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Another View[edit]

Someone is trying to create a new meaning for agape to support what looks like a fringe religio-political agenda. They added this section called "Another view" and used a book as reference: "Redefining our Nation through Restructuring" -- only I can't find that any such book has been published beyond a copy on the author's web site. The book meets none of the criteria for a reliable source. See Wikipedia:Identifying reliable sources and Self-published sources . Further, if the book is really under copyright as the reference says, then this section is a copyright violation since it copies the work it cites word for word.

Particularly because of the copyright violation, I am removing the section.Kevin (talk) 15:11, 11 June 2011 (UTC)

A Whole Workup on Agape[edit]

Hi, I'm the maker of the Love Lab, a link to which I added to the External Links section of Agape. It got deleted as irrelevant. Please forgive my curiosity, but how is a multi-page outline on 1 Cor 13:4-7 not relevant to a Wikipedia page about Agape?

I'm not surprised or upset that my link would be deleted. It's the "irrelevant" I wonder about.

For your convenience in deciding what to answer, here's the URL [1]

PaulSank (talk) 04:20, 13 February 2011 (UTC) aka Retiarius Zogreso, LNN&R

Hi Kevin, - sorry, typing too fast and put in the wrong section - Counter-notification of a copyright violation regarding "Another View" of Agape. I purposely do not like to use my name, Dr. Jack W. Atkins, the author and original source of the copyright #1-604773011 hence use my Web Site. I copied my own original work word for word and this cannot be a violation. Due to your ad hominem attack, which I heartfully accept as a refute - but not as a "copyright violation," I have been using one of my students - I am a Professor of Hebrew and Greek plus "Secret Societies" - to place my copyrighted "fringe religio-political agenda" stuff upon your site using his name and so on. You have not removed any of my other copyrighted stuff yet and hopefully we have a common goal to allow others to draw their own conclusions, but sadly will not be able to slip "Agape," around you, back onto your site. I hold nothing against you and pray you have nothing personally against me sir. Thank you for your time and understanding. Truths77 (talk) 19:07, 17 July 2011 (UTC)

Agape vs. Eros[edit]

"Greek philosophers at the time of Plato used it in a way that suggested a universal - as opposed to a personal - love; this could mean love of truth, or love of humanity" - I don't think this statement is correct. As I understood from my classes on the philosophy of love, in ancient Greece, agape is a descending type of love where one aids one below them, even in the most minuscule way. The love of truth, beauty, etc is eros.

Observes Pope Benedict XVI in Deus Caritas Est

"In philosophical and theological debate, these distinctions have often been radicalized to the point of establishing a clear antithesis between them: descending, oblative love-agape-...ascending, posessive or covetous love-eros-would be typical of...Greek culture." (DCE, #7, USCCB Publishing 2006)

Niasain 16:50, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

Plato stated that EROS (Selfish Love) cannot be divine since a god/goddess should not have any needs outside of themselves. I have come to this conclusion: AGAPE (Selfless love) doesn't seek anything for itself and therefore it is the only type of LOVE that can be considered divine. All other types of Love can have elliments of both of these types of love in them... Ndmonger 19:25, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

Hmm...a question.[edit]

How does one obtain this love?


For Christian agape? Prayer. Niasain 16:50, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

For Christian agape? Well, prayer is a way of 'reciprocating' (that sounds terrible, I know) agape, but it is given to all, not just Christians, freely. Doesn't depend on us besides that we should accept this love.

To obtain Agape? [AGAPE - freely giving, unconditional, un-selfcentered love].

You cannot OBTAIN this love by yourself, since this love can only be given. For this love is always moving and is only Agape if it is being freely passed to another person. BUT to experiance this love, here are a few suggestions...
1. Desire to Love (Agape) in this way.
2. Work on not being Egocentric
3. Start looking out for what's in the best interest of friends & enemies alike. Placing their needs above your own. Giving value to others' lives even above your own life. What is so amazing about this type of love is that as you are loving an enemy this way, they can (not always, expecially at first) become your friend. In his Book "A Good Heart" when his Holiness the Buddhist Dalai Lama was presented with this concept of loving your enemies, he stated that if you don't practice compassion toward your enemy then on whom can you practice it, and then implied that animals cannot love this way...
4. Keep loving everyone this way even if they are mean to you and hurt you even to the point of death. (In other words, pratice loving in this fashion at all times; though rain, snow, and dark of night.) As Aristotle said, "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit." So to have this love, you must make it a part of yourself, make it a habit to always look out for everyone else's (Friend & Foe's) best interest...
5. Accept the Source of this AGAPE Love into your heart and God (the source of Agape) will start pouring this love through you out to others...
Welcome to the ROOT philosophy of Christianity, GOD is the source of this selfless love, AGAPE...
1 John 4:16b - God is love (agape), and the one abiding in love abides in God, and God in him.
Ndmonger 19:25, 31 March 2006

NPOV Dispute[edit]

Should this article really reflect only New Testament understandings? Besides, it seems a bit...biased. But to JFB - patience. Let me know on my User's Discussion page if you want to discuss it. Chris Weimer 05:19, 10 September 2005 (UTC)

I came to this page for comparisons between Greek and Christian agape. It is definately biased towards Christianity. I'm going to add a warning until it is fixed. That being said, the Greeks often cared little for agape. It is due to Saint Paul that agape became a good.

Niasain 16:50, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

If someone would care to perhaps add something, I'm sure that'd make it better. I don't think it's exactly NPOV, since it doesn't glorify Christianity. It's just not completely detailed, is all. Artiste-extraordinaire 09:28, 9 April 2006 (UTC)

I heard in a sermon that Agape Love is similar to the love of a man and woman in marriage. After the Eros love for each other begins to fade away, we still choose to love our spouse through Agape Love. One chooses to love their husband or wife. It is this love that ultimately binds a marriage together. In a similar fashion, when love is mentioned in religious contexts, this is the type of love that is being referred to. John Egan.

