The Ten Commandments Sermon (Annotated)


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Interpreting the Bible in the Medieval World

The idea that burnt offerings might be an inferior way of honoring God, even though the law demands them, had long been discussed in Judaism and can even be found in Hosea:. The scribe's comment here thus might not have been meant as anti-Jewish; on the other hand, it does come right after some very hostile encounters between Jesus and the Temple authorities. On the basis of that, more negative intentions cannot be entirely ruled out. Even allowing for a very generous interpretation, however, the fact remains that later Christians lacked the background and experiences necessary to interpret the above without hostility.

This passage was destined to become one of those used by anti-Semitic Christians to justify their feelings of superiority and their argument that Judaism have been superceded by Christianity - after all, a single Christian's love of God is worth more than all the burnt offerings and sacrifices of the Jews. Because of the scribe's answer, Jesus tells him that he is "not far" from the Kingdom of Heaven. What exactly does he mean here? Is the scribe close to understanding the truth about Jesus? Is the scribe close to a physical Kingdom of God? What would he need to do or believe to get all the way?

Share Flipboard Email. Austin Cline, a former regional director for the Council for Secular Humanism, writes and lectures extensively about atheism and agnosticism. There is none other commandment greater. And no man after that durst ask him any question. Continue Reading. 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.

Sermon on the Mount

The Ten Commandments are a summary of the requirements of a works covenant called the "Old Covenant" , given on Mount Sinai to the nascent nation of Israel. The Old Covenant came to an end at the cross and is therefore not in effect. They do reflect the eternal character of God, and serve as a paragon of morality. Monson taught "The Ten Commandments are just that—commandments. They are not suggestions. The Revealing of the Tablets on which were the Commandments of God is described in the following verse:. And We wrote for him Moses on the Tablets the lesson to be drawn from all things and the explanation of all things and said : Hold unto these with firmness, and enjoin your people to take the better therein.

I shall show you the home of Al-Fasiqun the rebellious, disobedient to Allah. The Tablets are further alluded to in verses , when Moses threw the Tablets down in anger at seeing the Israelites' worshipping of the golden calf, and in when he picked up the Tablets having recovered from his anger:. And when the anger of Musa Moses was appeased, he took up the Tablets, and in their inscription was guidance and mercy for those who fear their Lord.

Three verses of Surah An'am are widely taken to be a reinstatement or revised version of the Ten Commandments [] [] [] [] either as revealed to Moses originally or as they are to be taken by Muslims now: [].


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Say: "Come, I will recite what your Lord has prohibited you from: 1 Join not anything in worship with Him; 2 And be good and dutiful to your parents; 3 And kill not your children because of poverty - We provide sustenance for you and for them; 4 And come not near to Al-Fawahish shameful sins, illegal sexual intercourse, adultery etc.

This He has commanded you that you may understand. We burden not any person, but that which he can bear. This He commands you, that you may remember. This He has ordained for you that you may become Al-Muttaqun the pious. Evidence for these verses having some relation to Moses and the Ten Commandments is from the verse which immediately follows them:. Then, We gave Musa Moses the Book, to complete Our Favour upon those who would do right, and explaining all things in detail and a guidance and a mercy that they might believe in the meeting with their Lord.

Also in Mustadrak Hakim is the narration of Ubada ibn as-Samit :. He then said, "Whoever fulfills this pledge , then his reward will be with Allah, but whoever fell into shortcomings and Allah punishes him for it in this life, then that will be his recompense. Whoever Allah delays his reckoning until the Hereafter, then his matter is with Allah. If He wills, He will punish him, and if He wills, He will forgive him.

Ibn Kathir mentions a narration of Abdullah ibn Mas'ud in his Tafsir :. The Abrahamic religions observe the Sabbath in various ways. In Judaism it is observed on Saturday reckoned from dusk to dusk. In Christianity , it is sometimes observed on Saturday , sometimes on Sunday, and sometimes not at all non-Sabbatarianism.

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Observing the Sabbath on Sunday, the day of resurrection, gradually became the dominant Christian practice from the Jewish-Roman wars onward. But if any shall be found to be judaizers, let them be anathema from Christ. The imperative is against unlawful killing resulting in bloodguilt. The New Testament is in agreement that murder is a grave moral evil, [] and references the Old Testament view of bloodguilt. German Old Testament scholar Albrecht Alt : Das Verbot des Diebstahls im Dekalog , suggested 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.

In Judaism there is a prohibition against worshipping an idol or a representation of God, but there is no restriction on art or simple depictions. Islam has a stronger prohibition, banning representations of God, and in some cases of Muhammad, humans and, in some interpretations, any living creature. In Gospel of Barnabas , Jesus stated that idolatry is the greatest sin as it divests a man fully of faith, and hence of God.

All which a man loves, for which he leaves everything else but that, is his god, thus the glutton and drunkard has for his idol his own flesh, the fornicator has for his idol the harlot and the greedy has for his idol silver and gold, and so the same for every other sinner. 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 Emperor Leo III ordered all images removed from all churches; in a council forbade veneration of images, citing the Second Commandment; in the Seventh Ecumenical Council reversed the preceding rulings, condemning iconoclasm and sanctioning the veneration of images; in Leo V called yet another council, which reinstated iconoclasm; in Empress Theodora again reinstated veneration of icons. 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. 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 nor betrothed was not considered adultery. