Rom 13:8 WEB Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.

Does Paul mean the Whole Law?

If he does then he can be charged with omitting the first Which is to Love the Lord thy God.

Mark 12:28-31

“Hear, O Israel; THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD . . . and the second is like, namely this: Thou shalt LOVE THY NEIGHBOR as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This [is] the first commandment.

And a second [is] like it, [namely] this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as yourself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

Can we say that the Word Law used by Paul covers just the second Table of the Law? How can we make sense of that?


I am not sure the two references to the law can be directly compared for two main reasons:

  1. The words are different:
  • Rom 13:8 has, "for the one loving the other has fulfilled the Law". The word "fulfilled" here is πληρόω (pléroó). This verse does not mention "greatest" nor "commandment".
  • Mark 12:28-31 is discussing the greatest commandment. It does not mention "fulfilled".

The only words these verses have in common are "law", (nomos) and "love" (agapao).

  1. The Message is different

In Rom 13:8 Paul is discussing what fulfills the law. If I do not kill, I have fulfilled the law; If I do not steal, I fulfill the law; etc. However, Paul's point is about love for one another which addresses all the commandments he quoted in the next verse, namely:

The commandments “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not covet,”a and any other commandments, are summed up in this one decree: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

All these examples are from the second table of the law about "horizontal" relationships between people as confirmed by the final, "Love your neighbor as yourself.” That is, Paul says that love for our neighbor fulfills all these societal laws.

By contrast, Jesus in Mark 12 is discussing NOT the summing of the law, but the greatest commandments - He chooses two, love to God and love to one's fellow man.

That is, the context and intent of the two passages is different. However, they both teach the centrality and importance of love!

  • The examples are from the second Table of the law, yet it is phrases as of he meant the whole law. Nov 16 '21 at 22:49
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    @FaithMendel - on what basis do you claim that?
    – Dottard
    Nov 17 '21 at 1:11
  • The commandments “Do not commit adultery,” “Do not murder,” “Do not steal,” “Do not covet,”a and any other commandments, are summed up in this one decree: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”. The words and any other commandment can either mean. Any other one in the second Table , or all others in the whole decalogue Nov 17 '21 at 8:00

By your own definition, both tables of the law (by your own definition, but I think there were two identical copies of a two-sided table, myself, it being a mutual 'covenant') stipulate 'love' - to God and to humanity. So if you say Paul's definition of law rules out 'love' then you have excluded both tables from Paul's definition.

Paul says to 'love one another'. Love one, the other.

Paul says that whoso loves his neighbour has fulfilled the law.

Is not God 'another' ?

Is not God a 'neighbour' ?

Is it not true that 'he is not far from any one of us' ? (Acts 17:27.)

Paul has not excluded Deity from his statement.

  • logical Answer. So -1. Off course In the Law when it was stated and seperated, the structure of the statement makes it very clear that God could not be "Another" or a Neighbor. He is called Thy Lord Thy God. Deity, and men are called Thy Neighbor. Also note that it' didn't say tho shall love God as you love your Self. Nov 16 '21 at 22:48
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    @FaithMendel Of course God is my neighbour : 'he is not far from any one of us' Acts 17:27. God is not me. Therefore he is 'another'.
    – Nigel J
    Nov 16 '21 at 22:52
  • I am not saying that God cannot be seen as a Neighbor, I am saying the first mentions of that Law seem to have had your option of grouping everything. But choosed to seprate it. You are only interpreting it as that and even saying that that was how paul saw it during his midrash . Nov 17 '21 at 7:58

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