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A discussion on loving your neighbor according to the bible

Here are the texts in Greek: Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

  • As stated elsewhere, Scripture does not present us with a clear-cut directive to love ourselves, and neither does Scripture deal with it in such a way that we need not debate its meaning and significance for our everyday life-experience;
  • This I present for consideration in the debate on self-love in a Christian context;
  • Conclusion Much more could surely be said and has been - the literature on this is huge , but to conclude by responding more directly to the OP's questions;
  • Narcissists are considered to have an elevated positive and inflated self-concept;
  • The first would then have the implied meaning of 'You shall love your neighbour just as you are to love yourself'; the second, 'You shall love your neighbour, understanding that you shall first learn what it means to love yourself'; and the third, 'You shall love your neighbour as you already do love yourself';
  • In Kittel's Theological dictionary of the New Testament 1977 , philia is defined as liking or caring, 'as of gods for men, of friend for friends, the love that is given to all kinds of human beings' a love 'from which a man can excuse himself, not an irresistible urge or frenzy'.

And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The second is this: And he answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.

For the commandments, "You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet," and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: Texts in Hebrew Of course, the first one is the source for the New Testament quotations; the second is related to the first. These were originally in Hebrew: The questions then become: Sometimes it is clear, as in the case of Lamentations 5: In which case the likeness is, in fact, identity.

The other end of the spectrum is approximation, as in Ruth 1: As Jacob Milgrom notes, there are a couple of options canvassed for how to understand Lev. Takamitsu Muraoka takes it in tandem with Deuteronomy 13: Isaac on his death-bed instructs Esau and Jacob: And love one another, my sons, your brothers as a man who loves his own soul, and let each seek in what he may benefit his brother, and act together on the earth; and let them love each other as their own souls.

The commensurate nature of neighbour-love and self-love is seen, in that the good you seek for your "brother" is commensurate with or of the same species as the good sought for oneself. I think even this earliest evidence of reception makes a meaningful contribution to the immediate point raised by the OP.

This is the very point which C. This is not a requirement to "self-love", he argues, but an indication that the command comes "to us as the men [sic] that we actually are, the sinners who do, as a matter of fact, love ourselves", so that "the love for our neighbour which is required of us is a love which is altogether real and sincere". Not so, says J.

  1. But what if we find ourselves in a situation where we can skew the benefits in favor of ourselves? This is the first and greatest commandment.
  2. God is first idealised, then devaluated, then abused and 'one wonders if even God Himself can escape this classic pattern of behaviour of the narcissist' Vaknin 2003. He contends that virtuous people are proper self-lovers who in the process of promoting the self will not harm others.
  3. They were on the verge of leading 200,000 of them away as their slaves, but a prophet chastised them, reminding them that God let them defeat Judah as a punishment for idolatry, and they were even more guilty of worshipping idols than their brothers.
  4. Narcissism, as pathology of self-love and as a form of self-absorption, is claimed to have devastating effects on relationships with God, fellow human beings, and with the world.
  5. This is the core of an integrated self-love.

Rather, it simply implies a recognition of the importance of self-respect, so can be coordinated with the call for sober self-esteem Rom 12: Conclusion Much more could surely be said and has been - the literature on this is hugebut to conclude by responding more directly to the OP's questions: The command as it appears at various points in the New Testament needs to be taken in conjunction with its original form in Leviticus; this adds a layer of complexity, but roots the interpretative tradition of which the NT is a part in the original form of the command.

Semantics and linguistics will only take you so far: It does, however, mean that it would be wrong to suggest that excessive love of neighbour is prohibited if the understanding is that the two kinds of love should have a strict equivalence. The formulation does not indicate exact equality of measure or extent, but rather agreement in kind or manner.

1. Question Restatement:

One can put the weigh-scales away. Notes The best online authority I can point to is P. Driver wrote the entries for the prepositions in Brown Driver Briggsand his entry for k- is worth looking at. The article has some fascinating reflections on intepretative history of this verse in both its Hebrew and Greek forms. Milgrom, Leviticus 17-22 Yale University Press, 2000pp. Dunn, Romans 9-16 Word, 1988p.