Making Sense Of Love By Learning Ancient Greek
Today, as the world celebrates Valentines Day the air is filled with love. It is only proper that we talk about this word love in the next few days. Hence let us explore the meaning and the depth of the word itself. In order to fully understand it we have to turn to the source of love, God himself as expressed in the Bible.
The New Testament was written in the Greek language. Unlike English wherein we only have one word for love the Greeks have 5 different words for love. In the English language the context of the sentence conveys what we mean. However in New Testament Greek or "koine Greek" the word itself conveys the full meaning. To illustrate, in English when we say we love our dog, we love our country, we love our parents and we love our wife, we obviously do not refer to the same kind of love. But in Koine greek different words for the word love is used for different purposes.
English is undoubtedly the "lingua franca" of the world, but I believe the ancient Greeks did a better job of expressing the word love than the English language does.
1.) Agape -Refers to a "pure" and "ideal" type of love. Often use for "the love of God" or "such love that is willing to sacrifice one's life for another person." Its derivative, "Agapo" is used to say "I love you".
2.) Eros - Is the word used for "passionate love", or "sensual desire and longing." Lovers are the ones that frequently refer to this term.
3.) Philia - Referred to as "brotherly love." This description of "virtuous love", was developed by Aristotle and is used to describe the "love" felt for family, friends and for the community.
4.) Storge - Is being used to describe natural affection. Children are said to feel this kind of love for their parents.
5.) Xenia - Refers to "hospitality" and is best described as a bond of friendship formed between a host and their guest who are previously strangers.
Now don't you suppose that the Greeks did a better job of expressing what "Love" means than we do in the English ?
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