Love and Holiness in Reciprocal Entailment: Love as the Implementation of Holiness in Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount
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The relationship between love and holiness has been an area of confusion. On one hand, when holiness is understood as separation, it is naturally in conflict with love. Yet others have understood them to be different expressions of the same reality. In this thesis, the relationship of love and holiness is explored considering recent lexicographical research on holiness, which has shown that its central meaning is the positive sense of devotion. Together with the theological implications of Matthew’s Sermon on the Mount given the contemporaneous and dominant cultural concept of purity as primarily a matter of externals, it is demonstrated that holiness and love exist in reciprocal entailment. The concept of polymorphism is applied to holiness: While love and holiness are distinct concepts, love is the comprehensive implementation of holiness for Jesus’ disciples, such that devotion to God is wholly implemented in nothing other than love in all its contours.