Where did the command to love our neighbor originate?


Matthew 22:35-39 (also Mk 12:28-31)

One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?"

Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"


Leviticus 19:18

Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself.


The claim is often made that Jesus was quoting Confucius when he said, "Love your neighbor as yourself." In reality, Jesus was quoting from Leviticus as shown above.

The fact that this command comes from the Torah is also plain from the contexts in which Jesus quotes it. In Matthew 22, Jesus is answering a question about the Jewish Law; on another occasion, Jesus puts a similar question to an expert in the Law, who also answers with "Love God and love your neighbor as yourself" (Lk 10:25-28).


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