There Are Three Biblical Versions Of The Decalogue But None Of Them Contains A List Of 10 Items Never Mind Commandments
Finding the 10 commandments clearly listed in the Bible is a difficult, if not impossible, task. Not because they are cryptically hidden in some obscure, easy-to-overlook passage. Quite the contrary. It is rather because there are three different versions of what passes for them. One is found in Exodus , the second one in Deuteronomy , and the third one in Leviticus . To make matters worse, the three of them are organized and phrased quite differently. Getting a clean list of 10 items out of them is a delicate matter that requires exceptional hermeneutic and editorial skills.
Needless to say, depending on whether the reader is Jewish or Christian these commandments will be numbered differently. Catholics, for example, consider no other gods plus no graven images to be the first commandment. Lutherans agree, but other Protestant Christians separate this commandment in two, no graven images being a commandment on its own.
The first two versions of the Decalogue are the ones modern readers are more acquainted with. Broadly speaking, they are relatively similar. But this doesnt mean they dont differ from each other in important aspects. For example, in the book of Exodus, the Sabbath command is a relatively intellectual or spiritual one. In Deuteronomy, it is clearly more physical. The original text of Exodus reads to remember . Deuteronomy reads to keep, or to actively preserve .
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The Hebrew And Jewish Ten Commandments
The Ten Commandments are a special set of spiritual laws to the Jews that the LORD Himself wrote on two stone tablets that Moses brought down from Mount Sinai. They are usually referred to as Aseret haDiberot, In rabbinical writings and in the Scriptures they are called the aseret hadevarim, the ten words or ten utterances. They are called the Decalogue in Christian theological writings which is derived from the Greek name dekalogos found in the Septuagint which is the Greek translation of the Hebrew name.
The Torah has a total of 613 commandments to the Jews which also includes the ten from the Decalogue. Traditional Rabbinical belief is that these commandments apply solely to the Jewish people while in fact some of them did though only to the cross. I have heard today many use this information as a means of trying to avoid the Decalogue. Some erroneously state that if you obey the Decalogue then you have to obey all 613 laws which is utter nonsense and those quoting this should be ashamed.
|Jewish Ten Commandments|
I am the Lord your G-d who has taken you out of the land of Egypt.
You shall have no other gods but me.
You shall not take the name of the Lord your G-d in vain.
You shall remember the Sabbath and keep it Holy.
Honor your mother and father.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not bear false witness.
You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor.
Did The Ten Commandments Change With The New Covenant
The Old Covenant was the Decalogue itself, Exodus 34:28And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the Ten Commandments. And Deuteronomy 4:13, And he declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even Ten Commandments and he wrote them upon two tables of stone. Did anything change with Gods law in the New Covenant and if so why was it changed. Hebrews 8:6-10 gives us the answer, But now has he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises. For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second. For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people.
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They Set Us Apart From The World
As Christians, we are a kingdom of priests and a holy nation . We must be prepared to stand alone, to look different, and to have rules the world doesnt understand. Of course, we arent always the holy people we should be, but thats what he has called us to be. Thats who we are. We are Gods people, set apart to live according to Gods ways.
What Jesus Christ Taught Concerning The 10 Commandments In The New Testament
Jesus Christ consistently upheld the 10 Commandments as given in the Old Testament. In His Sermon on the Mount, He very pointedly stated: Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill .
Although some mistakenly think that fulfill in this passage means to complete and therefore abolish, what Jesus said afterwards shows this could not be the case.
Continuing, Jesus said: For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven .
On another occasion, a man came to Jesus asking, Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? .
Responding, Jesus said, You know the commandments: Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and your mother .
The point Jesus was making was that it should have been obvious to the man that he needed to keep the 10 Commandments. Jesus named enough of them to make it clear that this was the body of law this man needed to observe.
Jesus instruction to obey the 10 Commandments continues to apply to us today.
And, Jesus said, the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself .
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Writing The 10 Commandments On Our Hearts And Minds
Gods ultimate goal is not to have the 10 Commandments inscribed on tablets of stone, but to have them written in our hearts and minds so that we will remember them and always live by them.
The book of Hebrews shows that the fault with the old agreement between God and man was not with God or with His law. The fault was with them with the imperfect humans who could not continually obey these good and beneficial laws.
So what is Gods solution to this problem? Jeremiah had prophesied about a new agreement . What would be the big change between the old and new? I will put My laws in their mind and write them on their hearts .
Internalizing the 10 Commandments means we can grow to think, feel and act in the same way the Author of those commandments thinks, feels and acts. This is part of having the mind of Christ .
Learn more about the 10 Commandments by studying each commandment and committing to strive to obey them. For further study, read the articles in this section: The 10 Commandments and God’s Way of Life.
They Show Us Who God Is
The law is an expression of the Lawgivers heart and character. We must think about that before we say, I dont care for laws, or before we bristle at the thought of dos and donts. The commandments not only show us what God wants they show us what God is like. They say something about his honor, his worth, and his majesty. They tell us what matters to God. We cant disdain the law without disrespecting the Lawgiver.
