After posting Genesis Revisited, I woke on the morning of Christmas Eve 2020 with thoughts on Being Becoming, Becoming Being. To my surprise, I felt that I could suddenly string and express into words my personal take on the being becoming of Triune God and being becoming of a human being.
For the past forty-five years or so, I have long been grappling as to whether there is authenticity in the personality or identity of a human being or God for that matter, whether the ‘I’ and ‘me’ is authentic and real. If so, who am I? What is Identity? What is my being?
By and large, humans go through life embracing, accepting or even presuming that there is an authentic ‘I’, ‘me’ and ‘you’. This is fundamentally essential to live life as we experience it and relate one to another in this plane and dimension.
We do not live life in complete isolation from everything. In each and every moment we are in continual relationship to every other existence that is apart from ourselves, in time and space, in this reality.
WE ARE NOT ALONE.
As such, for me, who and what I am, my identity, may be understood and defined as a ‘being’ of the sum of all my relationships.
An analogy of this, on a more minute and personal scale, can be better understood through a brief examination of the human body.
From an elemental perspective, “Almost 99% of the mass of the human body is made up of six elements: oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium, and phosphorus. Only about 0.85% is composed of another five elements: potassium, sulphur, sodium, chlorine, and magnesium. All 11 are necessary for life. The remaining elements are trace elements, of which more than a dozen are thought on the basis of good evidence to be necessary for life. All of the mass of the trace elements put together (less than 10 grams for a human body) do not add up to the body mass of magnesium, the least common of the 11 non-trace elements.”
In terms of molecules, the human body is made up of:
Our bodies also contain trillions of bacteria defining who we are and our wellbeing.
Any fluctuation in elemental, molecular or bacteria composition in our body will have a consequential, however minute, effect on us. As the elemental, chemical and bacterial components of the body changes moment by moment, the complete ‘who’ and ‘what’ we are undergo similar changes. These changes are essential and fundamental for the process of growth and decay in our lives.
The newborn babe at childbirth will grow into a young person, who will eventually grow old and die. Such is the nature of life and being that is ours.
Yet through all this, as humans, we continue to identify who we are and our being primarily through the human body of our birth till our death. Who and what we are seem to be intrinsically jointly and severally linked to, with, in, into and through these changes, in that the growth and decay of the moments, though separate and specific events, are but expressions of the dynamic continuum of identity. For we are not static, beings frozen in time, space and dimension, without the ability of growth, decay or self-renewal.
Rather we are dynamic beings in our becoming and becoming in our beings, in and as the sum of all our relationships
It is written in Genesis 1:26,27 “Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness,….. So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.”
Humans were created in the image of God. As such, reflections and hazy glimpses as to Who and What Divinity is, can inherently be found, within us as human beings. If so, could this being in becoming and becoming in being, this identity, also be within the Nature and Being of Triune Divine?
As humans, we tend to absolutise perfection. In so doing we are inclined to view absolute perfection as something that cannot change. For change seems to suggest that the thing that is absolutely perfect is no longer that which is absolutely perfect. Change implies a motion that makes that which is absolutely perfect, less or better than what it was before the change. In so doing, this, our notion of absolute perfection, carries within it an inherent element of unchanging nature and being.
Humans, by and large, ascribe absolute perfection to the nature and being of God. As such, the nature and being of God must necessarily, also, be unchanging. For if God can change, then God would not be absolutely perfect. For change would mean that, that which was, is now lesser or better than what it had been, thereby negating, this, our notion of absolute perfection. Therefore, one of the essential attributes of God is that God must be, and is completely unchanging, in nature and being.
But this cannot possibly be.
 Wikipedia: Composition of human body under Elements.
 Wikipedia: Composition of human body under Molecules
 Genesis 1:26(a) New International Version
 Genesis 1:27 New International Version
I now revisit the narratives relating to temptation in Genesis 2 and 3.
Genesis 2:7-9 records: “then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. 8 And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9 And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”
After the creation of man, “out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.” According to this verse, every tree was pleasant to the sight and good for food, including the tree of life and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
However, “the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
Even though the tree of knowledge of good and evil was originally pleasant to the sight and good for food, God’s command to man prohibited man from eating of it. However, if man was disobedient and wilfully ate of it, then not only man but also the whole of humanity would perish and die, for all humankind may be said to be residing in this one man. This seems to be the implication in the Septuagint, as the word for ‘you’ in ‘you shall not eat’, ‘you shall eat’ and ‘dying you die’, in Genesis 17 quoted above, is in the plural, while the ‘you’ in Genesis 16 is in the singular. The Hebrew Masoretic Text, however, has the ‘you’ in the singular emphasising the personal, though the consequence would include all humankind.
Herein is the first introduction and communication in Scripture of the dynamics of action and consequence, cause and effect, sowing and reaping.
The harsh take concerning God’s relationship to man and man’s relationship to God seems to be unequivocal: Disobey God’s command and the consequence is death. There are no two ways about it.
The serpent came into being after God this gave command to Adam. However, being more “crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made”, it must have gotten an inkling or some knowledge pertaining to the command given. How else would it have been able to initiate the temptation of Eve with the opening words of “Did God actually say, ‘you shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”
The Septuagint and the Masoretic Text record the ‘you’, in Genesis 3:3, as plural, in Eve’s reply, “And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’”
“4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Although the serpent was speaking to the woman, Adam was with her. As such, I suspect that the writer was inferring that the serpent was also surreptitiously addressing Adam, hence, the plural ‘you’.