Greek views have been included, as well as a toned down discussion of the Christian viewpoint (5 different references to the same idea are not needed). Post if there are any further disputes. pookster11 01:59, 8 June 2006 (UTC)

I'm removing the disclaimer. Niasain 08:33, 12 June 2006 (UTC)

John's Definition of God[edit]

I personally think that it would be interesting to add to this portion the fact that Reverend Casey from the Grapes of Wrath, in his discouraged ramblings, talked about how the Holy Spirit might just be the love for one's fellow man that all people feel. I don't know how appropriate this would be to the article, nor would I make the changes myself (I'm not bold enough). So, this is merely a suggestion. - unsigned

I think it would be best not to add this. Niasain 16:50, 15 March 2006 (UTC)

The reason AGAPE seems biased toward Christianity is that Christianity's main focus is: AGAPE. Take Agape away from Christianity, and it wouldn't have become a religion. The Christian's God is AGAPE. No other religion holds AGAPE so high... Christianity teaches: Love (AGAPE) one another...

As Buddah put it: "After observation and analysis, when it agrees with reason and is conductive to the good and gain of one and all, then accept it practice it, and live up to it."

Isn't the goal of AGAPE for everyone else's interest? For if we place our interests before the needs of others, then what's in thier best interest is going to be over looked...

Ndmonger 21:22, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

Actually the goal of Agape is for man to better understand the Love of God for His creation. It is the epitome of what Community was created to look like - that which was peacable and orderly. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God by participating in the forbidden fruit, it was an act of selfish pursuit of autonomy - which is contrary to how God created us (communal beings). Therefore, AGAPE becomes the best love language that defines God's sacrificial, unconditional and transformational love toward his creation. No other greek word comes close.

Chris Coney 29 March 2010 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:36, 29 March 2010 (UTC)


Writing the word Agapē implies a long e in the last syllable. I thought agape rhymed with "take home pay". I'm moving the page to agape. Uncle Ed 16:39, 5 December 2005 (UTC)


Much has been made of Martin Luther King Jr's use of agape in his writings and oratory. There is probably some value in incorporating this into the article.


Beyond the etymological origin of the Greek word "agape", it became a favored word for the demonstration of Godly "love" in the Koine Greek of the New Testament writers. Over the course of time Christian theologians have used the term "agape" (or the redundant "agape love") when referring to the theological concept of God's love. Thus over the course of time they have transformed the word of classical Greek philosophic language into a Christian theological term via the common/Koine Greek of the New Testament writers. I like cheese.

Agape in Christianity[edit]

I agree, that if we want a more comprehensive and historical view of "Agape" something more can be added to describe agape according to the Greeks. However, since there is a subtitle "Agape in Christianity" I do not think that it is biased. It accurately describes it.

I Disagree[edit]

Perosnally, I think that we need to merge this into 1 Corinthians, if we have such a page. Implificator 20:47, 8 September 2006 (UTC)--

Why not 1 Corinthians 13? I already added the merge tags. Arch O. La Grigory Deepdelver 23:00, 8 September 2006 (UTC)

Why merge it? It discusses a specific concept that is not necessarily monopolised by the Bible, where as the verse shows the specific Biblical context of agape. Not always mutually inclusive. spider, 9:44PM (UTC) 29 September 2006

Agreed. While both Christianity and Agape share essential ties, Christianity (or, more to your point, Corinthians 13) does not encapsulate all utilizations of Agape.

Moreover, to fuse Agape to a singular perspective (Christianity) is to commit an act of arrogance; other religions / philosophies have expressions that can (perhaps) be argued to be more concise versions of Agape.

I think the article might need something of an overhaul to reduce the impression that Agape is a predicate of Christianity. (unsigned anonymous comment)

Please name some non-Christian religious traditions where this terminology is actually used. I am only aware of Christianity that uses the term "Agape" as specifically Christian terminology, much like words such as "moksha" etc. are specifically Hindu terminology and are meaningless outside the context of Hinduism. Do you have any source of a contemporary non-Christian group that uses this same terminology? Now, drawing parallels with parallel concepts in other religions, that is a different matter and should be allowed, assuming that they too can be sourced. ፈቃደ (ውይይት) 15:22, 7 December 2006 (UTC)

The only word which might have united the two versions is 'Caritas' which has connotations of both public and private love. But who would understand that word now? ThePeg 12:52, 8 December 2006 (UTC)

Humble Request[edit]

Is there any way in which the quotation from Paul's letter to the Corinthians could use the King James version or the Tyndale version upon which it is based? Both are so much more powerful and resonant.

An interesting point on this very quote is highlighted by the difference between these two versions. The King James version translates Agape as 'Charity', Tyndale, on whose version the King James is based, translates it as 'Love'. The effect is enormous as the two words have very different connotations to the reader. Tyndale deliberately left it as 'Love' because he believed the Bible was for individuals and not to be distorted by the structure of the Church. 'Charity' suggests public works, 'Love' is something which is emotional and spiritual and takes place between individuals. I sometimes wonder how we would have evaluated Paul had we followed Tyndale in this. The passage becomes so much more moving and powerful.

KJV translates the term as "Charity" because it is a translation of the Vulgate, not of the original Greek texts. The Latin term used is "Caritas" from which we derive the cognate "charity". The original Greek is Agape. There is no deeper spiritual meaning beyond simply the source from which the English was translated. pookster11 05:14, 2 February 2007 (UTC)

Major Edits[edit]

In a sincere attempt to be genuinely helpful, I invested in reorganization and additions to the article. Agreeing with User:Codex Sinaiticus on 7 Dec 2006 that only Christianity uses the term "Agape," I added more NT basis for such prominent use of the term within Christianity. That basis exclusively is in the NT.

