SPECIAL TOPIC: THE GREATEST COMMANDMENT
"You shall love the Lord your God" is from Deut. 6:4-5, called the Shema ("to hear so as to do"). This man possibly pointed to his phylactery, which contained this verse. It shows that primary focus is on our attitude of commitment toward God that includes everything we are.
The parallels in Mark and Matthew are slightly different. Let me quote my notes from Matthew and Mark.
"Matt. 22:37-38 The greatest commandment is stated in Deut. 6:5. There is a slight difference between the Masoretic Hebrew text and Jesus' quote, but the essence is the same. This verse is not concerned with the dichotomous (cf. Heb. 4:12) or trichotomous (cf. 1 Thess. 5:23) nature of man, but rather deals with man as a unity (cf. Gen. 2:7; 1 Cor. 15:45): a thinking and feeling, physical and spiritual being. It is true that because humans are earthly animals they depend upon this planet for food, water, air, and all the other things animal life needs to survive. Humans are also spiritual beings who relate to God and the spiritual realms. However it is a false interpretation to build theology on these different descriptions of human nature. The key to this verse is the thrice-repeated "all," not the supposed distinctions between "heart," "soul," and "mind."
Mark 12:29 'hear' Jesus quotes from Deut. 6:4-5, but not from the Masoretic Text or the Septuagint (the parallel in Matt. 22:37 is closer to the MT, but not exact). Jesus' quote adds a phrase to both the Masoretic Hebrew text and the Septuagint Greek text. This exact quote is unknown from any OT text. The LXX changes the Hebrew "heart" to "mind" or "understanding." But this quote adds the phrase "with all your mind" to the three-fold phrasing (i.e., heart, soul, strength) in the MT and LXX. The NJB recognizes this by printing the phrase as not part of the OT quote (i.e., not in italics). It is interesting that the Greek uncial manuscript D (i.e., Bezae) from the fifth century omits the phrase "and with all your mind" entirely. This may reflect the original because its absence matches the scribes' response in v. 33.
In the Matthew parallel (i.e., 22:32) Matthew quotes Jesus as saying, "with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind." Here the Hebrew clause "with all your strength" is left out. It is so surprising that Mark and Matthew disagree with each other and with both the MT and the LXX. This is a perfect example of the looseness of many of the OT quotes in the NT (even those attributed to Jesus). Here is where precision is impossible. They all (i.e., LXX, Matt. and Mark) reflect the general sense of the quote from Moses.
This OT text (i.e., Deut. 6:4-5) is called the Shema, which is the Hebrew word "hear." It means to hear so as to do. It has become the Jewish affirmation of monotheism. It is prayed daily by faithful Jews and on every Sabbath. There are other texts on the oneness and uniqueness of God in the Prophets, but this one is in the writings of Moses (i.e., Genesis - Deuteronomy) and is, therefore, binding on all of Jesus' listeners (i.e., Sadducees and Pharisees)."
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