Eve responded on her own, and “saw that tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise”.
The tree was indeed good for food, except that God had commanded that it was not to be eaten.
The tree was a delight to the eyes as God grew it to be pleasant to the eyes.
The tree was to make one wise? That could have been Eve’s presumption, or sensing in her spirit. Or, was it her personal understanding and take of the tree, being the tree of knowledge of good and evil?
But, how far wrong or right was Eve?
 Genesis 2:16-17 ESV
 φαγεσθε ‘eating’ Greek second person plural
 φαγητε ‘eating’ Greek second person plural
 αποθανεισθ ‘you die’ Greek second person plural
 φαγη ‘eat’ Greek second person singular
 Ezekiel 18:4 “The soul who sins shall die” ESV
 Subtle, cunning
 Genesis 3:1
 φαγητε ‘you eat’ Greek second person plural
 Greek second person plural
 Genesis 3:2-3 ESV
 Greek second person plural
 Greek second person plural
 Genesis 3:6
 Hebrew שָׂכַל sakal – to be circumspect, intelligent, to have insight Strong’s H7919
With Christ in us being the beginning and end of glory, I begin to have a new and fresh perspective of God’s relationship to man in Genesis Chapters 2 and 3.
Genesis 2: 7-9 reads “7 then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature. 8 And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. 9 And out of the ground the Lord God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”
Genesis 2:15-17 states:“15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
The original Hebrew words translated as surely die is מֹות תָּמֽוּת׃
muth thmuth  having the literal meaning ‘in dying, you die’ or dying you would die.
In the Septuagint, the Greek words are “θανατω αποθανεισθε - thanatō apothanḗisthō literally ‘dying, you shall die’or ‘by death you shall die’.
In Leviticus 20:9,10,11,12,13,15,16 the words מֹֽות־יוּמַת
muth מֹֽות־ iumth יוּמַת meaning “dying, he shall die” is also recorded seven times.
Julia Smith Translation Leviticus 20 – relevant verses:
In all instances in Leviticus quoted above, the words “muth מֹֽות־ iumth יוּמַת ‘dying, they shall die” connotes and describes a life, which is in a process of ‘dying’, being prematurely terminated by being put to death by an external intervention.
I submit that the words מֹות תָּמֽוּת׃ muth thmuth, “in dying, you die” in Genesis 2:17 also carries the same meaning. This is because man, as a created being, was from the onset of creation, subject to creation’s process of decay and death. Only if the fruit of the tree of life was eaten could Adam and Eve live eternally: “Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—”. Until and unless they ate of the fruit of the tree of life they were living in the process of decay and death. They will eventually die.
Therefore, when God told Adam “of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it” “in dying you die or in dying you would die,” what is meant that Adam’s life (which is in the process of decay and dying), would prematurely be ended ‘in the day’ that he ate of the fruit. Here, the fruit and the eating will initiate the external intervention that would prematurely end life, within the day of its occurrence.
The narrative in Genesis 2 and 3 has no record of either Adam and Eve dying or more accurately having their lives prematurely ended ‘within the day’ of their eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Instead the narrative records that they were driven out of the Garden of Eden, lived for hundreds of years and had many descendants.
 footnote ESV ‘when you eat’
 Parsing ‘מוּת muwth’ Stem Qal Aspect Infinitive - Infinitive Construct is used as a verbal noun corresponding to the English verbal noun ending in “-ing”. Strong’s H4191
Parsing ‘תָּמֽוּת׃ thmuwth’ Stem Qal Aspect Imperfect -It is used to describe a single (as opposed to a repeated) action in the past; it differs from the perfect in being more vivid and pictorial. The perfect expresses the "fact", the imperfect adds colour and movement by suggesting the "process" preliminary to its completion. Strong’s H4191
 See footnote 5
 See footnote 4
 Scripture4all.org Hebrew Interlinear Bible (OT) Westminster Leningrad Codex with vowels
 exeGeses Companion Bible
 See Strong’s G2288
 See Strong’s G599
 The Septuagint with Apocrypha Greek and English Sir Lancelot C L Brenton
 Charles Thompson Translation
 מוּת muwth Stem Hopal Aspect Imperfect Hophal is the "passive" of Hiphil
 Julia E Smith Parker Translation
 See footnote 13
 See footnote 4
 See footnote 4
 See footnote 8
 Genesis 3:22 ESV
Continuing from the last post, I will now revisit the mystery of humankind in Genesis.
In John 10:27-30, Jesus proclaimed that “27 The sheep that are My own hear My voice and listen to Me; I know them, and they follow Me. 28 And I give them eternal life, and they will never, ever [by any means] perish; and no one will ever snatch them out of My hand.29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater and mightier than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are One [in essence and nature].”
My understanding of and paraphrasing of this passage is this: –
“I and Father are One. As such, even as Father is greater than all, and no one can snatch them out of Father’s hands, no one can snatch them out of my hands, for in the Oneness with Father, I am also greater than all”.
It is not as some assert that as Father is greater and mightier than all, Father is also greater and mightier than Him, Son Incarnate. There is no explicit statement in this passage that Father is greater and mightier than Son or that Son is inferior or weaker to Father. Rather, Father and Son are One(εἷς). Incarnate Son, as the man Christ Jesus, was revealing that though truly and properly God and truly and properly man, His oneness and equality to, in and with Father was/is not diminished or lessened in any way.
