Differences in the 10 Commandments


#1

I don’t know how I never knew this, but apparently the Catholic and Protestant versions of the 10 Commandments are different. For those of you who were like me the differences are as such:

  1. Catholics have 1 commandment for No other God and no idols, while Protestants separate these out into commandments 1 & 2
  2. Catholics have 2 commandments for Not Coveting (wife & anything else) while Protestants combine these into commandment 10.

I was taken aback. I thought the order and content of the ten commandments would be on which all Christians could agree. I guess I was wrong. I wonder which view is more authentic to Scripture as there is no explicit ordering of the commandments there. But my first thought is that both options have a certain amount of redundancy. i.e. Protestants having two commandments concerning idolatry and Catholics having two commandments concerning coveting. Any thoughts?


#2

Yup. And the Jews have their own listing as well. The Orthodox and Eastern Catholics, I believe, use the same listing as Protestants. We are told there are ten commandments but there are more than ten verses and we are not given an indication as to where one ends and the other begins. So, we have to do our best to combine them in ways that are logical. And the verse numbers weren’t invented until the middle ages either.

I like that the Catholic version separates coveting property and someone else’s wife b/c wives are not property. Also, by combining 1 and 2 it puts into perspective that the problem with graven images is not simply b/c they are images but b/c they are being worshiped as an Idol, as a substitute to God.

Don’t Lutherans use the same version as Catholics?


#3

Lutherans use the same setup as the Catholics.


#4

The different versions of the Decalogue always adds an interesting wrinkle in cases where someone is trying to get, or keep, displays of them on courthouse lawns. Even David Barton, who claims that the 1st Amendment was only intended by the founders to not establish a particular Christian denomination, would have to oppose those courthouse sitings as they represent a particular denomination’s version of the Decalogue.


#5

“I bring you ten, uh, eleven Commandments…”


#6

Protestant or Catholic versions both break down into:

  1. Love God with all your heart, yor mind, and your soul.
  2. Love your neighbor.

If everyone follows these, all versions of God’s Commandments are kept and any squabbling is over form rather than function.

Peace and all good!


#7

[quote="Don_Jackson, post:6, topic:299029"]
Protestant or Catholic versions both break down into:
1) Love God with all your heart, yor mind, and your soul.
2) Love your neighbor.

If everyone follows these, all versions of God's Commandments are kept and any squabbling is over form rather than function.

Peace and all good!

[/quote]

:thumbsup:

Peace
James


#8

I can’t remember where I heard this but my understanding is that the difference lies in where the commandments are pulled from…There is one rendering in Exodus(?) and a slightly different rendering in Deuteronomy(?)…Something like that…

Anyway…Taestron…I can identify with your astonishment.
I remember when I first discovered that the “Protestant Bible” had fewer books in it than the “Catholic Bible”…
:bigyikes:
Like you I figured that this was something that all Christians agreed on…Most especially considering the great emphasis the protestant community (especially the evangelicals) placed on Sola Scriptura.
And once I discovered how this all came about, I really could not take the protestant position on the Bible very seriously. I remember on more than one occasion having a protestant make some declaration about believing because “It’s in the Bible” to which I would respond, “Which bible?” Never failed to get a “deer in the headlights” look from them…
But I guess that is a different thread…

Peace
James


#9

No only do Protestants, Catholics and Orthodox number them differently, but the Bible presents different versions of the 10 Commandments that don’t agree with one another…Exodus 34 is the only passage that names them “the ten commandments” and the version presented in Ex 34 are not used by any Christian bodies.


#10

I’m not sure that Ex 34 was ever meant to be considered the same list as Ex.20 or Deut. 5

After a quick survey, I think the Hebrew helps. There are a total of 12 Imperative verb forms in the text. If we say that all double imperatives are one commandment then we only have nine commandments. The breakdown is as follows: V. 3-4 have two imperatives (have no other gods; make no idols/graven images); V. 8-11 have two imperatives (Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy; You shall not work on the seventh day), and V.17 has two imperatives (Do not covet your neighbor’s house; do not covet your neighbor’s wife or his male servant, etc)

However, two things jump out at me when I read this in Hebrew. One, it is not the neighbor’s wife that is mentioned in a separate command but his house; his wife is listed along with his other “possessions.” Two, the Masoretic accents show that the break between the imperatives of Vv. 3&4 is more strongly disjunctive than the imperatives of V. 17. Now the second isn’t that great of evidence since a) the Masoretes added the accents more than a thousand years after the text was finalized and b) the disjunctive accents between Vv 3&4 are the same as Vv 8-12 which most would still view as one commandment. Still it is clear that the Masoretes did not view a distinction between the imperatives in V. 17.

