“Do Ye Even So to Them”

Brant Gardner

This is the Golden Rule. Robert Guelich comments:

The content of this saying has parallels in a broad spectrum of ancient literature in the Greek, Roman, Jewish, and Oriental world. One of the most commonly cited parallels comes from the Talmud where Hillel, who lived just before Jesus, answered a query about the law’s content with “What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow-creature. That is the whole Law; all else is explanation.” Numerous other parallels exist in late Jewish literature. Although some have attributed the positive formulation to Jesus and the negative to common sense and therefore distinguished between the basic thrust of the two formulations, the positive expression also appears.… Furthermore, the early church preserved the saying in its negative form in Didaché 1:2 and Acts 15:20, 28. In other words, it would be difficult to demonstrate that the content of the Golden Rule in itself was unique to Jesus or the early church.

After a section on how our horizontal relationships affect or model the vertical relationship, Jesus returns to his instructions on how to implement the gospel in our daily lives. This saying continues the emphasis on the horizontal relationships and is perhaps best paired with the first five verses that similarly deal with interpersonal relationships. A difference, however, is that the clauses are not structured by an antithesis, further suggesting that Jesus inserted a common saying, rather than creating one.

Comparison: There are no changes from the Matthean text.

Second Witness: Analytical & Contextual Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 5