No one has added to the article any extra-Christian use of the term today. The Founder of Christianity used the term (or probably an Aramaic equivalent since that's what He spoke) as the foundation of Christian distinctives. Since most of the claims and even criticisms of the Christian understanding of "agape" in the article showed no citation or reference, they cannot be substantiated. I attempted to retain everything for which I could locate independent substantiation, and even some plausible claims for which I could not find substantiation.

My hope is that you, as a reader of this, will provide feedback below, both pro and con. If I have messed up or deleted something you think should be corrected or reverted, I'd love to know that--rather than the total revert that just happened. My sincerest apologies if I offended you. That certainly was not my intent. I am a relative newcomer to Wiki, and am very much still learning both about Wiki and sensitivities. My intent is good; my methods are not yet as mature and wise as I hope someday they will be. PBPGINTWMY. Thanks very much. Afaprof01 05:19, 25 January 2007 (UTC)

The thing is, when you simply cut out everything you don't like and move everything left all around in a different order, all in one fell swoop, it makes it a lot of trouble to try to figure out exactly what it was in the 1000 bytes that got cut - in fact, too much trouble. If you are going to do it that way, would you please paste the parts that were cut out, here on the talk page, so everyone can analyze them and see if they agree that they should have been cut. It may well be that your version really is a big improvement and that nobody can dispute this, but all I can tell from looking at the diff, without taking all day at it, is that it looks like a totally different article than it did before... Several things seem to have been cut out, others added, and others look like they were cut, then it turns out they were just moved and shifted around... but with complex changes to complex subjects like this, it's usually much better to explain precisely what you want to do first and then justify why you want to put things in a different order etc., without leaving it to other editors to figure out what you did and why... or else, please make the edits slowly and gradually, one at a time, so others can at least follow what you are doing! Sorry for any misunderstanding... ፈቃደ (ውይይት) 14:01, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
I appreciate the explanation and suggestions. Very helpful. Thanks for taking the time to help me understand. I now agree. Afaprof01 03:10, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

Charity and Agape[edit]

Hi, Agape and Charity are two separate articles. Would there be any grounds for merging them? Mattmm 19:28, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

No, they are two different topics and two different Greek words with two very different meanings. pookster11 05:10, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
Really? The article seems to suggest they are synonymous. "In Christian theology charity, or love (agapē), ...". Please explain what's going on! Thanks Mattmm 11:25, 3 February 2007 (UTC)
The equating of "charity" and "agape" in Christian theology comes from the fact that most Engish Bibles are translated from the Latin Vulgate rather than the original Greek texts. St. Jerome translates the Greek "Agape" into the Latin word "Caritas", which is an cognate in the English language of the word "Charity". This is where the confusion stems from. The Greek cognate for the English "charity" is "Kharis", which is independent from and completely different than the word "Agape". pookster11 19:27, 3 February 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the info Pookster11. Etymological considerations aside there does seem to be some overlap going on here. "The Christian concept of charitable love" is actually defined in various places on wikipedia: Agape#Agape in Christianity; Charity (Virtue)#Religous Charity; Love (religious views)#Christian. All of these quote 1 Corinthians 13 at length (the second one quotes it in its entirety). I was just wondering if anyone felt that some cleanup could be done. I appreciate that this would be difficult and yes, merging may well not be the way to go. Mattmm 19:57, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
Except that this article is about the Greek word "Agape", not Christian Theology. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 18:04, 27 February 2007 (UTC).
What's going on is that this is a wiki, that anyone can write. Appealing to one wikipedia article (that anyone can write) as the only basis for overturning another wikipedia article, is usually not a good thing. Actually they are not both Greek words, one is Latin; but in modern English usage they are not the same thing at all, which is the most relevant consideration for the English wikipedia. ፈቃደ (ውይይት) 14:49, 3 February 2007 (UTC)

I would just like to mention it seems this article seems to give credit to the KJV for translating agape into charity. Actually, the Catholic Douay Rheims which pre-dates the KJV did it first. The KJV plagiarized heavily from the DR but never gave credit to the source. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:32, 20 August 2013 (UTC)

Agape vs. Chesed[edit]

I see that Agape is used as a translation of the Hebrew word "ahavah." Is it also used as a translation of the Hebrew word "chesed," which is often translated as "loving-kindness"? I see that the word "loving-kindness" is used on this page. But I had thought that chesed was usually translated into Greek as "eleos." Lkjowa (talk) 18:33, 7 December 2010 (UTC)


This paragraph:

contradicts the previous Bible citation that "love the Lord thy God"(etc) is the "first and great commandment".

There needs to be a citation to a secondary source in either case. —Telpardec (talk) 22:48, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

Fixed. —Telpardec (talk) 23:48, 18 August 2011 (UTC)


Somebody wrote this, but I highly recommend it be removed or at least amended. I quote from the first few lines of the article:

"Although some sources claim agape appears in the Odyssey twice, the word is in fact not used there. Instead, two forms of the word agape may be found: agapêton and agapazomenoi. Agapêton is found in Book 5 of the Odyssey and means "beloved" or "well-loved". Agapazomenoi is found in books 7 and 17 of the Odyssey and means “to treat with affection.”[citation needed]"

The two words "agapêton and agapazomenoi" in the Odyssey suffice to provide evidence that the word agape itself was in use with the current, modern meaning it has today, since the time of Homer, because these two words are DERIVATIVES of the noun itself. However, we shall provide an inundation of information on the matter, to prevent any back and forth mental masturbation as is customary on wikipedia talk pages. So, as I start this issue, I forerun and provide enough to make most smattering sophomores out there who are quick to spew opinions instead of knowledge. The one who wrote this section stands also corrected one one small detail as there is not just the instance "agapazomenoi", but rather mostly it is "agapazomenai"

Moreover, there are 11 references of "agape" derivatives and the verb "agapo" itself, in the Odyssey and not only 2 instances, as mentioned by the person who wrote that section; these are:

Α) 2.365 μοῦνος ἐὼν ἀγαπητός ὁ δ' ὤλετο τηλόθι πάτρης

Β) 4.727 νῦν αὖ παῖδ' αγαπητὸν ἀνερέψαντο θύελλαι

C) 7.33 οὐδ'αγαπαζόμενοι φιλέουσ', ὅς κ'ἄλλοθεν ἔλθῃ

D) 7.170 υἱὸν ἀναστήσας ἀγαπήνορα Λαοδάμαντα (reminds of resurrection lingo)

E) 14.381 ἤληθ'ἐμὸν πρὸς σταθμόν. ἐγὼ δέ μιν ἀμφαγαπάζον

F) 16.17 ὠς δὲ πατὴρ ὃν παῖδα φίλα φρονέων ἀγαπάζῃ (reminds us of father who loves prudent son)

G) 17.35 καὶ κύνεον ἀγαπαζόμεναι κεφαλήν τε καὶ ὤμους

H) 21.224 καὶ κύνεον ἀγαπαζόμεναι κεφαλήν τε καὶ ὤμους (Odysseus kisses head and hands, and afterwards commands stop crying exit the house)

I) 21.289 οὐκ ἀγαπᾷς, ὃ ἕκηλος ὐπερφιάλοισι μεθ' ἡμῖν

J) 22.499 καὶ κύνεον ἀγαπαζόμεναι κεφαλήν τε καὶ ὤμους

K) 23.214 οὕνεκά σ'οὐ τὸ πρῶτον, ἐπεὶ ἴδον, ὧδ' ἀγάπησα

In addition, we should also quote the Iliad, where the word is used 9 times in various forms, names, and derivatives, meaning once again, that the noun "agape" itself was widely in use in various forms, and the lexime for "agape" had more or less the same semantics it has today (save for the christian weight it now carries):

A) 2.609 τῶν ἦρχ' Ἀγκαίοιο πάϊς κρείων Ἀγαπήνωρ

B) 6.401 Ἑκτορίδην ἀγαπητὸν ἀλίγκιον ἀστέρι καλῷ

C) 8.114 ἴφθιμοι Σθένελός τε καὶ Εὐρυμέδων ἀγαπήνωρ

D) 13.756 ὁ δ'ἐς Πανθοΐδην ἀγαπήνορα Πουλυδάμαντα

E) 15.392 τόφρ'ὅ γ'ένὶ κλισίῃ άγαπήνορος Εύρυπύλοιο

F) 16.192 ἀμφαγαπαζόμενος ὡς εἴ θ'ἑὸν υἱὸν ἐόντα

G) 23.113 Μηριόνης θεράπων ἀγαπήνορος Ἰδομενῆος

H) 23.124 Μηριόνης θεράπων ἀγαπήνορος Ἰδομενῆος

I) 24.464 ἀθάνατον θεὸν ὧδε βροτοὺς ἀγαπαζέμεν ἄντην

On the note B) concerning the Iliad above one musts mention that it is impossible to produce ἀγαπητόν or ἀγαπήνωρ without there being a noun "ἀγάπη" as a compound component in the vocabulary of the language, whether in use throughout or at least latent without much popular use. Absence of textual references to the noun being used selfsame as "ἀγάπη" within the scraps of literature that has been saved from antiquity till present, is NOT evidence of the word not being used selfsame. More clearly, absence of evidence is not proof of absence. To the contrary, the very fact of the numerous compounds which necessitate the noun for their construction, together with a few instances of the noun being used selfsame as the Christians use it, prove it is a term the Christians borrowed and expanded. Important to mention also is that Homer uses the verb ἀγαπάζω and ἀγαπάζομαι, as well as ἀγαπά(F)ω/ἀγαπῶ and derivatives include the forms ἄγαμαι and ἀγάζομαι. The reason there is a "ζ" in Homer's version is easily explained by anyone who studies Greek as a result of the double vowel "ω" (which equals two "o" in length, which is why it is called "double", in between which, in order to avoid prosody, Greeks would often put "F" or "Ζ" or other consonants), otherwise it would be "ἀγαπάομαι", and this simply doesn't sound good, while rhythm is lost in the hexameter.

The etymology of the verb ἀγαπῶ, is as follows:

go towards, much, a lot, quickly, much, excessively + (so as to) take, guard, secure, protect (i.e. "go towards what is precious"). This etymology is valid with the lexime/root πα, because we would not have the instances of the Ionic participial form ἀγαπεῦντες instead of ἀγαπῶντες, which necessitates that the -πεῦντες part of the word be a root derivative of πάομαι (acquire/protect), which itself is the result of the lexime πα, and it is consistent with the word ἄγαν, thanks to the famous Greek proverb μηδὲν ἄγαν (nothing in too much love/excess, no attraction). The noun of the verb, which we see in Homer and the texts of others for nearly 700 years before Christianity came along, can easily be constructed from the average Greek of the time, simply by changing the stem "po" into "pe" (πῶ-->πη). Indeed, this is the case, because "η" is a double vowel of a noun and it "pushes" the accent/tonos to the paralegousa from the legousa position. One example need only be made well-known to philologists and classicists concerning the mechanics of the Greek language of a word that appears in Homer: Μἐλπω (I dance accompanied by rhythm and music), and its noun Μελπή, is constructed EXACTLY as ἀγαπώ constructs the noun ἀγάπη.

In addition, worthy to mention is that as it appears in Homer, the verb "ἀγαπῶ" and "ἀγαπάζω" acquires a cousin semantic, so to speak, with ἄγαμαι at times (since it has a common root) as we mentioned previously, whereby it also means "to admire (usually out of sublime fear) or envy". In Homer there are also, once again, multiple instances, which I will not list as I have adequately made my point, of this version of the verb "ἀγάομαι" (derivative of the aforementioned "ἄγαμαι"), but only in the participial form ἀγώμενος


Here, it is also worthy to mention that the stem "-(α)γαν" generally implies "sweet", "going towards", "having a tendency for". Characteristic example is the epithet used for the arrows of Artemis: ἀγανός, meaning "sweet", "painless", "mild", as her arrows would bring swift and painless death, as well as the word ἀγανῶπις, meaning "lovely-eyed" as an epithet used for goddesses. In both cases we also must take into account the root of γανόω and γάνυμαι, meaning I am bright with joy, I am elated, radiating with happiness, shinning.