In John 17:1-3, Jesus had referred to Father as the only(μόνον from μόνος) true God.
In New Testament Greek, as in Old Testament Hebrew, there is distinction in words between ‘one and only or unique - monos in Greek and yachid in Hebrew’ and ‘one including oneness - heîs in Greek and 'echad in Hebrew’.
In John 17:10, with reference, again, to Father, God, Jesus asserts: “All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them.” Jesus is very explicit on this. What this means is that: All God is, What and Who God is, Jesus is.
Paul had written concerning this as the ‘fellowship of the mystery”, from and in eternity, being hidden in God, who created all things through Christ.
In the last few paragraphs of my last post, I had stated that “I am now able to see, understand and integrate all creative acts of God 'elohiym and Lord God (Yahweh 'elohiym) as the joint participatory acts of Father, Son and Spirit, even as Father initiates, Son mediates and Spirit generates all creative acts, in union and communion.” Paul’s phrase ‘fellowship of the mystery’ that God('elohiym) created all things through Christ, the Incarnate Son, is wide enough to include this view, that in God('elohiym), Father initiates, Son mediates and Spirit generates creation into being.
For me, the phrase ‘God, who created all things through Christ’, not only means that God created all things through the Mediatorial Person of the Eternal Son, but also for the one( εἷς-heîs) Mediatorial Person of the Incarnate Son.
I note that the Greek word εἷς-heîs is used here instead of μόνος mónos. I believe that this is so because in the person of Christ the divine and human natures are so in union that Christ is truly and properly God and truly and properly man. This is because the Greek word εἷς-heîs, having the meaning of one, including oneness in plurality, is much more encompassing than μόνος mónos, which is more specific in meaning only one or unique.
The mystery of the Kingdom of God is also the mystery of the Incarnate Son. Paul wrote of this as “the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hid wisdom, which God had determined before the world, unto our glory.”
 Amplified Bible (AMP)
 Greek εἷς heîs Strong’s G1520
 Philippians 2:6 “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.” Greek: οὐχ ἁρπαγμὸν ἡγήσατο τὸ εἶναι ἴσα θεῷ - literally not robbery to be equal with God. The Amplified Bible has it as “did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped or asserted [as if He did not already possess it, or was afraid of losing it]”
 Greek μόνον from μόνος mónos Strong’s G3441
 See previous post Genesis Revisited (1)
 Strong’s G3441
 Strong’s H3173
 Strong’s G1520
 Strong’s H259
 English Standard Version ESV
 Ephesians 3:9 ἀποκεκρυμμένου See Strong’s parsing in Ephesians 3:9 Reverse Interlinear G613
 1 Timothy 2:5 Greek εἷς heîs Strong’s G1520 is used here by Paul.
 See Salvation Army Doctrine 4. – even though Paul was on the human Christ.
 See Mark 12:29 where the Lord is one εἷς-heîs and Mark 10:8, Ephesians 5:31 one εἷς-heîs flesh See also Matthew 19:5 where μία mía the Irregular feminine form of εἷς was used.
 Mark 4:11
 Ephesians 3:4 1Timothy 3:16 "the mystery of Godliness,: Gog manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit....received up in glory."
 1 Corinthians 2:7 See also Romans 6:25
 See Proverbs 8:22
 Before creation – in Eternity
 1599 Geneva Bible.
Commencing from my short stint (Fall of 1982 to Summer of 1983), in the Faculty of Divinity, at the University of Aberdeen, attaining greater clarity and experientially knowing Who, Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, is, has been the consuming focus of my life.
It is with this Jesus lens and focus that I have revisited the GOD - 'elohiym(אֱלֹהִים) and LORD GOD -Yahweh(יְהֹוָה)'elohiym(אֱלֹהִים) narratives of creation, humankind and Adam and Eve, in the first 3 Chapters of the Book of Genesis.
I begin by presenting my personal take regarding the word אֱלֹהִים - 'elohiym(God) and יְהֹוָה – Yahweh(Lord), with hope, that all may be blessed.
It is written in Genesis 1:26-30: “26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 28 And God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” 29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit; you shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so.”
In the quoted passage, the word translated “God” is the Hebrew word אֱלֹהִים - 'elohiym, plural of אֱלוֹהַּ - 'elowahh, which is always translated as God or god (singular). In Genesis 1:1, the plural noun אֱלֹהִים - 'elohiym is followed by a singular verb.
However, in Genesis 1:26, although God-'elohiym, (the plural noun) is followed by a singular verb ‘said’, the next word נַֽעֲשֶׂה – noshe “Let us make”, is in the plural form. Therefore in Genesis 1:26, there is the imputation that there is more than one Creator involved in creating Man.
This is also alluded to in the next verse of Genesis 1:27: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female (more than one) he created them.”
Humankind was created in the image of God(plural), 'elohiym - אֱלֹהִים.
Humankind or humanity, according to this verse comprised of both male and female, each a true, real and whole human being. Yet, the description, understanding and reality of humanity or humankind would be incomplete, if one is without the other. In the narrative, these two, in their distinctiveness as male and female, are not only respectively truly and properly human beings, but also are jointly one as humankind. As such they respectively and jointly determine and define what humankind truly is, as well as what and how God is to be perceived.
For, according to these verses, this is God’s ('elohiym) creative expression of the image and likeness of what and who God (אֱלֹהִים - ʼĕlôhîym) is.
