The Greatest Commandment – Paul M. Williams

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Mark 12:28-34

Concerning the Old Mosaic Covenant, Jewish tradition puts the total number of commandments at 613. 248 positive commandments to DO, and 365 negative commandments NOT to do. Although various Rabbinic scholars have sought to compile a list of these commands, there have been slight disagreements on their precise number due to technicalities.

When asked by a Scribe, which is the greatest commandment, our Lord did not begin with "do this and don’t do that", but on the contrary, He proceeded to give the Shema. “Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord”. Having established the unity of God, what is to be our reasonable response to the worship of this One, True, Supreme Being? “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:29-31).

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