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  #1  
Old Jan 13, '13, 1:04 am
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Default Why are the Catholic 10 Commandments different?

Could you please explain why the Church has a different numbering of the 10 Commandments to the Jewish people? How did this happen and why? What is the reasoning for it to be different? For example why is the 10th Commandment "Not to covert anything that is your neighbors" split into the 9th and 10th commandments for Catholics?
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Old Jan 13, '13, 1:09 am
patrick457 patrick457 is offline
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Default Re: Why are the Catholic 10 Commandments different?

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Originally Posted by Kindness View Post
Could you please explain why the Church has a different numbering of the 10 Commandments to the Jewish people? How did this happen and why? What is the reasoning for it to be different? For example why is the 10th Commandment "Not to covert anything that is your neighbors" split into the 9th and 10th commandments for Catholics?
Simply put, it really boils down to a difference in reckoning (the Bible never explicitly says how to parse the various injunctions into ten statements). Most Protestants and the Eastern Church use one system, Catholics and Lutherans use another, and modern-day Jews use a third one.
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Old Jan 13, '13, 1:18 am
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Default Re: Why are the Catholic 10 Commandments different?

When I read Jewish theology and history it seems that they always retained the same 10 in the same division and order, not just "modern day Jews".
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Old Jan 13, '13, 2:36 am
patrick457 patrick457 is offline
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Default Re: Why are the Catholic 10 Commandments different?

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When I read Jewish theology and history it seems that they always retained the same 10 in the same division and order, not just "modern day Jews".
Which would put you in a bit of a problem, since two 1st century Jewish writers (Philo and Josephus) divide the Ten Words according to what is called the Philonic division - the same reckoning used by the Greek Church and by most Protestants today.
Now the most excellent five were of this character, they related to the monarchial principle on which the world is governed; to images and statues, and in short to all erections of any kind made by hand; to the duty of not taking the name of God in vain; to that of keeping the holy seventh day in a manner worthy of its holiness; to paying honour to parents both separately to each, and commonly to both. So that of the one table the beginning is the God and Father and Creator of the universe; and the end are one's parents, who imitate his nature, and so generate the particular individuals. And the other table of five contains all the prohibitions against adulteries, and murder, and theft, and false witness, and covetousness.

- Philo, De Decalogo 12.51

Having said this, he led the people forward, together with the women and children, so that they might hear God converse with them concerning what they must do, in order that the excellence of spoken words might not be harmed by a human tongue in being transmitted to their knowledge. All heard a voice coming from on high to all, so that none of the ten sayings escaped them that Moyses left inscribed on the two tablets. It is not permitted for us to speak them openly verbatim, but we shall reveal their contents.

The first saying teaches us that God is one and that it is necessary to worship him alone. The second bids us to make an image of no living being or to worship it, the third to swear by God on nothing insignificant, the fourth to observe the seventh days by ceasing from all work, the fifth to honor parents, the sixth to desist from murder (φόνου), the seventh not to commit adultery, the eighth not to engage in theft, the ninth not to bear false witness, and the tenth to desire (ἐπιθυμίαν) nothing belonging to another.

- Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, 3.89-92 (3.5.5)
Modern-day Jews use what is called the Talmudic division, which is implied in the Babylonian Talmud (Makkot 24a) and other rabbinic literature.
R. Simlai when preaching said: Six hundred and thirteen precepts were communicated to Moses, three hundred and sixty-five negative precepts, corresponding to the number of solar days [in the year], and two hundred and forty-eight positive precepts, corresponding to the number of the members of man's body. Said R. Hamnuna: What is the [authentic] text for this? It is, Moses commanded us torah, an inheritance of the congregation of Jacob, ‘torah’ being in letter-value, equal to six hundred and eleven, ‘I am’ and ‘Thou shalt have no [other Gods]’ [not being reckoned, because] we heard from the mouth of the Might [Divine].

