Discourse 139 – When worldly men of letters quote the Bible.

The Sermon on the Mount

Love of one’s neighbor in the New Testament

(Texts in a black frame are quotations from visitors to this site or from other authors.)

("Is this religion dangerous?" – a review by Johanna Pink in Die Zeit Online of the book "Feindliche Übernahme" ["Hostile Takeover"] by Thilo Sarrazin)

In any case Christianity is hardly Sarrazin’s strong point. Thus he states quite seriously, Jesus’s injunction to ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’ does not of course extend to embrace the whole of humanity, but refers just to a person’s immediate circle. Love of one’s neighbor could never have been put into practice in any other way…" If Sarrazin had taken the trouble to check this quotation against the Bible, he would have noticed that it does not come from the New Testament but is actually found in the book of Leviticus (19,18), and that Jesus, when referring to it in the Sermon on the Mount (a not insignificant text for the evolution of European culture) explicitly extends it to include love of one’s enemies – which Sarrazin would presumably see as a completely illogical and unrealistic expectation. But then he has a problem with religions in general, at any rate with monotheistic ones. Many of the things for which he reproaches Islam could equally well be leveled as a charge against Judaism and Christianity. And so it is only consistent if he would like to abolish the special prerogatives of the churches. But is it really necessary, for that reason, to make a point of putting terms like "religious freedom" or "equal treatment" in quotation marks, as if these were laughable fluffy constructs rather than essential elements of those very human rights that he wishes to defend against Islam?

Thilo Sarrazin


A number of reviews have already appeared of this new book by Thilo Sarrazin, but Johanna Pink’s commentary from Die Zeit Online, quoted above, also takes issue with the biblical authenticity of Sarrazin’s assertions. And here, as a person who knows the Bible, one can only be repeatedly astonished – in reading either Sarrazin or Pink – to find how inaccurately biblical statements are bandied about by worldly literati, and on what flimsy foundations.

Particularly when it comes to this parable on love of one’s neighbor, the faulty interpretation of which has been deliberately circulated by the Catholic church for centuries. When faced with the story of the good Samaritan, every Tom, Dick and Harry goes off into unctuous effusions, rather than taking the trouble to examine the actual meaning of this biblical text – both in the Old and in the New Testament.

Let’s take a look right away at Johanna Pink’s above arguments in relation to Sarrazin’s utterances on this theme. She criticizes Sarrazin for writing

"Jesus’ injunction to ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’ does not of course extend to embrace the whole of humanity, but refers just to a person’s immediate circle. Love of one’s neighbor could never have been put into practice in any other way…"

and then Johanna Pink claims, with a reference to the origin of this text in Lev 19,18, to demonstrate that the meaning of biblical love of one’s neighbor cannot just extend to "a person’s immediate circle", as Sarrazin thinks, but rather should be applied – as she clearly believes herself – to the whole of humanity. So from Johanna Pink’s point of view, every human being should love every other human being as himself or herself.

Leaving aside the fact that the true interpretation of this statement by Jesus in the New Testament has been turned into the opposite by the Catholic Church in a calculating way, which will be discussed further below, even the reference to the quotation from the Old Testament leaves the context completely out of account. When this passage from the book of Leviticus (the Third Book of Moses) 19,18 is cited:

You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

Lev 19,18 ‘You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the LORD. Lev 19,18;

no attempt is made to look into the start of this pronouncement by God, with a view to finding out in detail to whom God the Almighty actually addressed these words. If we do this, we can quickly identify the starting point of these statements – Lev 19,1, that is to say – and at the same time we learn who is on the receiving end of these commandments and injunctions:

Speak to all the congregation of the sons of Israel and say to them.

Lev 19,1 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: 19,2 "Speak to all the congregation of the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy. Lev 19,1-2;

So first of all it was Moses to whom God was speaking, and he gave Moses the commission to "speak to all the congregation of the sons of Israel". So it is the Israelites, the People of God who are Israel, who are being addressed both here and in verse 19,18 quoted earlier – and not the entire human race! So on that basis one Israelite should love another Israelite as him- or herself under certain circumstances (see further below), but this has no application whatsoever to anyone who is not an Israelite.

