The TEN COMMANDMENTS, also known as the DECALOGUE, are a set of
biblical laws relating to ethics and worship , which play a
fundamental role in
The Ten Commandments appear twice in the
* 1 Terminology
* 2 Passages in Exodus and
* 4 Religious interpretations
* 4.1.1 Two tablets * 4.1.2 Use in Jewish ritual
* 4.2 Samaritan
* 4.3.1 References in the New Testament * 4.3.2 Roman Catholicism * 4.3.3 Orthodox
* 4.3.4 Protestantism
* 220.127.116.11 Lutheranism * 18.104.22.168 Reformed * 22.214.171.124 Methodist
* 4.3.5 The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
* 4.5 Main points of interpretative difference
* 4.5.1 Sabbath day * 4.5.2 Killing or murder * 4.5.3 Theft * 4.5.4 Idolatry * 4.5.5 Adultery
* 5 Critical historical analysis
* 5.1 Early theories
* 5.2 Hittite treaties
* 5.3 Dating
* 5.4 The
* 6 United States debate over display on public property * 7 Cultural references * 8 See also * 9 References * 10 Further reading * 11 External links
Part of the All Souls
In biblical Hebrew , the Ten Commandments are called עשרת הדברים (transliterated _aseret ha-d'varîm_) and in Rabbinical Hebrew עשרת הדברות (transliterated _asereth ha-dibrot_), both translatable as "the ten words", "the ten sayings", or "the ten matters". The Tyndale and Coverdale English translations used "ten verses". The Geneva Bible used "tenne commandements", which was followed by the Bishops\' Bible and the Authorized Version (the "King James" version) as "ten commandments". Most major English versions use "commandments."
The English name "Decalogue" is derived from Greek
δεκάλογος, _dekalogos_, the latter meaning and referring to
the Greek translation (in accusative ) δέκα λόγους, _deka
logous_, "ten words", found in the
The stone tablets, as opposed to the commandments inscribed on them, are called לוחות הברית, _Luchot HaBrit_, meaning "the tablets of the covenant ".
PASSAGES IN EXODUS AND DEUTERONOMY
The biblical narrative of the revelation at Sinai begins in Exodus 19
after the arrival of the children of Israel at
Mount Sinai (also
called Horeb ). On the morning of the third day of their encampment,
"there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount,
and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud", and the people assembled
at the base of the mount. After "the LORD came down upon mount
The people were afraid to hear more and moved "afar off", and Moses
responded with "Fear not." Nevertheless, he drew near the "thick
darkness" where "the presence of the Lord" was to hear the additional
statutes and "judgments", all which he "wrote" in the "book of the
covenant " which he read to the people the next morning, and they
agreed to be obedient and do all that the LORD had said. Moses
escorted a select group consisting of
And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be
there: and I will give thee tablets of stone, and a law, and
commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them. 13 And
The mount was covered by the cloud for six days, and on the seventh
After the full forty days,
According to Jewish tradition, Exodus 20:1–17 constitutes God's
first recitation and inscription of the ten commandments on the two
TRADITIONS FOR NUMBERING
Different religious traditions divide the seventeen verses of Exodus
20:1–17 and their parallels at
The Ten Commandments LXX P S T A C L R MAIN ARTICLE EXODUS 20:1-17 DEUTERONOMY 5:4-21
I am the Lord thy God
Thou shalt have no other gods before me
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy
Honour thy father and thy mother
Thou shalt not kill
Thou shalt not commit adultery
Thou shalt not steal
Thou shalt not covet
Thou shalt not covet
Thou shalt not covet
— — 10 — — — — — Ye shall erect these stones which I command thee upon Mount Gerizim 17d (Samaritan) 21d (Samaritan)
* All scripture quotes above are from the King James Version . Click on verses at top of columns for other versions.
