators, therefore, that in the one instance of xx. 2, evfi,lei has displaced the hvga,pa. One has been tempted to say it is because Peter is included with John in this one instance, to which it has been added that Peter was now under a cloud. Another has gone a step further and suggested that it is because "the beloved disciple himself had temporarily fallen into unbelief and was for the moment not worthy of the higher love" expressed by avgapa/n.'159 These suggestions take for granted that avgapa/n, even in such a connexion, conveys a "higher" sense than filei/n. Such an assumption underlies Woolsey's description of Jesus' love for John, as expressed in the hvga,pa, not only in such terms as this: "He discerned in His disciple lovely traits. . . . His love for John was a tried, strong, personal love, such as the man Jesus could feel for some souls with especial endowments which few possessed"; but also in such as these: "And it was a religious love which no one could so correctly feel as He who had an intuitive knowledge of hearts. . . . It was an earthly love of a heavenly soul." 160 Filei~n, it is suggested, might be used to denote such love as this, but it could not express it; avgapa/n alone could express it, and would be the only natural word to employ in order to express it. This seems to leave the question, Why, then, is hvga,pa replaced by evfi,lei in John xx. 2, more clamorous than ever. Woolsey's own explanation161 is not very clear, and indeed does not profess to be. "It is in this place," he says, "not altogether plain why evfi,lei is used instead of hvga,pa. Meyer, in his remark on the passage, says that evfi,lei expresses the remembrance of Christ with a more tender sensibility,162 to which B. Weiss seems to assent. Westcott163 in like manner thinks that a personal affection is more strikingly shown than it would be by hvga,pa. The Vulgate translates as elsewhere by amabat. All these explanations concur in something like this: That Jesus was conceived of under the power of a new affection." The meaning of this appears to be that in the interval between the death of our Lord and their assurance that He had entered upon His heavenly dominion, the disciples dropped into both thinking and speaking of Him from the point of view of His humanity. This involves the assumptions that evfi,lei is here employed from Mary Magdalene's standpoint, or at least from the standpoint of the incident described, not from that of the Evangelist, writing after the recovery of faith; and that hvga,pa was a word of such high significance that it would be inappropriate to use it of a simple man's affection for his friends. We transcribe, however, Woolsey's own exposition of his not very clear meaning: "It was natural that, when the Lord showed Himself again to His disciples, they could not but feel a want of nearness and familiarity which helped them in their earthly intercourse with Him. Until their faith grew, and they believed more joyfully in their divine Master, the human sight and presence were supports which sustained them while away from Him. But avgapw/ returns in xxi. 15 and 20, as to the divine Saviour, as soon as the presence of Jesus began to be apprehended again by the help of sight. Faith grew stronger, and the loss of Jesus' presence was an enlargement of the sway of the nobler principle, and was no more felt to be an absence."
Perhaps the difficulty we feel in accounting for evfi,lei at John xx. 2 arises in large part from approaching the question from only one side. We begin with the hvga,pa of xiii. 23, xix. 26, xxi. 7, 20, and ask why the alteration to evfi,lei in xx. 2. Let us reverse the question, and ask why hvga,pa is used in xiii. 23 and its companions. In itself considered, evfi,lei is altogether in place in xx. 2; this is the proper word to express the love of friendship, however warm. What really needs accounting for is why in the parallel passages hvga,pa is used instead. It is customary to think at once of the high connotations of avgapa/n, and to develop, as Woolsey does, the aspects of nobility which may be discovered in Jesus' love for John. It may be easier to say simply that, in the type of Greek employed in the New Testament, avgapa/n was the current word for love, and was consequently in place whenever love of any kind was spoken of; and that the only thing that is illustrated by the appearance of evfi,lei in xx. 2 is the emergence on one occasion of the more exact term for the particular variety of love that is here in question. vEfi,lei might have stood in xiii. 23 and its companions, and hvga,pa might have stood in xx. 2; in the former case the more specific word would have been used in all the instances, in the latter the more general. We learn from the actual distribution of the usage nothing of the specific meaning of avgapa/n; but we do learn something of the specific meaning of filei/n. If we demand that a reason shall be rendered for the replacing of the general by the specific term just at xx. 2 and nowhere else, we do not know that a satisfactory answer can be given. We can only say that such an explanation as Meyer's is not without plausibility - that the circumstances he was in the act of narrating flooded John's mind as he wrote with an especially tender reminiscence of his Master's human love for His disciples.
