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Cultural-Idiom in God's Word
There is
a natural tendency to read our translations of the Bible as if they were written in our language today. Translators do a wonderful work, in doing what they can, to try and bridge the cultural gap between languages but this is not possible to perfect in its finer detail.
 
Just
as the Jewish Septuagint translators of Isaiah did what they could in the prophecy of Messiah's mother, to bridge the gap of cultural idiom in order to convey the intent of the original in its idiomatic usage, in the use of the Hebrew term 'almah' (which literally meant 'young woman') by a technically incorrect translation 'parthenos' (meaning 'virgin'), so we today also need to have no less care in our understanding of Holy Scripture and our conclusions there-from.
See: Isaiah's 'Virgin'
For
So "in God's image" in
Genesis One does NOT mean
three in one! It means to
represent Him to all creation,
therefore humans were given dominion over all.

instance, the statement of the Apostle Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:23 –
"Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely,
and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."
has been used to teach that human beings are a trichotomy of three distinct parts – spirit, soul, and body, in the image of God as if reflecting the Trinity of God. But, not only does this idea violate the context of the 'image of God' statement in Genesis One, it also completely ignores the cultural use of these terms at that time by Jewish Christians such as Paul.
1 Thessalonians 5:23
Although
Paul is writing his letter to the Thessalonians in the common Greek of his time, his writing-idiom is nevertheless Semitic arising from his own background and that of his Jewish Christian hearers in the church addressed. Whereas our English culture today, which has some roots in Classical Greece, uses such terms in an analytical sense of three separate entities, the Semitic language tendency was to use them in a synthetic sense, as over-lapping terms. This is evident in the way that Jesus Himself spoke on the same subject of human obedience.
 
Jesus
said in answer to a Jewish Scribe, who had enquired about the most important of the Commandments –
"...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'."
Although, Christ is quoting from Deuteronomy 6:5 which only has three terms, Jesus added the word 'mind', not because they are each separate parts of a a human being, but as overlapping aspects of common human experience. It is in this Semitic synthetic-sense that Paul is also using the terms in Thessalonians. This non-entity use of 'soul' by Paul is later affirmed in Holy Scripture by John where the same term is used for the life of fishes in the sea (Revelation 8:9), which life/soul does not continue after death as that of humans do. Paul is simply describing the range of individual human experience, all of which is to be kept sanctified and blameless to the glory of Christ at His appearing.


Mark 12:30
Respect
for God's Word calls us to be careful and not contentious. The Bible was not given to win arguments of doctrine. It was given through the living experience of men and women who heard God and through whom God chose to give us a priceless written record of His thoughts, His responses, His encouragements, and His warnings for our life today.
Hallelujah!
 

How Do We Know? The Destruction of Death Understanding the Bible
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