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tion : it here implies the recognition of the ador-
able and lovable character of the Deity. <f>i\etv is
never used of man's love for God as such, because
the mental attitude of intimacy which the word
implies would be out of place in the creature with
reference to the Deity (it is different where the
love of the disciples for Jesus is spoken of [Jn 16 27
21 is.i.n ) ! Co 16 22 ]). Scripture prefers the word
which unambiguously puts human love in the re-
ligious sphere on a moral and spiritual basis, even
if, in order to do so, it has to leave somewhat of
the intensity of the religious affection unexpressed.
As designations of the love extending from God to
man both dyavdv and <j>i\eti> may be used, the former
in so far as God's love is not blind impulse or ir-
rational sentiment, but a love of free self-deter-
mination, the latter because it is proper to God by
a gracious condescension to enter into that close
habitual friendship with man which the word con-
notes. As a matter of fact, however, <f>i\tiv is but
rarely used to describe the love of God towards

In extra-biblical Greek love as extending from
the gods to man seems to be an unknown concep-
tion, for according to Aristotle and Dio Chrysos-
tom both dyairdv and <pi\eiv have place not in those
who rule with reference to those they rule over, but
only in the opposite direction : arovov <f.\eiv rbr
Afa (where Afa is the subject).

It is in keeping with the distinction above drawn
that the specific term for brotherly love (see art.
BROTHERLY LOVB) is <pi\a8e\<f>la, for the idea is
derived from the family-relation, although, of
course, dyairdv here occurs with equal frequency.
On the other hand, of the love for enemies enjoined
in the NT <j>i\fiv never occurs, being excluded by the
nature of the case, whereas dyairdv, involving a
deliberate movement of the will, may apply to such

While it appears from what has been said that
had by reason of its inherent signification




and classical use an antecedent fitness to express
the biblical idea of religious love, this should not
be construed to mean that the word carried already
in extra-biblical Greek all the content of the Scrip-
tural conception. In the profane usage the moral,
spiritual element was yet lacking, although the
elements of choice and rational attachment were
given. Like so many other words which possessed
an antecedent affinity for the biblical world of
thought from a formal point of view, it needed the
baptism of regeneration in order to become fit for
incorporation into the vocabulary of Scripture.

The noun d-ydrrr] seems to have been coined by
the LXX to translate the OT conception of religious
love. It is not found in classical Greek, nor even
with Philo and Josephus. Perhaps the fact that
the profane literature does not have the noun is
significant. It can be explained on the principle
that only through transference into the moral,
spiritual sphere could the habitual character of
the act of loving, which is inherent in the noun,
originate. The noun in the Vulgate is caritas,
from carutn habere, which admirably expresses
the specific character of the biblical conception.
Caritas in turn gave rise to the ' charity ' of the
English Bible (A V ), in most passages used of love
towards fellow-Christians (cf., however, 1 Co 8 3 ,
1 Th 3 6 , 2 Ti 222 3 10 , where there is no reason so
to restrict it). The RV substitutes 'love, 'in all
passages where the AV has ' charity ' (26 times in
all), for the reason that ' charity ' has in modern
usage become restricted to the love of beneficence
or forbearance.

The following discussion confines itself to the
love existing between God and man. For love as
between man and man see art. BROTHERLY LOVE.

2. Love in the apostolic teaching. Love is in
the apostolic teaching a central and outstanding
trait in the disposition of God towards man. In
this respect the view taken by Jesus is fully
adhered to. If in the witness of the early Church,
as recorded in Acts, no direct affirmation of this
principle is made, that can easily be explained
from the apologetic purpose of this witness. In
the fellowship of the first Christians among them-
selves the indirect operation of the new force
introduced by Jesus into the hearts of His followers
manifests itself clearly enough (Ac 2 41 ' 47 4 32ff >).

i. ST. PAUL. With St. Paul love is explicitly
placed in the foreground as the fundamental dis-
position in God from which salvation springs and
as that which in the possession of God constitutes
for the believer the supreme treasure of religion.
God is the God of love (2 Co 13 11 ). In Gal 5 love
is named first among the fruits of the Spirit. It
is associated with the Fatherhood of God (Eph G 23 ).
In the apostolic salutations it stands co-ordinated
with the grace of Christ (2 Co 13 14 , Eph G 23 , 2 Th
3 s ). It is the greatest of the three fundamental
graces of the Christian life, and the sole abiding
one of these three (1 Co 13 8 ' 13 ). This primacy love
can claim even in comparison with faith. For, on
the one hand, faith as well as hope is a grace made
necessary by the provisional conditions of the
present sinful world, and in both its aspects that
of mediate spiritual perception and that of trust
will be superseded by sight in the world to come
(2 Co 5 7 ) ; on the other hand, faith as compared
with love is instrumental, not an end in itself ; it
brings the Christian into that fundamental relation
to God, wherein his religious faculties, foremost
among which is love, can function normally (Gal
5 6 ). The prominence of faith in the Pauline teach-
ing is not therefore indicative of its absolute and
final preponderance in the Christian consciousness.
It would, however, scarcely be in accordance with
St. Paul's view to press the primacy of love to
the extent of denying all independent significance