From a passage like John xxi. 15-17 we learn something of the specific meaning of both words. The two words appear here side by side in contrast with one another, with the inevitable result that what is distinctive of each is thrown into relief. That anyone should doubt that the words are used here in distinctive senses would seem incredible prior to experience. The list of those who have expressed such doubt, however, is neither short nor undistinguished, running as it does from Grotius to Gildersleeve.164 It is, however, as Moulton and Milligan remark,165 "in so severely simple a writer as John it is extremely hard to reconcile ourselves to a meaningless use of synonyms, where the point would seem to lie in the identity of the word employed." In point of fact, our Lord does not put to Peter three times over the same question. Altering the question progressively, He drives the probe into Peter's conscience deeper and deeper. On the first occasion Jesus asks him: " Simon, son of John, dost thou avgapa|/j me more than these?" - have you a deeper devotion166 to me than the rest of my disciples? In his answer, spoken in deep humility, the repentant Peter avoids all comparison with his fellows, and merely asseverates his personal love for his master: "Assuredly, Lord; thou knowest that I filw/ Thee." In His second question, Jesus accordingly omits the comparison, and asks of Peter only whether he himself has the requisite devotion to His person: "He saith to him again, a second time, Simon, son of John, avgapa|/j me?" Again Peter responds in the same humble spirit as before, waiving the question of proper devotion, and asseverating only his personal affection: "Assuredly Lord; Thou knowest that I filw/ Thee." Then, the third time, Jesus pushes the probe to the bottom and demands of Peter with sharp directness and brevity whether he has any real affection for Him: "He saith to him the third time, Simon, son of John, dost thou filei/j me?" "And Peter was grieved because He said to him this third time, Dost thou filei/j me? and he saith to Him" (omitting this time the asseveration, "Assuredly," because the precise assertion he had to make had been called in question), "Lord, Thou knowest all things; Thou dost see " (surely, surely the Lord must see it!) "that I filw/ Thee."
Of course there is no question here of our Lord's question, "Dost thou avgapa|/j me?" "sounding too cold to Peter," because all the pulses of his heart were beating with earnest affection toward his Lord.167 It is "humility and a feeling of unworthiness which leads Peter to choose another expression."168 He could not in his heart-broken penitence assert of himself the ayaaav which he had not illustrated in his acts; but he could not be false to his deep sense of real affection. vAgapa/n and filei/n emerge, therefore, as respectively the love of complete devotion and the love (as Meyer phrases it) "of personal heart emotion"; the love of surrendering obedience and the love (as Westcott phrases it) of "personal attachment," "the feeling of natural love." Th. Zahn supposes169 that the question of our Lord to Peter had as one of its ends, "bringing him to the consciousness that the love of the Lord which is a mark of a right disciple and the spring of his duty-doing, is not a matter of natural temperament, but a fruit of victory over inborn nature."170 Therefore he supposes Him, avoiding the term which expresses the product of the natural temperament, to ask Peter whether he loved Him in this way; whereas Peter clings to the simple asseveration of his natural personal love to`esus - until our Lord is driven, in order to prove his heart fully, to challenge that also, and so to compel Peter to face the possibility that even this personal love for his master had failed. Whatever may be said of the details of this exposition, it is certainly sound so far as this: that in this conversation avgapa/n and filei/n are brought into contrast as in a sense the higher and the lower love - although these terms are somewhat infelicitous and may be misleading; perhaps we would better say, as the love of reverent devotion and the love of emotional attachment. And what is of most importance to observe is that the term which bore in its bosom the implication of reverent devotion had become for the men of the New Testament age the general word for love, while the term which expressed in its native suggestion the love of emotional attachment was in process of passing out of use. It is difficult to overstate the importance of this fact for the ready expression of the new revelation of love which the New Testament brought, in terms of current speech. The term which it was most natural to use of love, and which was in most familiar use among the people for love, was a term of such native connotation that it readily received and intelligibly expressed the new revelation of love.
Three instances alone remain, in which filei/n is used by John, and in these three instances it is used of love in its highest relations. In one of them it expresses the love of Christ's people for Him their divine Saviour (xvi. 27); in another, the love of the Father for His people (xvi. 27); in the last, the love of the Father for His Son (v. 20). Here we are scaling the heights, and are discovering that filei/n is not too low a word to be applied to the love which God Himself feels, or the love to God's only Son, whether on the part of His people, or even on the part of His Father. It is quite clear that the intrinsic implication of filei/n is not low, not to say evil. It is differentiated from avgapa/n fundamentally by the side from which it approaches love and the aspect in which it describes it. It is applicable to all love which can be approached from that side or viewed in that aspect. If it is prevailingly employed in the New Testament of the lower grades of love, that is only because these lower grades of love are more naturally approached from the point of view from which filei/n approaches love, and the comparative rarity of its occurrences afforded few opportunities for its application to exercises of love of the higher order. We must bear in mind that avgapa/n is the general term for love in the New Testament, and the use of filei/n is in any event exceptional. We could expect it to be employed for manifestations of love such as in their nature avgapa/n would naturally express, only in the few instances in which, for one reason or another, it was desirable to throw up into view the aspect which filei/n naturally expresses.
