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St. John 21:15-17

A Study on Love: King James VS Literal Bible w/Strong's

King James Bible

15. So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.
16. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
17. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

As you can see above, our English has only the one word for love, basically. Jesus says "love" 3 times, and Peter say's "love" 3 times. But the Greek has numerous words for love, and it changes dramatically when you look at it that way. Read below:

The Literal Bible with Strong's

15. when Then they had breakfast, says to Simon Peter Jesus, Simon, {son} of John, do you love me more {than} these? He says to him, Yes, Lord, you know that I like you. He says to him, Feed the lambs of me.
16. He says to him again secondly, Simon, {son} of John, do you love me? He says to him, Yes, Lord, you know that I like you. He says to him, Shepherd the sheep of me.
17. He says to him the third {time}, Simon, {son} of John, do you like me? was grieved Peter that he said to him the third {time}, Do you like me? And he said to him, Lord you all things perceive, you know that I like you! says to him Jesus, Feed the little sheep of me

in verse 15, Jesus asks Peter if he "agapaos" him "more than these" (remember Peter before Calvary? "Even though all these desert you, Not me!" Peter has been humbled.) but Peter replies with "I phileo you". I like you. In verse 16, Jesus, leaves off "more than these," but still uses "agapao", and again Peter answers with "phileo". In verse 17, Jesus comes down to where Peter is, and uses "Phileo", and Peter, replies, "I phileo you". Peter has stumbled, and Peter is humbled, and God comes down to where Peter is at. And look at the ministry given to Peter: each time Peter answers with what's in his heart, Jesus' increases his ministry! 15: feed my "lambs"... 16: shepherd my "sheep" 17: feed the "sheep of me"! God honors a humbled, contrite, and HONEST heart! Don't be telling God you agapao Him more than anything, when phileo is what's truly in your heart. God looks, God searches, and God seeks truth.

Romanized agapao Pronounced ag-ap-ah'-o
perhaps from agan (much) [or compare HSN5689]; to love (in a social or moral sense):
KJV--(be-)love(-ed). Compare GSN5368.

Romanized phileo Pronounced fil-eh'-o
from GSN5384; to be a friend to (fond of [an individual or an object]), i.e. have affection for (denoting personal attachment, as a matter of sentiment or feeling; while GSN0025 is wider, embracing especially the judgment and the deliberate assent of the will as a matter of principle, duty and propriety: the two thus stand related very much as GSN2309 and GSN1014, or as GSN2372 and GSN3563 respectively; the former being chiefly of the heart and the latter of the head); specifically, to kiss (as a mark of tenderness):
KJV--kiss, love.

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