Why were Jews the money lenders in Christian Europe?

May or not be a comment; but to elaborate on Peter Flom’s answer.

In Byzantium, there was no comparable ban on interest. So Jews were not the money lenders in Orthodox Christian Europe. Jews were driven to do different shit-work that Christians there wouldn’t touch.

Literally shit-work. Jews were predominantly tanners in Byzantium. Before the industrial revolution, tanning involved the use of animal dung to soften animal hides.

Hence the references in 14th century Greek vernacular poems:

  • The Book of Birds’ description of the pelican’s bill: “You satchel of Moyshe’s full of dogshit.” (αποθηκάριν του Μωσέ γιομάτον σκυλινέαν)
  • The Entertaining Tale of Quadrupeds’ description of the boar: “The Jew stinks; and his satchel’s just as smelly” (Εβραίος όζει και βρωμεί και όλη του η θήκη)

Cf. Benjamin of Tudela, a Jewish traveller who visited Byzantium in the 12th century. He may have gotten a bit mixed up:

For their condition is very low, and there is much hatred against them, which is fostered by the tanners, who throw out their dirty water in the streets before the doors of the Jewish houses and defile the Jews’ quarter. So the Greeks hate the Jews, good and bad alike, and subject them to great oppression, and beat them in the streets, and in every way treat them with rigour. Yet the Jews are rich and good, kindly and charitable, and bear their lot with cheerfulness.

The tanners fostering the hatred are in fact Jewish.

Much more in Byzantine Jewry in the Mediterranean Economy, and several other sources.

Why isn’t there a non religious equivalent of agape love?

The noun agapē first arises in Koine. (In fact, the first attestations, other than as a proper name, are in the Septuagint.) But the related verb agapaō was used for 800 years before Christ, both agapē and agapaō have been used for 2000 years since Christ, and there’s nothing intrinsically Christian about agapē.

In fact, the Church definition of agapē as “self-denying, divine love” is, well, it’s an eisegesis. In reality, agapē is just unmarked love; and philia was likely the more unmarked term in Classical times. Look at ἀγάπη, DGE Diccionario Griego-Español, the latest big Greek dictionary:

  1. Sexual love, with a link to Song of Songs thank you very much. (Inb4 “no, no, there’s no sex in the Song of Songs, it’s all metaphor.)
  2. General sense: love, affection
  3. Religious sense: love between god and humanity; Christian love, charity
  4. a favour; alms
  5. agape, communal feast; funeral feast; church, community

Why is the word “agape” used only in the Bible and not any other word?

Untrue assumption about the Greek words for love:

Four Kinds of Love

There are four Greek words for love that are important for Christians to understand. They are agape, phileo, storge, and eros. Three of them appear in the Bible.

The linked page gives examples of each. Unsurprisingly, the one that does not appear is eros.

Why are the names of deactivated accounts on Quora still shown?

Often, deactivated accounts are deactivated only temporarily; even if not, deactivation only means you are declining to engage with Quora any more, not that you are removing your content. If you want to truly decamp from Quora, you *delete* your account, which is a different thing.

If I deactivate my account on Quora, does it delete all the content I produced?

What country of origin does the first name “Zander” come from?

Can be German as Romain Bouchard said, can be English, can be Dutch (mostly as Sander (name)); Zander, Sander, and Xander are abbreviations of Alexander. Xan Fielding was born in 1919, and the oldest Xander listed under Xander was Xander Berkeley, born 1955. But the name was popularised through Xander Harris of Buffy.

As a *surname*, Zander (surname) appears to be only German.

In the New Testament, what different semantic shades can the verb agapao (“love”) take?

A non-theological response:

I’m grabbing all the definitions of agapaō from ἀγαπάω, DGE Diccionario Griego-Español, and highlighting those for which they give New Testament or Septuagint instances.

As you can see, there’s a fair area of coverage for the verb; theologians have tried to pin it down in a nice schema, but a concept as vague as “love” is not going to fit nicely.

A ref. to pers.

I 1 welcome with displays of affection (caress, cuddle, etc.), make an affectionate gesture Odyssey; NT.Marc .10.21 (kiss)

• of animals: to caress Plutarch

I 2 fig. Treat with great affection, pamper Xenophon

II love

1 in a relationship between a loving couple: love, caring or affection, in opposition to mere sexual desire Democritus, Plato, Anaxilaus, Aristotle, Dio Chrysostom

• in the LXX with a more general value, freq. in an erotic sense: LXX Ge .29.18, ref. the incestuous desire of Amnon towards Tamar, LXX 2 Kgs .13.1, with. different shades in the same cont. (cf. A II 3 and BI 3) LXX Os .3.1, Ca LXX .1.3, LXX Ca .1.4, LXX Ca .1.7, 3.1-4.

2 more generally: Love, appreciation, esteem mainly towards a king or important person Pindar, Isocrates, Polybius, Dio Chrysostom, Xenophon, Dio Cassius

• towards relatives, esp. children Plato, Xenophon, Dio Chrysoston, Menander LXX Pr.4.3

• esteem of friends, like Isocrates, Aristotle, Dio Chrysostom, in epistolary formulas in papyri

3 of a king or important person: to esteem, appreciate, have in their favour Democritus, Polybius

• from parents to children LXX Ge .25.28.