And the reason for this was that at that point in world history non-Israelites had absolutely no access to the God of the Bible. They were heathen, and if they did not convert to Mosaic Judaism, they were condemned to eternal damnation. So all these commandments and promises in the Old Testament therefore had validity exclusively for and among Israelites.

So too at that time the commandment to "love your neighbor as yourself" would only have applied to the Jews. Hence Sarrazin is partially right here when he states that this commandment "does not extend to embrace the whole of humanity, but refers just to a person’s immediate circle." Not, however, just any kind of immediate circle but the circle of one’s own people – which meant, at that time, the people of Israel.

Here of course the argument will be advanced that those times are long gone, and with the coming of Christianity all the people of this world now have access to the God of the Bible. This is completely correct, but here again a small detail is almost always overlooked.

The Israelites back then were the "People of God", and all God’ s promises and commandments referred to them. This included, in particular, the promise of the "Kingdom of God". But since God sent his Son to save Israel from the unbelief into which it had fallen, they rejected their Messiah and handed him over to the Romans to be crucified.

But in doing so they broke the covenant with their God, which God accordingly dissolved. And so too the "Kingdom of God", which had been promised to the Israelites, was likewise taken away from them at that time.

The kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people, producing the fruit of it.

Mt 21,42 Jesus said to them, "Did you never read in the Scriptures, ‘the stone which the builders rejected, this became the chief corner stone; This came about from the LORD, and it is marvelous in our eyes’? 21,43 "Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people, producing the fruit of it. 21,44 "And he who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust." 21,45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard His parables, they understood that He was speaking about them. 21,46 When they sought to seize Him, they feared the people, because they considered Him to be a prophet. Mt 21,42-46;

And if we want to know the identity of the "people" who will inherit the Kingdom of God in place of Israel, we find the answer in Matthew:

Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you.

Mt 25,31 "But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. 25,32 "All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats;

25,33 and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left. 25,34 "Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. Mt 25,31-34;

(See also Discourse 143: "Shavuot: Has Israel broken its covenant with God?")

It is the righteous, then, the correctly believing Christians of all nations (including Israel, in cases where a Jew has converted to Jesus Christ) who bring forth their fruit and who will inherit the Kingdom of God.

And that, now, is the little detail that people are so prone to overlook: all human beings of this world have access to the God of the Bible, true, but only a few avail themselves of the possibility. Anyone who does not believe in the Son of God has no contact with God either.

No one comes to the Father but through Me.

Jn 14,6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. Jn 14, 6;

These people continue to be heathen, just as they were in former times. And they are not part of God’s people - neither in terms of the promises nor the commandments that apply among Christians - because they have no chance of salvation unless they convert.

And just as in earlier times the promises and commandments of God were valid for the people of Israel exclusively. But this people, in rejecting the Son of God, broke their covenant and therefore not only was their land and temple destroyed and they were driven into the Diaspora, but the promise for the Kingdom of God was also taken from them.

And so now the promises and commandments also apply only to the new "people of God", the orthodox Christians from all nations. And therefore also the commandments "Love your neighbor as yourself" or "Love your enemies" is not valid for the Gentiles, but only for the own "people", only among the biblical-Christian believers.

It is just this detail that is repeatedly overlooked by worldly commentators, when they write about the Bible, and about the Sermon on the Mount in particular. All these commandments have application only within the new People of God, among the biblical Christians of all nations of this world. They certainly do NOT apply to the entire human race!

If you must see the Sermon on the Mount – as Johanna Pink does – as being " a not insignificant text for the evolution of European culture", you should at least quote Jesus’s words on the basis of genuine biblical understanding, and not fall victim to the centuries old fraudulent misinterpretation of them by the Catholic church, with its advocacy of a love of one’s neighbor that includes the godless, murderers and criminals.

