ESV Version of Strongs

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Reformed Roman

Puritan Board Freshman
Is there anything out there for the ESV similar to Strongs Concordance/Dictionary?

In strongs I could find out what particular word was used in is original language in that passage and look up the definition. It was the ultimate language resource for a beginner like me.

However I am not sure where to find that same thing for the ESV

Any hero? Even if it's a combination of tools.

I'm thinking of purchasing a starter version of logos, or possibly bronze. Just worth mentioning
 

Bill The Baptist

Puritan Board Graduate
You can accomplish this on blue letter Bible for free. Simply go to blueletterbible.org and type in the passage you want to see and chose ESV from the drop down menu. Once the passage comes up, click on the verse number to the left and it will bring up the Greek and you can click on the individual words to see their definition.
 

Reformed Roman

Puritan Board Freshman
I just tried that. It was referencing strongs.

I feel like the ESV was translated differently. I use the ESV because I believe it is the best translation. But when I'm using the KJV's greek definitions while studying doesn't it defeat the purpose?

Thank you for the free resource and I do see that as very valuable. I do value the KJV translation and I make sure to take multiple translations in effect when I study.. So I hope this didn't sound like a put down because reading from the ESV and having a resource to use the ESV and pull from a KJV strongs is valuable
 

Logan

Puritan Board Junior
Zach,

I just tried it out with 1 Tim 3:16 and it looks like it references the NASB Strongs rather than the KJV Strongs. So it shows the Strongs number for "hos" there rather than "theos". Is this not what you were looking for?
 

Reformed Roman

Puritan Board Freshman
To be honest I am probably a little confused.

I don't know enough about manuscripts to know what manuscripts NASB, ESV, or KJV come from. With my limited research I found ESV to work for me as a translation itself. Does NASB use the same manuscripts as ESV (and maybe they are just translated differently?)

Maybe I need to be babied with this. I use ur ESV and I really want to know the best language tools that are available, free or not. Strongs is what I used for KJV... So I'm trying to find the best resources that would be used with the ESV. Explanations are helpful, especially if it's something like a NASB strongs..
 

Reformed Roman

Puritan Board Freshman
I'm thinking of purchasing a starter version of logos, or possibly bronze. Just worth mentioning
Hi Zach,

If you do buy Logos, you can get a 15% discount by using the reformed.org link to FaithLife (Logos) I use mine every day.
I'm definitely thinking about it. Not just for this but for multiple things.

However it's so pricy. So I've been looking into all my options.

Do you know what logos would have in regards to this? I was either looking at the bronze or the starter.
 

Ask Mr. Religion

Flatly Unflappable
With Logos for the New Testament you would need:

https://www.logos.com/product/2675/the-esv-english-greek-reverse-interlinear-new-testament
https://www.logos.com/logos3/new/esvOTreverseint

See also:
https://wiki.logos.com/Reverse-Interlinear$2fInterlinear__Bibles

The simple answer to your manuscript tradition question is that the KJV and NKJV use the Byzantine manuscripts for the New Testament, that is, Textus Receptus (TR) or Majority Text (MT). The NKJV takes some liberties with the TR in modernizing not a few translated words. The NKJV also includes footnotes indicating differences between the Byzantine and Alexandrian traditions.

The NASB, ESV, HCSB and others use the Alexandrian manuscript tradition for the New Testament, as in Westcott-Hort Greek. You will also see this tradition called the "Critical Text" (CT). Hence the numerous TR/MT vs. CT debates abounding at most discussion sites.

The OT manuscript for both is the Masoretic text. That said, the OT translation in the ESV also draws upon Septuagint, Samaritan Pentateuch, Syriac, Dead Sea Scrolls, and Vulgate manuscripts in some areas.

