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Transforming: The Church as Agent of Change in the Parable of the Good Samaritan


2. All biblical citations are from the New International Version (NIV).

3. See Craig S. Keener’s remarks in IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament. (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1993), 217.

4. Jesus words are reminiscent of Lev. 18:5 which promises life to those who keep the Law. But the life promised in the Torah was a reference to a long life in the land of their inheritance. Later Jewish interpretation expanded this promise to eternal life, which is the same application made by Jesus here. See Keener, Bible Background, p. 217.

5. Ibid.

6. The New Testament expansion of this principle can be found in 1 Jn 4:19-21, “We love, because He first loved us. If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.”

7. An example is provided for us by Josephus who relates an incident under the procurator Coponius (AD 6-9). He relates how the Samaritans sneaked into the temple precincts on the eve of the Passover and scattered the bones and ashes of the dead in the outer courts. See Josephus, Antiquities, 18.2.2.

8. Burton L. Goodard, “Justice,” in the Baker’ Dictionary of Theology, ed. E. F. Harrison (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1960), p.309

9. R. Duane Thompson, “Justice,” in the Beacon Dictionary of Theology, ed. R. S. Taylor (Kansas City, Missouri: Beacon Hill Press, 1983), p.296.



This article first appeared in the Fall 2004 issue of Encounter. Used with permission.


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Category: Biblical Studies, Winter 2009

About the Author: James D. Hernando, Ph.D. (Drew University), is Professor of New Testament at the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary. He is author of Dictionary of Hermeneutics (Gospel Publishing House, 2005), the commentary on 2 Corinthians in the Full Life Bible Commentary to the New Testament (Zondervan, 1999), as well as numerous articles and papers.

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