In these verses, there seem to be an allusion of relational Plurality and Oneness of Being in God אֱלֹהִים - ʼĕlôhîym, that of Oneness in Plurality and Plurality in Oneness(hereinafter referred to as Oneplural and Pluralone).
In Mark 12:28, when a scribe asked Jesus; “Which commandment is the first of all?”, he replied “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’
The opening words of Jesus’ reply "Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the LORD is one" (Hebrew:שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵינוּ יְהוָה אֶחָֽד׃) is commonly known as the Shema Yisrael proclamation of Deuteronomy 6:4.
To Israel, the Lord God is always one.
How then does one address this relational Plurality and Oneness in the Being of God, אֱלֹהִים - ʼĕlôhîym, in light of the proclamation of Deuteronomy 6:4 “the Lord יְהֹוָה – YAHWEH our God אֱלֹהִים - ʼĕlôhîym, the LORD יְהֹוָה – YAHWEH is one.”
 Genesis 1
 Genesis 2:5
 Revised Standard Version (RSV)
 See Strong’s H430
 See Strong’s H433
 Genesis 1:26 Scripture4all Online Interlinear Old Testament Hebrew Text WLC_v (v1.1): Westminster Leningrad Codex with vowels
 from נַֽעֲשֶׂ – `asah See strong’s H6213
 With reference to Genesis 1:26, the footnote of the Tanach The Stone Edition has it that the Targum Yonasan paraphrases; “And God said to the ministering angels who hand been created on the second day of Creation of the world, ‘Let us make Man.’”
The footnote of Genesis 1:26 continues with, “When Moses wrote the Torah and came to this verse (let us make), which is in the plural and implies ז”ח that there is more than one Creator, he said: “Sovereign of the Universe! Why do You thus furnish a pretext for heretics to maintain that there is a plurality of divinities?” “Write!” God replied. “Whoever wishes to err will err… Instead, let them learn from their Creator Who created all, yet when He came to create Man He took counsel with the ministering angels” (Miderash)” Tanach The Stone Edition
See Strong’s H433 under item (B) of Gesenius' Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon [?]
and also Wikipedia on Royal-We “The royal we, or majestic plural (pluralis majestatis), is the use of a plural pronoun (or corresponding plural-inflected verb forms) to refer to a single person who is a monarch.”
My view is that there is no evidence from the Old Testament concerning this narrative that would support the above views.
 אָדַם ʼâdam – Strong’s H120 – humankind
 Genesis 1:26,27
 Mark 12:28 RSV
 Mark 12:29,30 RSV
 Tree of Life Version. TLV
 emphasis mine
MUSINGS ON LOVE AND LOVING (3)
"Love means never having to say you're sorry" is a catchphrase based on a line from the Erich Segal’s novel Love Story and was popularized by its 1970 film adaptation starring Ali MacGraw and Ryan O'Neal.
I respectfully beg to differ.
I believe that genuine love means that you may or have to say that you are sorry to another person, if, hurt or wrong, has been caused by you to the other, perceived or otherwise. In so doing, there is an acknowledgement and clarity on your part as to the import of the ‘thing’ that you have done, or, not done, and its affect and effect to love and loving union and communion with another. Saying sorry, in love, is all about nurturing and growing in love and loving.
Life is all about loving living.
Without love, even if I know all the languages of men and spiritual beings, I am just empty noise of resounding gongs and clanging cymbals. Even if I can foretell the future, understand and fathom all mysteries and knowledge, have the ability to perform the miraculous, yet, have not love, my life remains one of emptiness, without lasting value, purpose, meaning and significance.
Love gives meaning, significance, purpose, substance and authenticity to and for our existence: for God is love. God chose us to belong to Christ before the world was created. He chose us to be holy and without blame in his eyes. In love, He predestined and lovingly planned for us to be adopted as His own children through Jesus Christ, in accordance with the kind intention and good pleasure of His will. Triune God freely gave us this Triune grace because of and through the Only Begotten Son, Who is loved, and is love.
I perceive that:
1. Creation essentially and fundamentally came into being out of love for Eternal Son to become a human being, not that Eternal Son had to become human because one human sinned or all humans have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
2. Whether or not humanity sinned, the desire and will of Triune God, conceived in eternity, was for Eternal Son to become a human, a created being, made in the image of God. All things were created through Son and for Son. This was Father’s will, pleasure and desire in eternity. Therefore, Paul could say to the Athenians:
“In Him we live and move and have our being,” so that we, as Peter wrote, may, “participate in the divine nature.”
3. As such, Son is the only Way, Truth and Life whereby we can participate in and experience the Triune Divine Nature of love and loving. Only in and through the Incarnate Son are we able to know God as Eternal Father, even as only the Father knows the Son and must reveal Him.
Concerning this, I find the following words attributed to Jesus in his prayer, recorded in John 17, to be descriptively instructive:
“I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one — I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.
 Wikipedia - Love means never having to say you're sorry
 1 Corinthians 13. My paraphrase with help from
 Ephesians 1:4 NIRV
 Ephesians 1:4(c), 5 Amplified Version.
 Ephesians 1:6 NIRV See also John17:24
 Colossians 1:16 “For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.”
 Revelations 4:11
 Acts 17:28
 2 Peter 1:4 NIV. Read with 2 Corinthians 1:20 “for it is he who is the “Yes” to all of God's promises. This is why through Jesus Christ our “Amen” is said to the glory of God.” Good News Translation.
