Regarding John 21:15-17 and the use of ἀγαπάω vs. φιλέω, I've often heard preachers say “ἀγαπάω” is divine and “φιλέω” is human.  But this always made me wonder about John 3:17, “men ἀγαπάω darkness rather than light.”

Proverbs 8:17 uses אהב twice, a word (ahab/agab) which may be related to ἀγαπάω, but the Septuagint uses ἀγαπάω once and φιλέω once.  (I’m not a scholar of either language and if I have the inflection wrong, it’s because I copied the words from Strong’s dictionary.)

What explanations (hypotheses) are there about the implications of these two words in these passages?  (Including speculations on why the seventy(-two) translators used two different Greek words for one Hebrew word.)



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