One point I want to make of critical importance is that we must study beyond English, into Greek and Hebrew. This post will be an example of why.
In the Greek language, there are 5 types of love: Love for friends – philia. Love for one’s family- storge. Love for one’s husband or wife – eros. Love for one’s self –philautus. A transcendent love, as the love of God – agape.
The first two times, Jesus asks, “Simon, loannou agapas me?” ( Jesus is asking Peter if he loves him transcendentally, unconditionally, divinely, using the verb agapein.) But Peter replies, “Na, Kylie, su oidas oti philose” ( Yes Lord, you know that I love you.” [ using the verb philein.] meaning I love you, Lord, in a more friendly way.
The third time, Jesus moves from agape to philein. “Simon, loannou phileis me?” ( Do you love me like you love your friends?”)
So from this we learn, the language of the greek ( in this case) clarifies the depth of the conversation going on between Jesus and Peter. There is a lot of commentary that Jesus, in asking Peter, 3 times, ” Do you love me?” is an answer to Peter’s denial 3 times of Jesus during Jesus’ arrest.
I have found in my studies that it is easy to dispute the Word of God. I have also found that it is much harder to search the word of God and, in doing so, relieve a lot of the suppossed misunderstandings. Many people have said, and I think it applies here, that, ” We find what we are looking for,” to justify our belief systems, be they informed or uniformed. Frankie The Earthman.