Logos would have anything you would need. Key is to determine what essentials you need and what packages contain them. Call them up and they will be very helpful in guiding your decision, including adding this or that resource from another package that may not be available in the bronze or silver versions. If you are a seminary student or teacher, academic discounts are available, too.
[FONT=DDG_ProximaNova]
[/FONT]
 
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Bill The Baptist

Puritan Board Graduate
With Logos for the New Testament you would need:

https://www.logos.com/product/2675/the-esv-english-greek-reverse-interlinear-new-testament
https://www.logos.com/logos3/new/esvOTreverseint

See also:
https://wiki.logos.com/Reverse-Interlinear$2fInterlinear__Bibles

The simple answer to your manuscript tradition question is that the KJV and NKJV use the Byzantine manuscripts for the New Testament, that is, Textus Receptus (TR). The NKJV takes some liberties with the TR in modernizing not a few translated words. The NKJV also includes footnotes indicating differences between the Byzantine and Alexandrian traditions.

The NASB, ESV, HCSB and others use the Alexandrian manuscript tradition for the New Testament, as in Westcott-Hort Greek. You will also see this tradition called the "Majority Text" (MT). Hence the numerous TR vs. MT debates abounding at most discussion sites.

The OT manuscript for both is the Masoretic text. That said, the OT translation in the ESV also draws upon Septuagint, Samaritan Pentateuch, Syriac, Dead Sea Scrolls, and Vulgate manuscripts in some areas.

Logos would have anything you would need. Key is to determine what essentials you need and what packages contain them. Call them up and they will be very helpful in guiding your decision, including adding this or that resource from another package that may not be available in the bronze or silver versions. If you are a seminary student or teacher, academic discounts are available, too.
[FONT=DDG_ProximaNova]
[/FONT]
Actually the majority text refers to the broader family of Byzantine manuscripts including but not limited to the ones used in the TR. The Westcott-Hort tradition upon which most modern versions are based is referred to as the critical text or the CT.
 

reaganmarsh

Puritan Board Senior
If you are a seminary student or teacher, academic discounts are available, too.
Zach, I notice that you're SBC and a pastoral intern. For students at an SBC school, generally once per year the campus Lifeway store will have a signup list for those wishing to purchase Bible software. At SBTS it was for Logos or Bibleworks. Get your name on that list and if they reach a certain number of purchasers you'll receive a substantial academic/student discount. A friend got his uber-mega-super-deluxe edition of Logos at 40% off...that's pretty good!

To your OP: I'm not aware of a Strong's for ESV. I have a printed copy of Mounce's ESV concordance and I use it in conjunction with my other language tools. A reverse interlinear coupled with a basic lexicon (maybe AMG's or Mounce's recent black one intended to replace Vine's) may be the best bet for you at this point, short of formal language training.

Hope this helps, brother. Grace to you.
 

Ask Mr. Religion

Flatly Unflappable
Actually the majority text refers to the broader family of Byzantine manuscripts including but not limited to the ones used in the TR. The Westcott-Hort tradition upon which most modern versions are based is referred to as the critical text or the CT.
You are correct and I was sloppy. I corrected my original post. Thanks.
 

Logan

Puritan Board Junior
With my limited research I found ESV to work for me as a translation itself. Does NASB use the same manuscripts as ESV (and maybe they are just translated differently?)
That is correct. So you should be able to use the Strongs for NASB without any problem, unless it's the English words in particular you were looking for.
 

Bill The Baptist

Puritan Board Graduate
Actually the majority text refers to the broader family of Byzantine manuscripts including but not limited to the ones used in the TR. The Westcott-Hort tradition upon which most modern versions are based is referred to as the critical text or the CT.
You are correct and I was sloppy. I corrected my original post. Thanks.
I was fairly certain that you did know that and that it was just an oversight, but with all the conflicting information out there regarding textual criticism I wanted to be certain that we didn't add to the confusion :cheers2:
 

