Uncertainty - 10 Commandments


I was born Catholic, strayed a little bit in my twenties, and still am a Catholic. One of the things I’ve never done was read the Bible from cover-to-cover. I usually lasted somewhere in Leviticus.

However, 2 things got me to start. First, I began seeking for truth. Second, my 10-year old who began Catechism about 4 years ago, asks me questions about God and Scripture and made me think about what I knew about my own faith.

Now I didn’t say that I was seeking for “The Truth”. In a way, I was. But I guess I was in search for honesty. I was becoming more disgusted about what was happening in our society where what used to be considered “bad” is now the norm of the day while those that were “good” were not. Immorality has become cool everywhere. We have allowed our institutions to remove God from our lives. So where was this coming from? How did this happen? I searched. But the lies within our homes, schools and government tend to add more to the confusion.

So I turned to Scripture. The only thing that speaks the Truth. But I was surprised to see so many versions/translations and what have you. If I could speak Hebrew (or maybe Aramaic) I would have gone back to the source. But since that isn’t possible I contented myself to having several versions so I can do a comparison. So I have Douay-Rheims Bible, New American Bible, New Jerusalem Bible, Complete Jewish Bible, New Living Translation, King James (non-Catholic) plus a few more.

Now this would seem to be some sort of great news – me reading Scriptures – but in reality it has opened my eyes and mind to some things that made me question some of our Church’s practices. And this is why I’m writing.

I’ll be honest. I have been to a Baptist Church near my home to ask about these things. And so now I turn to this forum to find answers. I believe that God, through Scriptures, has revealed to us His moral teachings on what is right and wrong. I also believe that we are going to be judged individually in the after life. Even Jesus Christ says so that only His Father can pass judgement on us.

I will dispense with my first concern because I’ve browsed the forum previously and have talked to a priest about it and have come to my own conclusions regarding it. Instead, I’ll begin with the 2nd thing that bothered me after I have began my journey.

It has something to do with the Ten Commandments – the 2nd Commandment in particular. Because of my son attending Catechism I had to review and memorize the 10 Commandments …shame on me… :frowning: In fact, I try to use the Commandments whenever I give him life’s lessons. I could be wrong but I don’t think that Exodus 20:4-6 was ever a part of the 10 Commandments that was given me and now to my son. And I never realized before that the 9th & 10th Commandment as I know them is written in just 1 verse (Exodus 20:17). So this now looks to me like verse 17 was split into 2 Commandments.

At first this didn’t bother me that much. Being a long time Catholic, I have come to believe that I won’t agree with everything the Church teaches. And I mean any Church. But as I went about my daily routine of saying novenas to Saints and the Blessed Mother, I began feeling afraid that I am displeasing God because I am going against the commands contained in Exodus 20:4-6. And this bothered me a lot. I have stopped all forms of worship except to the Blessed Trinity.

So today, I did a search on this forum on anything about the Commandments and I got zero results. Seems like no has taken notice of this. Is it just me? Can anyone enlighten me on this issue?

Thank you.


Veneration toward Mary and the Saints is NOT the same as worship. When Catholics pray to saints, they are asking them to intercede on their behalf with G-d, but they are not worshiping the saints. If most Jews today don’t believe this is idolatry, then you should not either. However, there is AFAIK no Church requirement to pray to saints and ask for their help. If you pray directly to the Trinity, that would suffice. If my advice to you is not in line with Church teaching, I would appreciate any corrections.

The graven images spoken of in Exodus are images that were WORSHIPED.


Perhaps reading this link will help you: catholic.com/blog/tim-staples/did-the-catholic-church-change-the-ten-commandments

“Graven image” referred not to a statue but a statue that was seen as God himself. Look up the differences between Latria(worship/adoration to God alone), Hyperdulia(Veneration of Mary), Dulia (Veneration of the Saints). Our English word “worship” has come to mean “worship of God alone” but it was not always so…in England…the King was called “Your worship” but he was not God. Over time the word worship has become used for God alone and so our understanding can be confusing.