to other religious states. There is an aspect in
which faith in itself, and apart from its working
through love, glorifies God (Ro 4 20 ), and whatever
thus directly contributes to the Divine glory has
inherent religious value. The same must be
affirmed of the knowledge of God. The emphasis
thrown throughout the NT on the value of truth
cannot be wholly explained from its soteriological
utility. It expresses the conviction that knowing
and adoring God are in themselves a religious act,
apart from all fructifying influence on the believer's
life. When St. Paul includes ' knowledge ' (1 Co
13 8 ) in the things that shall be done away, this
applies only to the specific mode of knowledge in
this life, the ' seeing in a mirror darkly,' the know-
ledge of a child, which will make place in the
world to come for a full knowledge ' face to face,"
analogous to the Divine knowledge of the believer
(v. 12 ). ' Knowledge,' while of value, is not equal
in value to love (1 Co S 3 ).

(a) The love of God. It has been alleged that in
two respects the Apostle's teaching on the love of
God marks a retrogression as compared with the
gospel of Jesus : on the one hand, St. Paul restricts
the love of God to the circle of believers, thus
making sonship co-extensive with adoption = justifi-
cation ; on the other hand, he emphasizes, side by
side with love, the working of sovereignty and
justice as equally influential attributes in God,
whence also the effectual communication of the
Divine love to the sinner cannot, according to
the Apostle, take place except as a result cf the
sovereign choice of God and after satisfaction to
His justice. This charge, however, rests on a mis-
understanding of the teaching of Jesus. Jesus, by
way of correction to the prevailing commercial
conception of God's attitude towards man in
Judaism, brings forward the love of God. Never-
theless the specific Fatherly love and the corre-
sponding state of sonship are in His gospel, no less
than with St. Paul, redemptive conceptions, per-
taining not to man as such, but to the disciples,
the heirs of the kingdom. This may be seen most
clearly from the fact that in its highest aspect
sonship is an eschatological attainment (Mt 5 9 , Lk
20 36 ; cf. Ro S 23 ). It is true that a developed
soteriology like St. Paul's, delimiting the mutual
claims of the love and justice of God, is not found
in our Lord's teaching. But this could not be
expected before the supreme saving transaction
the Death of Christ had actually taken place.
The great principles on which the Atonement rests
are enunciated with sufficient clearness (Mk 10 48 ).
In comparisons between Jesus and St. Paul it is
frequently overlooked that what corresponds to
the Apostle's soteriology is the eschatological
element in Jesus' teaching. As a matter of fact,
St. Paul's doctrine of salvation was developed in
the closest dependence on his eschatology. If the
comparison be instituted with this in mind, it will
be seen that in our Lord's eschatological utterances
the sovereignty and justice of God occupy no less
central a place than in the Pauline doctrine of
salvation, and that the love of God in its eschato-
logical setting is to Jesus as much a redemptive
factor as it is in the Pauline gospel.

The phrase 'the love of God' occurs in the
Pauline Epistles in Ro 5 8 8 39 , 2 Co 13 14 , 2 Th 3 5 ,
Tit 3 4 (<j>i\av0pu}irla) ; ' the love of Christ' occurs in
Ro 8 s8 (variant reading 'love of God'), 2 Co 5 14 ,
Eph 3 19 ; ' the love of God in Christ ' in Ro S 89 . In
all these cases the genitive is a subjective genitive.
In 'the love of the Spirit' (Ro 15 30 ) the genitive
seems to be that of origin (cf. Col I 8 ). Some
exegetes propose for Ro 5 s and 2 Th 3* ' love to-
wards God.' In the former passage the context is
decisive against this (cf. v. 8 , and the fact that the
consciousness of ' the love of God ' furnishes the




