Ten Commandments


#1

Could someone help me with all of these question that my friend is asking me?

My main point was that the Israelites / Hebrew people were the ones that gave us the Old Testament and the primary rendering of the 10 Commandments is in Exodus 20 and in the original Hebrew (not English or German or Latin or Greek) Agreed? So we want to go to the primary source to answer the question, not writings from many centuries later. Make sense?
Now if we go to the Hebrew Bible, certainly we agree that there is repetition of portions of the Ten Commandments–repeating some of the same themes and phrases later in Deuteronomy and elsewhere, but those certainly don’t cancel out the original narrative and breakdown in Exodus 20 after Moses came down from the mountain having met with God. Agreed?
Then we consider that the Hebrew people have published the list of 10 commandments for more than 4500 years and therefore, Latin writings during the early or middle Roman church period (or Luther’s writings later on, or Baptist writings, etc.) are pretty much irrelevant to the original question… Namely, "What are the ten commandments as given by God to Moses? How do they break down into ten concise statements of instruction which were delivered from Mount Sinai–with all due respect, not from Rome. That was my original point. The catechism certainly does break it down differently than Hebrew scholars do. Do we agree on that?
The issue in my mind and heart is not "what do Catholics believe? or “What do Baptists believe?” so much as “What does the Bible say–and what is God’s way?” Agreed?

Thanks
Mark


#2

[quote=markguitar_1]Could someone help me with all of these question that my friend is asking me?

My main point was that the Israelites / Hebrew people were the ones that gave us the Old Testament and the primary rendering of the 10 Commandments is in Exodus 20 and in the original Hebrew (not English or German or Latin or Greek) Agreed? So we want to go to the primary source to answer the question, not writings from many centuries later. Make sense?
Now if we go to the Hebrew Bible, certainly we agree that there is repetition of portions of the Ten Commandments–repeating some of the same themes and phrases later in Deuteronomy and elsewhere, but those certainly don’t cancel out the original narrative and breakdown in Exodus 20 after Moses came down from the mountain having met with God. Agreed?
Then we consider that the Hebrew people have published the list of 10 commandments for more than 4500 years and therefore, Latin writings during the early or middle Roman church period (or Luther’s writings later on, or Baptist writings, etc.) are pretty much irrelevant to the original question… Namely, "What are the ten commandments as given by God to Moses? How do they break down into ten concise statements of instruction which were delivered from Mount Sinai–with all due respect, not from Rome. That was my original point. The catechism certainly does break it down differently than Hebrew scholars do. Do we agree on that?
The issue in my mind and heart is not "what do Catholics believe? or “What do Baptists believe?” so much as “What does the Bible say–and what is God’s way?” Agreed?

Thanks
Mark
[/quote]

Your friend is off base.

First, the way the 10 commandments are divided in the bible is a result of Catholic monks who copied scripture inserting the “chapter and verse” format into the bible to more easily copy it. The original is not broken down like that-- it’s just one big long paragraph.

Secondly, no matter how they are numbered-- Jewish, Protestant, or Catholic version-- all 10 are still there. And, the list of the 10 commandments is an abbreviated version of what is found in both Deuteronomy and Exodus-- a shorthand way of memorizing them. The actual text, no matter which rendering you use, is much more detailed than the way they are listed in instructional texts.

Third, since the Hebrews themselves gave different renderings WITHIN the bible-- either the listing in Deuteronomy is inerrant and the Word of god OR Deuteronomy is a false book of the bible. If Deuteronomy is a valid book of the bible then we can validly use EITHER rendering of the 10 commandments.

Fourth, the Catholic Church was given all authority by Jesus and we can number them however we like. And, no we do not recongize the authority of the Jews or how they do things.

You will not convince your fundamentalist friend who seems to be concerned with proving the CC is false based on the preposterous idea that it actually matters how the 10 commandments are numbered.


#3

This is what my friend said:

The Catholic 10 commandments does not make mention of God's command not to make statues or bow down in front of them. That part is left out. It appears in the original text, but not in the Catholic version. Presumably because the Catholics would rather change the Bible than to change their religion. At least, that's how it appears.

Is my friend correct? It seems like a really bad/dangerous thing to do.


#4

The Decalogue or Ten Commandments:
Similarities and Differences in Religious Traditions
by Felix Just, S.J., Ph.D.

The only difference is in the numbering-not the commandments.Your friend is ignorant

The “Ten Commandments” (also called the “Decalogue”) obviously come from the Hebrew Bible, but it is not so obvious to determine exactly what they are or how to count them. These commandments are recorded in two different biblical chapters (Exodus 20:1-17 & Deuteronomy 5:6-21), yet each text is slightly different, and neither passage explicitly numbers the commandments one through ten.

