Have Catholics missed out one of the ten commandment?


I was reading something earlier and it referred to the eighth commandment, so I was thinking about stealing and the sentence never made sense. I read further and it said your eighth commandment refers to lying…I did find a website with the Catholic list on but I couldn’t make much sense of WHY they have removed this commandment. Is there a reason or is is included as part of another commandment?

It confused me as you still end up with 10! :slight_smile:

why are your commandments different? I had thought them all the same but have only ever read the King James so far.



There are actually 14 injunctions in the scriptures from which we get the 10 commandments. Therefore, every listing has to combine one or more of those injunctions. Catholics just combine them differently than Protestants (except even some Protestants - Lutherans, I think - use the Catholic combination).

The 10 Commandments are just shorthand anyway. There’s nothing inerrant about one’s list of the 10 Commandments. Heck, they don’t even include the two greatest Commandments as proclaimed by Christ himself.


Protestants took the Catholic 1st Commandment and split it into their 1st and 2nd; then took the 9th and 10th Commandments and combined it into their 10th. In looking to the Old Testament, the Protestant numbering system tend to reflect the Exodus account, while the Catholic tends to follow Deuteronomy. However, as VociMike mentioned, it’s basically a form of shorthand anyhow.


This chart in the Catechism lists the Scripture verses from Exodus and Deuteronomy side-by-side with the Catholic enumeration of the Commandments:


And, Wikipedia, which I usually don’t recommend as a source, has a good chart showing the Jewish, Orthodox, Catholic & Lutheran, and Other Protestant numbering of the Ten Commandments:




I truly appreciate your question, and the manner in which it was raised. Frequently, the challenges here can be accusatory, rather than inquisitive.


:slight_smile: I think you have to come to any question with empty hands else you leave with nothing :slight_smile: …actually the website I found was kinda accusatory and stated that Catholics left this out purposefully because they ‘worship’ images… I didn’t really like its tone.


I’ve never fully understood the use of images or how to interpret that one myself but I’m reading back through some older threads for that one.

Do you think that in seperating these commandments out in a different way that it places less emphasis on this aspect?

equally with the protestant version/s, would their wording place less emphasis on certain commandments etc?

For me this ‘images’ commandment has always been kinda the odd one out that never effected or influenced me in any way.


thanks to everyone for those links/explanations too… that chart helped.



Abira, I think the summary lists of the ten commandments might oversimplify each commandment, and you may be right that they emphasize in a different fashion.

While we know the 10 commandments are “10”, nothing numbers them in the Old Testament.

As to the issue of statues, or of stained glass pictures, I believe they particularly served a valuable purpose at the time few people in the world were literate.

The invention of the printing press made the printing of books far more affordable. But the reality is that few people could read.

Even today, many parts of the world are illiterate.

In the days before modern media, these items served to teach the general public about those heroes found in the Bible, and those of the early Church. In much the same way that Protestants frequently find images of Reformers such as Luther in their houses of worship, Catholics look to the saints and early Church fathers as reminders and teachers of the Faith.


Oh, and as to the numbering of the commandments, the Catholics place what Protestants refer to as the 2nd commandment as a part of the first. It is not a question of deleting it.


And there is definitely something to be said for separating coveting your neighbor’s boat, and coveting his wife. They are quite different matters.


I’ve known of fishermen who had a harder time with the former than the latter…


Catholics also have always had a whole system of symbolism and most of Catholicism works out to symbolize truth.
An example is the 73 books of the Bible.

Seven for perfect, three for the trinity.

The ten commandments, for Catholics are arranged in this way also.

3 commandments for how to love the Trinity
7 commandments for how to love others.

It just is a different way of numbering the commandments and they can be used to diminish or emphasize a point.
A Protestant can say Catholics combine the first commandments to diminish images.
A Catholic can say that a Protestant numbers them to emphasize images.

It actually is impossible for a good Catholic to worship a statue, if you would like me to explain feel free to PM me.