basis for the certainty of the Christian hope). In
2 Th 3 5 the sense is determined by the parallel
phrase, virofj-ovi] TOV XpiffTov ; if this could mean the
' patient wait ing for Christ ' ( A V), then ayairi) TOV
Beov would be 'love for God.' Such a rendering,
however, seems to be linguistically improbable,
and the ordinary interpretation of virofj.ovri as
' patience,' ' steadfastness,' requires Xpiffrov as a
subjective genitive. The meaning is not that the
love of God and the patience of Christ are held up
as models to the readers, but the Apostle prays
that their hearts may be directed to a full reliance
on the love of God and the steadfastness of Christ
as the two mainsprings of their salvation. In 2
Co 5 14 r) yap ayairi) TOV XpiffTOv vvvfyei ij/tas is not to
be explained on analogy with the preceding ' fear
of the Lord ' (v. 11 ), nor in contrast to the knowledge
of ' Christ after the flesh ' (v. 16 ), in the sense of St.
Paul's love for Christ ; but, in close agreement with
the following ' One died for all,' it is meant of the
love Christ showed by His Death.

To St. Paul the love of God is throughout a
specifically redemptive love. Its manifestation is
seldom sought in Nature and providence (Ro S 28 ,
' all things'), but regularly in the work of salvation.
Since this work culminates in the Death of Christ,
the Cross is the crowning manifestation of the
Divine love (Ro 5 s ). What thus finds supreme
expression at its height underlies the entire process
as its primordial source. The love of God is to St.
Paul the fountain of redemption. It lies behind
its objective part, what is theologically called
' the Atonement,' for St. Paul traces this in both
its aspects of reconciliation and redemption to the
one source. As regards reconciliation, the initia-
tive of love is inherent in the conception itself,
since God makes those who were objectively His
enemies His friends, creating by the Death of
Christ the possibility for His love to manifest itself
(Ro 5 s - 10 - u , 2 Co 5 14 - 18 ' 21 ). The idea of redemption
has the same implications, for it emphasizes the
self-sacrifice of love to which God was put in saving
man (Ac 20 28 , 1 Co 6 20 T 23 ). This love is unmerited
love, hence its more specific name of x<fy" s > ' grace.'
It is 'love,' not mere 'mercy' or 'pity,' which
determines God's attitude towards the sinner.
The mercy is enriched by the love (Eph 2 4 ). The
usual associations of dyairap apply to the love of
God for sinners only in so far as it is a deliberate
movement of the Divine will and purpose, not
because there is something admirable or attractive
in the spiritual and ethical condition of man which
would explain its origin. For the very reason
that it springs spontaneously from God without
objective motivation, this Divine love is a mystery
'passing knowledge' (Eph 3 19 ). Salvation on its
subjective side is derived by St. Paul even more
clearly from the love of God. The gift of the
Spirit is a pledge of it to the believer ; hence with
the pouring forth of the Spirit into the heart, the
love of God is poured out therein (Ro 5 6 ). On the
consciousness of this love rests the certainty of
hope in the completion of salvation (Ro 5 4 - 8 ). St.
Paul calls the love underlying the application of
redemption irp6yv<a<ris, 'foreknowledge (Ro S 29 ) ;
the simple yiyvdia-Keiv in this specific sense occurs
in 1 Co 8 3 , Gal 4 9 , 2 Ti 2 19 . This term denotes not
an intellectual prescience ; but, in dependence on
the pregnant sense of the Hebrew yv (Ex 2 2S , Hos
13 5 , Am 3 2 ), it means that God sovereignly sets
His affection upon a person. The absoluteness
and unconditioned character of this prognosis are
such that it can furnish proof for the proposition
that all things work together for the good of
believers. Hence it fixes as the destiny of believers
('predestination') eschatological likeness unto the
image of the glorified Christ, and with infallible
certainty moves forward through the two inter-

mediate stages of vocation and justification to the
goal of this glory (Ro 8- 8 ~ 3 ). The conception of
e/cXoyiJ, K\^yecr0ai. (middle voice, ' to choose for one's
self ') has likewise for its correlate the sovereign
love of God (Eph I 4 ). The association of the
redemptive love of God with His prerogative of
sovereign choice renders the word dyairav especially
suitable for describing the relation involved. It is
in the interest of emphasizing both the sovereign
Divine initiative and the energy and richness of
effectuation of redemptive love that St. Paul
affirms its eternity (connoted also by the irpo- in
irpoyiyvw<TK(u> [Eph I 4 ]).

The love of God does not exclude for St. Paul
the co-ordination of other attributes in God as
jointly determinative of the Divine redemptive
procedure. In the Cross of Christ is the great
manifestation of love, but it is not the love of God
alone that the Cross proclaims. It also demon-
strates the diKaiofftivt) = the justice of God (Ro S 2511 -).
The attempt of Ritschl (RecMfertigungund Versohn-
ung 2 , ii. [1882-83], pp. 118, 218 ff.) and others to give
to Sucaioffvvr] in this context the sense of gracious
righteousness, making it synonymous with the love
of God, breaks down in view of the ' forbearance '
of v. 25 . If it was ' forbearance ' which postponed
under the Old Covenant the demonstration of God's
righteousness, then this righteousness is conceived
as retributive.

