Vincent Word Studies - John 5:20 - 5:20

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Vincent Word Studies - John 5:20 - 5:20

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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:

Loveth (φιλεῖ)

To love is expressed by two words in the New Testament, φιλέω and ἀγαπάω. Ἁγαπάω indicates a reasoning, discriminating attachment, founded in the conviction that its object is worthy of esteem, or entitled to it on account of benefits bestowed. Φιλέω represents a warmer, more instinctive sentiment, more closely allied to feeling, and implying more passion. Hence ἀγαπάω is represented by the Latin diligo, the fundamental idea of which is selection, the deliberate choice of one out of a number, on sufficient grounds, as an object of regard. Thus φιλέω emphasizes the affectional element of love, and ἀγαπάω the intelligent element. Socrates, in Xenophon's “Memorabilia,” advises his friend Aristarchus to alleviate the necessities of his dependents by furnishing means to set them at work. Aristarchus having acted upon his advice, Xenophon says that the women in his employ loved (ἐφίλουν) him as their protector, while he in turn loved (ἠγάπα) them because they were of use to him (“Memorabilia,” ii., 7, §12). Jesus' sentiment toward Martha and Mary is described by ἠγάπα, Joh 11:5. Men are bidden to love (ἀγαπᾶν) God (Mat 22:37; 1Co 8:3); never φιλεῖν, since love to God implies an intelligent discernment of His attributes and not merely an affectionate sentiment. Both elements are combined in the Father's love for the Son (Mat 3:17; Joh 3:35; Joh 4:20). Ἁγάπη is used throughout the panegyric of love in 1Co 13:1-13, and an examination of that chapter will show how large a part the discriminating element plays in the Apostle's conception of love. The noun αγάπη nowhere appears in classical writings. As Trench remarks, it “is a word born within the bosom of revealed religion.”'Εράω, in which the idea of sensual passion predominates, is nowhere used in the New Testament. Trench has some interesting remarks on its tendency toward a higher set of associations in the Platonic writings (“Synonyms,” p. 42).

Greater works will He show Him

As Jesus does whatever He sees the Father do (Joh 5:19), the showing of greater works will be the signal for Jesus to do them. On works, as a characteristic word in John, see on Joh 4:47.

Ye may marvel

The ye is emphatic (ὑμεῖς) and is addressed to those who questioned His authority, whose wonder would therefore be that of astonishment rather than of admiring faith, but might lead to faith. Plato says, “Wonder is the feeling of a philosopher, and philosophy begins in wonder” (“Theaetetus,” 105); and Clement of Alexandria, cited by Westcott, “He that wonders shall reign, and he that reigns shall rest.” Compare Act 4:13.