To say that there were but 10 commandments is sort of a simplification of the will of God as dictated in the Old Testament, really. In fact, God issued forth to the Hebrews many, many commands through his profit Moses, but the first 10 are often considered first and foremost. And unfortunately for theologists, philosophers and historians, Moses smashed the first tablets after he beheld the Hebrews worshiping an idol of a golden calf. The details of this story, of course, can be found in Exodus 32.

Reprinted here are what were supposedly on the 10 shattered relics (well, according to the Exodus 20 and Blaaf):

  1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
  2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for 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 shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
  3. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in taking God's name in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
  4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it (or so goes Genesis 1).
  5. Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
  6. Thou shalt not kill.
  7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
  8. Thou shalt not steal.
  9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
  10. 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 ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.

Now, there are difficulties with this translation; for one, the third commandment depends on your definition of "the name of the LORD". If Jesus is considered the lord, few pronounce his name properly anyway, so if God has the sentiment of an English teacher one should be fine pronouncing it the way they always have, which is not his true name; More importantly, it referes to YHWH or YHVH, of which the Hebrew referred to as Adonai. Jehovah is the modern botched translation of both YWHW (not spoken) and Adonai (read more on this subject over at God Is Not God's Name). Again, if god gives a darn about pronunciation all are fine, as any modern reference would be a far cry from a proper ancient Hebrew annunciation.

Additionally, it is very hard to follow the 4 commandment, as Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are each said to be the sabbath by Islam, Jewish Tradition, and Christianity, respectively.

Thou shalt not kill is a little broad, as General Wesc points out. He suggests that it be changed to #6. Thou shalt not murder (the most accurate Hebrew Translation by far). Perhaps, but non the less it is general consensus that it is "Thou shalt not kill". Whether or not it is Commandment #6 is actual very disputable. The following are the Jewish and Catholic Commandments (a far cry from the protestant King James Translation!):

Catholic
  1. I am the Lord thy God. Thou shalt not have strange gods before me.
  2. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
  3. Remember thou keep the Sabbath Day.
  4. Honor thy Father and thy Mother.
  5. Thou shalt not kill.
  6. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
  7. Thou shalt not steal.
  8. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
  9. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife.
  10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's goods.

Essentially, the 10 Catholic commandments are what Papal system decree, as mass has only recently been done in vernacular instead of Latin. RST points out that #9 could easily be a duplicate of #6; the main difference is that looking upon another with lust in one's heart is adultery, and looking upon a neighbors wife and wishing for what fecundity she may have is an entirely different issue all together (I think).

Hebrew

  1. I am the Lord thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
  2. Thou shalt have no other gods before Me. Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image, nor any manner of likeness, of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; Thou shalt not bow down unto them, nor serve them; for 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 the thousandth generation of them that love Me and keep My commandments.
  3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain.
  4. Remember the sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work. But the seventh day is the sabbath in honour of the Lord thy God; on it thou shalt not do any work, neither thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
  5. Honour thy father and thy mother; in order that thy days may be prolonged upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.
  6. Thou shalt not kill.
  7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
  8. Thou shalt not steal.
  9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
  10. 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 ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.

With the exception of the first two commandments, however, the Hebrew Commandments are essentially the same as the modern Protestant. Even these, however, are not very accurate translations of the actual Hebrew. For a good analysis of the Hebrew of these commandments, go to http://www.levitt.com/hebrew/commandments.html; I have provided a simplified but more accurate translation here:

  1. I am the Lord your God.
  2. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
  3. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD your God in vain (as in vanity).
  4. Remember the Sabbath day (the day of rest), to keep it holy.
  5. Honor thy father and thy mother.
  6. Thou shalt not murder.
  7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
  8. Thou shalt not steal.
  9. Thou shalt not bear witness to falsity against thy neighbor.
  10. Thou shalt not covet (anything, period.)

So in essence, if going by even leniant Hebrew translations, everybody is wrong. However, it isn't really in the spirit of the commandments, which preach piety, honesty, and innocense.

The rest of the story goes that the remains of the original tablets found their way to the Sacred Arc of the Covenant. A few days later, God was kind enough to Moses to cover the tablets he broke in anger with the biblical equivalent of a warranty repair. These are supposed to be better documented, the *REAL* 10 commandments (taken from K. Budde, History of Ancient Hebrew Literature; you may of course see the King James versions at Exodus 34):

  1. Thou shalt worship no other god (For the Lord is a jealous god).
  2. Thou shalt make thee no molten gods.
  3. The feast of unleavened bread shalt thou keep in the month when the ear is on the corn.
  4. All the first-born are mine.
  5. Six days shalt thou work, but on the seventh thou shalt rest.
  6. Thou shalt observe the feast of weeks, even of the first fruits of the wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering at the year's end.
  7. Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leavened bread.
  8. The fat of my feast shall not remain all night until the morning.
  9. The first of the first fruits of thy ground thou shalt bring unto the house of the Lord thy God.
  10. Thou shalt not seethe a kid in its mother's milk.