===

The first word, as it came forth from the mouth of the Holy One, whose Name be blessed, was like storms, and lightnings, and flames of fire, with a burning light on His right hand and on His left. It winged its way through the air of the heavens, and was made manifest unto the camp of Israel, and returned, and was engraved on the tablets of the covenant that were given by the hand of Mosheh, and were turned in them from side to side: and then called He, and said, "Sons of Israel, my people, I am the Lord your God, who brought you out free from the land of Mizraim, from the house of the bondage of slaves."

The second word which came forth from the mouth of the Holy One, whose Name be blessed, was like storms, and lightnings, and flames of fire. A burning light was on His right hand and on His left and was borne through the air of the heavens, returned, and was made manifest unto the camp of Israel; it returned, and was engraved on the tablets of the covenant, and was turned in them from side to side. Then called He, and said, "House of Israel, my people, you shall have no other God besides me. You shall not make to yourselves image or figure, or any likeness of what is in the heavens above, or on the earth beneath, or in the waters under the earth. You shall not bow down to them, or worship before them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God and an avenger, punishing with vengeance, recording the guilt of wicked fathers upon rebellious children unto the third and unto the fourth generation of them who hate me; but keeping mercy and goodness for thousands of generations of the righteous who love me, and who keep my commandments and my laws.

"My people of the house of Israel, let no one of you swear by the name of the Word of the Lord your God in vain; for in the day of the great judgment the Lord will not hold guiltless any one who swears by His name in vain..."

- Targum Pseudo-Jonathan on Exodus 20

When Moses would speak and make the Decalogue heard to Israel - for they heard from the mouth of God only “I am…” and “You shall not have” (Makkot 24a) - the Holy One, blessed be He, would assist him [Moses] by giving him strength so that his voice would be strong and audible.

- Rashi, Commentary on Exodus 19:19
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Old Jan 13, '13, 2:53 am
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Default Re: Why are the Catholic 10 Commandments different?

But that still doesn't explain why the Church chose a different system of division or why.
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Old Jan 13, '13, 2:55 am
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Default Re: Why are the Catholic 10 Commandments different?

To summarize:
Philonic

1.) You shall have no other gods before me.
2.) You shall not make for yourself a carved idol.
3.) You shall not make wrongful use of the name of YHWH your God.
4.) Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy.
5.) Honor your father and your mother.
6.) You shall not murder.
7.) You shall not commit adultery.
8.) You shall not steal.
9.) You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
10.) You shall not covet.

Talmudic

1.) I am YHWH your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt.
2.) You shall have no other gods before me.
3.) You shall not make wrongful use of the name of YHWH your God.
4.) Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy.
5.) Honor your father and your mother.
6.) You shall not murder.
7.) You shall not commit adultery.
8.) You shall not steal.
9.) You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
10.) You shall not covet.
Catholics and Lutherans meanwhile follow what is called the Augustinian division, the one used by St. Augustine. There is one slight difference between the Catholic and the Lutheran version (the command not to covet against one's neighbor's wife and one's neighbor's possessions - the ninth and the tenth in the Catholic reckoning - are switched together in the Lutheran version).
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Old Jan 13, '13, 3:09 am
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Default Re: Why are the Catholic 10 Commandments different?

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Originally Posted by Kindness View Post
But that still doesn't explain why the Church chose a different system of division or why.
Personally I think that it might be due to the huge influence of St. Augustine in Western theology, that the Church decided to use his numbering system. Luther continued using the division again perhaps out of custom, although he made the system conform more to the text of Exodus (Augustine's follows the version found in Deuteronomy) by switching the final two commandments.

The East, meanwhile, de facto used the Philonic ordering apparently because that was the reckoning familiar to some Greek Fathers. John Calvin adopted the Philonic system because the command against graven images reinforced the iconoclasm of Calvinistic churches - you can say that it was really Calvin who made the division of the Ten Commandments a huge issue.
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Old Jan 13, '13, 3:14 am
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Default Re: Why are the Catholic 10 Commandments different?

