I’m taking New Testament Greek at SSU this term, and I’m just starting to get good enough at it to come up with all kinds of heresy! Muahahaha.
I’m working on an exercise for tomorrow’s class, and I had to translate Mk 12:29-31, aka the Great Commandment. You know, the “love God with all you got” verse:
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.
Well, as it turns out, the word that gets translated as “all” is the word holos, from which we get the English words “whole” and “holistic.” The last one has enough buzzwordiness to give me the shivers! Joking aside, here’s how the verse should look if translated a bit more literally:
You will love the Lord your God from your whole heart and from your whole soul and from your whole mind and from your whole strength.
There’s two observations here: the first is that that we’re to love him from our whole ____. Now, I don’t know about you, but I rarely do anything from my whole anything. To say “from your whole ____” just seems much more dynamic and active to me. It seems like there’s this flow of love and passion from the whole of our being. Maybe I just like it because it breaks me out of the familiar and causes me to think about what it means.
But secondly (and here’s where I get to read more into it than is probably there), Jesus is saying that “you will love the Lord your God from your whole heart, etc…” This seems to maybe be a promise in addition to a commandment. Because, frankly, I don’t know any people walking around with anything close to a whole heart where Jesus hasn’t been doing some serious healing. And this is good news for me, because I can be assured that he’s going to help me to love him wholly.
In wholeness, I will love God from my whole being. And in that wholeness which he has mercifully given, I will love people like he does. Wholly.