On this note it is important to mention Hesiod's Theogeny, line 461, where the word "ἀγαυόν" appears and reads "going towards/be fond of/shinning/chosen". As well as Hesiod's Works and Days, line 58 ἀμφαγαπῶντες.

Finally, in the Greek Linear B syllabary, the etymology of agapo would be rendered as a-ga-po and would literally mean "equal/similar/united to/with the earth I go/become/take". The "a" in this case would be additive (ἀθροιστικόν), imperative or euphonic, not privative (στερητικόν) (like -non in English) because this would require a digamma "F" in the word or an "n", since the the privative "a" comes from a reduced "ἄνευ". Secondly, "ga" would mean the earth, and "po" as we have defined previously. And I bet if i take the time to look into it I shall be able to find at least one reference to the word since Mycenaean times, just to make it fly in the face of all the BS written in the article.

Use whatever you want from what I wrote in support of amending the article.

You can cite Liddle & Scott Lexicon and Ioannes Stamatakos Ancient Greek Lexicon for all the above etymological references (pages vary from edition to edition, just choose whatever you have scanned online in pdf so it is static for everyone) and confirm all of what I have posted above in there, plus myself as I am a philologist, as it may be obvious. Also, the word derivatives of the stem Agap- appear 25,050 times in Greek texts prior to 1453AD after a brief search (~10,200 of which are from Christian authors or dubious gnostic/magical/astrological writers), while lexime semantics searches of ἄγαμαι, ἀγάομαι, etc in the entire corpus of Greek texts would probably yield double or triple this number I reckon. Briefly, I will mention (apart from the New Testament and Ioannes Chrysostomos, who uses the word more than anyone else), authors/texts in which the word agape itself, or the verb agapo or their derivatives thereof, appear, before or near the advent of Christianity, are: Democritus (fragm), Septuagint, Athenagoras, Theophilus, Ptolemy (mathematics, geography), Hesiodos, Plutarch, Proclus, Xenophon, Lucianus, Aristides (Rhet.), Diogenes (Laert), Philostratus, Porphyrios, Aristophanes (Vespae, Lys. Thesm), Hipparchos (fragm), The Anonymous Scholia on Aristotle and Plato, Plato (almost every book), Aristotle, (almost every book), Trismegistos Hermes Corpus, Theophrastus, Justinianus (Imper), Callimachus (frag), Isocrates, Euripides (Phoen), Apollonius (Rhod), Hippocrates (Med), Demosthenes, Aeschines, Epicuros, Xenocrates, Epictetos, Aelianos, Dionysius (Pseud-Areop), Strabo (Geogr), Testamentum Salomonis (Mt. Athos Codex Moni Ag. Saba), Athenaios (Deipn), Scholia in Homer, Pausanias, Artemidoros (Oneir), Lycurgos, Himerius, Zenobius, and more, but to mention a few...

Plato's texts gloriously stand out (Lysis line.215) with ἀγαπηθείη and Aristotle with the same word in the letter to his one and only begotten son Nicomachus (Ethica Nicomacheia line 1167b.35 and then five lines below with ἀγαπῶσι), and Aristoxenus in an Oxyrinchus papyrus P.OXY.1.9 "[...] ΕΝ ΤΩΙ ΦΙΛΟΝ ΩΡΑΙΣΙΝ ΑΓΑΠΗ ΜΑ ΘΝΑΤΟΙΣΙΝ ΑΝΑΠΑΥΜΑ ΜΟΧΘΩΝ ΕΣΤΙ [...]" (capitalization is in the original SINCE IT IS DATED c.310BC)


the section in the article that reads: "The verb agapao is used extensively in the Septuagint as the translation of the common Hebrew term for love which is used to show affection for husband/wife and children, brotherly love, and God's love for humanity. It is uncertain why agapao was chosen, but similarity of consonant sounds (aḥava) may have played a part. The Greek concept may have originated as a transliteration from some Semitic tongue. This usage provides the context for the choice of this otherwise obscure word, in preference to other more common Greek words, as the most frequently used word for love in Christian writings.[citation needed] The use of the noun agape in this way appears to be an innovation of the New Testament writers, but is clearly derived from the use of the verb agapao in the Septuagint."
(Bold and emphasis is mine)

Please allow me to say that this is GLORIOUS GARBAGE. If you want I would be glad to post even more primary sources to show that the word was used since the times of Homer (and the compound-usage he make is more than enough proof it was not a 'fresh' word in the language, but had been used for a long time and was well established in the cultural and linguistic fabric, in addition to providing secondary and tertiary literature (i.e. authors who have written on this subject).

Moreover, the notion of the heroic at the time of Hellenistic Alexandria was shifting from that of Valour to that of Love (heterosecual or brotherly, comrade-ship and camarederie), and this is clear in the Character of Jason (Ἰήσων/Ἰάσων) portrayed by Apollonius of Rhodes ~250 years before Christianity was even a problem to this world.