 2 Peter 1:4
 Matthew 11:2 “No one knows the Son except the Father and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” NIV
See also John 6:44(a) ““No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them,”
 John 17:22-24 NIV in particular 23(b) and 24(b) italics mine.
MUSINGS ON LOVE AND LOVING (2)
Even as God is Triune love and loving, I perceive complete genuine love and loving displaying three essential and distinct characteristics: the elements of giving, receiving and reciprocating.
Father loves (giving) Son and Spirit. Son and Spirit accept and embraces (receiving) Father’s love (giving). Son and Spirit reciprocate (reciprocating) by similarly loving Father in return. All this happens, in a reciprocal, simultaneous, synergistic, dynamic loving exchange.
If God is only ONE, and is love, then complete and eternal love, would ONLY be eternal self-loving. Then, the highest and greatest expression of love would ONLY be loving one’s self, for in eternity there is no genuine and authentic OTHER to love and to be loved in return. There is giving to and receiving from yourself in self- loving. However, there is no reciprocating, as there is no genuine and authentic other reciprocating love to yourself.
Jesus’ statements on the first and great commandment and the second like it, is instructive on the importance and genuineness of self, the other, love and loving.
In the second, Jesus introduced the element of love and loving to one’s relationship to one’s neighbour (the other). More than that, he linked it, as inseparable, of equal importance to the first ; to the love obligation that an Israelite had of loving LORD (YHWH) GOD (Elohim- Plural).
In so doing, even as Self and the Other is genuinely real in YHWH ELOHIM, so too, our individual self, and therefore, the self of another, is correspondingly, genuine and real. As such, our love and loving is also authentically and meaningfully real. I believe that this comforts and gives purpose to many who struggle with the notion of whether self or love and loving is authentically meaningful. Even as self and another freely and willingly initiate, create and complete love, giving, receiving and reciprocating love makes self and the other complete, whole and fulfilled.
Loving your neighbour as yourself is much more than just doing to others what you wish others will do to you or do not do to others what you do not wish others to do to you. God lives, rests and abides in us when we love our neighbour. It is written in 1 John 4: ”Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” “No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.”  God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them.”
Giving, receiving and reciprocating love and loving, to and from God and each other, not only enables us to know God and each other, it eventually makes us one in God. Jesus prayed: “I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.”
 Matthew 22:37, 38
 Matthew 22:39
 See Matthew 22:34-39. The word commonly translated ‘and’ is actually Strong’s G1161 Greek word “ δέ - de” more accurately having the meaning of “but, moreover”. When paired with the Greek words “ὁμοία [(homoia) from homois ( See Strong’s G3664)”] αὐτῇ - literally ‘like it’” , the phrase has within it the connotation of “like but equally important.” “A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’" New Living Translation. “And the second is like it in importance: ‘You must love your friend in the same way you love yourself.’” The Passion Translation. The word “second” connotes distinction and inseparability rather than priority vis a vis the first. You cannot love God if you do not love thy our neighbour. By loving your neighbour, you are also loving God. See 1 john 4:7,16
 Deuteronomy 6:4,5 In Hebrew the word “יְהוָה-YHWH” is translated LORD, and the word “אֱלֹהֶיךָ-Elohim” is translated as God. Note that YHWH is ONE (Deuteronomy 6;4) but Elohim is Plural See Strong’s H430 – plural of אֱלוֹהַּ-‘elowahh meaning God.
 1 John 4:7,8
 1 John 4:12 NRSV See Strong’s G3306 translated as “lives” here
 1 John 4:16 NRSV See Strong’s G 3306 translated as “abides’ here. “God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them.” NLT
 Other ancient manuscript reads be one in us
 John 17:20-24 NRSV
MUSINGS ON LOVE AND LOVING (1)
Continuing from my last post, what is the quintessential nature and essence of love?
To the apostle John, God is Love. But, what does this mean?
For me, this means that in the Being of God, there is a dynamic eternal relationship of love and loving among Father, Son and Spirit. This eternal exchange of giving, receiving and responding in love to One Another is within the true Nature and Essence of Who God is, TRIUNE. God’s ThreeOness, ever in loving relationship, One with Another, is the complete and perfect expression of the nature and essence of love. For me, I believe, this is why God is love.
As God, Triune, is love, love also Is, arising from the Triune relationship of God. This means that love exists, because, out of and from the ThreeOne relationship of Father, Son and Spirit. Love is, only because the Triune relationship is genuinely real. Relationships are real and not illusory imaginings, for, relationships have eternally existed in the eternal Triune Being of God.
If God is not Triune but only One, then, only self loving, loving of One’s Self is eternally with and in God. There is no eternal, real and true love for, with and in Another. However, if God is more than One and yet also One, TRIUNE, as revealed in, through and by the Incarnate Son and Spirit, then, true, real and eternal loving relationships, not only for one’s self but also another is revealed to be inseparable from, and essentially in, the Nature, Essence and Being of God. For me, this eternal relational happening of union and communion within the Triune, is, presently, the best matrix by which I comprehend and relate to God’s ThreeOneness, in loving nature and being.
