This is one of the few statements Jesus made that is readily accepted by believers and skeptics alike. Its authenticity is not seriously questioned and yet it is a revolutionary command.
Giving attention to various critical theories, John Piper presents evidence that the early church earnestly advocated for non-retaliatory love, extending it to those who practiced evil in the world. Such love was key to the church’s own ethical tradition or paraenesis.
Piper illuminates the Synoptics and passages in Romans, as well as 1 Thessalonians and 1 Peter, with non-canonical evidence, investigating the theological significance of Jesus’s love command.
Originally published as #38 in the Society for New Testament Studies Monograph Series, this is John Piper’s doctoral dissertation from the University of Munich. It is a serious work of Christian scholarship by a long-time respected author and pastor. This repackaged edition features a new, extensive introduction and will be of interest to scholars, students, and lay people who have training in New Testament studies.
“Our only hope for loving our enemy is to be a new creation in Christ. And our only hope for being a new creation in Christ is to be reconciled to God through the death of his Son.”