Ten Commandments for men only?


#1

A teacher of World Religion at the community college here in town claims that the Ten Commandments originally was only meant for men. Does anyone have any evidence to the contrary?


#2

First, what evidence did he/she present for that theory?


#3

First, what proof did the teacher offer for his position?

Proof to the contrary: Moses read the law to all the people, men and women. And David and the prophets did the same.

Linus2n


#4

The Ten Commandments are listed in Deuteronomy 5:6-21.
They are expounded upon in
 Deuteronomy 22:22
“If a man is found lying with the wife of another man, both of them shall die, the man who lay with the woman, and the woman; so you shall purge the evil from Israel.”

The Jews knew that the commandments given to mankind were given to everyone.

We are just beginning in our English world to go along a similar road that your professor has unhappily gone down. And that will most likely lead to a similar problem in the future. It is most unfortunate that those who wish to supplant Standard English with the so called “inclusive (English) language.” By changing the word “man” to mean only males and never, as it has always been up until now, to have two meanings, we are only laying the ground work for a future disaster.

Man : 1. All mankind, i.e. males and females. 2. Male gender only,

By going down this road, as many are trying to make our society go down it, we are making years of writing inaccessible to future generations who will then misinterpret basic core documents.

For example, in the Creed we say “For us men and for our salvation**
he came down from heaven**.”

Everyone today (except for radical feminists who pretend not to know in order to push forward their agenda) knows that Jesus came to save both men and women. And they know that in the quote from the Creed above for the word “men” is standard English that includes all mankind, or both males and females.

BUT, if the so called “Inclusive Language” promoters succeed in changing our language to nullifying and eliminate the first meaning of “man” then, in the future someone picking up an old copy, which is now our present day Creed, will concluded that the Church used to teach that Jesus only came to save men, i.e. males only.

Some will try to counter, and say, “Oh No! Future generations will have a well indexed dictionary that will clarify the older two sets of meanings. A dictionary will solve or eliminate that problem.”

On the contrary, I state that if a dictionary would suffice and solve all the problems that are created whenever a word’s meaning is changed then all Christians today would clearly see that the “brothers” of Jesus in the New Testament were not necessarily the children of Mary. I challenge and say, go out and convince each and every Christian that the “brothers” were not necessarily the (and I would say nor were they the actual) children of Mary, and only then tell me that a good dictionary will solve your problems caused by changing a word’s meaning.

See.
defendingthebride.com/ma2/brothers.html

I hate to say it, but future generations will hate us for changing our language from Standard English to the so called “Inclusive Language.” The so called “Inclusive Language” is a disaster that will be the most un-inclusive disaster that Christianity has ever seen.

We must keep Standard English, or a disaster awaits future generations.

.


#5

oh good grief! what a bunch of stupidity and nonsense.


#6

Because Hebrew uses genderised pronouns, the Ten Commandments were addressed to a male audience. Whether or not this means that it was meant only for men, or meant for the men to then pass on to the women, or meant for everyone by using the male as a generic, is something which people have been arguing about for quite a while.


#7

“Just beginning?” No. It happened in the **1970s **and 80s.

And that will most likely lead to a similar problem in the future. It is most unfortunate that those who wish to supplant Standard English with the so called “inclusive (English) language.”

Sorry, but no again: Standard English is the linguistic term for English as used by the majority of native speakers. It cannot ever be supplanted, because any alteration in how the majority of natives speakers use English is a change in Standard English. These changes happen all the time, and have done so throughout the history of English: “gay” no longer means “happy”, the possessive form of “it” no longer has an apostrophe, and we can no longer spell words howsoever we wish to.

By going down this road, as many are trying to make our society go down it, we are making years of writing inaccessible to future generations who will then misinterpret basic core documents.

For example, in the Creed we say “For us men and for our salvation**
he came down from heaven**.”

This is a terrible example to have chosen, because the original was not “for us men”: it was δι’ ἡμᾶς τοὺς ἀνθρώπους. In the West, it was translated into Latin as propter nos hómines. Since both Greek (in ανηρ) and Latin (in vir) did have terms which specify males, but did not use those terms, they directly implied that they did not mean only males. Since English has similarly-neutral terms, such as “humanity” or “us”, using “men” in their stead actually introduces an ambiguity absent from the source text, which makes it a poor translation choice.

Further, current readers of Shakespeare often have the very interpretation problem which you describe, but they get by just fine with glosses. Readers of the King James Version also have similar problems, and I bet that readers of the Douay-Rheims do likewise. A basic element of teaching any historical text is encouraging students to remember that language changes over time, and so it is always necessary for readers to be conscious of such differences.

BUT, if the so called “Inclusive Language” promoters succeed in changing our language to nullifying and eliminate the first meaning of “man” then, in the future someone picking up an old copy, which is now our present day Creed, will concluded that the Church used to teach that Jesus only came to save men, i.e. males only.

Actually, that conclusion is a more natural reading of “for us men” than it is as a natural reading of “for us”, since understanding the former as gender-inclusive requires reading into the text some information which is not found within it.

On the contrary, I state that if a dictionary would suffice and solve all the problems that are created whenever a word’s meaning is changed then all Christians today would clearly see that the “brothers” of Jesus in the New Testament were not necessarily the children of Mary.