Reformed Roman

Puritan Board Freshman
Okay so of the NASB uses the same manuscripts, I could use strongs for NASB and get the exact results I'm looking for? And I could use blue letter bible for that too. Does all that sound right? I guess the main problem was I didn't know what manuscripts the NASB or ESV came from
 

Bill The Baptist

Puritan Board Graduate
Okay so of the NASB uses the same manuscripts, I could use strongs for NASB and get the exact results I'm looking for? And I could use blue letter bible for that too. Does all that sound right? I guess the main problem was I didn't know what manuscripts the NASB or ESV came from
Yes the NASB uses the same manuscripts that the ESV does, and in fact virtually all modern versions with the exception of the NKJV use the same manuscripts.
 

psycheives

Puritan Board Freshman
Hi Zach,

If your Logos Bundle comes with Greek/Hebrew lexicons (fancy word for dictionary), I recommend checking these out rather than Strongs. Many professionals do not consider Strongs reliable and I've heard many stories about users misusing Strongs and getting the translation wrong because they used Strongs as a dictionary. Strongs is a concordance (based on root words) not a dictionary/lexicon. Many in my old MacArthurite Baptist churches heavily relied upon Strongs as a dictionary and I've seen these pastors endlessly committing root-word fallacies, completely distorting the Greek. One of the most common mistakes is to divide the 4 different Greek words for "love" into categories and claim that Agape refers only to "God's kind of love," which is not true (as shown below when it is used in a case of rape). D.A. Carson wrote about this in his book, Exegetical Fallacies, and the first fallacy he mentions is this ultra common Root Word Fallacy. It's like taking the word "Nice" and deciding the meaning is "Ignorant" (see below). I think it is telling that I have not seen Strongs used in professional/journal articles.

In seminary, we are taught the main 3 Greek lexicons are considered: BDAG, L&N (Louw-Nida) and LSJ. BDAG is generally recommended the most, if you were to only use one. HALOT is the Hebrew lexicon we are advised to use. So if you have these in your Logos package already, enjoy! :)

BDAG: https://www.logos.com/product/3878/...t-and-other-early-christian-literature-3rd-ed
LSJ: https://www.logos.com/product/3879/liddell-and-scott-greek-english-lexicon
L&N: https://www.logos.com/product/199/g...f-the-new-testament-based-on-semantic-domains
BDAG/HALOT bundle: https://www.logos.com/product/5228/bdag-halot-bundle

Excerpt from D.A. Carson's work:
1. The root fallacy

One of the most enduring of errors, the root fallacy presupposes that every word actually has a meaning bound up with its shape or its components. In this view, meaning is determined by etymology; that is, by the root or roots of a word. How many times have we been told that because the verbal cognate of ἀποστολος (apovstolos, apostle) is ἀποστέλλω (apostellō, I send), the root meaning of “apostle” is “one who is sent”? In the preface of the New King James Bible, we are told that the “literal” meaning of μονογενής (monogenēis) is “only begotten.”3 Is that true? How often do preachers refer to the verb ἀγαπάω (agapaō, to love), contrast it with φιλέω (phileō, to love), and deduce that the text is saying something about a special kind of loving, for no other reason than that ἀγαπάω (agapaō) is used?

All of this is linguistic nonsense. We might have guessed as much if we were more acquainted with the etymology of English words. Anthony C. Thiselton offers by way of example our word nice, which comes from the Latin nescius, meaning “ignorant.”4 Our “good–bye” is a contraction for Anglo–Saxon “God be with you.” Now it may be possible to trace out diachronically just how nescius generated “nice”; it is certainly easy to imagine how “God be with you” came to be contracted to “good–bye.” But I know of no one today who in saying such and such a person is “nice” believes that he or she has in some measure labeled that person ignorant because the “root meaning” or “hidden meaning” or “literal meaning” of “nice” is “ignorant.”

...