The Ten Commandments concern matters of fundamental importance in
The Ten Commandments are written with room for varying interpretation, reflecting their role as a summary of fundamental principles. They are not as explicit or detailed as rules or many other biblical laws and commandments, because they provide guiding principles that apply universally, across changing circumstances. They do not specify punishments for their violation. Their precise import must be worked out in each separate situation.
* They have a uniquely terse style.
* Of all the biblical laws and commandments, the Ten Commandments
alone are said to have been "written with the finger of God" (Exodus
* The stone tablets were placed in the
Ark of the Covenant (Exodus
The Ten Commandments form the basis of Jewish law, stating God's universal and timeless standard of right and wrong – unlike the rest of the 613 commandments in the Torah, which include, for example, various duties and ceremonies such as the kashrut dietary laws, and now unobservable rituals to be performed by priests in the Holy Temple . Jewish tradition considers the Ten Commandments the theological basis for the rest of the commandments; a number of works, starting with Rabbi Saadia Gaon , have made groupings of the commandments according to their links with the Ten Commandments.
The traditional Rabbinical Jewish belief is that the observance of these commandments and the other _mitzvot_ are required solely of the Jewish people and that the laws incumbent on humanity in general are outlined in the seven Noahide laws , several of which overlap with the Ten Commandments. In the era of the Sanhedrin transgressing any one of six of the Ten Commandments theoretically carried the death penalty , the exceptions being the First Commandment, honouring your father and mother, saying God's name in vain, and coveting, though this was rarely enforced due to a large number of stringent evidentiary requirements imposed by the oral law .
Tablets of Stone
The arrangement of the commandments on the two tablets is interpreted in different ways in the classical Jewish tradition. Rabbi Hanina ben Gamaliel says that each tablet contained five commandments, "but the Sages say ten on one tablet and ten on the other", that is, that the tablets were duplicates. This can be compared to diplomatic treaties of the ancient Near East, in which a copy was made for each party.
According to the Talmud , the compendium of traditional Rabbinic Jewish law, tradition, and interpretation, one interpretation of the biblical verse "the tablets were written on both their sides", is that the carving went through the full thickness of the tablets, yet was miraculously legible from both sides.
Use In Jewish Ritual
The Ten Commandments on a glass plate
The Mishna records that during the period of the Second Temple , the Ten Commandments were recited daily, before the reading of the Shema Yisrael (as preserved, for example, in the Nash Papyrus , a Hebrew manuscript fragment from 150–100 BCE found in Egypt, containing a version of the ten commandments and the beginning of the Shema); but that this practice was abolished in the synagogues so as not to give ammunition to heretics who claimed that they were the only important part of Jewish law, or to dispute a claim by early Christians that _only_ the Ten Commandments were handed down at Mount Sinai rather than the whole Torah.
In later centuries rabbis continued to omit the Ten Commandments from daily liturgy in order to prevent a confusion among Jews that they are _only_ bound by the Ten Commandments, and not also by many other biblical and Talmudic laws, such as the requirement to observe holy days other than the sabbath.
Ten Commandments are heard in the synagogue three times a
year: as they come up during the readings of Exodus and Deuteronomy,
and during the festival of
Shavuot . The Exodus version is read in
Yitro _ around late January–February, and on the festival
of Shavuot, and the
In printed Chumashim , as well as in those in manuscript form, the
Ten Commandments carry two sets of cantillation marks. The _ta'am
'elyon_ (upper accentuation), which makes each Commandment into a
separate verse, is used for public
Torah reading, while the _ta'am
tachton_ (lower accentuation), which divides the text into verses of
more even length, is used for private reading or study. The verse
numbering in Jewish Bibles follows the _ta'am tachton_. In Jewish
Bibles the references to the
Ten Commandments are therefore Exodus
The Samaritan Pentateuch varies in the Ten Commandments passages, both in that the Samaritan Deuteronomical version of the passage is much closer to that in Exodus, and in that Samaritans count as nine commandments what others count as ten. The Samaritan tenth commandment is on the sanctity of Mount Gerizim .
