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The letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life

A statement made in the New Testament by the Apostle Paul.

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Note

The general sense is that strict observance of the letter of the law is far less important than being true to its spirit.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.