An example is supplied by v. 20: "For the Father filei/ the Son and showeth Him all that He doeth" - the only passage in the New Testament in which the love of the Father to the Son is described otherwise than by avgapa/n. As compared with iii. 35: "The Father avgapa/| the Son and hath given all things into His hand," this passage might, on a surface view, be taken as a mere repetition of that, with a meaningless change in the verb. Such is, however, not the case; the difference in the verbs corresponds with an important difference in the sense conveyed. The thought of iii. 35 is fixed on the greatness of the Son whom the Father honors by His love; in v. 20 it is fixed on the fatherly tenderness with which the Father loves the Son. Zahn very properly comments, therefore: "Filei/n was more suitable here than the avgapa/n of the otherwise parallel sentence in iii. 35, because filei/n recalls the natural affection of the human father to his son, or of a friend to a friend, in contrast, say, with the relation of the master to the servant (xv. 13-15)."171
A similar account may be given of the two instances in xvi. 27: "For the Father Himself loveth you, because ye have loved Me, and have believed that I have come forth from with the Father." This is the only place in the New Testament where God is said to filei/n man - though it would be better to say, His children, for that enters into the case (but see Rev. iii. 19). And this is also the only place where filei/n is used "of the affection of the disciples for their Lord" (yet consult xxi. 17 and I Cor. xvi. 22). Horn comments:172 "The o1 path.r filei/ u`ma/j of xvi. 27 has a different meaning from iii. 16: ou[twj ga.r hvga,phsen o` qeo.j to.n ko,smon. The latter is pitying love to the as yet unredeemed world, alien to God; the former is the natural pleasure of the Father in His believers, approved as faithful."173 He adds in a note: "avgapa/n could, of course, stand here, as in the similar passage, xvii. 23 'in order that the world may know that Thou didst send me and didst love them even as Thou didst love me'; but the sense would not be precisely the same." What the difference in the sense of the two passages is, Horn does not tell us - although that is the particular point under discussion. Commenting on xvii. 23, he says, indeed: "In xvii. 23 the love of the Father to the disciples is spoken of as avgapa/n, since it belongs to them (cf. 20) because of their faith in Jesus." If that, however, would require avgapa/n to be used, it surely would have been used in both passages. And it looks as if filei/n as the expression of the love of affinities would be equally appropriate in both passages. Perhaps it is enough to say that avgapa/n is used as a matter of course in xvii. 23, as the general word for love in common use - it needs no accounting for; while filei/n in xvi. 27 is used to emphasize the affinity between God and His believers.
The abstract substantive connected with filei/n - fili,a - occurs only a single time in the New Testament, Jas. iv. 4, where we read the arraignment: "Adulteresses! know ye not that the fili,a of the world is enmity with God?" It is customary to render fili,a here by "friendship," a course which the fi,loj of the next clause makes especially convenient. But it may be well to guard against attributing to it too specific a notion. The implication is that of finding one's pleasure, satisfaction, in the world, with a suggestion that by this one's affinity with the world is betrayed. The notion is similar to that expressed in John xv. 19: "If ye were of the world, the world would love its own" - for fili,a intimates mutual affection. To be at friends with the world is to love and to be loved by the world, to be bound by mutual ties to it. vAgapa/n would scarcely have expressed so much.
It may fairly be claimed that a survey of the passages in which filei/n, fili,a occur leaves an impression of the naturalness of their use in these cases. But what should be kept ever fresh in mind is that the employment of them is highly exceptional, and rests on a background of a very copious use of avgapa/n( avga,ph - chiefly to express the great conceptions of love which permeate the Christian revelation. The equipment of the New Testament to express the idea of love consists, thus, in the possession in avgapa/n( avga,ph, of a high general term the native suggestion of which was a worthy one, and which had already been trained by the writers of the Septuagint to receive the great conceptions of revealed religion; and the possession by its side, of a subsidiary term by which, when occasion offered, a special aspect of love could be thrown into view - that aspect, to wit, in which love appears as the response of the soul to the perception of something which pleases it, is congenial to it, in the object. This is, to be sure, not as rich an equipment as was possessed by the Greek of the classical writers. It possessed four terms filei/n( fili,a; evra/n( e;rwj; ster,gein( storgh,; avgapa/n( avga,phsij. But the comparative poverty of its terminology is offset in the case of the New Testament by the intrinsic superiority of its general term for love, avgapa/n, and by the higher content which it had acquired by its employment to express the conceptions of love embodied in the divine revelation. We must guard also against supposing that the resources for its expression of loving activities were absolutely exhausted by these, its direct vehicles. There were other terms which it might call to its aid when it wished to speak of love in one or another of its active exercises. There were such terms, for example, as oivktei,rw( evlee,w( splagcni,zomai, with their accompanying substantives, and above all there was ca,rij. As it was this aspect of love - love in gracious action - that the New Testament writers had most occasion to celebrate, their vocabulary was not quite so restricted as it sounds, when we say that only avgapa/n( avga,ph, with an exceptional use of filei/n( fili,a, lay at their disposal.
