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Selfish Ambition

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

John 15:13 (KJV)

Lay down his life – Really think about this verse. It has taken on a whole new meaning for me lately. Perhaps after my explanation, it will for you too. What does it truly mean to lay down your life for another? If it is the greatest display of love, should we not understand it completely? And not just understand it, but to actually do it. In a society where martyrs are not frequent, how do you lay down your life for someone else?

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Firstborn and Only Begotten

And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the Lord, Israel is my son, even my firstborn:

Exodus 4:22 (KJV)

Firstborn – As a follower of Yeshua, it is easy to forget history when you believe the history of the faith began with the advent of Jesus in the first century. When all we read is the New Testament, the history prior to it becomes irrelevant. If I believe that Yeshua completely absolved everything written in the Old Testament to create a new religion called Christianity, then I have lost perspective.

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A Hebrew Homonym

11 The word of the LORD came to me: What do you see, Jeremiah? I replied: I see a branch of an almond tree.
12 The LORD said to me: You have seen right, For I am watchful to bring My word to pass.

Jeremiah 1:11-12 (JPS)

Almond tree / I am watchful – We lose so much when we read the text in a translated language. Below, the two Hebrew words look identical, but are expressed with very different meanings. In one case, the word שקד is an almond tree, but the second occurrence of שקד means to “watch.” What is going on?

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It’s About Community

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

Matthew 6:21 (KJV)

Your – The word in Greek is hymōn which finds its root in hymeis, the plural form of this possessive pronoun. It is the word most often used in the Epistles and Gospels when addressing people. English translations of the Bible do not pick this up because they lack the differentiation between your (plural) and your (singular).

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The Legacy of Isaac

And these are the generations of Isaac, Abraham’s son: Abraham begat Isaac:

Genesis 25:19 (KJV)

Generations of Isaac – When someone begins to tell you about the generations of a person, they normally begin with that person’s children. I’m expecting this verse to end with and Isaac begat Jacob, but instead the verse jumps to Abraham. Why?

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Duality or Triune?

Then the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Genesis 2:7 (JPS)

Breath of life – What is man made up of? That is the question here. Jewish traditions imply that humans are dual in nature made of a body and a soul. They adopted this concept from Plato’s dualism. However, Trinitarian Christians who desperately want to see their concept of a triune God imitated in the creation of mankind adopted the construct of a soul, a body, and a spirit. Which is correct?

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Mankind and Life

And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.

Genesis 3:20 (KJV)

Adam & Eve – Do you recognize the importance of names in the Bible? They mean something… And this something becomes a moment of teaching about character, about the story, or about a lesson. God Himself will change people’s names to represent a shift in plot line or character. With this in mind, what is the significance of the names, Adam and Eve?

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The Devil is in the Details

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

James 4:7 (KJV)

Devil – Raised in a western Christian community, I imagine a red figure with horns and a long tail when reading the word, “devil.” I might even think of a dragon or serpent as symbolic representations of this word.

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