Mark 12:28-29. One of the scribes came So Luke also, Luke 20:19; but Matthew, εις εξ αυτων νομικος , one of them being a lawyer. In this diversity of words, however, there is no difference in sense. For the scribes not only transcribed the Scriptures, but were generally, also, teachers of the law, from which they had the name of lawyers: Having heard them reasoning together Having attended to the discourse between Jesus and the Sadducees; and perceiving that he had answered them well Had confuted their degrading doctrine of materialism, and proved, even from the books of Moses, the divine authority of which the Sadducees themselves could not but acknowledge, the certainty of a future state; asked him another question, with a view to make a further trial of his skill in the sacred volume. Which is the first commandment of all The principal, and most necessary to be observed? See the note on Matthew 22:34-36. Jesus answered, The first of all the commandments And the foundation of all the rest, is, The Lord our God is one Lord One Jehovah, one self-existent, independent, infinite, eternal Being: one in essence; inclusive, however, of three, υποστασεις , subsistences, generally termed persons. See on Matthew 28:19, and note on Exodus 3:14. Dr. Campbell translates this clause, The Lord is our God: the Lord is one; in Deuteronomy, Jehovah is our God: Jehovah is one; and not as one sentence, Jehovah our God is one Jehovah. Among other reasons for rendering the words thus, he gives the following: 1st, That “it appears to have been the purpose of their great legislator, to establish among them these two important articles, as the foundation of that religious constitution he was authorized to give them. The first was, that the God whom they were to adore, was not any of the acknowledged objects of worship in the nations around them, and was therefore to be distinguished among them, the better to secure them against seduction, by the peculiar name Jehovah, by which alone he chose to be invoked by them. The second was, the unity of the divine nature, and consequently, that no pretended divinity (for all other gods were merely pretended) ought to be associated with the only true God, or share with him in their adoration. 2d, That in the reply of the scribe, Mark 12:32, which was approved by our Lord, and in which he, as it were, echoes every part of the answer that had been given to his question, there are two distinct affirmations with which he begins; these are, There is one God, and there is only one, corresponding to The Lord is our God, and the Lord is one. The first clause, in both declarations, points to the object of worship; the second, to the necessity of excluding all others. Accordingly, the radical precept relating to this subject, quoted by our Lord, Matthew 4:10, from the LXX., is exactly suited to both parts of this declaration. Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God. This may be called the positive part of the statute, and corresponds to the article, The Lord is our God. Thou shalt serve him only. This is the negative part, and corresponds to the article, The Lord is one.”
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