Although there are actually more than ten imperative verbs (at least 15) in each of these texts, several other biblical passages refer specifically to the “ten words” or “ten statements” (Heb: aseret ha-dibrot; Gk: deka logoi) that God gave to Moses (Exod 34:28; Deut 4:13; 10:4). In several books of the New Testament, Jesus, Paul, or other apostles quote some of the Jewish commandments, both from the Decalogue and from other parts of the Torah, although they never ennumerate a list of exactly ten.

Most Christians believe that the Ten Commandments form the core of God’s Law (the “Torah” or “Instruction” given by God through Moses, in the first five books of the Bible). Yet these are far from the only commandments contained in the Hebrew Bible. Rabbinic Jewish tradition maintains that the Torah contains a total of 613 commandments (“mitzvot”): 248 positive ones (injunctions, what one must do) and 365 negative ones (prohibitions, what one must avoid).

Moreover, in Jewish understanding, all 613 mitzvot are equally important, so the Decalogue is not really considered the “core”; ritual and dietary commandments are considered just as important as theological or ethical commands. If you break any one of them, you’ve broken God’s Law. When Jesus is asked which of the commandments is the first or most important, he does not quote the Decalogue directly, but rather combines quotations from Deuteronomy 6:4-5 (love God; the “Shema” of Judaism) and Leviticus 19:18 (love your neighbor).

As a result of all the discrepancies, Jews, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Roman Catholics, Lutherans, and other Protestants have subdivided and numbered the Decalogue differently over the centuries. Jews, Orthodox Christians, and most Protestants more closely follow the version of Exodus 20, while Catholics more closely follow the version of Deuteronomy 5. The main discrepancies come at the beginning and end of the lists of the Ten Commandments, as explained below:

The main discrepancies occur at the BEGINNING of the texts, in the first and/or second commandments:
Most contemporary Jews consider Exod 20:1-2 to be the first commandment, enjoining people to recognize the LORD as their God, while the second commandment forbids both polytheistic beliefs and practices (20:3-6 together).
Many Protestants consider Exod 20:1-2 (and Deut 5:6) to be a preface to the Decalogue, so that the first commandment opposes polytheism (no other gods; Exod 20:3), while the second commandment opposes idolatry (worshiping idols; 20:4-6).
Catholics and Lutherans consider all of Exod 20:1-6 and Deut 5:6-10 to be a single commandment, both enjoining monotheism and forbidding polytheism
The other main discrepancies occur at the END of the texts, in the ninth and/or tenth commandments:
Jews and most Protestants consider the last commandment to be the injuction against coveting anything;
Lutherans follow Martin Luther’s division of Exodus 20:17, which first prohibits coveting someone’s property (#9), then the spouse (#10).
Catholics follow St. Augustine’s division of Deuteronomy 5:21, which first mentions the spouse (#9), and then the property (#10


#5

[quote="HonoluluKahuna, post:3, topic:19663"]
This is what my friend said:

The Catholic 10 commandments does not make mention of God's command not to make statues or bow down in front of them. That part is left out. It appears in the original text, but not in the Catholic version. Presumably because the Catholics would rather change the Bible than to change their religion. At least, that's how it appears.

Is my friend correct? It seems like a really bad/dangerous thing to do.

[/quote]

It's covered under the 1st Commandment: ** I am the Lord thy God. Thou shalt have no strange gods before Me.**

What makes idol worship wrong is that it's trying to replace God with a false god.


#6

[quote="HonoluluKahuna, post:3, topic:19663"]
This is what my friend said:

The Catholic 10 commandments does not make mention of God's command not to make statues or bow down in front of them. That part is left out. It appears in the original text, but not in the Catholic version. Presumably because the Catholics would rather change the Bible than to change their religion. At least, that's how it appears.

Is my friend correct? It seems like a really bad/dangerous thing to do.

[/quote]

No your friend is not correct. When the prohibition of polytheism/idolatry is summarized, Jews, Catholics, and Lutherans abbreviate it as "You shall have no other gods before me." This is no attempt to "hide" the idolatry prohibition (Jews and Lutherans don’t even use statues of saints and angels). It is to make learning the Ten Commandments easier.

Sadly, non-Catholics pick up what I call "gossip on the street" and believe it without checking to see if it's correct. If he was really interested in learning the truth about the Catholic Church all he had to do was pick up a Catechism of the Catholic Church look at Chapter One, Article 1 and seen for himself the entire First Commandment complete with the part he says is left out.


#7

[quote="HonoluluKahuna, post:3, topic:19663"]
This is what my friend said:

The Catholic 10 commandments does not make mention of God's command not to make statues or bow down in front of them. That part is left out. It appears in the original text, but not in the Catholic version. Presumably because the Catholics would rather change the Bible than to change their religion. At least, that's how it appears.

Is my friend correct? It seems like a really bad/dangerous thing to do.

