Mark 12:30-31 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Luke 14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. Don't these contradict each other?
Mark 12:30 - 31
KJV - 30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. 31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
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To me, Jesus' use of the word "hate" in the verse from Mark cited in the question is not meant in the sense of active enmity or hostility, but to emphatically express a degree of comparison, or a willingness to freely give up. Jesus demands first priority in the lives of His followers. (As He said in Matthew 10:34-39, the decision of an individual to love and follow Him can cause households to become divided, and that those who love their family members more than Him in such cases are not worthy of Him.) Christians are to love others, including (of course) family members. However, if a person's decision to follow Jesus results in irreconcilable conflict with, or opposition from, others (no matter how close or dear those others may be to the disciple), the disciple must be willing to give them up or turn away from them, just as he would shun an enemy, or someone whom he hated. (Jesus also said in Luke 14:26 that his followers must even "hate" their own lives, in the sense of being willing to give them up, rather than to deny or forsake Him.)
According with Strong's Concordance the verb translated from Greek as "hate" in Luke 14:26 is miséō - which also means to love someone or something less than someone (something) else, i.e. to renounce one choice in favor of another. [Note the comparative meaning miséō which centers in moral choice, elevating one value over another.] Jesus here is not saying that we should hate anyone, however, if we want to follow Him we shouldn't place our affection on anything else. Jesus makes a similar statement in Luke 9:62. Of course we should love our families, friends and our lives, but that should take priority over our love for Christ. In Revelation 12:11 we read that those who overcome the devil were victorious by the the blood of the Lamb and did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.
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