Thursday, December 17, 2015

ERWS and Song of Songs

It's interesting to me that ERWS appears twice (both times in Proverbs), but it's not used in the book that is all about godly and decent love between a man and a woman (i.e., the Song of Solomon). There's probably a reason why the translators chose agape to describe the love mentioned in the Song rather than erws.

See Proverbs 7:18; 30:16; Song of Solomon 8:6.

13 comments:

Duncan said...

http://cpp.arts.kuleuven.be/index.php?page=closeup&id=0224

Evidence of erws used as a name first century, is this also true for agape?

Edgar Foster said...

Duncan, I'm sure you know that ERWS is the Greek name for the God of love (see Plato's "Symposium"). His Roman name is Cupid. As for agape, see http://stephanus.tlg.uci.edu/lsj/#eid=383&context=lsj&action=hw-list-click

Duncan said...

Let me frame the question differently and go from there, is there evidence in the first century of person(s) named Zeus? Yes cupid is synonamus but that is not what is in use in the example.

Although, i did ask the wrong question. I should have said philia not agarpe.

http://www.mythindex.com/greek-mythology/P/Philia.html

I am not attempting to argue for anything at this point, just curious.

Duncan said...

My question still would have some relevance to agape.

http://stephanus.tlg.uci.edu/lsj/#eid=383&context=lsj&action=hw-list-click

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=KLYRQ8t_cBMC&pg=PA194&lpg=PA194&dq=agape+goddess+aphrodite&source=bl&ots=unTnkOm8Wl&sig=uqpBNb_kMlrv70IPPxq2I887ePk&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj4iKzbm-bJAhWJ2hoKHZcBB-YQ6AEIIjAD#v=onepage&q=agape%20goddess%20aphrodite&f=falseq

Edgar Foster said...

I think Zeus would be not only a proper name, but a singular name as well. There are plenty of Greek documents, and no one has read them all, but I don't remember encountering some mortal named Zeus, although I could be wrong.

Duncan said...

It's just that the back story of a name tends to control its use. I met someone while in the field who had a dog called satan but it was a mean looking dog and the image seemed to fit. I appreciate the lexicons and there assessment of words but these Greek words carry back stories that probably would colour them to some extent in the Hellenised world.

Duncan said...

http://www.britannica.com/topic/Eros-Greek-god

It seems with this conflict between Eros and anteros that Eros is a self serving desire for fleshly gratification.

Duncan said...

Set me as a seal on your thinking, as a seal on your apllication of strength. For love is as strong as death; ardent love is as jeleous as Sheol. Love's flames are fiery flames-- the fiercest of all.

This does not seem to be just a fleshly impulse. It is a longing of thought that does not fade easily.

Edgar Foster said...

I agree with your observations, for the most part, but would only add that Eros doesn't have to be self-serving desire. Plato demonstrates that one can redirect Eros towards higher ends than freshly pursuits. Again, I reference the Symposium.

I concur with the song of Solomon comments. Chapter 8 calls love the flame of Jah.

Duncan said...

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=bFpgBgIaFAEC&pg=PA128&lpg=PA128&dq=eros+vedic&source=bl&ots=ySxacD6F0v&sig=Acy98pIyKT8kwFvVtHDX9qo9Y5Q&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwin_-7RxOvJAhXI1RQKHakTDPgQ6AEIJjAF#v=onepage&q=eros%20vedic&f=false

Terence Kenehan said...

Hi brothers. I've been secretly stalking this blog for months, hope you don't mind.
Thought-provoking article, one in which Jehovah has given much insight on. Comparing the four greek words used in scripture for love gave me some clarity on the whole thing...

See g78 8/8 "Is Eros Scripturally Approved?"

See also: g72 2/8. "What Kind of Love Results in Happiness?"

w65 4/1 pp. 201-207 par. 12, 13. - "The Love that Leads to Life"

It seems that all other forms of love; erotic or sentimental, must be directed through the lens of agape to have joyful and positive results. Perhaps that's why agape is used instead of eros, as all eros should be directed unselfishly (i.e agape) for the benefit of one's mate...

It's significant that the immoral woman of Proverbs 7:18 uses eros, when her motives and intentions were purely selfish and a deceptive ruse (verse 21).

Just my two cents...

Philadelphia,
Tel, London.

Edgar Foster said...

Hi Brother Terence,

Thank you for referencing those Watchtower and Ak articles. I have read the first one, and plan to read the other two this week. Traditionally, it has been common to make hard and fast distinctions between the four kinds of Greek "love." While I'm not accusing you of making those types of distinctions, two verses that give me questions about the customary portrayal of agape are 2 Tim 4:10 and 2 Sam 13:1, 4, 15. So the verbal form of agape is used to describe Demas' love for the current system and Amnon's passionate and immoral "love" for his half-sister.

Appreciate your "two cents."

Terence Kenehan said...

I see your point. I think it's useful to make distinctions between the four, but only in identifying the jumbled mess of emotions in an imperfect, searching human heart. Subjectively speaking,in my own limited experience I've sensed that the four overlap, intertwine, and can even contradict one another.
As for Agape being directed towards improper objects, as in the case of Demas, if he actively supported the benefit of and devoted himself to the present system for its betterment, I'd say agape would be the most appropriate term.
And carefully reading the Amnon reference, the immoral and incestuous actions his agape eventually produced, do not necessarily mean that initially his "love" for her was initially selfish. Maybe other types of selfish love were at play, but maybe he really did want to selflessly care for her from the outset, but his baser desires eventually overwhelmed him. I see nothing in the text to suggest the rape committed was agape at play, how could it be? But its all unscholarly guess work on my part.
Thank you for letting me join the discussion.
"Phil'ia" the blog.

TK