It is arguable that although ἀπόστολος (apostolos, apostle) is cognate with ἀποστέλλω (apostellō, I send), New Testament use of the noun does not center on the meaning the one sent but on “messenger.” Now a messenger is usually sent; but the word messenger also calls to mind the message the person carries, and suggests he represents the one who sent him. In other words, actual usage in the New Testament suggests that ἀπόστολος (apostolos) commonly bears the meaning a special representative or a special messenger rather than “someone sent out.”

...

In a similar vein, although it is doubtless true that the entire range of ἀγαπάω (agapaō, to love) and the entire range of φιλέω (phileō, to love) are not exactly the same, nevertheless they enjoy substantial overlap; and where they overlap, appeal to a “root meaning” in order to discern a difference is fallacious. In 2 Samuel 13 (LXX), both ἀγαπάω (agapaō, to love) and the cognate ἀγάπη (agapē, love) can refer to Amnon’s incestuous rape of his half sister Tamar (2 Sam. 13:15, LXX). When we read that Demas forsook Paul because he loved this present, evil world, there is no linguistic reason to be surprised that the verb is ἀγαπάω (agapaō, 2 Tim. 4:10). John 3:35 records that the Father loves the Son and uses the verb ἀγαπάω (agapaō); John 5:20 repeats the thought, but uses φιλέω (phileō)—without any discernible shift in meaning. The false assumptions surrounding this pair of words are ubiquitous; and so I shall return to them again. My only point here is that there is nothing intrinsic to the verb ἀγαπάω (agapaō) or the noun ἀγάπη (agapē) to prove its real meaning or hidden meaning refers to some special kind of love.

D. A. Carson, Exegetical Fallacies, 2nd ed. (Carlisle, U.K.; Grand Rapids, MI: Paternoster; Baker Books, 1996), 28-32.
 
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Bill The Baptist

Puritan Board Graduate
Hi Zach,

If your Logos Bundle comes with Greek/Hebrew lexicons (fancy word for dictionary), I recommend checking these out rather than Strongs. Many professionals do not consider Strongs reliable and I've heard many stories about users misusing Strongs and getting the translation wrong because they used Strongs as a dictionary. Strongs is a concordance (based on root words) not a dictionary/lexicon. Many in my old MacArthurite Baptist churches heavily relied upon Strongs as a dictionary and I've seen these pastors endlessly committing root-word fallacies, completely distorting the Greek. One of the most common mistakes is to divide the 4 different Greek words for "love" into categories and claim that Agape refers only to "God's kind of love," which is not true (as shown below when it is used in a case of rape). D.A. Carson wrote about this in his book, Exegetical Fallacies, and the first fallacy he mentions is this ultra common Root Word Fallacy. It's like taking the word "Nice" and deciding the meaning is "Ignorant" (see below). I think it is telling that I have not seen Strongs used in professional/journal articles.

In seminary, we are taught the main 3 Greek lexicons are considered: BDAG, L&N (Louw-Nida) and LSJ. BDAG is generally recommended the most, if you were to only use one. HALOT is the Hebrew lexicon we are advised to use. So if you have these in your Logos package already, enjoy! :)

BDAG: https://www.logos.com/product/3878/...t-and-other-early-christian-literature-3rd-ed
LSJ: https://www.logos.com/product/3879/liddell-and-scott-greek-english-lexicon
L&N: https://www.logos.com/product/199/g...f-the-new-testament-based-on-semantic-domains
BDAG/HALOT bundle: https://www.logos.com/product/5228/bdag-halot-bundle

Excerpt from D.A. Carson's work:
1. The root fallacy

One of the most enduring of errors, the root fallacy presupposes that every word actually has a meaning bound up with its shape or its components. In this view, meaning is determined by etymology; that is, by the root or roots of a word. How many times have we been told that because the verbal cognate of ἀποστολος (apovstolos, apostle) is ἀποστέλλω (apostellō, I send), the root meaning of “apostle” is “one who is sent”? In the preface of the New King James Bible, we are told that the “literal” meaning of μονογενής (monogenēis) is “only begotten.”3 Is that true? How often do preachers refer to the verb ἀγαπάω (agapaō, to love), contrast it with φιλέω (phileō, to love), and deduce that the text is saying something about a special kind of loving, for no other reason than that ἀγαπάω (agapaō) is used?

