36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:36-40)
The number one phrase the Christian hears from its critics is that we are simply supposed to love thy neighbour as thyself. Aside from the fact that it is quoted from Leviticus 19:18 (to which they criticize as “Old Testament),” it in no way leaves us with a single, subjectively defined concept of love towards our neighbor; note the “On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Loving God (v. 37), is a summary of the first four commandments while loving thy neighbor (v. 39) is a summary of the last six. Gary DeMar has a great article concerning this. He states:
“Loving your neighbor as yourself is a summary of the law. A summary does not nullify what it summarizes. Love isn’t a substitute for the law; love is defined by the law.”
In addition I came across a helpful quote by the 17th century Puritan Matthew Poole:
“On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets: there is nothing commanded in all the Old Testament but may be reduced to these two heads. This is the whole duty of man there commanded. The whole book of God is our rule, and we are obliged to every precept in it. Moses summed up all in the ten commandments, to which. truly interpreted, all the precepts of Scripture are reducible. Christ here brings the ten to two. The apostle brings all to one, telling us love is the fulfilling of the law. There is nothing forbidden in Scripture but what offends the royal law of love, either to God or man; there is nothing commanded but what will fall under it.”
Love is defined by the law of God. Jesus did not throw this out as a new, generic, all inclusive, tie dyed feeling for man to emotionally interpret, but according to the law of God.
8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.