Mark 12:28
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?"

New Living Translation
One of the teachers of religious law was standing there listening to the debate. He realized that Jesus had answered well, so he asked, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?"

English Standard Version
And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?”

Berean Study Bible
Now one of the scribes had come up and heard their debate. Noticing how well Jesus had answered them, he asked Him, "Which commandment is the most important of all?"

Berean Literal Bible
And one of the scribes having come up, having heard them reasoning together, having seen that He answered them well, questioned Him, "Which commandment is the first of all?"

New American Standard Bible
One of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, "What commandment is the foremost of all?"

King James Bible
And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
One of the scribes approached. When he heard them debating and saw that Jesus answered them well, he asked Him, "Which command is the most important of all?"

International Standard Version
Then one of the scribes came near and heard the Sadducees arguing with one another. He saw how well Jesus answered them, so he asked him, "Which commandment is the most important of them all?"

NET Bible
Now one of the experts in the law came and heard them debating. When he saw that Jesus answered them well, he asked him, "Which commandment is the most important of all?"

New Heart English Bible
And one of the scribes came, and heard them questioning together. Seeing that he had answered them well, asked him, "Which commandment is the greatest of all?"

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
One of the Scribes approached him and he heard them debating and he saw that he had answered them beautifully and he asked him, “Which is the first commandment of all?”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
One of the scribes went to Jesus during the argument with the Sadducees. He saw how well Jesus answered them, so he asked him, "Which commandment is the most important of them all?"

New American Standard 1977
And one of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, “What commandment is the foremost of all?”

Jubilee Bible 2000
And one of the scribes came, having heard their dispute and knowing that he had given a good response unto them, asked him, Which is the principal commandment of all?

King James 2000 Bible
And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?

American King James Version
And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?

American Standard Version
And one of the scribes came, and heard them questioning together, and knowing that he had answered them well, asked him, What commandment is the first of all?

Douay-Rheims Bible
And there came one of the scribes that had heard them reasoning together, and seeing that he had answered them well, asked him which was the first commandment of all.

Darby Bible Translation
And one of the scribes who had come up, and had heard them reasoning together, perceiving that he had answered them well, demanded of him, Which is [the] first commandment of all?

English Revised Version
And one of the scribes came, and heard them questioning together, and knowing that he had answered them well, asked him, What commandment is the first of all?

Webster's Bible Translation
And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?

Weymouth New Testament
Then one of the Scribes, who had heard them disputing and well knew that Jesus had given them an answer to the point, and a forcible one, came forward and asked Him, "Which is the chief of all the Commandments?"

World English Bible
One of the scribes came, and heard them questioning together. Knowing that he had answered them well, asked him, "Which commandment is the greatest of all?"

Young's Literal Translation
And one of the scribes having come near, having heard them disputing, knowing that he answered them well, questioned him, 'Which is the first command of all?'
Study Bible
The Greatest Commandment
27He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. You are badly mistaken!” 28Now one of the scribes had come up and heard their debate. Noticing how well Jesus had answered them, he asked Him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” 29Jesus replied, “This is the most important: ‘Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is One Lord,…
Cross References
Matthew 22:34
And when the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they themselves gathered together.

Mark 9:14
When they returned to the other disciples, they saw a large crowd around them and scribes arguing with them.

Luke 10:25
One day an expert in the law stood up to test Him. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

Luke 20:39
Some of the scribes answered, "Teacher, you have spoken well!"
Treasury of Scripture

And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?

one.

Matthew 22:34-40 But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to …

Which.

Matthew 5:19 Whoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and …

Matthew 19:18 He said to him, Which? Jesus said, You shall do no murder, You shall …

Matthew 23:23 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you pay tithe …

Luke 11:42 But woe to you, Pharisees! for you tithe mint and rue and all manner …

(28-34) And one of the scribes came.--See Notes on Matthew 22:34-40. St. Mark's description is somewhat less precise than St. Matthew's "one of them (i.e., the Pharisees), a lawyer." The form of the question differs by the substitution of "first of all" for "great" commandment.