The text of the Samaritan tenth commandment follows: And it shall come to pass when the Lord thy God will bring thee into the land of the Canaanites whither thou goest to take possession of it, thou shalt erect unto thee large stones, and thou shalt cover them with lime, and thou shalt write upon the stones all the words of this Law, and it shall come to pass when ye cross the Jordan, ye shall erect these stones which I command thee upon _Mount Gerizim_, and thou shalt build there an altar unto the Lord thy God, an altar of stones, and thou shalt not lift upon them iron, of perfect stones shalt thou build thine altar, and thou shalt bring upon it burnt offerings to the Lord thy God, and thou shalt sacrifice peace offerings, and thou shalt eat there and rejoice before the Lord thy God. That mountain is on the other side of the Jordan at the end of the road towards the going down of the sun in the land of the Canaanites who dwell in the Arabah facing Gilgal close by Elon Moreh facing Shechem.
See also: Christian views on the Old Covenant
Most traditions of
References In The New Testament
See also: Matthew 5 § Antitheses
During his Sermon on the Mount , Jesus explicitly referenced the prohibitions against murder and adultery. In Matthew 19:16-19 Jesus repeated five of the Ten Commandments, followed by that commandment called "the second" (Matthew 22:34-40) after the first and great commandment .
And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? _there is_ none good but one, _that is_, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and _thy_ mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. — Matthew 19:16-19
Romans 13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. 9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if _there be_ any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love _is_ the fulfilling of the law. — Romans 13:8-10 KJV
Main article: Catholic doctrine regarding the Ten Commandments
In Roman Catholicism, Jesus freed Christians from the rest of Jewish religious law , but not from their obligation to keep the Ten Commandments. It has been said that they are to the moral order what the creation story is to the natural order.
According to the _ Catechism of the Catholic Church _—the official exposition of the Catholic Church 's Christian beliefs—the Commandments are considered essential for spiritual good health and growth, and serve as the basis for social justice . Church teaching of the Commandments is largely based on the Old and New Testaments and the writings of the early Church Fathers . In the New Testament, Jesus acknowledged their validity and instructed his disciples to go further, demanding a righteousness exceeding that of the scribes and Pharisees . Summarized by Jesus into two "great commandments " that teach the love of God and love of neighbour, they instruct individuals on their relationships with both.
The Eastern Orthodox Church holds its moral truths to be chiefly contained in the Ten Commandments. A confession begins with the Confessor reciting the Ten Commandments and asking the penitent which of them he has broken.
See also: Law and Gospel
After rejecting the Roman Catholic moral theology, giving more importance to biblical law and the gospel , early Protestant theologians continued to take the Ten Commandments as the starting point of Christian moral life. Different versions of Christianity have varied in how they have translated the bare principles into the specifics that make up a full Christian ethic . A Christian school in India displays the Ten Commandments
The Lutheran division of the commandments follows the one established by St. Augustine , following the then current synagogue scribal division. The first three commandments govern the relationship between God and humans, the fourth through eighth govern public relationships between people, and the last two govern private thoughts. See Luther's Small Catechism and Large Catechism.
The _Articles of the Church of England , Revised and altered by the Assembly of Divines, at Westminster , in the year 1643_ state that "no Christian man whatsoever is free from the obedience of the commandments which are called moral. By the moral law, we understand all the Ten Commandments taken in their full extent." The Westminster Confession , held by Presbyterian Churches , holds that the moral law contained in the Ten Commandments "does forever bind all, as well justified persons as others, to the obedience thereof".
The moral law contained in the Ten Commandments, according to the founder of the Methodist movement John Wesley , was instituted from the beginning of the world and is written on the hearts of all people. As with the Reformed view, Wesley held that the moral law, which is contained in the Ten Commandments, stands today:
Every part of this law must remain in force upon all mankind in all ages, as not depending either on time or place, nor on any other circumstances liable to change; but on the nature of God and the nature of man, and their unchangeable relation to each other" (Wesley's _Sermons_, Vol. I, Sermon 25).