I recommend that the nonsense in the article about "agape" connecting it to the "ahava" and the such be removed, as there is nearly no academic reference to such BS, nor any semantic or etymological connection, unless we find some scanty shady scholar and count that as a source, the internet can provide nearly anyone to substantiate anything far stretched these days. The noun "agape" is DEFINITELY not an invention of Septuagint writers as the aforementioned section states in the article, based on what I have shown you here, and this section MUST be removed, especially since it does not have sources for over 2 (??) years now. I am tired of seeing mental masturbation being spewed all over the internet from trolls, with citation #4 of the present article being the prime example: "^ Agape as a term for love or affection is rarely used in ancient manuscripts. According to the Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (Love definition) the word is believed to have been coined by the Bible authors from the verb agapao" That's a citation??? RARELY USED you say??? I THink I can post more examples if you want, the only problem is time. I can post over 50,000 instances in texts of derivatives and compound words using the noun itself, at least half of which is from pre-christian times. Whoever wrote this trash is implying the Greeks had no noun for the verb, even though the noun is used as a compendium frequently, which would be impossible. The only thing we can infer from the Septuagint and later Christian mania for using the noun "agape", is merely that nouns arise more when there is entitlification/personification of a notion, which is exactly the case, and obviously, the word "agape" was popularized by Christians. Nothing more. so, CAN SOMEBODY PLEASE CLEAN THIS ARTICLE USING THE INFORMATION I PROVIDE?? (AND WHICH HAPPENS, OF COURSE, TO BE VERIFIABLE)

I cannot stress WITH MORE EMPHASIS THAT THE BIBLICAL and CHRISTIAN "SCHOLARS" ARE NOT SCHOLARS OF GREEK per se. All they do is merely enter the word ἀγάπη AS IT IS in the search engines of Linguae Grecae Thesauri or dictionaries, and if they do not get any hits, they surmise, "well, see, it was not used that much by the Greeks". But they know NOTHING significant of how the language is and was written or spoken, other than encyclopedic surface knowledge, and they are not the least bit concerned with the study of Greek, except for facilitating their reading of religious scriptures and christian or jewish prayers, so they care not to even look into the roots, etymologies or derivatives of the words and leximes themselves, nor "agape" for that matter, unless it suits their religious emendations. The notion of "agape" happens to be central to the doctrines of Christianity, so "HEy, let's make it a christian novelty and discount nearly 1000 years of its use by pagan Greeks" (thus the tradition since 50AD till present to assimilate the word "agape" annexing it from the Greek Mystery cults into the abaton of the Christian church). My being so worked up is because long before the idea of Christianity assimilated nearly everything pagan in its path, the notion of "agape" was central to Orphism and the Eulesinian Mysteries. All one needs to completely dishevel and crush all such nonsense claims made in the abovementioned dubius section of the article yet again as I have done above, is mention a quote from the Delphic Maxims, which are dated c. 800 BC:

Maxim #20. Φιλίαν ἀγάπα (Love friendship), etched in stone and found on Oxyrinchos papyri used by school boys as homework, and etched on the Delphic stela found as far as Afghanistan after Alexander's conquests, inscribed by one of Aristotle's own pupils. This very quote, 800-700 years before Christ, carried down to us on the inscription found on the Stelae that had copies of the Delphic maxims inscribed, found in two locations, one in Asia Minor and another in Afghanistan (Indo-Greek Kingdoms), proves beyond shadow of doubt that not only was the verb and noun of agape widely used by the Greeks, way before the Jewish and Greek religions and ideologies became a melting pot in Hellenist times, but also that the difference between LOVE (AGAPE) and FRIENDSHIP (PHILIA), was established hundreds of years before Christianity and before any septuagint translation took place, and ABOVE ALL ELSE: THAT THE MEANING IT HAS TODAY WAS ROUGHLY THE MEANING IT HAD ON THE DELPHIC MAXIMS WHICH WERE CENTRAL FOR GREEK RELIGIOUS BELIEF: Φιλίαν ἀγάπα (Love friendship) c. 800-700BC, and recopied c.350BC on the stelae.

In 1901 Hasluck found a 3rd c. B.C. stela in Miletopolis (Cyzicus, Asia Minor), which bears what had been copied by Sosiades exactly from the Delphic Oracle Temple containing the lost maxims, and was corroborated with relevant Hellenistic-times inscriptions found on another stela as far as the city Aϊ Khanum in Afghanistan in 1966, written by Klearchus himself, Aristotle's pupil, together with the five last commandments of Sosiades on the stela's base. Sosiades' name roughly means "Savior" or "Copier", and Klearchus' name "He who rules (or is ruled) by glory". Sosiades is mentioned in the manuscripts of Ioannes Stobaeos (Anthologium). The editio princeps of the recovered Delphic maxims is: Tsoukalas, M.G., "Ανέκδοτοι φιλολογικοὶ καὶ ἰδιωτικοὶ πάπυροι, Athens 1962, (Phd diss.), 70-80, ΠΙΝΑΞ ΙΧ. The papyrus Tsoukalas' work is based on is a fragment of some of the then thought 147 Delphic commandments, which are allegedly an ancient schoolboy's assignment to copy, kept in the Classical Philology Dpt. of the University of Athens, and you need to implore gods and demons to be allowed to see or touch it. Collectively, today we have 165 Delphic maxims plus another 15 (doubles or paraphrases). Important to note is that none of these aphorisms is a commandment, but advice. Legend has it these inscriptions were made on behalf of the seven sages of antiquity convention to Delphoi, namely Solon of Athens, Chilon of Sparta, Thales of Miletus, Bias of Priene, Cleobulus of Lindos, Pittacus of Mitylene and Periander of Corinth. One should also note that Mahayana Buddhism is possibly based on Greek religion, an amalgam of local and Greek ideals after the indo-Greek Kigndoms, and the only Buddhism that has statues, which are rather Greek-looking. These maxims were used by Plato, Aristotle, and Socrates themselves to learn in school, all through Byzantine times. They are philosophically, religiously and culturally the foundation of Greek worldview. They do not claim to be the work of (a) god(s), but beg of you to respect and love the divine, mankind and yourself and instruct you how to go about it. Unfortunately these are about half of the total number of inscriptions on the Pythian Stela (possibly 300).

The Delphic Maxims are SEMINAL for influencing later the mostly-Greek Christian ideology (because that's the geographic region and among which peoples it all started -- the Greeks), and ideas such as "love thy neighbour" and the such are ALL part of the Delphic Maxims, which is EXPLICITLY why the Greeks accepted Christianity in the first place, since it matched their ideology, philosophy, and the Mystagogia they were ALL part of at least once in their lifetime for hundreds of years.

