Matthew 22:36
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?"

New Living Translation
"Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?"

English Standard Version
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”

New American Standard Bible
"Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?"

King James Bible
Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Teacher, which command in the law is the greatest?"

International Standard Version
"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?"

NET Bible
"Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?"

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
“Teacher, which commandment in The Written Law is the greatest?”

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"Teacher, which commandment is the greatest in Moses' Teachings?"

Jubilee Bible 2000
Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

King James 2000 Bible
Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?

American King James Version
Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

American Standard Version
Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?

Douay-Rheims Bible
Master, which is the greatest commandment in the law?

Darby Bible Translation
Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?

English Revised Version
Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

Webster's Bible Translation
Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

Weymouth New Testament
"Teacher, which is the greatest Commandment in the Law?"

World English Bible
"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?"

Young's Literal Translation
Teacher, which is the great command in the Law?'
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

22:34-40 An interpreter of the law asked our Lord a question, to try, not so much his knowledge, as his judgment. The love of God is the first and great commandment, and the sum of all the commands of the first table. Our love of God must be sincere, not in word and tongue only. All our love is too little to bestow upon him, therefore all the powers of the soul must be engaged for him, and carried out toward him. To love our neighbour as ourselves, is the second great commandment. There is a self-love which is corrupt, and the root of the greatest sins, and it must be put off and mortified; but there is a self-love which is the rule of the greatest duty: we must have a due concern for the welfare of our own souls and bodies. And we must love our neighbour as truly and sincerely as we love ourselves; in many cases we must deny ourselves for the good of others. By these two commandments let our hearts be formed as by a mould.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 36. - Which is the great commandment in the Law? Ποία ἐντολὴ μεγάλη ἐν τῷ νόμῳ; What sort of commandment is great in the Law? According to rabbinical teaching, there were more than six hundred precepts in the Law; of this considerable number all could not be observed. Which were of absolute obligation? which were not? The schools made a distinction between heavy and light commandments, as though some were of less importance than others, and might be neglected with impunity; and some of such exceeding dignity that fulfilment of them would condone imperfect obedience in the case of others. Some taught that if a man rightly selected some great precept to observe, he might safely disregard the rest of the Law (see Matthew 19:16, etc.). This was the kind of doctrine against which St. James (James 2:10) expostulates: "Whosoever shall keep the whole Law, and yet stumble in one point, he is become guilty of all." The Pharisees may have desired to discover whether Jesus knew and sanctioned these rabbinical distinctions. He had proved himself intimately acquainted with the inner meaning of Scripture, and able to evolve doctrines and to trace analogies which their dull minds had never comprehended; the question now was whether he entered into their subtle divisions and could decide this dispute for them. Such is the view usually taken of the scribe's question; but it may well be doubted, if regard is had to the character of the man, whether he had any intention of entangling Christ in these subtleties, but rather asked for a solution of the general problem - Of what nature was the precept which should be regarded as "first" (Mark) in the Law? We may compare the somewhat similar question and answer in Luke 10:25-28. Lange's idea, that the scribe wished to force Christ to make some answer which, by implying his own claim to be Son of God, would trench upon the doctrine of monotheism, seems wholly unwarranted. This theory is based on the supposition that the Pharisee took it for granted that Jesus would answer, "Thou shalt love God above all," and intended to found upon that reply a condemnation for having made himself equal with God by his assertion of Sonship. But the text gives no countenance to such intention, and it has been suggested chiefly for the purpose of accounting for Christ's subsequent question (vers. 41-45), which, however, needs no such foundation, as we shall see.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Master, which is the great commandment in the law? He calls him "master, Rabbi, or doctor", as the Sadducees had in Matthew 22:24 either because he was usually so called by his disciples, and by the generality of the people; or merely in complaisance to engage his attention to him, and his question: and might hereby suggest, that should he return a proper and satisfactory answer to it he should be his master. The question is not which of the laws was the greatest, the oral, or the written law: the Jews give the preference to the law delivered by word of mouth; they prefer the traditions of the elders before the written law of Moses; See Gill on Matthew 15:2; but the question was about the written law of Moses; and not merely about the decalogue, or whether the commands of the first table were greater than those of the second, as was generally thought; or whether the affirmative precepts were not more to be regarded than negative ones, which was their commonly received opinion; but about the whole body of the law, moral and ceremonial, delivered by Moses: and not whether the ceremonial law was to be preferred to the moral, which they usually did; but what particular command there was in the whole law, which was greater than the rest: for as there were some commands that were light, and others that were weighty, a distinction often used by them (m), and to which Christ alludes in Matthew 23:23. It was moved that it might be said which was the greatest and weightiest of them all. Some thought the commandment of the sabbath was the greatest: hence they say (n), that he that keeps the sabbath is as if he kept the whole law: yea, they make the observance of the three meals, or feasts, which, according to the traditions of the elders, they were obliged to eat on the sabbath, to be at least one of the greatest of them,

"These three meals (says one of their writers (o)) are a great matter, for it is one , "of the great commandments in the law".

Which is the very phraseology used in this question. Others give the preference to circumcision, on which they bestow the greatest encomiums, and, among the rest (p), say, it drives away the sabbath, or that is obliged to give place unto it. Others (q) say of the "phylacteries", that the holiness of them is the greatest of all, and the command to be arrayed with them all the day, is more excellent than all others; and even of the fringe upon the borders of their garments, others observe (r), that a man that is guilty of that command, is guilty of all others, and that single precept is equal to all the rest. In this multiplicity of opinions, Christ's is desired on this subject, though with no good intention,

(m) Pirke Abot, c. 2. sect. 1. & c. 4. sect. 2.((n) Zohar in Exod. fol. 37. 1.((o) Tzeror Hammor, fol. 3. 3. (p) Misn. Nedarim, c. 3. sect. 11. (q) Maimon. Hilch. Tephillin, c. 4. sect. 25, 26. (r) T. Bab. Menachot, fol. 43. 2.



Matthew 22:36 Additional Commentaries
Context
The Greatest Commandment
35One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, 36"Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" 37And He said to him, "'YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.'…
Cross References
Matthew 22:35
One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:

Matthew 22:37
Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'
Treasury of Scripture

Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

Matthew 5:19,20 Whoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and …

Matthew 15:6 And honor not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have …

Matthew 23:23,24 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you pay tithe …

Hosea 8:12 I have written to him the great things of my law, but they were counted …

Mark 12:28-33 And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, …

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

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