In union, the Three, Father, Son and Spirit are One. In communion, the ONE GOD, is also Three: Father, Son and Spirit. Drawing from this, we can perceive that the completeness and perfection of love not only requires love to and for one’s self, but also love towards all others. This arises from the Triune loving relationship, in union and communion, jointly and severally, loving One’s self, loving all the Others as much as loving One’s self and loving and receiving love, simultaneously, in similar manner, from all the Others
This Triune completeness and perfection of love and loving is the glory of Triune God in eternity: ““Father, those whom you have given to me—I want that those also may be with me where I am, in order that they may see my glory that you have given me because (in that) you loved me before the foundation of the world(i.e.the universe).”
Son’s glory was that of loving union and communion with Father in eternity. Son’s desire was to share this glory with us: “And I do not ask on behalf of these only, but also on behalf of those who believe in me through their word, that they all may be one, just as you, Father, are in me and I am in you, that they also may be in us, in order that the world may believe that you sent me. And the glory that you have given to me, I have given to them, in order that they may be one, just as we are one— I in them, and you in me, in order that they may be completed in one, so that the world may know that you sent me, and you have loved them just as you have loved me”.
Son, even in Incarnation, remains ever One with and in Father. To see Incarnate Son is to also see Eternal or Everlasting Father. As Isaiah had prophesied:
“For a child has been born for us;
a son has been given to us.
And the dominion will be on his shoulder,
and his name is called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Spirit is also, in union and communion, jointly and severally, present with Father and Son, in all. For it is in and through Spirit, in union and communion, with Father and Son, in love, that all, including love and loving, happens. Spirit is the Happening of Triune God, through Whom, Triune God, “I Am that I Am”, lovingly happens. Spirit expresses God to us and in us.
 1 John 4: 8,16. “Ὁ θεὸς ἀγάπη ἐστίν’”
 Please refer to my earlier posts on relationships. See also the Shema in Deuteronomy 6:4 where "the Lord (YHWH) is ONE and Lord (YHWH) GOD (Elohim-Plural) is more than one.
 Loving your neighbor as yourself, an expression of love, seen in this light, reveals and points us to the completeness of love within the Triune relationship.
 For me, should be more accurately translated as ”(in) that” - See Strong’s G3754 ὅτι hóti, hot'-ee; neuter of G3748 as conjunction; demonstrative, that (sometimes redundant); causative, because:—as concerning that, as though, because (that), for (that), how (that), (in) that.
 Strong's G2889 – kosmos : 3. the world, i. e. the universe
 John 17:24 Lexham English Bible (LEB)
 John 17:20-23
 John10:30, John17:11
 John 14:9-11, Isa 9:6
 Isaiah 9:6 LEB
 Genesis 1:1-3. John 4:24. 1 Corinthians 12:3-6
 Read Luke 1:34-35 in conjunction with John 1:14 and we see Spirit’s role and involvement in making the Incarnation, the Word becoming a human being, a true and genuine reality, lovingly happen.
 John 14:17 - Statement in a several context. In Christ Jesus, in the joint, Spirit is not only with us but also in us.
THE FIRST, SECOND AND THE NEW
“Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together.
One of them, an expert of the Law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”
Presumably, countless debates, questions and ponderings, through the centuries, by teachers of the Law and their acolytes, had yielded no one settled answer. The purpose (test) of the question, intentionally posed to Jesus, was to reignite this debate and show Jesus up.
Immediately and unequivocally, Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment.”
Jesus’ answer was to focus his hearers back to their covenantal relationship that their ancestors had made with God at Sinai, by referencing words in the first part of the Shema.
Having addressed the great commandment as the first, Jesus went beyond the question of the great commandment, and followed through with an insight that he hoped his hearers would consider, grasp and embrace.
“And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’”
And in case some would think that after the second would come the third and so forth, Jesus ended his discourse with this summation: ““On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
Note the recorded verb ‘hang’ (κρέμανται –kremantai), with its meaning of ‘be suspended from’. The picture in my mind is one of two beams of wood joined together (the two commandments) with two pots (the law pot and the prophets pot) being suspended from them.
The beams are above the pots. The purpose of the two commandments was to direct the people into the path of love and loving God and each other, such being above all the Law and the Prophets (prophetic utterances).
These two great commandments were but preparatory tools introducing, guiding, teaching and constraining Israel to learn to love God and each other within the law, to love under the law. Lest we forget, when these commandments and the Law were given, Israel had just come out of Egypt, having been a nation of slaves for more than a couple of centuries. Yet, slavery into freedom into a covenantal relationship took only a few months.
As such, Israel needed to be guided, like a child, through this paradigm shift towards being a special treasure to God above all peoples, a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. Hence the Law and the Prophets were given to Israel.
Nevertheless, being commandments, love and loving were obligations that had to be fulfilled. Nothing could change the fact and reality that, in the first, Israel had to love, rather than having chosen freely and willingly to love. Even if at a later stage, Israel chose to love, willingly and freely, from the first, having been commanded to love, Israel cannot but love. Israel under the two commandments had a duty to love and loving. Does it mean that not loving, even for the briefest moment, Israel sins?
In respect of the second command, the perimeters of love and loving were relative and easily defined; how you would respond and treat yourself in love in any given moment.
Expressing love and loving in the first and great commandment is the enigma.
Is love and loving expressed and found in the strict observance of every letter of the Law, including keeping exacting standards of measurement, weight, colour, material, placement and burnt offerings and sacrifices?
What does loving with all or the whole of your heart mean?
What does loving with all or the whole of your soul mean?
What does loving with all or the whole of your mind mean?
What does loving with all or the whole of your might mean?
