With all your heart, soul and strength: the world vs. God

In 1 John 2:15-17, John offers a rebuttal to the world’s version of the greatest commandment:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. (Deuteronomy 6:5)

HCSB REB
Do not love the world or the things that belong to the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. For everything that belongs to the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride in one’s lifestyle—is not from the Father, but is from the world. And the world with its lust is passing away, but the one who does God’s will remains forever. Do not set your hearts on the world or what is in it. Anyone who loves the world does not love the Father. Everything in the world, all that panders to the appetites or entices the eyes, all the arrogance based on wealth, these spring not from the Father but from the world. That world will all its allurements is passing away, but those who do God’s will remain for ever.
ESV NLTse
Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.

Specifically:

  • Compare “all your heart” — e.g. your mind and intellect — to the selfish “lust of the eyes”;
  • Compare “all your soul” — e.g. your entire emotional and spiritual being — to the “pride” of possessions, wealth, lifestyle and achievement;
  • Compare “all your strength” — e.g. your physical being — with “the lust of the flesh” and its appetite for physical pleasure.
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2 Comments

  1. Posted May 8, 2009 at 6:43 PM | Permalink

    That post was one of the best length to substantive ratio (or would that be reversed? this is a compliment) I’ve ever seen. Great insight.
    ——
    From an aesthetic point of view the REB shines again.
    Jeff

  2. Posted May 9, 2009 at 1:18 PM | Permalink

    Thanks, Jeff! I agree that the REB’s “panders/appetites” and “entices/eyes” language speaks to the “intensity of image” that the translation team strove for. I do have to admit that perhaps finding a connection to the “greatest commandment” was in the context of thinking about the HCSB’s revision to Ephesians 1:18 and the change from “the eyes of your heart” to “the perception of your mind”.