All of this is linguistic nonsense. We might have guessed as much if we were more acquainted with the etymology of English words. Anthony C. Thiselton offers by way of example our word nice, which comes from the Latin nescius, meaning “ignorant.”4 Our “good–bye” is a contraction for Anglo–Saxon “God be with you.” Now it may be possible to trace out diachronically just how nescius generated “nice”; it is certainly easy to imagine how “God be with you” came to be contracted to “good–bye.” But I know of no one today who in saying such and such a person is “nice” believes that he or she has in some measure labeled that person ignorant because the “root meaning” or “hidden meaning” or “literal meaning” of “nice” is “ignorant.”

...

It is arguable that although ἀπόστολος (apostolos, apostle) is cognate with ἀποστέλλω (apostellō, I send), New Testament use of the noun does not center on the meaning the one sent but on “messenger.” Now a messenger is usually sent; but the word messenger also calls to mind the message the person carries, and suggests he represents the one who sent him. In other words, actual usage in the New Testament suggests that ἀπόστολος (apostolos) commonly bears the meaning a special representative or a special messenger rather than “someone sent out.”

...

In a similar vein, although it is doubtless true that the entire range of ἀγαπάω (agapaō, to love) and the entire range of φιλέω (phileō, to love) are not exactly the same, nevertheless they enjoy substantial overlap; and where they overlap, appeal to a “root meaning” in order to discern a difference is fallacious. In 2 Samuel 13 (LXX), both ἀγαπάω (agapaō, to love) and the cognate ἀγάπη (agapē, love) can refer to Amnon’s incestuous rape of his half sister Tamar (2 Sam. 13:15, LXX). When we read that Demas forsook Paul because he loved this present, evil world, there is no linguistic reason to be surprised that the verb is ἀγαπάω (agapaō, 2 Tim. 4:10). John 3:35 records that the Father loves the Son and uses the verb ἀγαπάω (agapaō); John 5:20 repeats the thought, but uses φιλέω (phileō)—without any discernible shift in meaning. The false assumptions surrounding this pair of words are ubiquitous; and so I shall return to them again. My only point here is that there is nothing intrinsic to the verb ἀγαπάω (agapaō) or the noun ἀγάπη (agapē) to prove its real meaning or hidden meaning refers to some special kind of love.

D. A. Carson, Exegetical Fallacies, 2nd ed. (Carlisle, U.K.; Grand Rapids, MI: Paternoster; Baker Books, 1996), 28-32.
Dr. Carson certainly has a point, but he takes it too far. Just because the same word is used interchangeably at times does not mean that there is therefore no distinction at all. For example, In our culture we often use love and like interchangeably. A person might tell their family they love them and also declare their love for ice cream. Obviously the person intends to say that they love their family but merely like ice cream. Just because they have used these terms interchanably, are we to suppose that there is never a distinction intended between like and love? Hendriksen argues for a moderate position whereby he accepts that agapeo and phileo are often used interchangeably, however in certain passages such as John 21 he argues that there is a distinction intended by the author. "The question should be carefully formulated. It is not: "Are agapeo and phileo at times used interchangeably? Is there an area of agreement between them? That the verbs have much in common and that agapeo is more and more encroaching upon the territory of phileo is well known. We do not agree with those who believe that there is a great distinction in meaning between the two verbs. But though the area of agreement may be very wide, this still leaves room for the question: "Is there any distinction, at least in certain contexts?"
 
