“Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone! Therefore, you shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength. Take to heart these words which I enjoin on you today.” (Dt. 6: 4-9)
In Chapter six, verses four through nine of Deuteronomy, the fundamentals of Christianity and faith in general, are shown. The text illustrates the idea of keeping covenant with God in heart, soul and strength, and it informs one to bind the great commandment to your wrist, or write on a doorpost or gate. To always keep God in soul. While the historical/literal view of the great commandment cannot be applied to a contextual meaning, some aspects of it can still be used in the deeper theological meaning.
The passage, Dt. 6: 4-9, tells the people of Israel that there is God and one God alone (Dt. 6: 4), and one must love that God with all of ones being, their heart, soul, and strength (Dt 6: 5) . The passage continues and tells one to acknowledge this law, known as the Great Commandment, by writing it on the doorpost of ones house, or binding it onto ones wrist (Dt. 6: 7-9)While the Pharisees meant for Dt. 6: 7-9 to be interpreted figuratively, many Jews took it literally, and wrote the great commandment on their body, or attached copies to their doorposts, a tradition that continues to this day. The Jewish people refer to these passages as The Shema, and it is a way for them to put God first in their lives and focus open him, a practice that is inspired by Dt. 6: 4-9. In Dt. 6: 12-15, the consequences of not following the Great Commandment are shown, “...lest the wrath of the Lord, your God, flare up against you, and he destroy you from the face of the land.” This statement instilled fear into the souls of followers in the time of Jesus, and reinforced the importance of the Great Commandment, and made many take the passage literally. This passage was and continues to be the basis of beliefs for...