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Matthew 22:34-40

The Greatest Commandment

22:34 Now when the Pharisees 1  heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, 2  they assembled together. 3  22:35 And one of them, an expert in religious law, 4  asked him a question to test 5  him: 22:36 “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” 6  22:37 Jesus 7  said to him, “‘Love 8  the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 9  22:38 This is the first and greatest 10  commandment. 22:39 The second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 11  22:40 All the law and the prophets depend 12  on these two commandments.”

1 sn See the note on Pharisees in 3:7.

2 sn See the note on Sadducees in 3:7.

3 tn Grk “for the same.” That is, for the same purpose that the Sadducees had of testing Jesus.

4 tn Traditionally, “a lawyer.” This was an expert in the interpretation of the Mosaic law.

5 tn Grk “testing.” The participle, however, is telic in force.

6 tn Or possibly “What sort of commandment in the law is great?”

7 tn Grk “And he”; the referent (Jesus) has been specified in the translation for clarity. Here δέ (de) has not been translated.

8 tn Grk “You will love.” The future indicative is used here with imperatival force (see ExSyn 452 and 569).

9 sn A quotation from Deut 6:5. The threefold reference to different parts of the person says, in effect, that one should love God with all one’s being.

10 tn Grk “the great and first.”

11 sn A quotation from Lev 19:18.

12 tn Grk “hang.” The verb κρεμάννυμι (kremannumi) is used here with a figurative meaning (cf. BDAG 566 s.v. 2.b).

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