Journal for Christian reflections in the context of social sciences and humanities

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The Commandment ‘Love your Neighbour as Yourself’ in the Epistle of James
Pavelčík Julius
The Old Testament commandment ‘love your neighbour as yourself’ (Leviticus 19:18, further referred to as the commandment to love one’s neighbour as well) has an indisputably privileged position among other commandments not only in Jesus’ teachings but also in Paul’s ethical challenges, as well as in the Epistle of James. The commandment is found in the individual New Testament books in various contexts. These, in a specific way, emphasise its extraordinary importance in the life of early Christian communities. This study deals with the interpretation of the commandment to love one’s neighbour in the Epistle of James (2:8). Its specific concept is fundamentally conditioned by both contextual coherence and terminology and phrases which surround this interpretation and which are associated with various interpretive difficulties of linguistic, semantics, and theological character. The commandment to love one’s neighbour as yourself is presented here as the norm that provides the Jewish-Christian addressees of the letter with guidance. It concerns the process of deciding on the practical implementation of the individual requirements of the Torah in the context of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

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