In keeping with Wesleyan covenant theology , "while the ceremonial law was abolished in Christ and the whole Mosaic dispensation itself was concluded upon the appearance of Christ, the moral law remains a vital component of the covenant of grace, having Christ as its perfecting end." As such, in Methodism, an "important aspect of the pursuit of sanctification is the careful following" of the Ten Commandments.
The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-day Saints
According to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) doctrine, Jesus completed rather than rejected the Mosaic Law. The Ten Commandments are considered eternal gospel principles necessary for exaltation . They appear in the Book of Mosiah 12:34–36, 13:15–16, 13:21–24 and Doctrine and Covenants . According to the Book of Mosiah, a prophet named Abinadi taught the Ten Commandments in the court of King Noah and was martyred for his righteousness. Abinadi knew the Ten Commandments from the brass plates .
In an October 2010 address, LDS president and prophet Thomas S. Monson taught " The Ten Commandments are just that—commandments. They are not suggestions."
The Strangite denomination has different views of the Decalogue .
The Qur\'an includes a version of the Ten Commandments in sura Al-An\'am 6:151:
* "Say: "Come, I will rehearse what Allah hath (really) prohibited you from":
worship not anything with Him (God); be good to your parents; kill not your children on a plea of want;- We provide sustenance for you and for them;- come not near indecent deeds (adultery). Whether open or secret; do not kill the soul, which Allah has made sacred, except by way of justice and law: thus doth He command you, that ye may learn wisdom. and come not near the property of the orphan, except to improve it, until he attain the age of full strength; give measure and weight with (full) justice;- no burden do we place on any soul, but that which it can bear;- when you speak, speak justly, even if a near relative is concerned; and fulfill the covenant of Allah. thus doth He command you, that ye may remember. and this is God's straight path, so follow it and do not follow other ways, lest you be separated from His way. This He has instructed you that you will be righteous."
Another Chapter of The Qur\'an also includes a version of the Ten Commandments in sura Al-Isra 17:22:
* " Do not make with Allah another deity and become censured and forsaken And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him,
and to parents, good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age with you, say not to them , "uff," and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word. And lower to them the wing of humility out of mercy and say, "My Lord, have mercy upon them as they brought me up small." Your Lord is most knowing of what is within yourselves. If you should be righteous - then indeed He is ever, to the often returning , Forgiving. And give the relative his right, and the poor and the traveler, and do not spend wastefully. Indeed, the wasteful are brothers of the devils, and ever has Satan been to his Lord ungrateful.And if you turn away from the needy awaiting mercy from your Lord which you expect, then speak to them a gentle word.And do not make your hand chained to your neck or extend it completely and become blamed and insolvent.Indeed, your Lord extends provision for whom He wills and restricts . Indeed He is ever, concerning His servants, Acquainted and Seeing.And do not kill your children for fear of poverty. We provide for them and for you. Indeed, their killing is ever a great sin. And do not approach unlawful sexual intercourse. Indeed, it is ever an immorality and is evil as a way. And do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden, except by right. And whoever is killed unjustly - We have given his heir authority, but let him not exceed limits in taking life. Indeed, he has been supported . And do not approach the property of an orphan, except in the way that is best, until he reaches maturity. And fulfill commitment. Indeed, the commitment is ever questioned. And give full measure when you measure, and weigh with an even balance. That is the best and best in result. And do not pursue that of which you have no knowledge. Indeed, the hearing, the sight and the heart - about all those will be questioned. And do not walk upon the earth exultantly. Indeed, you will never tear the earth , and you will never reach the mountains in height. All All that - its evil is ever, in the sight of your Lord, detested. That is from what your Lord has revealed to you of wisdom. And, , do not make with Allah another deity, lest you be thrown into Hell, blamed and banished. ".