The Sermon on the Mount

If the commandment of Jesus "Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two" (Mt 5:41) were to apply not just among correctly believing Christians but to all people in the entire world, then every Christian, when compelled by another person to rob a bank, would be obliged to help him rob two banks.

If somebody compels him to rape a woman, he would have join in raping two women; and if someone compels him to kill a Christian, then he would have to help him to kill two.

If a Catholic pastor forces you to let him rape your little son, then you have to give him your little daughter to rape her.

As we can see, this is the devilish distortion of the sayings of our Lord which turns Christians in their actions into Islamists and makes superficial preachers the henchmen of Satan.

If these commandments of the Lord were valid not only in the circle of the Christian community, but for all the people of this world, then the Sermon on the Mount would be a counterfeit of the devil and not a commandment of our Lord.

If it be argued that there is nothing in the Sermon on the Mount to say that these commandments should only apply to our brethren in Christ, we must counter this by pointing out that there is nothing in the Sermon on the Mount, either, to the effect that the correctly believing Christian is not permitted to commit robbery, rape or murder and that is also a matter of course.

So if the latter is undoubtedly implied by the text, there is no reason why the same should not be the case with the former. The more so in that we have a superlative demonstration of the way in which the Lord himself viewed these non-Christians, with whom we Christians are apparently supposed to make common cause: 

Jn 3,19This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil (Jn 8:43-44; Mt 3:7; Mt 12:34-35; Mt 23:32-33). 3,20 For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 3,21 But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God. Jn 3:19-21;

So should we turn away from the light to enter the darkness? It is the godless people of this world and the idol worshipers of the Catholic Church who want to persuade us that. They would like us to come to them in the darkness.

How little understanding must those preachers have who try to tell us that we should "go two miles" with all persons without distinction – with those, that is to say, who are in darkness?

And just as with love of one’s neighbor, so the love of one’s enemies, mentioned here by the Lord, naturally applies only in the context of biblical Christianity. Yes, even here we do find enmity! Not mortal enmity, such as we find among the godless, but sometimes there can actually be enmity between Christians. And according to God’s commandment, I am obliged to love these, my enemies, as well.

But we can recognize that this is a quite different conception of "enmity" – even if the difference is apparently quite slight. It is not a matter of who is right, but rather of what is right. Even a person who has made an erroneous assertion to begin with must and will, in the last resort, acknowledge what is right – in the biblical Christian congregation at least.

Love of one’s neighbor in the New Testament

As we have said above, the commandment to love one’s neighbor in the New Testament has been deliberately misinterpreted by the Catholic church for centuries. The meaning of these statements has been twisted in such a way as to suggest they are an injunction to support the poor and the needy of this world with charitable donations (including financial handouts).

Naturally the Catholic church was happy to take on the job of collecting and distributing these donations. Only insiders are aware that these donations for the most part ended up in the wealth funds and bank accounts of the Vatican Bank "Spirito Santo" (Holy Spirit!! ) – which has thus, to the present day, accumulated sums amounting to more than 200 billion euros.

In order to realize the true meaning of this text, let us just take a closer look at this parable of the good Samaritan:

Love of our neighbor.

The one who showed mercy on him, this is his neighbor, whom he should love as himself.

Lk 10,25 And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" 10,26 He said to him, "What is written in the law? How do you read?" 10,27 And he answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself." 10,28 And he said to him, "You have answered right; do this, and you will live."

10,29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, "And who is my neighbor?" 10,30 Jesus replied, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him, and departed, leaving him half dead.

10,31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. 10,32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 10,33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion, 10,34 and went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; then he set him on his own beast and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 10,35 And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’

10,36 Which of these three, do you think, proved neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?" 10,37 He said, "The one who showed mercy on him." And Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise." Lk 10,25-37;

Like the incorrect interpretation of the "least of my brothers" in Mat 25,40, the complete reversal of the biblical concept of "love of our neighbor" by churches, preachers and aid organizations is one of the biggest deceptions, practiced with a view to stimulating compassion in credulous contemporaries and accumulating funds from donations with minimum effort.