Hehe, and then there are the 10 punishments, compiled by Compiled by Jyoti Shankar, Bubbles Online Magazine.

  1. Ex. 22:20: He that sacrificeth unto any god, save unto the Lord only, he shall be utterly destroyed.
  2. Lev. 24:16: And he that blasphemeth the name of the Lord, he shall surely be put to death.
  3. Ex. 31:15: Whosoever doeth any work in the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.
  4. Ex. 21:15: He that smiteth his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death.
  5. Ex. 21:17: He that curseth his father or his mother, shall surely be put to death.
  6. Ex. 22:19: Whosoever lieth with a beast shall surely be put to death.
  7. Lev. 20:13: If a man lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have com-mitted an abomination: they shall surely be put to death.
  8. Lev. 20:10: And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall be put to death.
  9. Mark 16:16: He that believeth not, shall be damned.
  10. Mal. 2:1-4: And now, O ye priests, this commandment is for you. If you will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart to give glory to my name, ... behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces.

I think if someone could tell me where the heck the sources are for this stuff I would be much obliged. Thou shalt not cut and paste write-ups, normally.

Part Two: The Creed »

Commentary on Martin Luther's Small Catechism, Part I: The Ten Commandments.

An excerpt from Martin Luther’s “Small Catechism” (1529) follows.

In 1517, the Reformation began when an Augustinian monk in an obscure province of Germany nailed 95 Theses on the Wittenberg Cathedral door, intending to inspire a debate in the sleepy university. The monk and Bible Professor instead ignited a powder-keg of religous and political discontent, plunged Central Europe into a war among Christians of unprecedented ferocity and barbarity, which drove a sectarian wedge into the Church which exists to this day.

By 1529, Luther had abandoned the hope for reform of the church from the top down. The “Small” and “Large” (or “German”) catechisms followed a series of church “visitations” by a committee headed by Luther under orders from the civil authorities. Luther, who had lead a sheltered life of a monk and academic, was appalled by what he discovered in the course of the “visitations”, or inspections, of churches in rural Saxony. Ignorance of the basic elements of Christianity was rampant in both laity and clergy.

Luther therefore wrote catechisms for use by the head of the household in teaching his family to rudiments of Christianity -- the Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Creeds. The “Small” Catechism reduces all commentary down to the absolute minimum, and was suitable for rote memorization. The “Large” Catechism is, essentially, the Teacher’s Manual for the “Small” Catechism.

Luther answers most elementary objections about the Ten Commandments. For example, the objection can be found here that the Sabbath is remembered by different sects on different days. Luther’s gloss (We should fear and love God that we do not despise preaching and his Word, but regard it as holy, and gladly hear and learn it.) shows that is irrelevant. The Sabbath is about preaching and/or listening to God's Word (making it a “holy day”) not about taking a “holiday”. As long as you are setting aside one day a week for spiritual growth, you are fulfilling the commandment.

There are several different lists of "Ten Commandments", all more or less based on Exodus 20. Luther uses the “Catholic” list. Luther was an Augustinian monk, and the "Catholic" statement of the Ten Commandments comes to us from St. Augustine. Of course, the passage from Exodus 20 includes several commandments about idols: don’t make them, don’t bow to them, don’t serve them. They all get combined into Number One. Protestants after Luther (i.e. Calvinists), however, were iconoclasts and felt that “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image” deserved its own commandment. I think the iconoclasts miss the point, which is that you cannot serve two masters.

Small Catechism, Part I

The Ten Commandments

As the head of the family should teach them in the simplest way to those in his household.

THE FIRST COMMANDMENT

You shall have no other gods.

What does this mean?

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

THE SECOND COMMANDMENT

You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God that we do not use his name to curse, swear, lie or deceive, or use witchcraft, but call upon God's name in every trouble, pray, praise, and give thanks.

THE THIRD COMMANDMENT

Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God that we do not despise preaching and his Word, but regard it as holy, and gladly hear and learn it.

THE FOURTH COMMANDMENT

Honor your father and mother, that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God that we do not dishonor or anger our parents and others in authority, but honor, serve, and obey them, and give them love and respect.

THE FIFTH COMMANDMENT

You shall not murder.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God that we do not hurt or harm our neighbor in his body, but help and befriend him in every bodily need.

THE SIXTH COMMANDMENT

You shall not commit adultery.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God that we lead a pure and decent life in words and actions, and that husband and wife love and honor each other.

