Skip to main content

The Greatest Commandment & Eternal Life

Yesterday, in the BHC Bible Study Blog, I wrote Comparing Parallel Accounts in the Hebrew Scriptures. Anytime parallel accounts, or things that look like parallel accounts appear in your Bible, they always present great opportunities to discover some very interesting, and sometimes, unexpected things. This will be true in the subject of this blog – The Greatest Commandment & Eternal Life.

If you want to have some fun – and exercise your powers of observation – get some paper and a pen (the old fashion way of studying). Below you will find three accounts that are often considered to be about the same event. In addition, the fourth column contains the verses that are quoted in the Gospels from the Torah (Old Testament). The parallel sections are numbered 1 – 9, and shaded areas indicate that there is no parallel. Compare the sections and note any differences.

Matthew 22:34-40
Mark 12:28-34
Luke 10:25-27
But the Pharisees heard that he silenced the Sadducees, were gathered together, and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him:
And approaching, one of the scribes, hearing them debating, knowing that he had answered them well, asked him:
And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested him, saying,

“Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”
“Which is the first commandment of all?”
“Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

Jesus said to him:
Jesus said to him:
And Jesus said to him: 


“What is written in the law? How do you read it?”


And the lawyer answered and said:


“`You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment.

“The first is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one;
you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’

‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’
Deuteronomy 6:4-5

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, he Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.
And the second is like it:
The second is this:



‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’


‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’

and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’
Leviticus 19:18

You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord
On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
There is no other commandment greater than these.”
And Jesus said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.”

Now let’s compare notes and look at a few of the differences. They will be listed by section number.

#2 Notice that two different questions are asked. In Matthew and Mark the question is which commandment is the most important, but in Luke it is how one inherits eternal life.

#4 Jesus asks the lawyer a question.

#6 & #8 In Matthew and Mark Jesus answers the question, while in Luke the lawyer answers the question.

#6 In Matthew, Jesus uses the word mind and leaves out strength in quoting from Deuteronomy. In Mark, Jesus adds the word mind to the quote from Deuteronomy. In Luke, the lawyer answers the question just like Mark.

#6 Only Mark includes the quote from Deuteronomy 6:4 -- Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.

#9 Notice how the three books close the section in different ways.

I hope you learned from this study – and enjoyed it!

Jim Myers

PS – If you found this information useful, please let me know:

(1) Go to The Real Yeshua Facebook page by CLICKING HERE and “Like it.”

(2) Send this to others who care about Yeshua and want to do what He taught.

(3) Follow The Real Yeshua on Twitter by CLICKING HEREand you will be notified every time we post something about the Real Yeshua.

(4) If you consider this information valuable invest in our work so we will be able to do more -- donate by CLICKING HERE. You may help even more by becoming a regular monthly contributor -- just check the “reoccurring box” when you donate.


Popular posts from this blog

Do Not Say RAQA! - Yeshua on Anger (Part 2)

In the last blog, we covered the first part of Yeshua’s lesson on Anger -- An Angry Person Should be Tried in Court like a Murderer – keep in mind that “anger” is the focus of Yeshua’s lesson. “Whoever says to a brother, ‘ RAKA ,’ shall be answerable to the Sanhedrin.” [i] Yeshua reveals that the seriousness of the offense has become greater by elevating the crime to the next highest court – the Sanhedrin . It is the highest court in the nation and would be the equivalent of our Supreme Court. What makes this offense more serious than murder, to keep things in the context established by Yeshua? It is because of what the angry person said out of anger – “ RAKA !” RAKA is the English transliteration of the Greek word found in the ancient manuscripts of Matthew. Interestingly, the Greek word is also a transliteration of a Hebrew word into Greek. Keep in mind that when a translator working on a translation of a Greek manuscript transliterates a Greek word, he only finds the

The Prayer Yeshua Prayed Twice Every Day

One of Jesus’s earliest memories was no doubt watching and listening to his family when they gathered to pray the Shema at sunrise before the day’s work began and after the working work day was over at sunset . He also heard and participated in praying the Shema at their synagogue. He was surrounded by neighbors who also prayed the same prayer in their homes every day. The Hebrew word for prayer is tefilah . It is derived from the root Pe-Lamed-Lamed and the word l'hitpalel, meaning “ to judge oneself .” This surprising word origin provides insight into the purpose of Jewish prayer. The most important part of any Jewish prayer, whether it be a prayer of petition, of thanksgiving, of praise of God, or of confession, is the introspection it provides, the moment that we spend looking inside ourselves, seeing our role in the universe and our relationship to God. [1] Most of Jewish prayers are expressed in the first person plural, "us" instead of "me," an

What is a “tittle”?

For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one yod or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. (Matthew 5:18) In the last blog we learned that a “jot” was really “ yod ,” the smallest letter of the Hebrew alphabet. So, now let’s turn our attention to “ tittle ” and see what it means. It is another one of those words you never hear or use in everyday conversations. First, let’s see look up tittle in an English dictionary and see if we can find a definition. There is a definition and it is: “a dot or other small mark in writing or printing, used as a diacritic, punctuation, etc.” However, when we look at a yod we do not find any dots or small marks.  Follow the arrow and look at the very upper left tip of the  yod . ↓  י   Do you see the small  point? When we turn to the Jewish culture of Yeshua we find that the scribes had a name for it --  קוץ  ( QOTz ). The translation of the word  קוץ  is “thorn.” [i]  When Yeshua spok