However, that still leaves the fact that the way Catholics separate “wife” from its place in the text to highlight this as a different commandment. Now, there are probably reasons why we should violate the natural reading of the text, but I do not know these as I just realized there are differences.


#11

It’s the only of the three passages that claim they are “the ten commandments”.


#12

True but the lists are too different to consider them ever to be the same list. The problem then lies with us gentiles trying to say that the two other lists are the “real” ten commandments.


#13

=Taestron;9790985]I don't know how I never knew this, but apparently the Catholic and Protestant versions of the 10 Commandments are different. For those of you who were like me the differences are as such:
1. Catholics have 1 commandment for No other God and no idols, while Protestants separate these out into commandments 1 & 2
2. Catholics have 2 commandments for Not Coveting (wife & anything else) while Protestants combine these into commandment 10.

I was taken aback. I thought the order and content of the ten commandments would be on which all Christians could agree. I guess I was wrong. I wonder which view is more authentic to Scripture as there is no explicit ordering of the commandments there. But my first thought is that both options have a certain amount of redundancy. i.e. Protestants having two commandments concerning idolatry and Catholics having two commandments concerning coveting. Any thoughts?

Actually Both [Exo. and Duet] say the same thing.

One needs to ask WHY Luther and his contempories saw a NEED to chage it.

The answer is quite simple. It is agenda motivated [we'd term it "politically motivted today"].

They HAD to 1. be differnt in order to survive and grow 2. They had to be able to clearly articulate [and one supposes to be able to verify their position biblically; not so important today it would seem as it once was.]

Here's the "difference"

Protestants have taken the FIRST COMMANDMENT and made TWO seperate commandsments out of it.

**Gen. 20:3 "Thou shalt not have strange gods before me" [DRB]

Duet. 5:7 "Thou shalt not have strange gods in my sight."DRB]**

CATHOLIC FIRST COMMANMENT:
1. I, the Lord, am your God. You shall not have other gods besides me.

Protestant 1ST. TWO COMMANDMENTS
1.You shall have no other gods but me.

2.You shall not make unto you any graven images

BECAUSE OF THIS SPLIT THEY THEN HAD TO COMBINE THE Catholic 9TH and 10" "COVET" COMMANDMENTS INTO JUST ONE COMMANDMENT:

CATHOLIC 9TH & 10TH.
9.You shall not covet your neighbor's wife
10.You shall not covet your neighbor's goods

PROTESTANT 10TH.
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ***, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.

The Protestant postion on the 9th and 10th. is biblically grounded; BUT the second protestant commandment is unnecessary EXCEPT for political reasons.

One MUST keep in mind that the "Catholic version" was THE ONLY version for m ore than 1,000 years, and GUIDED BY GOD 2nd. Tim. 3:16;. [Pre-Luther] and that Christ Himself empowered Peter; the Apostles and their successors to UNLIMITED Governance of the only Church founded by Christ. Today's CC.

Mt. 10:1-8; Mt. 16:18-19, Mt. 18:18 powers of Governance passed on to all of the Apostles THROUGH Peter, John 14:16-17, John 17:15-19 and John 20:19-22, and Mt. 28:16-20. "I send you [apostles exclusively and there successors in Mt. 28:19-20] "as the Father has sent me" Meaning with Christ own powers and authority.

So we catholics take the view of seperating "people" from "things". The biblical version is under The OLD Covenant; and people [specifically women] were a "Commodity " with ownership rights. The Fathers under GRACE and the New Covenant saw the need to seperate "people from things" and thus made TWO seperate "covet" regulations to emphasis this difference.

Protestants SAW an opportunity to be different and to point a finger of GRAVE error" by falsly accusing Catholic of idoltry. Very likely knowing it was not.

Exod.25: 18, 20 And you shall make two cherubim of gold; of hammered work shall you make them, on the two ends of the mercy seat. The cherubim shall spread out their wings above, overshadowing the mercy seat with their wings, their faces one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubim be

Num.21: 8-9 And the LORD said to Moses, "Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and every one who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live." So Moses made a bronze serpent, and set it on a pole; and if a serpent bit any man, he would look at the bronze serpent and live.