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psycheives

Puritan Board Freshman
Dr. Carson certainly has a point, but he takes it too far. Just because the same word is used interchangeably at times does not mean that there is therefore no distinction at all. For example, In our culture we often use love and like interchangeably. A person might tell their family they love them and also declare their love for ice cream. Obviously the person intends to say that they love their family but merely like ice cream. Just because they have used these terms interchanably, are we to suppose that there is never a distinction intended between like and love? Hendriksen argues for a moderate position whereby he accepts that agapeo and phileo are often used interchangeably, however in certain passages such as John 21 he argues that there is a distinction intended by the author. "The question should be carefully formulated. It is not: "Are agapeo and phileo at times used interchangeably? Is there an area of agreement between them? That the verbs have much in common and that agapeo is more and more encroaching upon the territory of phileo is well known. We do not agree with those who believe that there is a great distinction in meaning between the two verbs. But though the area of agreement may be very wide, this still leaves room for the question: "Is there any distinction, at least in certain contexts?"
Bill, thanks for your excellent point that there is overlap in the meanings. Yes, we do not want to miss this. I do understand Mr. Carson to agree with you on this - that there is a distinction, when he wrote that they are "not exactly the same." See his sentence:

"In a similar vein, although it is doubtless true that the entire range of ἀγαπάω (agapaō, to love) and the entire range of φιλέω (phileō, to love) are not exactly the same, nevertheless they enjoy substantial overlap; and where they overlap, appeal to a “root meaning” in order to discern a difference is fallacious."
I also only pasted sections of his chapter, so please refer to the book itself for a fuller grasp of Mr. Carson's view. Glad you pointed this out because we wouldn't want to mislead our brothers and sisters into another error. :)
 

Reformed Roman

Puritan Board Freshman
I would primarily use what came with Logos, it came with several resources.

I see strongs as a good resource but I would be double checking it with other grieves for sure, especially after what you said

I appreciate the insight
 

bookslover

Puritan Board Doctor
Hi Zach,

If your Logos Bundle comes with Greek/Hebrew lexicons (fancy word for dictionary), I recommend checking these out rather than Strongs. Many professionals do not consider Strongs reliable and I've heard many stories about users misusing Strongs and getting the translation wrong because they used Strongs as a dictionary. Strongs is a concordance (based on root words) not a dictionary/lexicon. Many in my old MacArthurite Baptist churches heavily relied upon Strongs as a dictionary and I've seen these pastors endlessly committing root-word fallacies, completely distorting the Greek. One of the most common mistakes is to divide the 4 different Greek words for "love" into categories and claim that Agape refers only to "God's kind of love," which is not true (as shown below when it is used in a case of rape). D.A. Carson wrote about this in his book, Exegetical Fallacies, and the first fallacy he mentions is this ultra common Root Word Fallacy. It's like taking the word "Nice" and deciding the meaning is "Ignorant" (see below). I think it is telling that I have not seen Strongs used in professional/journal articles.

In seminary, we are taught the main 3 Greek lexicons are considered: BDAG, L&N (Louw-Nida) and LSJ. BDAG is generally recommended the most, if you were to only use one. HALOT is the Hebrew lexicon we are advised to use. So if you have these in your Logos package already, enjoy! :)

BDAG: https://www.logos.com/product/3878/...t-and-other-early-christian-literature-3rd-ed
LSJ: https://www.logos.com/product/3879/liddell-and-scott-greek-english-lexicon
L&N: https://www.logos.com/product/199/g...f-the-new-testament-based-on-semantic-domains
BDAG/HALOT bundle: https://www.logos.com/product/5228/bdag-halot-bundle

Excerpt from D.A. Carson's work:
1. The root fallacy

One of the most enduring of errors, the root fallacy presupposes that every word actually has a meaning bound up with its shape or its components. In this view, meaning is determined by etymology; that is, by the root or roots of a word. How many times have we been told that because the verbal cognate of ἀποστολος (apovstolos, apostle) is ἀποστέλλω (apostellō, I send), the root meaning of “apostle” is “one who is sent”? In the preface of the New King James Bible, we are told that the “literal” meaning of μονογενής (monogenēis) is “only begotten.”3 Is that true? How often do preachers refer to the verb ἀγαπάω (agapaō, to love), contrast it with φιλέω (phileō, to love), and deduce that the text is saying something about a special kind of loving, for no other reason than that ἀγαπάω (agapaō) is used?