THE SEVENTH COMMANDMENT

You shall not steal.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God that we do not take our neighbor's money or property or get it by dishonest dealing, but help him to improve and protect his property and means of income.

THE EIGHTH COMMANDMENT

You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God that we do not tell lies about our neighbor, betray him, or give him a bad name, but defend him, speak well of him, and take his words and actions in the kindest possible way.

THE NINTH COMMANDMENT

You shall not covet your neighbor's house.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God that we do not scheme to get our neighbor's inheritance or house or obtain it by a show of right, but do all we can to help him keep it.

THE TENTH COMMANDMENT

You shall not covet your neighbor's wife, workers, animals, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.

What does this mean?

We should fear and love God that we do not force or entice away our neighbor's spouse, workers, or animals, but urge them to stay and do their duty.

Part Two »

    The ten commandments do exist and are honored in the Quran. Certainly, there are more than 10 commandments both in the Quran and older scriptures, but the 10 commandments became very popular among the people of the book.

  1. "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." (Exodus 20:3)


  2. "Abraham was not a Jew nor yet a Christian; but he was true in Faith, and bowed his will to God's, and he joined no gods with God." (Quran, 3:67)

    "God forgiveth not (The sin of) joining other gods with Him; but He forgiveth whom He pleaseth other sins than this: one who joins other gods with God, Hath strayed far, far away (from the right)." (Quran, 4:116)

    "Say: He is God, the One and Only; God, the Eternal, Absolute; He begetteth not, nor is He begotten; And there is none like unto Him." (Quran, 112:1-4)

    There are far more versus to support this commandment, but this should be enough.

  3. "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for 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;" (Exodus 20:4-5)


  4. "Know, therefore, that there is no god but God, and ask forgiveness for thy fault, and for the men and women who believe: for God knows how ye move about and how ye dwell in your homes." (Quran, 47:19)

    "(He is) the Creator of the heavens and the earth: He has made for you pairs from among yourselves, and pairs among cattle: by this means does He multiply you: there is nothing whatever like unto Him, and He is the One that hears and sees (all things)." (Quran, 42:11)

    "No vision can grasp Him, but His grasp is over all vision: He is above all comprehension, yet is acquainted with all things." (Quran, 6:103)

    "Remember Abraham said: "O my Lord! make this city one of peace and security: and preserve me and my sons from worshipping idols." (Quran, 14:35)

  5. "Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain." (Exodus 20:7)


  6. "Revile not ye those whom they call upon besides God, lest they out of spite revile God in their ignorance. Thus have We made alluring to each people its own doings. In the end will they return to their Lord, and We shall then tell them the truth of all that they did." (Quran, 6:108)

    "The most beautiful names belong to God: so call on him by them; but shun such men as use profanity in his names: for what they do, they will soon be requited." (Quran, 7:180)

    "Already has He sent you Word in the Book, that when ye hear the signs of God held in defiance and ridicule, ye are not to sit with them unless they turn to a different theme: if ye did, ye would be like them. For God will collect the hypocrites and those who defy faith - all in Hell" (Quran, 4:140)

  7. "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. " (Exodus 20:8)


  8. This commandment became abrogated in Islam with Friday.

    "And well ye knew those amongst you who transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath: We said to them: "Be ye apes, despised and rejected." (Quran, 2:65)

    "O ye People of the Book! believe in what We have (now) revealed, confirming what was (already) with you, before We change the face and fame of some (of you) beyond all recognition, and turn them hindwards, or curse them as We cursed the Sabbath-breakers, for the decision of God Must be carried out." (TQuran, 4:47)

    "And for their covenant we raised over them (the towering height) of Mount (Sinai); and (on another occasion) we said: "Enter the gate with humility"; and (once again) we commanded them: "Transgress not in the matter of the sabbath." And we took from them a solemn covenant." (Quran, 4:154)

    "Ask them concerning the town standing close by the sea. Behold! they transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath. For on the day of their Sabbath their fish did come to them, openly holding up their heads, but on the day they had no Sabbath, they came not: thus did We make a trial of them, for they were given to transgression." (Quran, 7:163)

    "The Sabbath was only made (strict) for those who disagreed (as to its observance); But God will judge between them on the Day of Judgment, as to their differences." (Quran, 16:124)

    "O ye who believe! When the call is proclaimed to prayer on Friday (the Day of Assembly), hasten earnestly to the Remembrance of God, and leave off business (and traffic): That is best for you if ye but knew!" (Quran, 62:9)

  9. "Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee." (Exodus 20:12)


  10. "Thy Lord hath decreed that ye worship none but Him, and that ye be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in thy life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honour. And, out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say: "My Lord! bestow on them thy Mercy even as they cherished me in childhood." (Quran, 17:23-24)