So, I implore you: Change this article so it reflects sound, verifiable academic views. If anything, the Delphic maxims, which are older than Homer, (since Delphi is quoted by Homer too), and the phrase Φιλίαν ἀγάπα (literally, have agape for your friends) (Maxim #20), should suffice. Moreover, there is Maxim #142 Οὔς τρἐφεις ἀγἀπα (Love whom you rear).

I rest my case. (But should you want me to devote another two-three hours of my life to pound more evidence on this article, I will, as long as I do not have to see trash written in it).

Now, can someone make the necessary changes to the article? please. ____Ἑλλαιβάριος Ellaivarios____ 07:23, 8 February 2012 (UTC)


I have removed these two paragraphs, which I save below in boldface just in case someone starts whining. To my knowledge as a philologist they are unsubstantiated, and will remain without credible sources for citation to eternity. Use my comments above to construct a more sound history of the word, and its usage. They have been without a citation since late 2008-early 2009, and there is no source code or formatting required to save:

Although some sources claim [citation needed] agape appears in the Odyssey twice, the word is in fact not used there [citation needed]. Instead, two forms of the word agape may be found: agapêton and agapazomenoi [not true]. Agapêton is found in Book 5 of the Odyssey and means "beloved" or "well-loved" [it means more than this]. Agapazomenoi is found in books 7 and 17 of the Odyssey and means “to treat with affection.”[citation needed][it means more than this, similar to christian, plus 'embracing']

The verb agapao is used extensively in the Septuagint as the translation of the common Hebrew term for love [not always - plus there's no Hebrew bible to prove it Greek is the only source we have, need citation] which is used to show affection for husband/wife and children, brotherly love, and God's love for humanity [sounds like the kind of loosey-goosey modern-north-american definition you hear so often]. It is uncertain why agapao was chosen, but similarity of consonant sounds (aḥava) may have played a part [cite sources of this nonsense claim, doesn't ahava man piety?]. The Greek concept may have originated as a transliteration from some Semitic tongue [citation...?]. This usage provides the context for the choice of this otherwise obscure word [why obscure???], in preference to other more common Greek words, as the most frequently used word for love in Christian writings.[citation needed] The use of the noun agape in this way appears to be an innovation of the New Testament writers [citation needed], but is clearly [clearly???] derived from the use of the verb agapao in the Septuagint.[1]

  1. ^ Agape as a term for love or affection is rarely used in ancient manuscripts. According to the Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (Love definition) the word is believed to have been coined by the Bible authors from the verb agapao

One more inaccuracy reiterating this nonsense later in the article: "The term agape is rarely used in ancient manuscripts" Based on all the information I gave you above... I think this phrase in the article is also impossible to find citations for, so it needs to be butchered likewise, or changed to:

"Although the term "agape" is certainly used in pre-christian times in various forms (i.e. mostly compound words that require the noun or verb root of the word), it was not frequently used self-same as a verb and noun, although there are quite a few examples. The word was used, but (certainly without the literary frenzy it enjoyed after the advent of Christianity), and the present auxiliary meaning that "agape" also has of piety, charity and selflessness attached to it, are all notions of a Christian rendering of its original meaning, conglomerating it with Jewish scripture and Greek neo-platonic ideology, to reshape its original, nascent etymology and semantics found as far back as the Delphic Maxims, Hesiod, Homer, Plato and Aristotle, in whose texts it is written exactly thus as verb and noun and means roughly the same as it does for early Christians. Modern Christians have greatly expanded the meaning to render a definition that is difficult to provide an exegesis for. The term gradually became adopted and used by the early Christians to refer to the self-sacrificing love of God for humanity, which they were committed to reciprocating and practicing towards God and among one another. [...] blah blah (continue rest of the article as it is)"

Yes, you can remove my vile that is in (parentheses) and italics above; I am just annoyed by the overly lovey (north-american) christian sentiment... Also Important to note is that even the gospels appear decades after Jesus' death and Resurrection, so even if the term agape is mentioned in their texts... it took some time for the Apostles to formulate it while writing the texts as well, while Christianity was floating around the Hellenized world, gradually spreading and gaining momentum.
____Ἑλλαιβάριος Ellaivarios____ 08:15, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

I could possibly find a few dozens of Greek nouns which were never used much selfsame in Greek textual sources that we have extant, and mostly the verb was used, or a compound of its root (which would have required knowledge of the noun itself, even as a latent possibility due to the language's grammatical mechanics/structure), but that doesn't mean that because the word was not popular (since it did not occur frequently) that it wasn't known, just that what the word expressed/could have expressed, wasn't as important culturally, ideologically or religiously, until some cmajor social change gave rise to its widespread use: i.e. Christianity (which it did indeed, but by no means did it invent the word). ____Ἑλλαιβάριος Ellaivarios____ 08:40, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

More information on greek meaning[edit]

There is only one sentence to a word that originates as a greek word. I would like to see a section about the greek meaning, specifically the spouse side of it, placed on this. There is definitely a lot of information in these talk pages about it, so why do we only have Christian etymology in here? Also, it looks like when greek information has been added in the past it has been removed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:45, 6 March 2012 (UTC)

"Brotherly Love": Philia and Agape[edit]

It is my understanding that Philia is "brotherly love," as the present Wikipedia page states: Philia (/ˈfɪljə/ or /ˈfɪliə/; Ancient Greek: φιλία), often translated "brotherly love",

However, the page for Agape presently begins with: Agape (/ˈæɡəpiː/[1] or /ˈæɡəpɪ/;[2] Classical Greek: ἀγάπη, agápē; Modern Greek: αγάπη IPA: [aˈɣapi]), translated as "love: the highest form of love, especially brotherly love, charity;

If they both mean "brotherly love," then it would seem important to distinguish the nature of the different use on both pages. I believe that Philia is "brotherly love" and Agape is "unconditoinal love" though I have no reference to submit.