Based on the words of our Lord Jesus Christ in the parable of the Good Samaritan, the commandment to love ones neighbor does not amount to loving and supporting persons in need (as the hypocritical Catholic church keeps trying to persuade us), but means – on the contrary – showing love toward those people who have helped us.

In this biblical passage the Lord is asked by a listener who this "neighbor" is whom we are enjoined to love. And the Lord tells him this parable, in which a man is attacked and robbed and left lying injured on the road. Two Jewish clerics went past without paying him any attention, and only a man from Samaria, who was the third to come along, gave him help.

And from this parable the Lord now derives (in Luke 10,36-37) the answer to the question who is a persons neighbor:

"Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers’ hands?" And he said, "The one who showed mercy toward him." Then Jesus said to him, "Go and do the same."

The Samaritan, then, is the "neighbor" of the injured man. And so, too, this injured man must love the Samaritan – his neighbor (Mat 22,39) – because the latter has helped and looked after him. Consequently the commandment that we should love our neighbors means – Love those people who have helped you, and show them your love, in just the same way as they have shown their love to you in their helping you.

Love of our neighbor, then, is not a category of compassion but rather one of gratitude.

So that is what this parable of the Lord Jesus tells us. And it also says – if some one comes to you personally or you meet them personally and they ask you personally for your help or you see that they are personally in need of help, then, as a correctly believing Christian, you should personally help them. And they should then love you (based on Mt 22,39) personally out of gratitude, in the same way as they love themselves.

Anyone who doesn’t take this to heart is supporting the godless, idol worshipers, criminals and terrorists!
(2Cor 6:14)

Now this is something quite different from those charity campaigns for refugees whom we never get to know, and who do not have any idea who has helped them. And in this context most of the money is not spent on the refugees themselves, but goes to the salaries, logistical operations and other expenses of these "aid organizations".

In the past the Catholic church set itself up as a big helper of humanity, using third party funds (donations) for the purpose, and people accepted the idolatrous Catholic faith (cf."Mary" and the cult of the dead "saints") out of gratitude.

In future the Moslem refugees – and their numerous progeny! – will be more likely to do the opposite. Rather in the same way as the Catholic church in South America forced the indios to accept the Catholic faith on pain of death, having become the democratically legitimated majority in parliaments Moslems may well compel Catholics by law to convert to Islam.

But this trend is already making itself evident at the present day, when godless "do‒gooders" and politically correct persons try to force Christians by law to remove the symbol of Christianity – the cross – from their public environment.

This "law" of which the Lord speaks further above, in Lk 10,26, is the Torah, the Book of Moses (specifically: Deut 6,5 and Deut 3,19,18), to which he also refers in Mt 22,37-40.

You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

Deut 6,4 "Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! 6,5 "You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. Deut 6,4-5;

You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

Lev 19,17 ‘You shall not hate your fellow countryman in your heart; you may surely reprove your neighbor, but shall not incur sin because of him. 19,18 ‘You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the LORD. Lev 19,17-18;

As the Lord says here, on these two commandments – the love of God and love of one’s neighbor – depend the whole Law (all the commandments of God) and the Prophets. So it is a matter of the greatest importance to understand and interpret these statements in their correct sense. And yet the above parable of the good Samaritan, with its statement about the identity of one’s "neighbor ", is probably the world’s most frequently misunderstood passage, based on a superficial view that is either willful or else is the result of ignorance – and the misunderstanding goes on.

The misunderstanding does not relate to the injunction to be merciful and helpful. That is right and proper, and it emerges quite clearly from the Lord’s statement at the end of the parable, in Lk 10,37. The misunderstanding is rather based on the fact that the answer to the lawyer’s question is interpreted incorrectly.