(b) The love of Christ. The love of Christ St.
Paul views chiefly as manifested in His Death
(2 Co 5 14 *-), or in His life as entered upon and lived
with a view to and culminating in His Death
(Ph 2"^). The Incarnation is an act of self-
kenosis, not in the metaphysical, but in the meta-
phorical sense (AV 'made himself of no reputa-
tion '), hence is described in 2 Co 8 9 as a ' becoming
poor.' It ought to be noticed that the love of
Christ, as well as that of the believer, is in the
first place a love for God, and after that a love for
man. Christ lives unto God, even in the state of
glory (Ro 6 10 ), and gave Himself in the Atonement
a sacrifice unto God (Eph 5 2 ).

(c) Love towards God. The references to the
believer's love for God are not numerous in the
Pauline Epistles. Explicit mention of it is made
in Ro S 28 , 1 Co 2 9 8 s . From his anti-pietistic stand-
point Ritschl would interpret this scarcity of refer-
ence in St. Paul and the NT generally (outside of
St. Paul only Ja I 12 - 2 5 ) as due to the feeling that
love to God is something hardly within the religious
reach of man. He observes that in 1 Co 2* the
phrase ' them that love God ' is a quotation, and
surmises that the same quotation underlies all the
other passages except 1 Co 8 s (op. cit. ii. 100).
But this is a mere surmise, and St. Paul has at
least in one passage appropriated the thought for
himself. Besides this the analogy of the love of
Christ for God favours the ascription of love for
God to the believer. The same 'living for God'
which is predicated of Christ (Ro 6 10 ) is elsewhere
attributed to the Christian (Gal 2 M ). As Christ
sacrificed Himself to God (Eph 5 2 ), so the believer's
life is a spiritual sacrifice (Ro I 8 12 1 ). The Father-
hood of God and the sonship of the believer postu-
late the idea of a mutual love (Ro 8 15 ). The idea
is also implied in the fact that St. Paul places at
the beginning of the Christian life a crucifixion
and destruction of the love for self and the world
(Ro 6 6 , Gal 2 19 6 14 ), since under the Apostle's
positive conception of the Christian life something
else must take the place of the previous goals.
The glorifying of God in all things has for its
underlying motive the love of God (Ro 14 6 , 1 Co
10 31 , Eph I 12 ).

ii. PASTORAL EPISTLES. In the Pastoral Epistles
the universality of the love of God is emphasized.
In the earlier Epistles the Apostle's universalism




is not deduced from the love of God but from other
principles, and is distinctly of an international
type. The Pastoral Epistles make of the love of
God a universalizing principle and extend it to all
men, not merely to men of everj r nation (1 Ti 2 4 - 6
410 Qis f -pit 2 11 3 4 ). In some of these passages the
context clearly indicates that a reference of God's
love to all classes of men is intended (cf. 1 Ti 2*
with vv. 1 - 2 ; Tit 2 11 with vv.*- 10 ). But the em-
phasis and frequency with which the principle
is brought forward render it probable that some
specific motive underlies its assertion. So far as
the inclusion of magistrates is concerned, there may
be a protest against a form of Jewish particularism
whicn deemed it unlawful to pray for pagan
magistrates. In the main the passages cited will
have to be interpreted as a warning against the
dualistic trend ot Gnosticism. Gnosticism distin-
guished between two classes of men, the wevfw.-
TLKOI and the v\tKoi, the latter by their very nature
being unsusceptible to, and excluded from, salvation,
the former carrying the potency of salvation by
nature in themselves. Over against this the
Pastorals emphasize that the love of God saves all
men, that no man is by his subjective condition
either sunk beneath the possibility or raised above
the necessity of salvation. Hence the tpiXavdpuirla
of God in Tit 3 4 is love for man as man, not for
any aristocracy of the irvevtM. This philanthropy
is not to be confounded with the classical concep-
tion of the same (cf. Ac 27 3 28 2 ), for the latter is
not love towards man as such, but simply justice
towards one's fellow-man in the several relations
of life, and is conceived without regard to the
internal disposition. Probably the choice of the
word is in Tit 3 4 determined by the preceding
description of the conduct required of believers
for which the Divine ' philanthropy ' furnishes the
model. But that its content goes far beyond
general benevolence may be seen from this, that it
communicates itself through the Christian redemp-
tion in the widest sense (vv. 5 ' 7 ). In all this there
is nothing either calculated or intended to weaken
the Pauline doctrine of the specific elective love of
God embracing believers. The Pastorals affirm
this no less than the earlier Epistles.

