In die Skriflig
On-line version ISSN 2305-0853
Print version ISSN 1018-6441
VILJOEN, Francois P.. The Double Love Commandment. In Skriflig (Online) [online]. 2015, vol.49, n.1, pp.1-11. ISSN 2305-0853. http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/ids.v49I1.1869.
The Gospel of Matthew was written during a period of dispute between the Matthean community and their fellow Jews, with the Pharisees playing a leading role. The Matthean community was heir to the same scriptures as its opponents. They continued to have a firm commitment to the Torah, but they developed a distinctive understanding of it based on Jesus' teaching. The formation of this community is investigated in this article, considering the Mediterranean perspectives of group-oriented societies prevalent in the first century. Such a group provided a sense of self and an interactive support system, where love functioned to bind the group together. The subordinates showed their undivided loyalty towards their superiors because of the favours they received from them, whilst they supported and cared for other members within the group as they care for themselves. Reading the double love commandment of Matthew 22:34-40 from this perspective reveals significant aspects of the community's identity with regard to their commitment to God and their view of their neighbours.