Fire symbol for love?


#1

In the Bible I have thought that fire is a symbol for love.

I need help in finding that in the Bible.

Are there passages that use fire as a symbol for love?

THANKS!

I have tried to find it on my own. I have not been able.


#2

(a) “The LORD thy God is a consuming fire” (Deut 4:24).

(b) “God is love” (1 Jn 4:8).

© Therefore, love is fire???


#3

Thanks!


#4

Song of Solomon 8:6 (RSVCE)
6 Set me as a seal upon your heart,
as a seal upon your arm;
for love is strong as death,
jealousy is cruel as the grave.
Its flashes are flashes of fire,
a most vehement flame.


#5

quote="QNDNNDQDCE, post:2, topic:322054" "The LORD thy God is a consuming fire" (Deut 4:24).

(b) "God is love" (1 Jn 4:8).

(c) Therefore, love is fire????????

[/quote]

No, the logical conclusion would be that one particular individual (i.e. "God") possesses both qualities (i.e. "is fire" and "is love"), not that "love" itself is "fire" (or that "fire" is being used as a symbol for "love"). Maybe that's what you were trying to say, but the way you worded it is a non-sequitur (fallacy).

Anyway, it looks like kd5glx found it.

Offtopic - I've seen fire used as a symbol for purification as well. I don't have citations, but I remember someone compared baptism to a purifying fire that removes original sin and someone else alluded to Puragtory as a fire that purifies an impure soul before it can enter into Heaven.


#6

Yes to all!

In Acts the Holy Spirit is in tongues of fire.

THANKS!


#7

Those different translations drive me crazy.


#8

[quote="vlf7973, post:5, topic:322054"]
No, the logical conclusion would be that one particular individual (i.e. "God") possesses both qualities (i.e. "is fire" and "is love"), not that "love" itself is "fire" (or that "fire" is being used as a symbol for "love"). Maybe that's what you were trying to say, but the way you worded it is a non-sequitur (fallacy).

[/quote]

The logic is not a non sequitur depending on what the definition of "is" is. I was treating it as God = a fire, God = love, therefore, love = a fire.This is no fallacy. It follows from the fundamental rules of algebra. Moses does not just say that God is like fire, but that God is a fire. This is only analogy and God is not literally fire, but love is not literally fire either so I don't feel too bad about it.

Offtopic - I've seen fire used as a symbol for purification as well. I don't have citations, but I remember someone compared baptism to a purifying fire that removes original sin and someone else alluded to Puragtory as a fire that purifies an impure soul before it can enter into Heaven.

For baptism there is Matthew 3:11 where John the Baptist says, "I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:"

For purgatory there is 1 Corinthians 3. "Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire."

Then there are Old Testament examples that speak of God in terms of a refining fire like the famous one from Malachi 3 (there's something about threes) which is used in Handel's Messiah: "But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap: And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness."


#9

Interestingly Ronald Knox’s translation of Deuteronomy 4:24 reads thus:

the Lord thy God is a fire that burns all before it, loves thee with a jealous love.

I wonder what the original Hebrew Masoretic text says. Remember that it was the Jewish idiom to say the same thing two different ways within one sentence. :slight_smile:


#10

Jealous could be translated "IMPASSIONED."

He is madly in love with us.


#11

Off topic:

I see what you’re saying… you’re interpretting “is” as an indication of equivalence rather than a property. But that still doesn’t exactly work. God is an instance, the fire (in that context) is an instance, but love is not an instance (it’s a class). An instance cannot be equivalent to a class. So God is a fire (he falls within the fire class), and that particular fire (that is God) happens to fall within the love class. i.e. “There is at least one fire that is love”. But the way you worded it (“love is a fire”) isn’t valid.
On top of that, the statement “God is a fire” is true in that particular context in Deuteronomy, but since it was figurative then it may no longer be true in the context of 1 John. And if it isn’t true in 1 John then the conclusion is incorrect, even if the argument is valid.
And even if the conclusion is correct, then I wouldn’t exactly call it “symbolism”. Symbolism is intentional, but the conclusion that “some fires are love” is just an implicit proof.
Sorry to go off on that tangent…


#12

vlf7973

Your distinction is excellent.

You helped me to see many more aspects of our Faith.

THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


#13

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