Curious Christian

Curious Christian: Biblical Definition of Love?

We just finished recording Dr. Daniel Block's class on Ezekiel. In it, he gave the biblical definition of “love.”

In my mind, Ezekiel 16 offers the most powerful story in all of Scripture, that is, the most powerful love story in all of Scripture, especially if we treat love, Hebrew ʾāhaḇ  or Greek agapaō, in its biblical sense. In the Scriptures, love means “covenant commitment demonstrated in action in the interest of and for the benefit of the other person, often without reference to the well-being of the person.” 

This is obviously the case with divine love as expressed in John 3:16. “For God demonstrated his covenant commitment love for the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son so that everyone who believes in him will not be damned but have eternal life.” 

In the Bible, love is an action word. Words for love are absent from Ezekiel 16, but the root ʾāhaḇ will appear four times in the section that follows. You have the root in verses 33, 36, and 37 twice. 

However, in all these texts, as well as the parallel text in chapter 23, verses 5, 9, and 22, it functions only in the crassly cheapened sense of engaging in sexual activity with a sex partner, irrespective of a covenant at all.

What a difference from modern definitions of love that are only emotional and often outside of any covenant relationship, just like the Israelites to whom Ezekiel is speaking.

Not only will the class give you an excellent understanding of the text, but Dr. Block ends every lesson with practical considerations that will touch you where you live.

We are thankful to those who have donated to the class, and with the matching gift we were close to covering our costs. But Dr. Block actually gave us a 40 hour class instead of the expected 20 hours, so our costs increased. Would you consider donating to help us cover our final costs? 

The message of Ezekiel as expounded by Dr. Block is so relevant today, a message of human sin and God's loving forgiveness and faithfulness. People need to hear, be confronted, and be comforted by his message.


Thank you.

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