According to Abdullah Ibn Abbas °the verses of Chapter 17 Al-Isra are the Quranic version of the ten Commandments _Verses 22 to 39_
MAIN POINTS OF INTERPRETATIVE DIFFERENCE
All Abrahamic religions observe a weekly day of rest, often called
the Sabbath, although the actual day of the week ranges from Friday in
Islam, Saturday in
Observing the Sabbath on Sunday, the day of resurrection, gradually became the dominant Christian practice from the Jewish-Roman wars onward. The Church's general repudiation of Jewish practices during this period is apparent in the Council of Laodicea (4th century AD) where Canons 37–38 state: "It is not lawful to receive portions sent from the feasts of Jews or heretics, nor to feast together with them" and "It is not lawful to receive unleavened bread from the Jews, nor to be partakers of their impiety". Canon 29 of the Laodicean council specifically refers to the sabbath: "Christians must not judaize by resting on the Sabbath, but must work on that day, rather honouring the Lord's Day; and, if they can, resting then as Christians. But if any shall be found to be judaizers, let them be anathema from Christ."
Killing Or Murder
Thou shalt not kill
Multiple translations exist of the fifth/sixth commandment; the Hebrew words לא תרצח (lo tirtzach) are variously translated as "thou shalt not kill" or "thou shalt not murder".
The imperative is against unlawful killing resulting in bloodguilt .
Thou shalt not steal
Some academic theologians, including German Old Testament scholar Albrecht Alt : _Das Verbot des Diebstahls im Dekalog_ (1953), suggest that the commandment translated as "thou shalt not steal" was originally intended against stealing people—against abductions and slavery, in agreement with the Talmudic interpretation of the statement as "thou shalt not kidnap" ( Sanhedrin 86a).
Idolatry is forbidden in all Abrahamic religions. In
In Christianity's earliest centuries, some Christians had informally adorned their homes and places of worship with images of Christ and the saints, which others thought inappropriate. No church council had ruled on whether such practices constituted idolatry. The controversy reached crisis level in the 8th century, during the period of iconoclasm : the smashing of icons.
In 726 Emperor Leo III ordered all images removed from all churches; in 730 a council forbade veneration of images, citing the Second Commandment; in 787 the Seventh Ecumenical Council reversed the preceding rulings, condemning iconoclasm and sanctioning the veneration of images; in 815 Leo V called yet another council, which reinstated iconoclasm; in 843 Empress Theodora again reinstated veneration of icons. This mostly settled the matter until the Protestant Reformation , when John Calvin declared that the ruling of the Seventh Ecumenical Council "emanated from Satan". Protestant iconoclasts at this time destroyed statues, pictures, stained glass, and artistic masterpieces.
The Eastern Orthodox Church celebrates Theodora's restoration of the icons every year on the First Sunday of Great Lent . Eastern Orthodox tradition teaches that while images of God, the Father, remain prohibited, depictions of Jesus as the incarnation of God as a visible human are permissible. To emphasize the theological importance of the incarnation, the Orthodox Church encourages the use of icons in church and private devotions, but prefers a two-dimensional depiction as a reminder of this theological aspect. Icons depict the spiritual dimension of their subject rather than attempting a naturalistic portrayal. In modern use (usually as a result of Roman Catholic influence), more naturalistic images and images of the Father, however, also appear occasionally in Orthodox churches, but statues, i.e. three-dimensional depictions, continue to be banned.
The Roman Catholic Church holds that one may build and use "likenesses", as long as the object is not worshipped. Many Roman Catholic Churches and services feature images; some feature statues. For Roman Catholics, this practice is understood as fulfilling the Second Commandment, as they understand that these images are not being worshipped.
For Jews and Muslims, veneration violates the Second Commandment. Jews and Muslims read this commandment as prohibiting the use of idols and images in any way. For this reason, Jewish Temples and Islamic Mosques do not have pictures of God, saints or prophets.