And that is a red herring par excellence. English-speakers’ confusion over Jesus’ “brothers” lies precisely in the fact that they are reading “brothers” in the natural English sense rather than the Greek one, and so using an English dictionary only reinforces their misconception. A Greek dictionary, on the other hand, very clearly shows that αδελφος was far broader than “brother” is (click on “LSJ”, beside “Show lexicon entry in”), and so the right dictionary is helpful in changing their interpretation.

I hate to say it, but future generations will hate us for changing our language from Standard English to the so called “Inclusive Language.” The so called “Inclusive Language” is a disaster that will be the most un-inclusive disaster that Christianity has ever seen.

In fact, since 1970, when English was non-inclusive and it was still the norm to say, “When you see a lawyer, he will…”, the proportion of bartenders in the US who are women has jumped from 27 to 58.3%, the proportion of doctors has leapt from 11 to 30.5%, the proportion of police officers has soared from 5 to 14.7%, and the proportion of lawyers has spiked from 6 to 34.4% (A. Giddens, et al., Essentials of Sociology, 3rd ed., fig 9.2). Since we stopped telling little girls that doctors or professors are “he”, or that firefighters are “firemen” or patrol officers are “patrolmen”, far more women have grown up believing that they can be such things. Inclusive language is a boon from which we are already reaping the benefits.


#8

And, having just posted that, I see this, from the Guardian.


#9

Oh brother! :whacky: The Catholic Church teaches that the ten commandments are for all people, men and women. We don’t have to worry about the opinions of self appointed theologians…

Linus2nd


#10

Far from being a matter of the opinions of self-appointed theologians (and I would hasten to add that there are a fair few self-appointed apologists for Catholicism who do occupy precisely that role), it is a matter of the diverging opinions of officially-appointed rabbis.


#11

But of course the pastors of the Church, the Pope and the bishops, have been anointed by the Holy Spirit, by the command of Christ to teach the truth about faith and morals.

Linus2nd


#12

There are a lot of crazy liberals among Jewish rabbis these days, and there have been for at least two hundred years. So that doesn’t count.

Now if you find something in the Mishna saying that coveting your neighbor’s wife is wrong but coveting your neighbor’s husband is totally okay, then we can talk. (And what we will probably say is what Bugs Bunny would say: “What a maroon.”)

Re: propter nos homines

“For us” implies that Jesus only died for those of us who are saying the Creed, or for us who are in church that minute, or even for us Catholics, because that’s the nature of that pronoun in English. It implies exclusivity, and that there is an out-group of other humans not present and speaking. Using it in the Creed without saying it’s for all human people – it sounds smug, really.

“Men” is the older translation of “homines,” because man, men was the older neuter gender singular and plural word for humans. (The word for adult male human was “guma” (which became “groom”) or “wer,” and the word for adult female human was “wif-man” or “wif.”)

Of course, you could also say “mancynd” (mankind) or “humankind,” but there are deep grammatical reasons why “for us mankind” or “for us humankind” would sound stupid.

“For us humans” is probably where we’re going, but we’re not there yet. There needs to be some kind of shift in how that sounds, because right now it sounds stupid. “For us humen” might work, except that it’s not a word and the language resists combining those particles.

English adds stuff quickly, but it is deeply conservative when it comes to throwing things away. As a woman, I applaud the inclusivity and gender neutrality of “for us men.” Say it loud and proud! :slight_smile:

PS. Let’s bring back the special gender neutral pronouns for “two people” and “three people.” They were awesome.


#13

I’d suggest that it’s based on a misconception and I was about to launch myself into a short piece about the mitzvot (notionally, we have 613, not just 10) and then thought, there’s got to be an easier way to deal with the question of women and the commandments. :slight_smile:


#14

From the same link. The Jewish people have been studying the text for more than two millennia. This is not a new idea.

“For us” implies that Jesus only died for those of us who are saying the Creed, or for us who are in church that minute, or even for us Catholics, because that’s the nature of that pronoun in English. It implies exclusivity, and that there is an out-group of other humans not present and speaking.

No, it doesn’t. The 1st person plural pronoun in English specifies that the speaker is a member of a group, but it does not define the limits of that group. Thus, “Christ died for us” does not mean “Christ did not die for you”, and “Smoking is bad for us” does not mean “Smoking is okay for you”.


#15

Well the question was whether all the Ten Commandments (not just adultery, since that implies a male participant) applied to the women IN THE OLD TESTAMENT. I person I know who is going to the community college says they are teaching there that it was for man only


#16

Could you get us the verses for that? :slight_smile:

Leviticus 19:3 : “A **man **shall revere his mother and his father.” Clearly a women would be required to obey her father in that society, but I am wondering about the mother’s authority in the family back than


#17

That is what some rabbis have said, while others have disagreed: the claim that the commandments are male-only is a literal/legalistic one, whereas the response that they must include everyone is a non-literal one.

As such, one cannot prove either one to be true or false, but one can justify the choice of one side over the other.


#18

I would think that I might ask a professor in the area of study at a Major University rather than a teacher at a junior college and see if it differs.


#19

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