It does not fall within our present purpose, however, to discuss the number and variety, or the nature and use, of such a subsidiary vocabulary. Let it only be further noted that compounds in fil- are in the New Testament, as in the Greek literature of all ages, numerous,174 and that some of these compounds were significant, on one side or another, for the expression of love. We may mention, for example, such as filadelfi,a (five times), fila,delfoj (once), fi,landroj (once), filanqrwpi,a (twice), filanqrw,poj (once), filo,qeoj (once), filoxeni,a (twice), filo,xenoj (three times), filo,storgoj 175 (once), filote,knoj (once). By the aid of such forms a number of modifications of the idea of love are given expression. After all said, however, it is not the variety of the vehicles for the expression of love for which the New Testament is notable, but the depth and height of the conception of love which it is able to express through its fundamental terms, avgapa/n and avga,ph. The great fact which comes to view is that, in the providence of God, the noblest word which the Greek language afforded for the expression of love came into its hands as the natural term for it to use to express its conception of love, and that, as already trained to express love at the height of its conception by its use for that purpose in the Septuagint version of the Old Testament.
LITERATURE. - J. H. Heinrich Schmidt, "Synonymik der griechischen Sprache," III, 1879, pp. 474-491 (= § 136: on evra/n( filei/n( ste,rgein( avgapa/n). Edward Meredith Cope, on storgh,( e;rwj( filei/n( avgapa/n, in "The Rhetoric of Aristotle, with a Commentary," 1877, v. i, pp. 292-296 (printed also in the Journal of Philology, v. i, No. 1 (1868), pp. 88-93). J. B. Lightfoot, in The Cambridge Journal of Classical and Sacred Philology, v. iii, (1857), No. 7, pp. 92 ff. (see also Lightfoot's comment on Ignatius, "Rom.," vii, p. 222). R. C. Trench, "Synonyms of the New Testament," 9th ed., 1880, xii, on ajgapa,w( file,w. J. A. H. Tittmann, "Remarks on the Synonyms of the N. T.," E. T. in "The Biblical Cabinet," v. iii, 1833, pp. 90-97. Hermann Cremer, "Biblisch-theologisches Wörterbuch der Neutestamentlichen Gräcität," 10th ed., 1915, sub voc. E. Buonaiuti, "I vocaboli d'amore nel Nuovo Testamento," in the "Rivista Storico-critica di Scienze Teologiche," v. v, 1909, pp. 257-264. E. Höhne, "Zum Neutestamentlichen Sprachgebrauch: 1. vAgapa/n( filei/n( splagcni,zesqai," in Luthardt's Zeitschrift für k. Wissensehaft und k. Leben, III, 1882, pp. 6-19. K. A. G. von Zezschwitz, "Profangräcität und biblischer Sprachgeist," 1859, p. 62. W. G. Ballantine, "Lovest Thou Me?" in "Bibliotheca Sacra," July 1889, v. xlvi, pp. 524-542. Sally Neil Roach, "Love in Its Relation to Service," in The Review and Expositor, 1913, v. x, pp. 531-553. T. D. Woolsey, "The Disciple Whom Jesus Loved," in The Andover Review, iv. 1885, August, pp. 163-185. G. A. Deissmann, "Bible Studies," E. T., 1901, pp. 198 ff. W. M. Ramsay, The Expository Times, ix. p. 568. Fr. Vermeil, "Étude sur le 21, Chap. de l'Évang. selon S. Jean," 1861. John A. Cross, "On St. John xxi. 15-17," in The Expositor, iv. vii., 1893, pp. 312-320. Henry Burton, "The Breakfast on the Shore," in The Expositor v. i, 1895, pp. 450-472. A. Klöpper, "Das 21. Kap. des 4. Evang. erläutert," in Zeitschrift für wiss. Theologie, 1899, pp. 337-381. Max Eberhardt, "Evang. Joh. c. 21; ein exeget. Versuch," 1897. K. Horn, "Abfassung, Geschichtlichkeit und Zweck vom Evang. des Johannes, Kap. 21.," 1904, pp. 167-171. R. H. Strachan, "The Appendix to the Fourth Gospel," in The Expositor, viii, vii, 1914, pp. 263 ff. H. W. Magoun, "The Bible Champion," Oct. and Nov. 1919, pp. 404 ff., 446 ff.