Verse 28. - St. Matthew (Matthew 22:34) says here that the Pharisees, when they heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, gathered themselves together, and that then one of them, who was a lawyer (νομίνος), that is, "a scribe," asked him this question, What commandment is the first of all? It appears here from St. Mark that this scribe had been present at the discussion with the Sadducees, and he had probably informed the others of what had taken place, and of the wisdom and power of our Lord's answer; so he was naturally put forward to try our Lord with another crucial question. It does not necessarily appear that he had an evil intention in putting this question. He may, in his own mind (seeing the wisdom and skill of our Lord), have desired to hear what Christ had to say to a very difficult question on a matter deeply interesting to all true Hebrews. The question was one much mooted amongst the Jews in the time of our Lord. "For many," says Beds, "thought that the first commandment in the Law related to offerings and sacrifices, with regard to which so much is said in Leviticus, and that the right worship of God consisted in the due offering of these." On this account the Pharisees encouraged children to say "Corban" to their parents; and hence this candid and truth-loving scribe, when he heard our Lord's answer about the love of God and of our neighbor, said that such obedience was worth "more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices." With regard to the love of God, St. Bernard says, "The measure of our love to God is to love him without measure; for the immense goodness of God deserves all the love that we can possibly give to him." And one of the Scribes came,.... Matthew calls him a lawyer, Matthew 22:35, an interpreter of the law, as a Scribe was:

and having heard them reasoning together; being present at the dispute between Christ and the Sadducees, which he diligently attended to:

and perceiving that he had answered them well: in a most beautiful manner. The Jews have adopted the very Greek word here used, and make use of it in the same sense as (n), "he answered him well": or, as the gloss upon it, "praise worthily"; in a manner deserving praise; and is the same with (o), "thou hast said well", or beautifully; and so the answer here was with great solidity, and judgment, and strength of argument, to their utter confusion and silence; whereby he understood he had considerable knowledge in the law, and yet was willing to try if he could not puzzle him with a question relating to it:

asked him, which is the first commandment of all? of all the commandments in the law, moral and ceremonial.

(n) T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 108. 1.((o) Zohar in Lev. fol. 2. 3. & 15. 1.28. And one of the scribes—"a lawyer," says Matthew (Mt 22:35); that is, teacher of the law.

came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him—manifestly in no bad spirit. When Matthew (Mt 22:35) therefore says he came "tempting," or "trying him," as one of the Pharisaic party who seemed to enjoy the defeat He had given to the Sadducees, we may suppose that though somewhat priding himself upon his insight into the law, and not indisposed to measure his knowledge with One in whom he had not yet learned to believe, he was nevertheless an honest-hearted, fair disputant.

Which is the first commandment of all?—first in importance; the primary, leading commandment, the most fundamental one. This was a question which, with some others, divided the Jewish teachers into rival schools. Our Lord's answer is in a strain of respect very different from what He showed to cavillers—ever observing His own direction, "Give not that which is holy to the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine; lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you" (Mt 7:6).12:28-34 Those who sincerely desire to be taught their duty, Christ will guide in judgment, and teach his way. He tells the scribe that the great commandment, which indeed includes all, is, that of loving God with all our hearts. Wherever this is the ruling principle in the soul, there is a disposition to every other duty. Loving God with all our heart, will engage us to every thing by which he will be pleased. The sacrifices only represented the atonements for men's transgressions of the moral law; they were of no power except as they expressed repentance and faith in the promised Saviour, and as they led to moral obedience. And because we have not thus loved God and man, but the very reverse, therefore we are condemned sinners; we need repentance, and we need mercy. Christ approved what the scribe said, and encouraged him. He stood fair for further advance; for this knowledge of the law leads to conviction of sin, to repentance, to discovery of our need of mercy, and understanding the way of justification by Christ.
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