New American Bible (Revised Edition)
34 (A)When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, 35 and one of them [a scholar of the law][a] tested him by asking, 36 “Teacher,[b] which commandment in the law is the greatest?” 37 (B)He said to him,[c] “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the greatest and the first commandment. 39 (C)The second is like it:[d] You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 [e](D)The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”
The Question About David’s Son.[f]Read full chapter
- 22:35 [A scholar of the law]: meaning “scribe.” Although this reading is supported by the vast majority of textual witnesses, it is the only time that the Greek word so translated occurs in Matthew. It is relatively frequent in Luke, and there is reason to think that it may have been added here by a copyist since it occurs in the Lucan parallel (Lk 10:25–28). Tested: see note on Mt 19:3.
- 22:36 For the devout Jew all the commandments were to be kept with equal care, but there is evidence of preoccupation in Jewish sources with the question put to Jesus.
- 22:37–38 Cf. Dt 6:5. Matthew omits the first part of Mark’s fuller quotation (Mk 12:29; Dt 6:4–5), probably because he considered its monotheistic emphasis needless for his church. The love of God must engage the total person (heart, soul, mind).
- 22:39 Jesus goes beyond the extent of the question put to him and joins to the greatest and the first commandment a second, that of love of neighbor, Lv 19:18; see note on Mt 19:18–19. This combination of the two commandments may already have been made in Judaism.
- 22:40 The double commandment is the source from which the whole law and the prophets are derived.
- 22:41–46 Having answered the questions of his opponents in the preceding three controversies, Jesus now puts a question to them about the sonship of the Messiah. Their easy response (Mt 22:43a) is countered by his quoting a verse of Ps 110 that raises a problem for their response (43b–45). They are unable to solve it and from that day on their questioning of him is ended.