Love Your Enemies: Jesus' Love Command in the Synoptic Gospels and the Early Christian Paraenesis

Overview

“Love Your Enemies…”

This is one of the few statements Jesus made that is readily accepted by believers and skeptics alike. Its authenticity is not seriously questioned and yet it is a revolutionary command.

Giving attention to various critical theories, John Piper presents evidence that the early church earnestly advocated for non-retaliatory love, extending it to those who practiced evil in the world. Such ...

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Overview

“Love Your Enemies…”

This is one of the few statements Jesus made that is readily accepted by believers and skeptics alike. Its authenticity is not seriously questioned and yet it is a revolutionary command.

Giving attention to various critical theories, John Piper presents evidence that the early church earnestly advocated for non-retaliatory love, extending it to those who practiced evil in the world. Such love was key to the church’s own ethical tradition or paraenesis.

Piper illuminates the Synoptics and passages in Romans, as well as 1 Thessalonians and 1 Peter, with non-canonical evidence, investigating the theological significance of Jesus’s love command.

Originally published as #38 in the Society for New Testament Studies Monograph Series, this is John Piper’s doctoral dissertation from the University of Munich. It is a serious work of Christian scholarship by a long-time respected author and pastor. This repackaged edition features a new, extensive introduction and will be of interest to scholars, students, and lay people who have training in New Testament studies.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781433534751
  • Publisher: Crossway
  • Publication date: 6/30/2012
  • Pages: 273
  • Sales rank: 1,429,522
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

John Piper (DTheol, University of Munich) is teacher and founder of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College and Seminary. He served for 33 years as senior pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis and is author of more than 50 books, including Desiring God, Don’t Waste Your Life, This Momentary Marriage, Bloodlines, and Does God Desire All to Be Saved?

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Table of Contents

Preface to the 2012 Republication v

Note on the Title and Previous Editions xi

Preface to the 1979 Edition xii

Abbreviations xiii

Introduction 1

1 In Search of the Paraenetic Tradition of a Command of Enemy Love 4

I The Pertinent Texts 4

II Literary Dependence or Common Traditional Source? 5

III Determining the Form of the Command in the Paraenetic Tradition 8

A I Thess 5:15 8

B Rom 12:17 and I Pt 3:9 14

IV Conclusion 17

2 The Origin of the Command of Enemy Love in the New Testament Paraenetic Tradition 19

I The Question and the Approach 19

II Hellenistic Philosophy 20

A Seneca 21

B Epictetus 25

III The Old Testament 27

IV Hellenistic Judaism 35

A Works from the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha 35

B Philo 39

V Qumran and Works in the Region of its Influence 39

A Manual of Discipline 40

B The Book of Jubilees 42

C The Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs 43

VI Palestinian Judaism outside Qumran 45

A The Wisdom of Jesus Son of Sirach 45

B Josephus 46

C The Rabbis 46

VII The Teaching of Jesus 49

A The Question of Q 49

B The Question of the Antitheses 51

C Analysis of the Individual Sayings 56

VIII Conclusion 63

3 Jesus' Command of Enemy Love in the Larger Context of His Message 66

I Preliminary Remarks 66

A The Hermeneutical Problems 66

B The Validity of Systematizing 67

C The Content of the Chapter 68

II Jesus' Command of Enemy Love and the Kingdom of God 69

A Four Recent Studies and One Older Work 69

B Jesus' Command of Enemy Love and the Coming Kingdom: Condition? 76

C Jesus' Command of Enemy Love and the Present Aspect of the Kingdom: Enablement 80

D Jesus' Command of Enemy Love as a Sign of the Kingdom 86

III Jesus' Command of Enemy Love and the Law 89

A Non-Resistance (Mt 5:39-42) vs the Lex Talionis (Ex 21:24) 89

B Enemy Love (Mt 5:44 par Lk) vs Neighbor Love (Lev 19:18) 91

C Abolition vs Continuation of the Law 95

4 The Use and Meaning of Jesus' Command of Enemy Love in the Early Christian Paraenesis 100

I Preliminary Remarks 100

II The Motivation of the Command of Enemy Love 101

A A Brief Survey of the Previous Research 101

B Paul 102

C I Peter 119

III The Content of the Command of Enemy Love 128

A The General Features of Enemy Love 128

B Love and the Command of Enemy Love and the Institutions of Society 130

5 The Gospel Tradition of Jesus' Command of Enemy Love and its Use in Matthew and Luke 134

I The Gospel Tradition of Jesus' Command of Enemy Love before the Gospels 134

A Determining the Vorlage 134

B Determining the Sitz im Leben of the Vorlage 136

II The Gospel Tradition of Jesus' Command of Enemy Love in the Gospels 139

A The Approach and Methodology 139

B Matthew's Use of the Gospel Tradition of Jesus' Command of Enemy Love 141

C Luke's Use of the Gospel Tradition of Jesus' Command of Enemy Love 153

Conclusion 171

Notes 176

Bibliography 235

Index of Passages Cited 249

Index of Modern Authors 267

Index of Subjects 271

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