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THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

 
 

 

 

Texts of the commandments

Although the Ten Commandments in the Douay Rheims Bible and King James Version of the Bible are the most well-known in the English-speaking world, they do not conform to today's usage: "Thou shalt not kill" instead of "You shall not murder."

Different groups have divided the commandments in different ways. For instance, Catholics and Lutherans see the first six verses as part of the same command prohibiting the worship of pagan gods, while Protestants (except Lutherans) separate all six verses into two different commands (one being "no other gods" and the other being "no graven images").

The initial reference to Egyptian bondage is important enough to Jews that it forms a separate commandment. Catholics and Lutherans separate the two kinds of coveting (namely, of goods and of the flesh), while Protestants (but not Lutherans) and Jews group them together.

A very similar, but not completely identical, list of commandments is found in Deuteronomy 5:1-22. Reference to each of the commandments and the consequences for not following them as a part of Hebrew Law are found throughout this book.

In the New Testament book of Matthew 19 and elsewhere, Jesus refers to the commandments, but condenses them into two general commands: love God (Shema) and love other people (Ethic of reciprocity) (Matthew 22.34-40).

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