BOTH OF THESE "IDOLS" WERE COMMANDED BY GOD TO MOSES TO MAKE. OBVIOUSLY IT'S NOT THE "IMAGES" BUT THE INTENDED PURPOSE THAT GOD JUDGES AS WRONG. IF THEY LEAD TO GOD THEY ARE GOOD; IF THEY ARE INTENDED AS ALTERNATE GOD'S THEY ARE EVIL.

We Catholics PRAY THROUGH Mary and the saints to GOD! a GOOD THING:)

I would point out also that protestant have a "cross" is that not by their defination also an "idol of sourts":shrug:

God Bless,
pat/PJM


#14

Matthew 22:36-40
Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)
36 Master, which is the greatest commandment in the law?
37 Jesus said to him: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind.
38 This is the greatest and the first commandment.
39 And the second is like to this: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.
40 On these two commandments dependeth the whole law and the prophets.


#15

But, your answer is flawed…Luther had many faults, but you are doing him a disservice, because:

Luther did not change the 10 commandments. The Lutheran Church and the Catholic Church 10 commandments are in sync.


#16

I think it is a different tnead. :thumbsup::cool:

I have some refer to the 10 Commandments as the ‘10 Words’. :):smiley:


#17

That is because the Hebrew test says “words” (דְּבַרִים) instead of “commands” (חֹקִים) Some people like to be slavishly literal (which is fine). But as Publisher points out the “10 Words” according to the Hebrew Text is found in Ex 35 which is a completely different set than the commands found in Ex 20 and Deut 5.


#18

Actually, this was the type of argument I was hoping to avoid. But you are correct in that Protestantism changed the groupings of the Commandments. I was merely trying to discuss the pros and cons of the different orderings from purely a linguistic and theological contexts while pretending the authority question didn’t exist.

So we catholics take the view of seperating “people” from “things”. The biblical version is under The OLD Covenant; and people [specifically women] were a "Commodity " with ownership rights. The Fathers under GRACE and the New Covenant saw the need to seperate “people from things” and thus made TWO seperate “covet” regulations to emphasis this difference.

Do you have quotes for the Fathers on this? I say this because I’m not sure this argument holds much water. If the primary reason to separate out the covet regulations is to highlight that people (esp. women) were not commodities, then I think we would see a different 9th commandment. [BIBLEDRB]Exodus 20:17[/BIBLEDRB] I think the Catholic reading of this verse is problematic for two reasons. 1) If viewing women and slaves as non-commodities were the issue, would not the 9th commandment read “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his servant, nor his handmaid”? Instead we merely have “Thou shalt not covet they neighbor’s wife.” 2) The governing noun in the covet regulation is your neighbor’s “house” and all the other nouns are members or things in that larger category. Nothing about the verse needs to imply that women are necessarily viewed as commodities (though at that point in history, they were). If I read that verse today with no other notion, I would not think that “wife” meant possession. And so there really is no need to separate it out as a separate commandment.

Exod.25: 18, 20 And you shall make two cherubim of gold; of hammered work shall you make them, on the two ends of the mercy seat. The cherubim shall spread out their wings above, overshadowing the mercy seat with their wings, their faces one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubim be

Num.21: 8-9 And the LORD said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a pole; and every one who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.” So Moses made a bronze serpent, and set it on a pole; and if a serpent bit any man, he would look at the bronze serpent and live.

BOTH OF THESE “IDOLS” WERE COMMANDED BY GOD TO MOSES TO MAKE. OBVIOUSLY IT’S NOT THE “IMAGES” BUT THE INTENDED PURPOSE THAT GOD JUDGES AS WRONG. IF THEY LEAD TO GOD THEY ARE GOOD; IF THEY ARE INTENDED AS ALTERNATE GOD’S THEY ARE EVIL.

This is probably my long experience as a Protestant talking, but I really do think that no other gods and no graven images really are two different commandments. There are two words here that God forbids Israel, one is an image (tĕmuwnah) which is generally a morally neutral term. It is only evil when God forbids it. The other word, graven image (pecel) is a wholly negative term. It means something like empty thing. These things are idols because they are supposed to be manifestations of the gods’ presence. Also, an emblem animal, which signifies the gods’ presence but is not supposed to be the manifestation of the god, could be considered a pecel. Incidentally, a number of scholars think that the golden calf episode was not supposed to be a deity but the emblem animal of the LORD (there is some evidence that suggests that the LORD was identified with a bull in the wider ANE). So, no pecel’s can be seen as not the same command as no other gods, as it has a wider scope (no emblem animals, etc.)


