Bhava doesn't mean 'becoming'

Thank you for clarification. My apologies for some misunderstanding - you talked about the Suttanipāta.

Yes, he did translate it that way in the Numbered Discourses, but that was more than ten years ago, and you were talking about his “most recent translations”. His most recent take on this term is “personal entity”.

They are clearly differentiated in the Khandha Sutta (SN 22.48) and thus not synonymous.

They are not. At most, in SN 22.122 Ven. Sāriputta says to Ven. Koṭṭhita that the Arahant should regard the five upādānakkhandhā as impermanent, etc.
Ven. Sujato quoted this passage some years ago:

Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi, in his article “Aggregates and the Clinging Aggregates”, concluded from this SN 22.122 passage that “the arahant is also composed of the five clinging aggregates”, however the text itself doesn’t state anything of that sort. Moreover, the Arahant can’t be “composed” of these aggregates, since, as described in SN 22.36 and similar suttas, the Arahant can’t be measured and reckoned in terms of these aggregates.

I appreciate your investigation of the term bhava. Indeed it should be differentiated from sakkāya. And if we’d like to differentiate bhava from ‘identity’, it’s helpful to explore a Pāḷi term for ‘identity’.

Evidently, with only one proper Pāḷi definition of sakkāya in the Culavedalla Sutta (MN 44), it is hard to interpret. I would appreciate definitions of satkāya in Sanskrit and Chinese sources. Perhaps this deserves a separate thread.