Mark 12:28

The Greatest Commandment

28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

Mark 12:28 in Other Translations

KJV
28 And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?
ESV
28 And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, "Which commandment is the most important of all?"
NLT
28 One of the teachers of religious law was standing there listening to the debate. He realized that Jesus had answered well, so he asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
MSG
28 One of the religion scholars came up. Hearing the lively exchanges of question and answer and seeing how sharp Jesus was in his answers, he put in his question: "Which is most important of all the commandments?"
CSB
28 One of the scribes approached. When he heard them debating and saw that Jesus answered them well, he asked Him, "Which commandment is the most important of all?"

Mark 12:28 Meaning and Commentary

Mark 12:28

And one of the Scribes came
Matthew calls him a lawyer, ( Matthew 22:35 ) , an interpreter of the law, as a Scribe was:

and having heard them reasoning together;
being present at the dispute between Christ and the Sadducees, which he diligently attended to:

and perceiving that he had answered them well:
in a most beautiful manner. The Jews have adopted the very Greek word here used, and make use of it in the same sense as (Mwlaq hyl rma) F14, "he answered him well": or, as the gloss upon it, "praise worthily"; in a manner deserving praise; and is the same with (trmaq rypv) F15, "thou hast said well", or beautifully; and so the answer here was with great solidity, and judgment, and strength of argument, to their utter confusion and silence; whereby he understood he had considerable knowledge in the law, and yet was willing to try if he could not puzzle him with a question relating to it:

asked him, which is the first commandment of all?
of all the commandments in the law, moral and ceremonial.


FOOTNOTES:

F14 T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 108. 1.
F15 Zohar in Lev. fol. 2. 3. & 15. 1.

Mark 12:28 In-Context

26 Now about the dead rising—have you not read in the Book of Moses, in the account of the burning bush, how God said to him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’?
27 He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. You are badly mistaken!”
28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.
30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’

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Cross References 1

  • 1. Luke 10:25-28; Luke 20:39