Matthew 22:36

The great commandment in the law (entolh megalh en twi nomwi). The positive adjective is sometimes as high in rank as the superlative. See mega in Matthew 5:19 in contrast with elacisto. The superlative megisto occurs in the N.T. only in 2 Peter 1:4 . Possibly this scribe wishes to know which commandment stood first ( Mark 12:28 ) with Jesus. "The scribes declared that there were 248 affirmative precepts, as many as the members of the human body; and 365 negative precepts, as many as the days in the year, the total being 613, the number of letters in the Decalogue" (Vincent). But Jesus cuts through such pettifogging hair-splitting to the heart of the problem.

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