In Christ


I guess its the whole Catholics-don’t-read-the-bible thing that caused us to miss this one.


if you read that post back you’ll see you’re answering me over someone elses words there.

For any protestant, when you see pictures of Catholic churches or visit any the thing that strikes you the most is the amount of artwork and statues in the churches. That is why it seems to odd to not explicitly state that commandment.

I’ve attended erm…5 protestant churches and visited a whole lot more, and apart from Canterbury Cathedral and the like I have never seen images used in this manner. This is why it struk me as a little odd lol. Plus I’m still not sure on how the early church interpreted the commandment to allow any images at all even though my own conscience tells me that this isn’t a bad thing.



No. Catholics have not missed out on one of the Ten Commandments.

I am hopeful that you are seeking the truth.So if you are this link should help. Click on it then scroll all the way down to where it says:Section Two: The Ten Commandments then you will learn what the Catholic Church teaches.



Hey Abira,

Check this out.
Iconoclasm: Or: Catholics Worship Graven Images …


Abira, may God bless you in your journey to the fullness of Truth.

I agree that what we see in Catholic Churches around the world differs from what you find in the different Protestant faith communities. And, depending upon their histories of separation from the Catholic faith, depends upon the similarities (Canterbury Cathedral, for example).

Reading the early Church fathers would be helpful to understand their thought processes at, near, and prior to the life of Christ, as to the issue of idol worship. I suspect you will find that they well understood what that meant. Having clear examples of idol worship prevalent in their time, they had a frame of reference.

The catacombs, with their illustrations and prayers from the early Church give further clarification that the early Church was the Catholic Church.

I am amused (and saddened) by anti-Catholic websites where people completely lack any historical understanding of the Church. There are those that truly think Jesus went around handing out copies of the King James Version, because their pastor said so!

Early Church persecution did not come, and people were not willing to die, because the early Church sang some hymns, and read a scripture passage, that was talked about by the pastor. They were willing to risk their lives to come to receive the Body of Christ, the Eucharist.

The early Church fathers revered those that came before them, frequently martyrs, because as saints they served as models for themselves, and others in the future. Unfortunately in our modern society, where obedience is a vice, and licentiousness a virtue, we lack respect for reverence of others for virtuous reasons. We show reverence to sports stars who sleep around, use drugs, and needlessly slaughter animals. We frequently fail to show reverence to the sports star, or the butcher, who lives a life of fidelity and chastity and love of Jesus. And reverence, however, is not worship.


If we were really playing a game with the Ten Commandments, the Church would have deleted the passage altogether. Remember that the chapter and verse numbers were added in the Middle Ages for the sake of convenience and they have no particular theological signifigance. In fact, correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t recall the Scripture ever refering to the Ten Commandments. It just says commandments.


The division and numbering of the Commandments have varied in the course of history. The present catechism follows the division of the Commandments established by St. Augustine, which has become traditional in the Catholic Church. It is also that of the Lutheran confessions. The Greek Fathers worked out a slightly different division, which is found in the Orthodox Churches and Reformed communities.

The Decalogue forms a coherent whole. Each “word” refers to each of the others and to all of them; they reciprocally condition one another. The two tablets shed light on one another; they form an organic unity. To transgress one commandment is to infringe all the others.30 One cannot honor another person without blessing God his Creator. One cannot adore God without loving all men, his creatures. The Decalogue brings man’s religious and social life into unity.

that is a seriously cool link for loads of stuff… the last two quotes made sense to me. Thanks! :slight_smile:



that made me giggle lol,

I bought a book about the early church…how it developed from Judaism to what we would identify with as the church today but I haven’t got round to reading it as I have this massive stack of stuff that I’ve collected to read lol…plus I’m learning about St Benedict at the moment. I don’t really have any knowledge of church history as it’s kinda not important to protestant denominations, and I’m lucky to belong to the church of england really as still does have a sense f history in its own way.

Thanks to everyone for their replies.


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