The New Commandment

COMMANDMENT, THE NEW (ἐντολή, G1953, commandment, order). That commandment given in the NT which emphasizes the substance and spiritual power of love involved in the moral law, the Ten Commandments.

Although not stated formally as the new commandment, the message of Jesus to the rich young man who claimed he had kept the Ten Commandments (Matt 19:16-22; cf. the parallels, Mark 10:17-22; Luke 18:18-23) that he should sell all his goods, give to the poor and follow Jesus, stresses the new commandment principle of love toward God and men. The kernel of this thought is also imbedded in Matthew 22:37-40 in Jesus’ summary of the Ten Commandments as teaching love to God and to one’s neighbor.


In 1 John 2:5-10 the commandment is called old in that the readers knew from the OT and from John’s presentation of Jesus’ teaching that they should love one another (cf. John 15:12), but it was new in that there was renewed and continual emphasis to be placed on the Christian loving his brother through the power of God’s own love (cf. the same message in 2 John 5, 6).

Bibliography

G. G. Findlay, Fellowship in the Life Eternal (1955), 162-173; R. S. Wallace, The Ten Commandments (1965).