Only by loving, in the moment, with all and the whole of heart, soul, mind and might would one fulfil the great commandment. Does it mean then, that not being able to love with the whole of any one of them, in any moment, would already mean failure to fulfil the great commandment, in that moment? Does failure then mean sinning?
Could this have been in the mind of Paul the Apostle, a former Pharisee when he wrote: “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”.
Is there a way out of this most onerous commandment?
I believe so.
 Sadducee, Hebrew Tzedoq, plural Tzedoqim, member of a Jewish priestly sect that flourished for about two centuries before the destruction of the Second Temple of Jerusalem in AD 70. Not much is known with certainty of the Sadducees’ origin and early history, but their name may be derived from that of Zadok, who was high priest in the time of kings David and Solomon. Ezekiel later selected this family as worthy of being entrusted with control of the Temple, and Zadokites formed the Temple hierarchy down to the 2nd century BC.
The Sadducees were the party of high priests, aristocratic families, and merchants—the wealthier elements of the population. They came under the influence of Hellenism, tended to have good relations with the Roman rulers of Palestine, and generally represented the conservative view within Judaism. While their rivals, the Pharisees, claimed the authority of piety and learning, the Sadducees claimed that of birth and social and economic position. During the long period of the two parties’ struggle—which lasted until the Romans’ destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD—the Sadducees dominated the Temple and its priesthood.
The Sadducees and Pharisees were in constant conflict with each other, not only over numerous details of ritual and the Law but most importantly over the content and extent of God’s revelation to the Jewish people. The Sadducees refused to go beyond the written Torah (first five books of the Bible) and thus, unlike the Pharisees, denied the immortality of the soul, bodily resurrection after death, and the existence of angelic spirits. For the Sadducees, the Oral Law—i.e., the vast body of post-biblical Jewish legal traditions—meant next to nothing. By contrast, the Pharisees revered the Torah but further claimed that oral tradition was part and parcel of Mosaic Law. Because of their strict adherence to the Written Law, the Sadducees acted severely in cases involving the death penalty, and they interpreted literally the Mosaic principle of lex talionis (“an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”).
Though the Sadducees were conservative in religious matters, their wealth, their haughty bearing, and their willingness to compromise with the Roman rulers aroused the hatred of the common people. As defenders of the status quo, the Sadducees viewed the ministry of Jesus with considerable alarm and apparently played some role in his trial and death. Their lives and political authority were so intimately bound up with Temple worship that after Roman legions destroyed the Temple, the Sadducees ceased to exist as a group, and mention of them quickly disappeared from history. https://www.britannica.com/topic/Sadducee
The Sadducees, ……. refused to accept any precept as binding unless it was based directly on the Torah—i.e., the Written Law. https://www.britannica.com/topic/Pharisee
 Pharisee, member of a Jewish religious party that flourished in Palestine during the latter part of the Second Temple period (515 BCE–70 CE). Their insistence on the binding force of oral tradition (“the unwritten Torah”) still remains a basic tenet of Jewish theological thought. When the Mishna (the first constituent part of the Talmud) was compiled about 200 CE, it incorporated the teachings of the Pharisees on Jewish law…The Pharisees (Hebrew: Perushim) emerged as a distinct group shortly after the Maccabean revolt, about 165–160 BCE; they were, it is generally believed, spiritual descendants of the Hasideans. The Pharisees emerged as a party of laymen and scribes in contradistinction to the Sadducees—i.e., the party of the high priesthood that had traditionally provided the sole leadership of the Jewish people. The basic difference that led to the split between the Pharisees and the Sadducees lay in their respective attitudes toward the Torah (the first five books of the Bible) and the problem of finding in it answers to questions and bases for decisions about contemporary legal and religious matters arising under circumstances far different from those of the time of Moses.
The Pharisees,….. believed that the Law that God gave to Moses was twofold, consisting of the Written Law and the Oral Law—i.e., the teachings of the prophets and the oral traditions of the Jewish people. Whereas the priestly Sadducees taught that the written Torah was the only source of revelation, the Pharisees admitted the principle of evolution in the Law: men must use their reason in interpreting the Torah and applying it to contemporary problems.
Rather than blindly follow the letter of the Law even if it conflicted with reason or conscience, the Pharisees harmonized the teachings of the Torah with their own ideas or found their own ideas suggested or implied in it. They interpreted the Law according to its spirit. When in the course of time a law had been outgrown or superseded by changing conditions, they gave it a new and more-acceptable meaning, seeking scriptural support for their actions through a ramified system of hermeneutics. It was due to this progressive tendency of the Pharisees that their interpretation of the Torah continued to develop and has remained a living force in Judaism.
 Revised Standard Version
 Compare Deutoronomy 6:5 “you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.”
1. The Hebrew (Masoretic Text) version of Deuteronomy 6:5 states: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might (מְאֹד-m@`od - might, force, muchness and abundance [See Strong’s H3966]).”
2. The Greek Septuagint (by Sir Lancelot Charles Lee Brenton based on the Vaticanus) records Deuteronomy 6:5 as: “Love the Lord your God with all your mind(ἐξ ὅλης τῆς διανοίας σου) and with all your soul and with all your strength(δυνάμεώς).” Elpenor’s and other versions have the words with all your heart(ἐξ ὅλης τῆς καρδίας), with all your soul and with all your might(δυνάμεώς).”