iii. EPISTLE OF JAMES. The Lpistle of James by
calling the commandment of love ' the royal law '
(2 8 ) places love in the centre of religion. This love
is not merely love for men but love to God (2 5 ). It
chooses God and rejects the world, the love for
God and the friendship of the world being mutually
exclusive (4 4 ). It manifests itself in blessing God
(3 9 ). Behind this love for God, however, St. James,
no less than St. Paul and St. John, posits the love
of God for the sinner. God is Father of believers
(3 9 ). They that love God are chosen of God (2 s ).
The Divine love is a love of mercy ; even in the
Day of Judgment it retains the form of mercy (2 18
5 20 ). It is a jealous love, which requires the un-
divided affection of its object (4 5 ). An echo of the
Synoptical preaching of Jesus may be found in this
that St. James sees the love of God demonstrated
in the gifts not merely of redemption, but likewise
of providence (I 17 ).

iv. EPISTLES OF PETER. The Epistles of Peter
dwell on the love of Christ rather than on that of
God. Christ's love is a love of self-denial (1 P 2 21 )
and of benevolence for evil-doers (3 18 ). To it corre-
sponds love for Christ in the heart of believers.
St. Peter shows that this love is strong enough to
assert and maintain itself in the face of the in-
visibleness of Christ (I 8 ; cf. 1 Jn 4'- !0f -). The love
for God and Christ is consistent with and accom-
panied by fear (1 P I 17 - w ). God's love is implied in
the mercy which lies behind regeneration (I 3 ).
God is the Father of believers (I 17 ); they are the
flock of God (5 2 ) ; He (or Christ) is the Shepherd

of their souls (2 125 ). The longsuffering of God, as
a fruit of the Divine love, is mentioned in 2 P 3 9 .

v. HEBREWS. The theme of the Epistle to the
Hebrews the perfect mediation of priestly ap-
proach unto God coupled with the writer's vivid
perception of the majesty of God brings it about
that the love of God remains in the background.
The Epistle emphasizes the fear of God even for
believers (4 1 - u ' ls 12 29 ). Still believers are sons of
God (2 10 12 7 ), brethren of Christ (2 11 - 12 - "). God
loves His children as the Father of Spirits (12 6 ' 10 ).
He is the God of His people in the pregnant sense
( 1 1 18 ). The subsumption of the greater part of the
religious consciousness under faith brings it about
that the love of Christians is less spoken of here
than elsewhere in the NT. It is mentioned in 6 1U
as a love shown towards God's name, i.e. towards
God, in the service of the brethren. The Epistle, on
the other hand, makes much of the love of Christ for
believers as it assumes the form of mercy. This
mercy is, however, not motived by the mere suffer-
ing as such, but specifically by the moral aspect of
the suffering. It is compassion with the moral
weakness and danger arising from suffering, be-
cause suffering becomes a source of temptation.
Christ can exercise this mercy because He Himself
has experienced the tempting power of suffering

( 2 18 415),

vi.JoHANNiNE LITERATURE. There still remains
to be considered the Johannine literature including
the Gospel, so far as the statements of the Evan-
gelist himself are concerned. Both the Gospel
and the First Epistle represent love as the ultimate
source and the ultimate goal of Christianity. There
is this difference, that what is in the Gospel related
to Christ as love of Christ and love for Christ, is
in the Epistle related to God in both directions.
In the Apocalypse love to Jesus appears in 2 4 , love
of Jesus in I 5 3 9 . ' The love of God ' is not uni-
formly, as in St. Paul, the love which God shows,
but partly this (1 Jn 2* 4 9 - 12 ) and partly also the
love cherished towards God ( Jn 5 42 , 1 Jn 2 15 3 17 5 3 ).
Possibly the construction is meant as an inclusive
one: 'the love which God has made known and
which answers to His nature ' (so B. F. Westcott,
The Epistles of St. John, 1883, p. 49). Love is to
St. John as to St. Paul a specifically Divine thing.
Wherever it appears in man, it must be traced
back to God, and particularly to God's love (1 Jn
410. 19) jt s source lies in regeneration (4 7 ). The
Divine primordial love is grace, not motived by
the excellence of human qualities, for it expressed
itself in giving Christ as a propitiation for sin (4 9 - 10 ).
The supreme manifestation of God's love is the
gift of Christ, and Christ's giving of His own life
for man (3 16 4 8 , Rev 3 9 ). Hence the Gospel char-

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