I call this deception the Trojan Horse because it is the one that is usually used to trap people into the “Greek is better” lie. As you will remember the Greeks when they could not breech the walls of Troy decamped and left a large wooden horse which had men hiding inside. When the Trojans brought the horse inside the city walls one warned I don’t trust the Greeks even when they come bearing gifts. That night the Greeks came out of the horse and opened the gates for their buddies and destroyed the city. Even so many have had their faith in the Bible destroyed by this Greek trick, including men who claim to be King James only.
This is the trick. It is to claim that you can’t fully understand the text because unfortunately the English uses one word for love while the Greek uses two (in this text. The third Greek word porneo is not in the New Testament). Of course when the King James Bible uses the word charity they say it is unfortunate that they didn’t use the word love. You just can’t please some people.
So they take you to the Gospel of John 21:15-17. The lesson will be the difference between agape and phileo. Jesus asks Peter three times if he loves Him. Three times Peter answers that he loves Him. The first two times Jesus uses the word agape and the third time phileo. Peter answers all three times phileo. So we loose something in the translation! Well did we lose something in the translation when John translated it from Hebrew or Aramaic into Greek? Well we are told that agape is pure exalted love but phileo is just a fondness. Really? Look at John 3:19. Men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. The love here is agape love. So the lesson goes that Jesus is asking for agape love but can never get it out of Peter. How do we know that it is not the other way around? Maybe Jesus wanted phileo love all along and just wanted Peter to admit it. We know that neither of these is correct because of the context. In verse 17 it says Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, lovest thou me? The thing that grieved Peter was being asked the THIRD time, not phileo instead of agape. By going to the Greek you miss the obvious that Jesus asked Peter three times if he loved Him because Peter had denied Him thrice. But this kind of teaching will put you in the mode of thinking that you must go to a Greek scholar for knowledge of the Bible. When William Tyndale did the first translation work of putting the Bible into English (after Wycliffe) he said he would make it so a plough boy would know more Bible than the priests. His vision was accomplished. He knew his work needed to be polished, and this was finished with the Authorized Version of 1611. I pray that this has been a help to you. I’m