Love Your Enemies: Jesus' Love Command in the Synoptic Gospels and the Early Christian Paraenesis A History of the Tradition and Interpretation of Its Uses



About Love Your Enemies

“Love Your Enemies…”

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.


John Piper (DTheol, University of Munich) is the founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and the chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. He served for 33 years as the senior pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is the author of more than 50 books, including Desiring God, Don’t Waste Your Life, This Momentary Marriage, Bloodlines, and Does God Desire All to Be Saved?

Table of Contents

1. In Search of the Paraenetic Tradition of a Command of Enemy Love
2. The Origin of the Command of Enemy Love in the New Testament Paraenetic Tradition
3. Jesus’ Command of Enemy Love in the Larger Context of His Message
4. The Use and Meaning of Jesus’ Command of Enemy Love in the Early Christian Paraenesis
5. The Gospel Tradition of Jesus’ Command of Enemy Love and its Use in Matthew and Luke


Category: Biblical Studies
Format: Paperback
Page Count: 288
ISBN-10: 1-4335-3475-4
ISBN-13: 978-1-4335-3475-1
Size: 5.5 in x 8.5 in
Weight: 12.4 ounces
Published: June 30, 2012

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