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Now we can appreciate what an extraordinary statement John was making: Jesus is the ‘rational principle’ behind the universe, the cause of all created things—the word of God Himself indeed. (It’s also where we get the word erotic.) But when we read in 1 John 4:8, for example, that God is love it is a different Greek word that is being used: agape.
In the context of Scripture, agape refers to a selfless, sacrificial love. Paul, love “is a relationship of self-giving which results from God’s activity in Christ,” according to the Holman Bible Dictionary.
The very terms we use to describe God—three persons, one in being—have their roots in ancient Greek words and concepts.
Needless to say, the language of Homer and Plato has profoundly shaped our faith.
But, in ancient Greek, martyria had a broader meaning, referring simply to testimony.