Mseanbrown (talk) 15:22, 19 July 2015 (UTC)

Unconditional Love "Sign" - Unclear, and Someone trying to sell Merchandise[edit]

There's an image added to the right-hand column below the "Part of a series on Love" box titled "Unconditional love sign -View application".

I'm not sure how this belongs in the article at all, especially as the "View Application" link is to someone's SunFrog Shirts storefront.

I'm wondering under what authority/organization the image is the sign for "Unconditional Love". If it's American Sign Language, or similar, great! And if so the title should say that explicitly and either link to that organization, or not link at all.

This has been added to the article [Unconditional love] ( as well and I can't help but think someone is trying to hijack the page(s) to make money. Thistledowne (talk) 00:51, 29 October 2015 (UTC)


Per the OED, agape has been an English word since the 16th century—it's attested earlier than a-gape is. There is no need to italicize it as though it were an unknown foreign technical term on the order of weltanshauung. — LlywelynII 15:10, 23 January 2016 (UTC)


I'm not going to remove it, but the definition of the English word "agape" on this page seems to raise a question: although this is not a dictionary, should a clarifying pronunciation guide ever be given (in this case, something like "ah-gah-pay")? Then we could avoid confusion when people encounter an unfamiliar word. Perhaps in this case, providing the Greek spelling is sufficient. I don't think the English definition, for what is really a different word, should be here. Joshuabowman

For what it's worth, this page probably does need a pronunciation guide but I removed the pronunciations given since they're directly contradicted by their source.
Only the bizarre pronunciation ah-guh-pee was given, despite that being only a secondary British pronunciation. The OED lists four separate pronunciations of the term and, if we're claiming to present an authoritative pronunciation here, we need to give all of them. Since 4+ pronunciations is too much clutter for the WP:LEADSENTENCE, that means that the article probably needs a #Name section to deal with this along with the etymology. — LlywelynII 15:20, 23 January 2016 (UTC)

Modern Greek[edit]

has no more importance to this term than Proto-Indo-European does. It was established and borrowed into English directly from classical/koine Greek. Even once a #Name section is established, Modern Greek is not really WP:TOPICal and certainly less so than its rendering in Latin, French, German, Italian, Russian, and Standard Mandarin. — LlywelynII 15:24, 23 January 2016 (UTC)

Is it Christian?[edit]

Was there no classical meaning??? Guess I'll have to find out elsewhere. (talk) 23:07, 29 December 2016 (UTC)

yeah, looks like jesus just sat on it, a quick search finds the original: (talk) 23:11, 29 December 2016 (UTC)

Liddell is considered dated...[edit]

The lede is based on Liddell which is a great lexicon, but it is considered dated from 1889 (the citation says 2010 but this is for a printed version on Amazon, I don't think the content has been updated.) Liddell is freely available and a great resource to consult, but some of the entries need updating in light of new information (agape is one such entry.) I've checked BDAG, which is the current standard, and it seems new information has become available since Liddell was published. Seraphim System (talk) 03:33, 18 May 2017 (UTC)

I read the entry in BDAG and did not find anything there to support your allegation that "new information has become available since Liddell". The instance of the "polytheistic army officer" is mentioned in the next section of this article, where it is given all the attention that it deserves... more than it deserves, actually. Thus I have removed your disputation. —Dilidor (talk) 14:13, 14 August 2017 (UTC)

Serious Problems[edit]

This article is an absolute mess. I will point out a number of problems.

1) "the highest form of love, charity" and "the love of God for man and of man for God". False. Luke’s Jesus critiques the Pharisees for loving (ἀγαπάω) their special seats of honour (Luke 11.23); ἀγαπάω can be the reason for not believing in Jesus (John 3.19)

2) "The word is not to be confused with philia, brotherly love, or philautia, self-love, as it embraces a universal, unconditional love that transcends and persists regardless of circumstance." False on multiple counts. Numerous authors use ἀγαπάω to refer to self-love. For example, Dio Chrysostom Oration 74.5: "how could a person love me who does not love even himself (πῶς ἂν ἐμὲ ἀγαπήσειεν ὁ μηδ᾽ αὑτὸν ἀγαπῶν)?" No ancient Greek speaker would have recognised a harsh distinction between ἀγαπάω and φιλέω. This was demonstrated decades ago by Robert Joly, Le Vocabulaire chrétien de l’amour est-il original? Φιλεῖν et Ἀγαπᾶν dans le grec antique (Bruxelles: Presses Universitaires de Bruxelles, 1968).

3) "It goes beyond just the emotions to the extent of seeking the best for others". False. Άγάπη is said to be the impetus for Amnon raping Tamar in 2 Samuel 13.1, 4, 14–15 LXX.

4) "it embraces a universal, unconditional love that transcends and persists regardless of circumstance". Nope. Luke's Jesus speaks of those who love (ἀγαπάω) discriminately rather than universally (Luke 6.32)

5) "The noun form first occurs in the Septuagint". Demonstrable false. See Empedocles frag 17. See further Oda Wischmeyer, ‘Vorkommen und Bedeutung von Agape in der außerchristlichen Antike’, Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft 69 (1978): 212-238.

6) "In the New Testament, it refers to the covenant love of God for humans, as well as the human reciprocal love for God". Not sure what 'covenant love' means here. In any case this is only true to a limited extent. It also refers to the love for darkness (John 3.19)

7) "polytheistic Greek literature". There is no reason to identify Greek literature this way. Also see point (5).

I will finish this list later, but suffice to say at this point that the common trope that the word ἀγαπάω denotes some kind of special love is false, and every single scholar of ancient Greek and the New Testament will agree. It might be that the early Christians believed God and Jesus to have loved in a special way, and they might have used ἀγαπάω when describing that reality. But the "kind of love" is not signaled by the word ἀγαπάω. This entire article proceeds under the presumption of the word-concept fallacy.