I didn't realize it was a "huge issue" I just was looking online for a poster of the 10 Commandments for my children and found there are many different divisions. That led me to wonder why and have an explanation for myself and my children when I discuss it with them.
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Old Jan 13, '13, 3:53 am
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Lightbulb Re: Why are the Catholic 10 Commandments different?

These are from up in the Ask an Apologist forum and cover it pretty well.
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Old Jan 13, '13, 8:01 am
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Default Re: Why are the Catholic 10 Commandments different?

Deuteronomy 5:21 also splits commandment 9 and commandment 10. There are two sets of "ten commandments" in the Bible. One in Exodus (the one Protestants look to) and the one in Deuteronomy (the one Catholics look to).
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Old Jan 13, '13, 8:17 am
TomD123 TomD123 is offline
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Default Re: Why are the Catholic 10 Commandments different?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kindness View Post
Could you please explain why the Church has a different numbering of the 10 Commandments to the Jewish people? How did this happen and why? What is the reasoning for it to be different? For example why is the 10th Commandment "Not to covert anything that is your neighbors" split into the 9th and 10th commandments for Catholics?
I think a lot of good answers have been given. I just wanted to add, there are a few theological reasons.

First of all, the object of the first commandment is the worship of God. In Catholicism, there is no need to split the first into 2 commandments because they amount to the same basic thing, that is, the worship of the one true God. Whether one worships Idols with or without a statue doesn't change the nature of the command.

On the other hand, the last two commandments should be separate. The 9th forbids the desire for adultery and the 10th the desire to steal. Adultery and stealing are separate sins, thus the desire to sin are different. They each have a command forbidding desire because the desire for money and sex are desires of concupiscence. St. Thomas explains better in the Summa in his section on justice he talks about the 10 Commandments.

On a side note, I do think coveting possessions and coveting a wife are different. In reality, a man's wife is not his posession and thus coveting is a much different sin in this way.....So I don't think its a huge deal why the commandments are split teh way they are, and I'm not sure you could consider one way the "correct way" I just think the point is that we can look at them ordered slightly different in order to see different theological points. IMO the Latin Rite Catholic system (Augustine's) is the best.
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Old Jan 13, '13, 8:32 am
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Default Re: Why are the Catholic 10 Commandments different?

One further issue is that English translations differ substantially, even among Catholics, and more among other denominations. I presume the same is true in German and many other languages. My favorite place to see a comparisons, by verse, is Bible.com (look for older "previous" version icon at bottom of Net Bible page.
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Old Jan 13, '13, 9:24 am
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Default Re: Why are the Catholic 10 Commandments different?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TomD123 View Post
I think a lot of good answers have been given. I just wanted to add, there are a few theological reasons.

First of all, the object of the first commandment is the worship of God. In Catholicism, there is no need to split the first into 2 commandments because they amount to the same basic thing, that is, the worship of the one true God. Whether one worships Idols with or without a statue doesn't change the nature of the command.

On the other hand, the last two commandments should be separate. The 9th forbids the desire for adultery and the 10th the desire to steal. Adultery and stealing are separate sins, thus the desire to sin are different. They each have a command forbidding desire because the desire for money and sex are desires of concupiscence. St. Thomas explains better in the Summa in his section on justice he talks about the 10 Commandments.

On a side note, I do think coveting possessions and coveting a wife are different. In reality, a man's wife is not his posession and thus coveting is a much different sin in this way.....So I don't think its a huge deal why the commandments are split teh way they are, and I'm not sure you could consider one way the "correct way" I just think the point is that we can look at them ordered slightly different in order to see different theological points. IMO the Latin Rite Catholic system (Augustine's) is the best.
Well, of course you do, Tom. You're Latin Rite Catholic.
Then again, since we use the same numbering, I agree with you.

Jon
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