Unconditional Love in the New Testament - R. Williams

Unconditional Love in the New Testament - R. Williams -...

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Rudy Williams 27 April, 2008 A. Whitley REL 1120 Unconditional Love in the New Testament When one goes from the Old Testament to the New Testament, one of the biggest thematic differences is the introduction of agape , or love. In the New Testament, some Old Testament ideas are given new life and new meanings to satisfy Jesus’ teaching of love. Another major theme on the New Testament stems from Jesus’ ‘Love Commandment’ to love God and your neighbor unconditionally as yourself. Paul’s teachings of Jesus’ message, the role of love in the epistles of John, and the eschatological expectations of the Gospels all play significant roles in the overall breakdown and meaning of the New Testament. In the Old Testament, there is a passage in which preludes the love commandment of Jesus that states, “You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against any of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD” (Levi. 19:18). This passage is located in the book of Leviticus, which traditionally deals with priestly matters and the worship of God at His sanctuary, and the section of Leviticus that the passage is from is a section which deals with moral and ethical laws for the people of Israel to follow. Also in the Old Testament in the book of Deuteronomy is a passage that serves as a perquisite to Jesus’ love commandment. It says, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD is our God,
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the LORD alone. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home, or when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead and write them on the doorposts of your house and your gates” (Deut. 6:4-9). What Jesus does with these two passages is he takes them and proclaims them together as the greatest commandment. He also tweaks the passages and expands on it in the synoptic gospels to explain what these passages are really calling for us to do: “But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone
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This note was uploaded on 05/07/2008 for the course REL 1120 taught by Professor Bird;staff during the Spring '08 term at Greensboro College.

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Unconditional Love in the New Testament - R. Williams -...

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