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"The mind of the universe is communistic." - Marcus Aurelius

The Issue of Brotherhood
07/28/2018

Brother versus Neighbor

Sometimes Jesus talked about our brothers and sometimes about our neighbors. Brother and neighbors are NOT the same. Loving our neighbors is addressed about a half dozen different times in the combined Synoptic Gospels, where it is clear that this was a traditional part of the law. The issue is not addressed at all in the Gospels of John and Thomas.

Jesus said, "A new commandment I give you, that you love one another as I have loved you." This seems to be unambiguous, within the spirit of his greater message as it is understood, and straightforward enough to take to the bank as a one line synopsis of it. In the Gospel of John, Jesus reiterates this statement 4 times.

Each and every time, this statement is given within the context of Jesus talking to his followers and their relationships with each other as BROTHERS. Given the competition and divisiveness displayed previously by the disciples, this admonition or advice was appropriate, needed and well directed.

However, the more general admonitions addressed in the Synoptic Gospel must be seen as not applying to all homo sapiens on the planet. Such an application would be onerous, unworkable and unrealistic.

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