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Watch Our Video Series The 10 Commandments: Transformed By The 10
About the Author
Mike Bennett is editorial content manager for the Church of God, a Worldwide Association, in the Dallas, Texas, area. He coordinates the Life, Hope & Truth website, Discern magazine, the Daily Bible Verse Blog and the Life, Hope & Truth Weekly Newsletter . He is also part of the Personal Correspondence team of ministers who have the privilege of answering questions sent to Life, Hope & Truth.
The 10 Commandments In The Bible
The 10 commandments, which are the cornerstones of Gods law, are still relevant and valid today. They form the basis of what God expects of people in order to enter into eternal life.
But if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
The 10 commandments are in Exodus 20 in the Bible. Here you can find them listed in full and without abbreviations, just as they are written in the Bible.
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Questions For Reflection And Discussion:
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How Do The Ten Commandments Differ In Different Religious Traditions
The numbering of the Ten Commandments differs in different religious traditions. In Talmudic Judaism, the prologue is the first commandment, or utterance, and the prohibitions against false gods and idols are the second. Medieval Roman tradition regards these elements as one and splits the commandment forbidding coveting anothers wife and anothers property into two. Greek Orthodox tradition regards the prologue and prohibition against false gods as the first commandment and the prohibition against idols as the second.
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The Ten Commandments Function As A Mirror
Believers nowadays thus need not obey the Old Testament laws anymore.
But their function as a mirror is still helpful to make us see how awful sin actually is. Like Paul states: If it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, You shall not covet . Naturally, we tend to underestimate our own sinfulness and not realize its seriousness. The Ten Commandments can help us overcome that problem.
Obedience Comes With A Reward
Dear precious friends, its by our obedience to God’s Word that the abundance comes. It is our prayer at Weekday Religious Education that you experience this abundance as you follow his teaching and teach them to your children.
Let us end with this promise from God in Proverb 3: 1-4 My sons and daughters, do not forget my teaching but keep my commands in your heart, for they will prolong your life many years and bring you prosperity. Let love and faithfulness never leave you bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.
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Bible Verses About Ten Commandments
Bible verses related to Ten Commandments from the King James Version by Relevance
Exodus 20:3-17 – Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Leviticus 22:31 – Therefore shall ye keep my commandments, and do them: I am the LORD.Matthew 5:17-22 – Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. Exodus 34:28 – And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.Deuteronomy 4:13 – And he declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even ten commandments and he wrote them upon two tables of stone.1 John 2:3-6 – And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. Romans 6:15 – What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
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The 10 Commandments In The Last Book Of The New Testament
Toward the end of the first centurysome 60 years after His death and resurrectionJesus revealed end-time instructions through John in the book of Revelation. In this book He identifies faithful members of His Church as those who keep the commandments of God .
Some of the final words of the Bible and this revelation of Jesus Christ likewise state: Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city .
The 10 Commandments given by God in the Old Testament continue to be Gods expectations of Christians today.
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Why The Ten Commandments Are Important To God
The Ten Commandments were spoken to Moses in God’s own voice and then later written on two tablets of stone by the very finger of God. They are extremely important to God. After Moses destroyed the tablets inscribed by God, he made Moses write new ones, just like the ones he had written himself.
Moses destroyed the tablets in his anger. His breaking of the tablets was symbolic of the laws of God being broken in the hearts of his people. Moses had righteous anger at the sight of sin. Anger at sin is a sign of spiritual health. It is appropriate to experience righteous anger. However, we should always be careful that it does not lead us to sin.
The Ten Commandments are the first part of God’s law system. In essence, they are a summary of the hundreds of laws found in the Old Testament Law. Designed to guide Israel into a life of practical holiness, the Ten Commandments offer basic rules of behavior for spiritual and moral living.
The Hebrew meaning of Ten Commandments is literally “ten words.” The Greek translation gives us our word referring to the moral law. In general, the first four commandments are directed toward God and our obligations to him. The next six focus on our duties toward other people in the community. Together, the ten serve to create a community devoted to one God that is characterized by social justice.
Hebrews 8:10 assures us of a new covenant written in Jesus’ blood:
What Were Gods Last Words
- 2.1 1. Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.
- 2.2 2. To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.
- 2.3 3. Woman, behold, thy son! Behold, thy mother!
- 2.4 4. My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
- 2.5 5. I thirst.
- 2.6 6. It is finished.
- 2.7 7. Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.
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What The Apostle Paul Taught About The 10 Commandments In The New Testament
Realizing that Jesus consistently upheld all of the commandments, including observing the seventh-day Sabbath , some wrongly suggest that it was the apostle Paul, with Jesus personal approval, who introduced grace and the abolishment of the law.
This misguided idea that Paul taught against keeping the 10 Commandments is clearly refuted by the apostle himself.
Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good, said Paul . And as for grace, he wrote: Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? .
The 10 Commandments given by God in the Old Testament continue to be Gods expectations of Christians today.The truth is that Jesus did not change His mind about the importance of keeping all of the 10 Commandments. As Hebrews 13:8 states: Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.