    "We have enjoined on man kindness to parents: but if they (either of them) strive (to force) thee to join with Me (in worship) anything of which thou hast no knowledge, obey them not. Ye have (all) to return to me, and I will tell you (the truth) of all that ye did." (Quran, 29:8)

    "And We have enjoined on man (to be good) to his parents: in travail upon travail did his mother bear him, and in years twain was his weaning: (hear the command), "Show gratitude to Me and to thy parents: to Me is (thy final) Goal." (Quran, 31:14)

    "We have enjoined on man kindness to his parents: In pain did his mother bear him, and in pain did she give him birth. The carrying of the (child) to his weaning is (a period of) thirty months. At length, when he reaches the age of full strength and attains forty years, he says, "O my Lord! Grant me that I may be grateful for Thy favour which Thou has bestowed upon me, and upon both my parents, and that I may work righteousness such as Thou mayest approve; and be gracious to me in my issue. Truly have I turned to Thee and truly do I bow (to Thee) in Islam." (Quran, 46:15)

    "And remember We took a covenant from the Children of Israel (to this effect): Worship none but God; treat with kindness your parents and kindred, and orphans and those in need; speak fair to the people; be steadfast in prayer; and practise regular charity. Then did ye turn back, except a few among you, and ye backslide (even now)." (Quran, 2:83)

  11. "Thou shalt not kill". (Exodus 20:13)


  12. "Nor take life - which God has made sacred - except for just cause. And if anyone is slain wrongfully, we have given his heir authority (to demand execution or to forgive): but let him nor exceed bounds in the matter of taking life; for he is helped (by the Law)." (Quran, 17:33)

    "On that account: We ordained for the Children of Israel that if any one slew a person - unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land - it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people. Then although there came to them Our apostles with clear signs, yet, even after that, many of them continued to commit excesses in the land. (Quran, 5:32)

  13. "Thou shalt not commit adultery." (Exodus 20:14)


  14. "Nor come nigh to adultery: for it is a shameful (deed) and an evil, opening the road (to other evils). (Quran, 17:32)

    "The woman and the man guilty of adultery or fornication,- flog each of them with a hundred stripes: Let not compassion move you in their case, in a matter prescribed by God, if ye believe in God and the Last Day: and let a party of the Believers witness their punishment. (Quran, 24:2)

  15. "Thou shalt not steal." (Exodus 20:15)


  16. "As to the thief, Male or female, cut off his or her hands: a punishment by way of example, from God, for their crime: and God is Exalted in power. But if the thief repents after his crime, and amends his conduct, God turneth to him in forgiveness; for God is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Quran, 5:38-39)

  17. "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. " (Exodus 20:16)
  18. "O ye who believe! Stand out firmly For justice, as witnesses To Allah, even as against Yourselves, or your parents, Or your kin, and whether It be (against) rich or poor: For Allah can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (Of your hearts), lest ye Swerve, and if ye Distort (justice) or decline To do justice, verily Allah is well-acquainted With all that ye do.(Quran, 4:135)

    "O ye who believe! Stand out firmly For Allah, as witnesses To fair dealing, and let not The hatred of others To you make you swerve To wrong and depart from Justice. Be just: that is Next to Piety: and fear Allah. For Allah is well-acquainted With all that ye do." (Quran, 5:8)

    "But if anyone earns A fault or a sin And throws it on to one That is innocent, He carries (on himself) (Both) a falsehood And a flagrant sin." (Quran, 4:112)

  19. "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 ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's. (Exodus 20:17)


  20. "Say to the believing men that they cast down their looks and guard their private parts; that is purer for them; surely Allah is Aware of what they do." (Quran, 24:30)

    "And tell the believing women to lower their gaze and be modest, and to display of their adornment only that which is apparent, and to draw their veils over their bosoms, and not to reveal their adornment save to their own husbands or fathers or husbands' fathers, or their sons or their husbands' sons, or their brothers or their brothers' sons or sisters' sons, or their women, or their slaves, or male attendants who lack vigour, or children who know naught of women's nakedness. And let them not stamp their feet so as to reveal what they hide of their adornment. And turn unto Allah together, O believers, in order that ye may succeed." (Quran, 24:31)

    "And do not covet that by which Allah has made some of you excel others; men shall have the benefit of what they earn and women shall have the benefit of what they earn; and ask Allah of His grace; surely Allah knows all things." (Quran, 4:32)

    "Cast not thine eyes on the good things which we have bestowed on several of the unbelievers, so as to covet the same; neither be thou grieved on their account. Behave thy self with meekness towards the true believers;" (Quran, 15:88)

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