All of this is linguistic nonsense. We might have guessed as much if we were more acquainted with the etymology of English words. Anthony C. Thiselton offers by way of example our word nice, which comes from the Latin nescius, meaning “ignorant.”4 Our “good–bye” is a contraction for Anglo–Saxon “God be with you.” Now it may be possible to trace out diachronically just how nescius generated “nice”; it is certainly easy to imagine how “God be with you” came to be contracted to “good–bye.” But I know of no one today who in saying such and such a person is “nice” believes that he or she has in some measure labeled that person ignorant because the “root meaning” or “hidden meaning” or “literal meaning” of “nice” is “ignorant.”

...

It is arguable that although ἀπόστολος (apostolos, apostle) is cognate with ἀποστέλλω (apostellō, I send), New Testament use of the noun does not center on the meaning the one sent but on “messenger.” Now a messenger is usually sent; but the word messenger also calls to mind the message the person carries, and suggests he represents the one who sent him. In other words, actual usage in the New Testament suggests that ἀπόστολος (apostolos) commonly bears the meaning a special representative or a special messenger rather than “someone sent out.”

...

In a similar vein, although it is doubtless true that the entire range of ἀγαπάω (agapaō, to love) and the entire range of φιλέω (phileō, to love) are not exactly the same, nevertheless they enjoy substantial overlap; and where they overlap, appeal to a “root meaning” in order to discern a difference is fallacious. In 2 Samuel 13 (LXX), both ἀγαπάω (agapaō, to love) and the cognate ἀγάπη (agapē, love) can refer to Amnon’s incestuous rape of his half sister Tamar (2 Sam. 13:15, LXX). When we read that Demas forsook Paul because he loved this present, evil world, there is no linguistic reason to be surprised that the verb is ἀγαπάω (agapaō, 2 Tim. 4:10). John 3:35 records that the Father loves the Son and uses the verb ἀγαπάω (agapaō); John 5:20 repeats the thought, but uses φιλέω (phileō)—without any discernible shift in meaning. The false assumptions surrounding this pair of words are ubiquitous; and so I shall return to them again. My only point here is that there is nothing intrinsic to the verb ἀγαπάω (agapaō) or the noun ἀγάπη (agapē) to prove its real meaning or hidden meaning refers to some special kind of love.

D. A. Carson, Exegetical Fallacies, 2nd ed. (Carlisle, U.K.; Grand Rapids, MI: Paternoster; Baker Books, 1996), 28-32.
Dr. Carson certainly has a point, but he takes it too far. Just because the same word is used interchangeably at times does not mean that there is therefore no distinction at all. For example, In our culture we often use love and like interchangeably. A person might tell their family they love them and also declare their love for ice cream. Obviously the person intends to say that they love their family but merely like ice cream. Just because they have used these terms interchanably, are we to suppose that there is never a distinction intended between like and love? Hendriksen argues for a moderate position whereby he accepts that agapeo and phileo are often used interchangeably, however in certain passages such as John 21 he argues that there is a distinction intended by the author. "The question should be carefully formulated. It is not: "Are agapeo and phileo at times used interchangeably? Is there an area of agreement between them? That the verbs have much in common and that agapeo is more and more encroaching upon the territory of phileo is well known. We do not agree with those who believe that there is a great distinction in meaning between the two verbs. But though the area of agreement may be very wide, this still leaves room for the question: "Is there any distinction, at least in certain contexts?"
Actually, Bill, Carson does admit that: "...although it is doubtless true that the entire range of agapao and the entire range of phileo are not exactly the same...(my emphasis)
 
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