4 favor, sympathizing, inclination towards people Polybius, Andocides, Aeschines, Isocrates

• empathize, having affinity with Dio Chrysostom

5 of people: to have high appreciation, to liking some, to be fond of someone for their special characteristics or occupations Plato, Xenophon, Dio Chrysostom

III Religious Sense.

1 render funeral honors Euripides

2 of gods: to feel predilection, love ὅτι ἠγάπησέν σε κύριος ὁ θεός σου LXX De .23.6 , cf. Ep.Rom .8.37, Demosthenes, Dio Chrysostom

• esp. ref. to being loved by Hellenistic divinities. freq. of Oriental or Egyptian origin in papyri; Jesus Christ the much loved (by God), the beloved son, Ep.Eph .1.6 1 Ep.Clem .59.2, Dio Chryostom; Jerusalem Rev. .20.9, Inscription

• loving of man towards divinity Dio Chrysostom, cf. LXX De .6.5, 11.1, Ps .30.24, Eu.Matt.22.37 , Josephus, Julian

3 love, driven by not only a religious but philosophical or social imperative, in primitive societies Plato

• in sects or schools, e.g. those following a “Homeric” or Pythagorean life, regard for one’s teachers Plato, Chrysippus

• in Judaeo-Christian literature. LXX Le .19.18, cf. 34, Ev.Io.13.34, Eu.Matt .5.44, Eu.Luc .6.27, 35, Ign. Magn .6.2

• abstract reference to this kind of selfless love 1 Ep.Io. .3.18

• to show love Ev.Io.17.26.

B referring to a thing or action

I 1 liking to do something Odyssey, LXX. Os .12.8, Theopompus

• liking something Plato, Aeschines, Lucian

• have a habit of Aristotle

2 of possessions. Love, crave Plato, Isocrates, Demosthenes, 2 Ep.Petr .2.15

• to wish for, desire Plato, esp. OT and NT LXX Ps .39.17, 2 Ep.Ti .4.8

• with infinitive LXX Ps .33.13 1 Ep.Clem .22.2, τὸ παθεῖν desire martyrdom Ign. Tr .4.2, cf. imperial inscription

3 abstract. Love, cherish, have high price Thrasymachus, Plato, Pseudo-Archytas, Isocrates, Josephus, Xenophon LXX Si .4.12 1 Ep.Petr .3.10

• of perceptions Aristotle

II be happy, content Plato, Isocrates, Demosthenes, Antiphon, Lycurgus, Lucian, Herodian, Alciphron, Thucydides, Xenophon, Aristophanes, Lysias, Aristotle

• in comparative contexts to prefer Xenophon, Demosthenes, Ev.Io.12.43, Plutarch

So DGE identifies, specifically in the New Testament, the following nuances; and note that there’s plenty more nuances even in the Septuagint, let alone Classical literature

  • to display affection (kiss)
  • love from (a) god
  • love towards (a) god
  • love as a social imperative
  • craving for worldly possessions
  • wishing for, desire for something or to do something
  • to cherish
  • to prefer

If you were caught masturbating, what should you do?

The great Scots comedian Billy Connolly had a good strategy for this:





And proceed to disarm them with the shaggy dog story that ensues…

If Earth were to explode in 10 hours, what would you do?

I wrote a poem about this scenario. In my teens, which is the right time to be pondering such a scenario.

The final verse of said poem is:

Ni iris — laborejen. Malkontraŭ la malbeno.

We went — to the office. Un-against the un-blessing.

I’d like to think that’s still my answer. But it’s not.

At this stage of my life, there are worse things to be doing than spending 10 hours cuddling my honey.

How will the easy access to Pornography change our culture?

It’s already changed the culture significantly, of course. It has had a change in what kinds of sex teenagers expect to have, since that’s become a primary source of information on sex for them; but I’m not sure that counts as a cultural change. It’s better addressed in a question like What Is the effect of pornography on young teens? , although there’s curiously few responses there; there are statistics around on that question.

For broader cultural changes, I’ll venture:

  • Mainstreaming (to some extent) of porn actors. It’s much easier for porn stars to transition to at least B-grade celebrities, without being stigmatised. There’s still a barrier for “serious thespians”; there was a fuss when the porn films Sibel Kekilli had made were unearthed. (And they weren’t really buried to begin with.) But Sasha Grey hasn’t suffered for it, and has probably gotten a lot further in her non-porn career than, say, Ginger Lynn did.
  • Public acknowledgement of porn. Not everywhere in everything; “adult topics” are still curtailed for distribution on Quora, for example. But the open discussion of porn is far different to 30 years ago.
  • More skin shown in “mainstream” TV and Hollywood. That’s a broader cultural move in the west, and it has run at different speeds in the US and Europe; but the prevalence of porn has something to do with making it less of a big deal.
  • Causal use in the vernacular of obscure sexual references (that porn has made less obscure), particularly in metaphorical or non-literal senses. For example: A unicorn bukkake on a canvas is not art.
  • The reinforcement of a laissez-faire attitude towards sexual practices, simply by exposing the diversity of sexual practices that people are into.