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the letter of the law (phrase) definition and synonyms | Macmillan Dictionary

Pharisees are also depicted as being lawless or corrupt Matthew ; the Greek word used in the verse means lawlessness , and the corresponding Hebrew word means fraud or injustice. However, the Hebrew word "Perushim" from which "Pharisee" is derived, actually means "separatists", referencing their focus on spiritual needs versus worldly pleasures. In the Gospels, Jesus is often shown as being critical of Pharisees.

He is more like the Essenes than the other Jewish groups of the time Sadducees , Pharisees, Zealots [ citation needed ] ; however, the Pharisees, like Jesus, believed in the resurrection of the dead, and in divine judgment. They advocated prayer, almsgiving and fasting as spiritual practices. The Pharisees were those who were trying to be faithful to the law given to them by God.

the letter of the law

Not all Pharisees, nor all Jews of that time, were legalistic. Though modern language has used the word Pharisee in the pejorative to describe someone who is legalistic and rigid, it is not an accurate description of all Pharisees. The argument over the "Spirit of the Law" vs. The passage concerns a dialogue between Jesus and an "expert in the law" or "lawyer". As described in verse 25 "a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him saying, Teacher what must I do to inherit eternal life? Jesus responds by posing the question back to the lawyer, as already having knowledge of the law, "What is written in the law?

The question "Who is my neighbor? It is then that Jesus responds with the story of a man beaten by robbers who is ignored by a Priest and a Levite, but then rescued and compassionately cared for by a Samaritan. Priests and Levites were Israelites whose qualifications and duties were very meticulously set forth in Mosaic law, Leviticus 10, and Numbers while Samaritans were descended from Israelites who had intermarried with their Babylonian captives and had been forced to establish a sect with an alternative interpretation of the Law. In the story, both the Priest and Levite follow their prescribed regulations dutifully, yet do not help the injured traveler, even crossing to the other side of the road to avoid possible rule violations.

The Samaritan, whose very existence is based on a refutation of Jewish law, specifically those post-Pentateuchal biblical books that identify Mount Moriah as the proper place of worship specified in Deuteronomy 12; the Samaritans considered only the Pentateuch canon, and worshipped Yahweh in their temple on Mount Gerizim goes above and beyond simply tending to the injured man. He takes him to an inn and gives money for the man's care, promises and then actually does return to inquire about the man, and pay any overage incurred.

Jesus concludes by asking the lawyer which of the men was a "neighbor" to the beaten traveller, to which the reply was "the one who showed compassion". His purpose was to encourage people to look beyond the "letter of the law" to the "spirit of the law" Jesus quotes the book of Deuteronomy and Leviticus: "All the Law can be summed up in this: to love God with all your heart, all your mind and all your soul, and to love your neighbor as yourself" paraphrased.

Gaming the system , also called " rules lawyering ", is a pejorative phrase applied to someone who follows the letter of the law to obtain an outcome the speaker finds immoral or contrary to the spirit of the law. There are two reasons why this can be possible. A body of law may have been formulated in a way that permits ambiguity, or else there may be limitations in the law's scope or jurisdiction. For example, an offshore bank account can be used to reduce domestic tax obligations in some countries. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Concepts in philosophy of law.

the letter of the law

For other uses, see Letter of the law disambiguation and The Spirit of the Laws. This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. See also: Law and Gospel.

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