Shema

Proper 26

November 4, 2012
See Also: 
Reading 1: 
Deuteronomy 6:1-9
Reading 2: 
Psalm 146
Reading 3: 
Hebrews 9:11-14
Reading 4: 
Mark 12:28-34
By Russell Pregeant

I choose the alternative First Reading but stay with Psalm 146 in order to emphasize the anti-idolatry theme in the gospel text. What Jesus identifies as the “first” commandment—love of God with all of one’s heart, soul, mind and strength—is a slightly modified version of Deuteronomy 6:4-5, traditionally known as the Shema (= Hebrew for “hear,” the first word of the passage). (The Markan version adds “mind” to the list and uses a different Greek term for “strength” than is found in the Septuagint.) The Shema prohibits idolatry in two ways.

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