3. No recorded version in and of the Old Testament has verbatim the words: “all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”
4. In Mark’s gospel (Mk 12:30), it was recorded that the question asked by the teacher of the law was: “ Which commandment is the first of all?”
Jesus’ reply “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength(ἰσχύος)”, has echoes and elements of Deuteronomy 6:5 but still not in verbatim.
5. In both the recorded replies of Jesus to which is the first and greatest commandment, it seems Jesus took partial elements from both the Hebrew and Brenton’s Greek versions of Deuteronomy 6:5. Or, is there another Text of the Old Testament that was in existence as Jesus would have probably answered in Hebrew – cf Luke10:25-28 (Even the lawyer’s question and answer (probably in Hebrew) Luke 10:25-28, affirmed by Jesus, has no verbatim equivalent in the Old Testament, and contains elements from both the Hebrew and Brenton’s Greek versions of Deuteronomy 6:5. Is this pointing again to another Hebrew Text that was being used?)
 Matthew 22:37,38 Revised Standard Version
 The Shema is one of only two prayers that are specifically commanded in Torah (the other is Birkat Ha-Mazon -- grace after meals). It is the oldest fixed daily prayer in Judaism, recited morning and night since ancient times. It consists of three biblical passages, two of which specifically say to speak of these things "when you lie down and when you rise up." www.jewfaq.org/shemaref.html.
In its entirety, the Shema consists of three paragraphs: Deuteronomy 6:4–9, Deuteronomy 11:13–21 and Numbers 15:37–41.
 Matthew 22:39 New International Version. Leviticus 19:18 “you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Revised Standard Version.
 Oxford Dictionary
 Take a look at “How Long Were the Israelites in Egypt? by David Wright on July 5, 2010 https://answersingenesis.org”
 Exodus 12:6, Exodus 19:1,2
 Exodus 19:5,6
 Romans 3:23 New International Version
We do not like to serve. We prefer to be served. In like fashion, our preference is not to be the lowest person on the employment ladder. We aspire to rise and be leaders, supervisors, CEOs, with people and subordinates working under and serving us. We aspire to be great and receive the accolades of others. Our notion of greatness and success is determined by how high we are in the hierarchy of our industry, profession, social, economic or political status. Notwithstanding that countless others have supported and contributed to our achievements and success, we revel in the acclamations given to us, acquiescing that it is primarily through our efforts and by being who we are that we are deserving of these accolades and recognition.
We see this in sports; the gold medal winners, the top teams, the top managers; in religion: the heads of the various faiths and traditions; in politics: prime ministers and presidents; in industry: Chief executive officers and entrepreneurs; the lists goes on. This has always been the way of our world.
In our history, one person held a completely different view. He was a different take of this, the man Christ Jesus: God becoming flesh, as a human being.
When his disciples were vying as to who would be the greatest among them, to sit at his right and left hand in his glory, Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?”
Then, “Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
The Apostle Paul understood this mind of Christ with the following description: “who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross”, when he exhorted “ Let this mind be in you as was also in Christ Jesus.
To have this mind in us as was also in Christ Jesus means to seek our affection on and to interest ourselves with similar attitude in focus, desire and passions, to what he did. However, to begin to grow into having this mind, we must first choose and will to make it our treasure: “for where your treasure is, there your heart [your wishes, your desires; that on which your life centers] will be also.”
If we are honest with ourselves we will recognise that we live this truth each moment of our lives. For whatever we have chosen to be our treasure has been or is now the focus and centre of our attention, desires, passions, urges, efforts and energy. It applies without exception, whether person, ambition, pursuit or thing. We will inevitably see our lives gravitate towards our treasure. A way to recognise our treasure is identifying ‘the what’: person, desire or thing that is consuming and occupying our minds and thoughts.
What was Son’s treasure causing Son to have this mind, focus, intense passionate interest?
 Mark 10:35-39 ESV
 Greek διάκονος diákonos probably from an obsolete διάκω diákō (to run on errands; compare G1377); an attendant, i.e. (genitive case) a waiter (at table or in other menial duties. Strong’s NT 1249
 Greek δοῦλος doûlos; a slave, devoted to another with disregard to one’s own interest. Strong’s NT 1401
 See 2 above, to be an attendant, to wait on another like a waiter.
 See 2 above, to be an attendant, to wait on another like a waiter
 Mark 10:42-45 ESV
 Philippians 2:6 Literally may be translated as “not thinking that being equal with God is robbing or plundering something from God. The phrase is usually translated to convey the following meaning: did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped or asserted [as if He did not already possess it, or was afraid of losing it] Amplified Bible.
 Philippians 2:7 emptied Himself of His privileges Literally “emptied Himself” ἑαυτὸν himself ἐκένωσεν to empty, make empty. Strong’s 2758
 Greek δοῦλος doûlos; a slave, devoted to another with disregard to one’s own interest. Strong’s NT 1401
 Philippians 2:5-8 NKJV
 Philippians 2:6 φρονείσθω singular in Textus Receptus or φρονεῖτε plural in Morphological GNT from Greek φρονέω phronéō: meaning to direct one's mind to a thing, to seek, to strive for, to have understanding, be wise, intensively, to interest oneself in. Different from mind in 1 Corinthians 2:16 νοῦς nous, the mind, comprising alike the faculties of perceiving and understanding and those of feeling, judging, determining. Strong’s NT 5426 and 3563 compare
 See 11 above
 Matthew 6:21 Amplified Bible