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July 27, 2013

The Great Commandment: Love

Every well-known religion humanity has devised has some edict about love. Often there are several types of love. Buddhism has love that is compassion and mercy, benevolent and sensual. Islam has God loving those who do good, who are pure and clean, those who trust and are patient and persevering. Hinduism has love as a sacrament; it preaches that one give up selfishness in love, not expecting anything in return.

In Christianity there is an edict found in the Gospel of John, chapter 15, and I believe it is a universal message of love that we can all gain from.

The Gospel states in verse 10, “If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. 11: I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12: My commandment is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13: Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

On the surface this reads like any other edict about love. However, I would like to share with you some possible translations of this scripture written by researcher of the Aramaic language, Neil Douglas Klotz, in his book “Blessings of the Cosmos.” The reason I share these is that the translations are so beautifully poetic and so variant from the English translation Christians normally read.

(I will mainly paraphrase Klotz, but his words are in quotes).

First of all, “commandment” translates as a regular teaching or lesson. The teaching is that if we let God-love “be kindled in us, like a big fire building slowly, we will mingle with this love.” It will become part of us and it will stay with us, and it will be our guiding principle.

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