Strict Amish people forbid any sort of image, such as photographs.
Originally this commandment forbade male Israelites from having sexual intercourse with the wife of another Israelite; the prohibition did not extend to their own slaves. Sexual intercourse between an Israelite man, married or not, and a woman who was neither married or betrothed was not considered adultery. This concept of adultery stems from the economic aspect of Israelite marriage whereby the husband has an exclusive right to his wife, whereas the wife, as the husband's possession, did not have an exclusive right to her husband.
CRITICAL HISTORICAL ANALYSIS
Critical scholarship is divided over its interpretation of the ten commandment texts.
Julius Wellhausen 's influential hypothesis regarding the formation
of the Pentateuch suggests that Exodus 20-23 and 34 "might be regarded
as the document which formed the starting point of the religious
history of Israel."
In a 2002 analysis of the history of this position, Bernard M.
Levinson argued that this reconstruction assumes a Christian
perspective, and dates back to
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe 's polemic
against Judaism, which asserted that religions evolve from the more
ritualistic to the more ethical . Goethe thus argued that the Ten
Commandments revealed to
By the 1930s, historians who accepted the basic premises of multiple
authorship had come to reject the idea of an orderly evolution of
Israelite religion. Critics instead began to suppose that law and
ritual could be of equal importance, while taking different form, at
different times. This means that there is no longer any _a priori_
reason to believe that Exodus 20:2–17 and Exodus 34:10–28 were
composed during different stages of Israelite history. For example,
critical historian John Bright also dates the Jahwist texts to the
tenth century BCE, but believes that they express a theology that "had
already been normalized in the period of the Judges" (i.e., of the
tribal alliance). He concurs about the importance of the decalogue as
"a central feature in the covenant that brought together Israel into
being as a people" but views the parallels between Exodus 20 and
According to John Bright, however, there is an important distinction
between the Decalogue and the "book of the covenant" (Exodus 21-23 and
34:10–24). The Decalogue, he argues, was modelled on the suzerainty
treaties of the
"The prologue of the Hittite treaty reminds his vassals of his benevolent acts.. (compare with Exodus 20:2 "I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery"). The Hittite treaty also stipulated the obligations imposed by the ruler on his vassals, which included a prohibition of relations with peoples outside the empire, or enmity between those within." (Exodus 20:3: "You shall have no other gods before Me"). Viewed as a treaty rather than a law code, its purpose is not so much to regulate human affairs as to define the scope of the king's power.
Julius Morgenstern argued that Exodus 34 is distinct from the Jahwist
document, identifying it with king Asa's reforms in 899 BCE. Bright,
however, believes that like the Decalogue this text has its origins in
the time of the tribal alliance. The book of the covenant, he notes,
bears a greater similarity to
Hilton J. Blik writes that the phrasing in the Decalogue's instructions suggests that it was conceived in a mainly polytheistic milieu, evident especially in the formulation of the henotheistic "no-other-gods-before-me" commandment.
If the Ten Commandments are based on Hittite forms, it would date them to somewhere between the 14th-12th century BCE. Archaeologists Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman argue that "the astonishing composition came together … in the seventh century BCE". Critical scholar Yehezkel Kaufmann (1960) dates the oral form of the covenant to the time of Josiah . An even later date (after 586 BCE) is suggested by David H. Aaron.
THE RITUAL DECALOGUE
Some proponents of the Documentary hypothesis have argued that the biblical text in Exodus 34:28 identifies a different list as the ten commandments, that of Exodus 34:11–27. Since this passage does not prohibit murder, adultery, theft, etc., but instead deals with the proper worship of Yahweh , some scholars call it the " Ritual Decalogue ", and disambiguate the ten commandments of traditional understanding as the "Ethical Decalogue".
According to these scholars the Bible includes multiple versions of events. On the basis of many points of analysis including linguistic it is shown as a patchwork of sources sometimes with bridging comments by the editor (Redactor) but otherwise left intact from the original, frequently side by side.