Some commentators get completely bogged down in the text of the parable, and go to great pains to answer the question why the priest and the Levite, by contrast with the Samaritan, did not come to the assistance of the man who fell among robbers, without paying the necessary attention to the real question of this parable, "Who is my neighbor? " – or in other words, "Whom must I love as myself? "

The generally accepted understanding of the passage – understandably taken up and disseminated by social institutions of every description – is that God here enjoins us to love all the poor and needy of this world as ourselves, and based on this love of ours, extend our assistance and support to them accordingly.

But if we take a closer look at this text, a somewhat different message emerges. Because here, in the Lord’s concluding question to the scribe, where he identifies this "neighbor ", we find the words:

"Which of these three, do you think, proved neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers? "

So he is being asked here who is the neighbor – the neighbor, that is to say, from the point of view the man who fell among robbers. This, then, should be the answer to the scribe’s question in Lk 10,29, "And who is my neighbor? "

But at the same time this is a concrete reference to the identity of the "neighbor " in the second commandment (the second, after the first commandment to love God), and for us Christians designates those people whom we should love as ourselves. And here we can see, in the above question of the Lord’s and the answer given by the lawyer, a difference from the common interpretation.

The Lord asks who proved a neighbor to the man who fell among robbers. And the lawyer answers, "The one who showed mercy on him. " Hence it is not the needy person who is the neighbor of the Samaritan, it’s the other way around: in helping the man, it was the Samaritan who proved a neighbor to the victim.

But it follow logically from this that it is not the "Samaritans " – the helpers – who are being enjoined to love the poor and needy "as themselves ". Perhaps they should indeed be merciful and lend help as required. That in the last resort, of course, gives proof of the fact that they do actually love these persons in need. But it is the needy, whom they have helped, who are being asked to love their helpers "as themselves ", based on this commandment of God.

And here again we can see how this differs from the secularized understanding of the parable. Whereas the latter tries – by turning the literal meaning back to front – to give the impression that in this parable the victim of the robbers is the neighbor of the Samaritan, and postulates that the poor of the whole world are the "neighbors " of those who are better off, the Lord is here first of all referring to quite personal assistance rendered in our direct personal circle, and secondly, he commands those who have been helped to love their helpers "as themselves ".

The commandment to love one’s neighbor, then, according to the Lord’s words in this parable, comes to this: Love those people who have helped you, and show them your love just as they have shown their love to you by helping you. It follows that love of one’s neighbor is not a category of compassion but rather one of gratitude.

And it is easy to see that this commandment does not just apply to the poor and the needy. It applies equally to those of us who are not needy, inasmuch as we too should be personally grateful to all those who have helped us in life – parents, brothers and sisters, relations, friends and even strangers who have stood by us in an emergency situation and - provided they are all biblical Christians - should love them as we love ourselves. According to the Bible, they are our neighbors – and not all the human beings of this earth.

And based on this biblically correct view of the second commandment, that of loving our neighbor, we can also find an explanation (here below in Mt 22,37-39) of the first commandment, that of loving God.

You shall love the Lord your GOD with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.

Mt 22,37 And He said to him, "‘You shall love the Lord your GOD with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 22,38 "This is the great and foremost commandment. 22,39 "The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 22,40 "On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets." Mt 22,37-40;

So we shouldn’t love God because he might be supposed to be needy, or in need of our help in any kind of way, but rather because he has given us our life and everything we require for it. He has created everything – the universe up to our planet, with everything that exists and lives on it. And he has given it to us.

And consequently we should love God with all our heart, because he has cared for us in this way, just as we should love our neighbors who have helped us along the path of life and looked after us. It’s the same background to both the commandments, the true love of God and true love of one’s neighbor.

But the pedophile Catholic church turned the target group of "our neighbor " into "all the poor of this world ", and so laid a false trail. Superficial and credulous people follow this trail, trusting in spurious insinuations and believing that they are on the right path. But in fact they are being led astray and are being misdirected onto the wrong path.

"I heard another voice from heaven, saying, ‘Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues’"
(Rev 18:4)