#19

From Luther’s Small Catechism:
I. The Ten Commandments
*

As the head of the family should teach them in a simple way to his household.

The First Commandment.

Thou shalt have no other gods.

What does this mean?–Answer.

We should fear, love, and trust in God above all things.

The Second Commandment.

Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord, thy God, in vain.

What does this mean?–Answer.

We should fear and love God that we may not curse, swear, use witchcraft, lie, or deceive by His name, but call upon it in every trouble, pray, praise, and give thanks.

The Third Commandment.

Thou shalt sanctify the holy-day.

What does this mean?–Answer.

We should fear and love God that we may not despise preaching and His Word, but hold it sacred, and gladly hear and learn it.

The Fourth Commandment.

Thou shalt honor thy father and thy mother [that it may be well with thee and thou mayest live long upon the earth].

What does this mean?–Answer.

We should fear and love God that we may not despise nor anger our parents and masters, but give them honor, serve, obey, and hold them in love and esteem.

The Fifth Commandment.

Thou shalt not kill.

What does this mean?–Answer.

We should fear and love God that we may not hurt nor harm our neighbor in his body, but help and befriend him in every bodily need [in every need and danger of life and body].

The Sixth Commandment.

Thou shalt not commit adultery.

What does this mean?–Answer.

We should fear and love God that we may lead a chaste and decent life in words and deeds, and each love and honor his spouse.

The Seventh Commandment.

Thou shalt not steal.

What does this mean?–Answer.

We should fear and love God that we may not take our neighbor’s money or property, nor get them by false ware or dealing, but help him to improve and protect his property and business [that his means are preserved and his condition is improved].

The Eighth Commandment.

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

What does this mean?–Answer.

We should fear and love God that we may not deceitfully belie, betray, slander, or defame our neighbor, but defend him, [think and] speak well of him, and put the best construction on everything.

The Ninth Commandment.

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house.

What does this mean?–Answer.

We should fear and love God that we may not craftily seek to get our neighbor’s inheritance or house, and obtain it by a show of [justice and] right, etc., but help and be of service to him in keeping it.

The Tenth Commandment.

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his cattle, nor anything that is his.

What does this mean?–Answer.

We should fear and love God that we may not estrange, force, or entice away our neighbor’s wife, servants, or cattle, but urge them to stay and [diligently] do their duty.

What Does God Say of All These Commandments?

Answer.

He says thus (Exod. 20:5f): I the Lord, thy God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate Me, and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love Me and keep My commandments.

What does this mean?–Answer.

God threatens to punish all that transgress these commandments. Therefore we should dread His wrath and not act contrary to these commandments. But He promises grace and every blessing to all that keep these commandments. Therefore we should also love and trust in Him, and gladly do [zealously and diligently order our whole life] according to His commandments.


#20

Jewish 10 Commandments

  1. I am the Lord your God who have brought you out of the house of bondage
  2. You shall have no other god’s besides me
  3. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain
  4. Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy
  5. You shall honor your Father and Mother
  6. You shall not murder
  7. You shall not commit adultery
  8. You shall not steal
  9. You shall not bear false witness
  10. You shall not covet your neighbors possessions or wife

Catholic 10 Commandments

  1. I am the Lord your God, you shall not have strange god’s before me
  2. You shall not take the Lord’s name in vain
  3. Keep holy the Sabbath Day
  4. Honor your Mother and Father
  5. You shall not murder
  6. You shall not commit adultery
  7. You shall not steal
  8. You shall not bear false witness
  9. You shall not covet your neighbor’s possessions
  10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife

Protestant 10 Commandments (notable exceptions like Lutherans)

  1. I am the Lord your God, you shall not have strange god’s before me
  2. You shall not carve graven images
  3. You shall not take the Lord’s name in vain
  4. Keep holy the Sabbath Day
  5. Honor your Father and Mother
  6. You shall not murder
  7. You shall not commit adultery
  8. You shall not steal
  9. You shall not bear false witness
  10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s possessions or wife

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