[/quote]

If there had been a specific prohibition on the making of images (carved, painted, embroidered) animals/people (as Islam teaches), the Lord would not have told Moses to make the serpent and raise it above the people, or commanded that the Temple include bronze oxen supporting the "sea" in front of the altar, nor gold cherubim above the mercy seat. The reason the golden calf was an idol was not because it was graven but because Aaron said to the people "this is the god who brought you out of the land of Egypt."


#8

[quote="markguitar_1, post:1, topic:19663"]
Could someone help me with all of these question that my friend is asking me?

...
The issue in my mind and heart is not "what do Catholics believe? or "What do Baptists believe?" so much as "What does the Bible say--and what is God's way?" Agreed?

Thanks
Mark

[/quote]

Your friend is just attempting a back-door entry into the same old and tired line of reasoning for Sola Scriptura. He is attempting to extricate "apostolic authority" from interpreting scripture while also trying to present himself as having a higher objective standard by using a statements that portray a higher idealism. But its a faux objectivity: e.g. The issue in my mind and heart is not "what do Catholics believe? or "What do Baptists believe?" so much as "What does the Bible say--and what is God's way?" Agreed?

If the man really was not interested in what Catholics believe ask him why he is in fact asking Catholics questions in this area? He is trying to SELL you his own ideas (that somone brainwashed into him to start with) to bolster himself and feel good that he made his own proper decisions (everyone loves a band wagon). He is also setting you up to have to defend HIS sola scriptura standard which any entry level Catholic Apologist knows is NOT scripturally defensible nor historically defensible. The early Church has no bible for 400 years and initially used just the 4 gospels during community masses etc. but read aloud other non-biblical texts that Catholics still hold dear in tradition (e.g. Shepherd of Hermes and Didache). He probably has never heard of these texts though which means he does not know the early church history either.

But your friend then wants to go back and use a double standard by referencing what the Jews BELIEVED and taught in the "Jewish Bible" (Torah) -- yet another standard altogether. And this is where he opens himself up to that double standard because the common JEW NEVER interpreted his own scripture verses - that was punishable by death or banishment. While the Jews has their own sects, most Jews had an entire Oral teaching (which was written down called the Talmud) that was layered on top of the Torah. And on top of that in more contemporary times the Jews had yet ANOTHER common rabbinical interpretations on top of the oral traditions called the The Mishna -- a large case study of many rabbinical interpretations from the Tannaim ( a group of approximately 120 known rabbis and other anonymoys rabbis). In important matters NO JEW except a rabbi ever went to the written word to JUDGE for himself what the law was - the common Jew consulted his Rabbi ALWAYS who then interpreted the Torah and used the oral traditions and his own teachings.

So based on how the Jews really used the scriptures you friend just preempted himself and failed in his attempt to use the Jewish writings as a means to prove that sola scriptura is the basis for scripture interpretation.

Just as an "aside" let me also say that the greatest commandment for the Jews was to Love God with all one's heart mind and soul. The LEAST commandment was to love his neighbor and be good to him etc. There were 611 other Jewish commandments between these two limits. When Jesus taught that the sum of all the commandments was loving God and loving neighbor and defined "Christian Charity" he was implying that all the other commandments were caught up automatically withing those two and one could obey "the Law by obeying the full spirit of these two commandments. That simplification of course upset the legalistic pharisees and sadducees and made it clear that God was most interested in love over all else and in seeing the potential for divinity/Christ in each of one's neighbors.

James


#9

[quote="HonoluluKahuna, post:3, topic:19663"]
This is what my friend said:

The Catholic 10 commandments does not make mention of God's command not to make statues or bow down in front of them. That part is left out. It appears in the original text, but not in the Catholic version. Presumably because the Catholics would rather change the Bible than to change their religion. At least, that's how it appears.

Is my friend correct? It seems like a really bad/dangerous thing to do.

[/quote]

Your "friend" is wrong. The Catholic Bible reads EXACTLY THE SAME as the Protestant and Hebrew bible...but we do number them differently when we have a plaque on the wall or some such thing. That's because we consider the part about not worshipping idols to be part of the first commandment...we also seperate a commandment that the Protestants keep together. We count as two the restriction against coveting a neighbor's goods and the restriction against coveting your neighbors wife. Ask your protestant friend if she considers women to be mere property or if they have a seperate dignity from mere possessions.

To the original poster go back to your friend and tell them there are 613 Commandments...not just 10. Tell her that the two commandments Christ considered most important aren't even part of the 10, and that these two...Love God...Love Neighbor...are the only Commandments we Christians are instructed to obey....the other 611 are for the Jews only. Then point out that scripture also says THE CHURCH is the pillar and foundation of truth.


#10

You and your friend might find this faith tract from Catholic Answers helpful, www.catholic.com/library/Do_Catholics_Worship_Statues.asp


#11

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