Richard Elliott Friedman argues that the
Ten Commandments at Exodus
20:1–17 "does not appear to belong to any of the major sources. It
is likely to be an independent document, which was inserted here by
the Redactor." In his view, the
Covenant Code follows that version of
Ten Commandments in the northern Israel E narrative. In the J
narrative in Exodus 34 the editor of the combined story known as the
Redactor (or RJE), adds in an explanation that these are a replacement
for the earlier tablets which were shattered. "In the combined JE
text, it would be awkward to picture God just commanding
He writes that Exodus 34:14–26 is the J text of the Ten
Commandments: "The first two commandments and the sabbath commandment
have parallels in the other versions of the Ten Commandments. (Exodus
According to Kaufmann, the Decalogue and the book of the covenant represent two ways of manifesting God's presence in Israel: the Ten Commandments taking the archaic and material form of stone tablets kept in the ark of the covenant , while the book of the covenant took oral form to be recited to the people.
UNITED STATES DEBATE OVER DISPLAY ON PUBLIC PROPERTY
European Protestants replaced some visual art in their churches with
plaques of the
Ten Commandments after the Reformation. In England,
such "Decalogue boards" also represented the English monarch's
emphasis on rule of royal law within the churches. The United States
Constitution forbids establishment of religion by law; however images
In the 1950s and 1960s the Fraternal Order of Eagles placed possibly thousands of Ten Commandments displays in courthouses and school rooms, including many stone monuments on courthouse property. Because displaying the commandments can reflect a sectarian position if they are numbered (see above), the Eagles developed an ecumenical version that omitted the numbers, as on the monument at the Texas capitol (shown here). Hundreds of monuments were also placed by director Cecil B. DeMille as a publicity stunt to promote his 1956 film _The Ten Commandments _. Placing the plaques and monuments to the Ten Commandments in and around government buildings was another expression of mid-twentieth century U.S. civil religion , along with adding the phrase "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance .
By the beginning of the twenty-first century in the U.S., however, Decalogue monuments and plaques in government spaces had become a legal battleground between religious as well as political liberals and conservatives. Organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Americans United for Separation of Church and State launched lawsuits challenging the posting of the ten commandments in public buildings. The ACLU has been supported by a number of religious groups (such as the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) , and the American Jewish Congress ), both because they do not want government to be issuing religious doctrine and because they feel strongly that the commandments are inherently religious. Many commentators see this issue as part of a wider culture war between liberal and conservative elements in American society. In response to the perceived attacks on traditional society, other legal organizations, such as the Liberty Counsel , have risen to advocate the conservative interpretation. Many Christian conservatives have taken the banning of officially sanctioned prayer from public schools by the U.S. Supreme Court as a threat to the expression of religion in public life. In response, they have successfully lobbied many state and local governments to display the ten commandments in public buildings.
Those who oppose the posting of the ten commandments on public property argue that it violates the establishment clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States . In contrast, groups like the Fraternal Order of Eagles who support the public display of the ten commandments claim that the commandments are not necessarily religious but represent the moral and legal foundation of society, and are appropriate to be displayed as a historical source of present-day legal codes. Also, some argue like Judge Roy Moore that prohibiting the public practice of religion is a violation of the first amendment's guarantee of freedom of religion . _ The Ten Commandments_ by Lucas Cranach the Elder in the townhall of Wittenberg , (detail)
U.S. courts have often ruled against displays of the Ten Commandments on government property. They conclude that the ten commandments are derived from Judeo-Christian religions, to the exclusion of others: the statement "Thou shalt have no other gods before me" excludes non-monotheistic religions like Hinduism , for example. Whether the Constitution prohibits the posting of the commandments or not, there are additional political and civil rights issues regarding the posting of what is construed as religious doctrine. Excluding religions that have not accepted the ten commandments creates the appearance of impropriety . The courts have been more accepting, however, of displays that place the Ten Commandments in a broader historical context of the development of law.
