In Luke 10.25-29 you have a teacher of the law asking Jesus how to inherit eternal life and then that same teacher of the law answering the question with the two greatest commandments

But then in Matthew 22.34-40 you have a pharisee (and an expert in the law) asking Jesus what the greatest commandment is and Jesus then answering with the greatest commandments.

So 1) are these two different situations or the same situation described differently? and 2) who first shared the greatest commandments, Jesus, the expert in the law or someone else?

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    I'm just asking because I'm curious: what is the impetus for your question? Personally I find that slight differences like this are common in eye-witness testimony from different individuals, so usually my answer is "there's no way to no for sure". Therefore you might get a more complete answer if you also explain why you are interested in the answer to this question. – conman May 30 '19 at 12:25

What we today call the "two great commandments" were well-known in Jesus' day

Both commandments had been previously given by Jehovah.

1st Great Commandment: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. (KJV Deut. 6:5)

2nd Great Commandment: Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord. (KJV Lev. 19:18)

So it depends on what you mean by "shared."

  • Jehovah was the first to express the ideas.
  • Moses was the first to write the ideas down.
  • Whomever taught the lawyers of the New Testament the doctrine were before Jesus or the lawyers.

As I led off, the two great commandments were well-known doctrines of the day. They were not introduced first by either Jesus or the lawyers in the New Testament, but were introduced by Moses via Jehovah in the Old Testament and would have been regularly studied in the rabbinical schools. I believe it is reasonable to assume that both the lawyers and Jesus learned the two commandments as children.

… Which is why Jesus' response to the lawyer in Luke 10:26 makes perfect sense.

However, if what you're asking is, "but in that specific situation (or situations), who introduced the idea first, the lawyers or Jesus?" that I can't help you with. I hope I was a spiritual observer, but that veil has been drawn and I doubt there's enough historical evidence to be definitive.


These are two different situations:

(1) Matthew 22:34-40 (+ Mark 12:28-34)

(2) Luke 10:25-37

In the first situation Jesus said the two greatest commandments and the lawyer agreed with Him (Mark 12:32-33):

So the scribe said to Him, «Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth, for there is one God, and there is no other but He. And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love onés neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.»

For this Christ praised the lawyer (Mark 12:34):

Now when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, He said to him, «You are not far from the kingdom of God.»

In the second situation Jesus answered the lawyer's question how to inherit eternal life with the question about Law of Moses (Luke 10:26):

What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?

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