Law and Love in Second Temple Judaism and in Galatians 5:14
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This dissertation argues that Paul interprets the love command of Leviticus 19:18 in Galatians 5:14 primarily in the light of Jesus Christ. This does not mean that Paul considers Christ only when he states the relationship between the law and love in Galatians 5:14. Paul neither ignores the Old Testament law, or the love command stated in Leviticus 19:18, in Galatians 5:14, nor is he entirely beyond the purview of his Jewish contemporaries’ understanding that the Levitical love command is one of the representative laws. Still, Paul newly interprets this love command especially in terms of the scope of neighbor, the basis of the love of neighbor, and the source of the love of neighbor, mainly based on not only the death of Jesus Christ but also the works of the Spirit, as revealed through the whole context of Galatians. To illustrate these points, this dissertation undertakes a literary, exegetical, and comparative study of the love command in the Old Testament (Lev 19:18), the selected Second Temple texts, and Galatians 5:14. Chapter 1 describes the thesis, methodology, historical summary of the research, and significance of this dissertation. Chapter 2 examines the love of neighbor in the Old Testament, or the Levitical love command, to understand the specific meaning and nuances of it. Chapter 3 surveys the four Second Temple texts that allude to the Levitical love command, thereby examining the authors’ intended nuances of the love of neighbor in these texts. Chapter 4 shows the meaning of the love of neighbor illustrated or implied in the entire context of Galatians; and chapter 5 explores the specific nuances of the love of neighbor in Galatians 5:13–14 and “the law of Christ” in Galatians 6:2. Chapter 6 compares the love of neighbor in Leviticus 19:18 (chap. 2), in the selected Second Temple texts (chap. 3), and in Galatians 5:14 (chaps. 4–5) based on nine criteria. Chapter 7 summarizes the findings of my investigation and offers conclusions.