One result of these legal cases has been that proponents of displaying the Ten Commandments have sometimes surrounded them with other historical texts to portray them as historical, rather than religious. Another result has been that other religious organizations have tried to put monuments to their laws on public lands. For example, an organization called Summum has won court cases against municipalities in Utah for refusing to allow the group to erect a monument of Summum aphorisms next to the ten commandments. The cases were won on the grounds that Summum's right to freedom of speech was denied and the governments had engaged in discrimination . Instead of allowing Summum to erect its monument, the local governments chose to remove their ten commandments.
Two famous films of this name were directed by
Cecil B. DeMille : a
silent movie released in 1923 starring
Theodore Roberts as
The receipt of the
Ten Commandments by
The Prince of Egypt _, a 1998 animated film that depicted the
early life of
* _Bible portal * Book of Mormon portal
Alternatives to the Ten Commandments – Secular and humanist
alternatives to the biblical lists
Code of Hammurabi (1772 BCE)
Code of Ur-Nammu (2050 BCE)
Five Precepts (Taoism)
Maat , 42 confessions, ' The negative confession ' (1500 BCE) of
Papyrus of Ani , also known as The declaration of innocence before the
Gods of the tribunal from The book of going forth by day, also Book of
The Ten Commandments_ (2007 film)
* _K10C: Kids\'
Ten Commandments _
Ten Commandments of Computer
* ^ "UBA: Rosenthaliana 1768" (in Dutch). Retrieved 26 April 2012.
* ^ Rooker, Mark (2010). _
The Ten Commandments:
* ^ _A_ _B_ Alexander Hugh Hore, _Eighteen Centuries of the Orthodox Church_, J. Parker and co. (1899) "The images or Icons, as they are called, of the Greek Church are not, it must be remarked, sculptured images, but flat pictures or mosaics; not even the Crucifix is sanctioned; and herein consists the difference between the Greek and Roman Churches, in the latter of which both pictures and statues are allowed, and venerated with equal honour." p.353 * ^ Collins, R. F. (1992). "Ten Commandments." In D. N. Freedman (Ed.), _The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary_ (Vol. 6, p. 386). New York: Doubleday * ^ _Encyclopedia Judaica_ vol01 pg 424 * ^ Julius Wellhausen 1973 _Prolegomena to the History of Israel_ Glouster, MA: Peter Smith. 392 * ^ Levinson, Bernard M. (July 2002). "Goethe's Analysis of Exodus 34 and Its Influence on Julius Wellhausen: the Pfropfung of the Documentary Hypothesis". _Zeitschrift für die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft_ 114 (2): 212–223
* ^ John Bright 1972 _A History of Israel_ Second Edition.
Philadelphia: the Westminster Press. 142–143
4th edition p.146-147 ISBN 0-664-22068-1 * ^ Bright, John (2000).
_A History of Israel_ (4 ed.). Westminster John Knox Press. p. 146.
* ^ John Bright, 1972 _A History of Israel_ Second Edition.
Philadelphia: the Westminster Press. 142 4th ed. p.146+
* ^ John Bright, 1972, p., 146–147 4th ed. p.150–151
* ^ Cornfeld, Gaalyahu Ed _Pictorial
_ This article's further reading MAY NOT FOLLOW\'S CONTENT POLICIES OR GUIDELINES . Please improve this article by removing less relevant or redundant publications with the same point of view ; or by incorporating the relevant publications into the body of the article through appropriate citations . (June 2015)_ _(Learn how and when to remove this template message )_
* Aaron, David H (2006). _Etched in Stone: The Emergence of the
Decalogue_. Continuum. ISBN 0-567-02791-0 .
* Abdrushin (2009). _
The Ten Commandments of God and the Lord's
Prayer_. Grail Foundation Press. ISBN 1-57461-004-X .
* Barenboim, Peter (2005), _
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