Understanding salvation history that has been set up in “Covenants”…family kinship…we see Mary and the Saints as part of our family and we ask for their intercession. Check out Rev 8:3 and Rev 5:8 to see how our prayers are offered to God by the saints(twenty-four elders). The saints in heaven don’t need prayers…they are OUR prayers which they bring before the Lord.

In the Old Testament the Mother of the King was the Queen Mother and she would intercede for the people to her Son the King. She sat at his right hand and he bowed and gave honor to his mother. This is a type that is foreshadowing the true Queen Mother who intercedes for us to her Son.

You are on a great website to help clear up misunderstandings in the Church that you might have…believe me…there are answers to all of questions. Read the Bible from the Heart of the Church and you will grow in ways you can not image!

I am glad you are back and your child will benefit from your active role in their faith life! And you…like the rest of us…will grow in the process!


You might want to go to the Home page and under search type in 10 Commandments Graven Image…and many articles will pop up. The forums are good but the best info will come from the “Topics” page. Sometimes the forum search is harder to find…but the Search on the Home page is much more helpful. This question has been addressed many times so there are lots of articles about it. If you go on the Radio page you can also go under topics and lots of radio programs to listen too…or quick tracts…or video clips. So much to learn and there is a wealth of info for you.

Have you taken Jeff Cavin’s course on Salvation History…The Bible Timeline? Or Scott Hahn’s Journey through Scripture? It is amazing and they show you how to read the Bible as the Early Church Fathers did…If you haven’t, try to find a program in your area. You will love it!


Other people have covered the graven images part, so I’ll just explain why it seems like a different set.

Recall that in the original Hebrew, there were no verses or chapters. So we didn’t have 16 verses in Exodus and Deuteronomy that make up the Ten Commandments. It was just “that part of Deuteronomy” and “that part of Exodus.” Because of this, there are actually several different ways they’re numbered.

The two main ways they’re split (among Christians):
Catholic/Lutheran: “No false gods” and “No graven images” are lumped into a single commandment. “Thou shalt not covet” is split in two.
Most Protestants: “No false gods” and “No graven images” are separate commandments. “Thou shalt not covet” is lumped into a single one.

So the big difference that threw you off is really just that Catholics (and Lutherans) group the 17(?) imperative statements differently than you were used to. It’s all still there; we just number it differently.

(But seriously, though, it was so useful to learn that Lutherans number them the same as us. If I ever forget them, I can search for a Lutheran list, remember they swap 9 and 10, and avoid any CARM or CARM-like results that bash Catholics)


Protestants and Catholics use two different sets of 10 Commandments. The Catholic Church uses the one based in Deuteronomy, while Protestant churches use the foundation in Exodus. Essentially, they are the same, but grouped differently.

The Catholic 1st Commandment encompasses the Protestant 1 and 2 because they are saying the same thing, that there is only one God and he is the only thing that should be worshiped. The Protestant 10th Commandment, Catholics break up into two because we don’t want to equate a wife with someone’s property.

Also, it is important to note that Catholics do not worship the Saints, even the Blessed Virgin Mary, because they are not God. Praying does not equate to worship. The term “pray” means “to ask; to beg; to plead” (and the like). Also, when we pray to the Saints, we are asking them to pray for us, like you would a friend or family member. As glorified members of the Body of Christ, they are our brothers and sisters in Christ who are alive in heaven with Christ. Being in heaven does not separate them from us, because nothing can separate the members of the Body of Christ. We see indications from scripture that they can indeed hear our prayers and are able to bring them to God (in Revelation, both Angels and Saints are written to be bringing incense to God, which symbolize the prayers of the saints on earth; and we read that heaven rejoices over the repentance of one sinner).

You can read more here:


Thank you everyone for your replies. You have given a lot of information and it will take a while before I can post any replies. But I will, if only to let you know of my progress. I pray that the Holy Spirit will guide me find the answers I seek.


I imagine there are threads here --but I would note that the place for you to search is the MAIN Catholic Answers site not the forum.

For example:





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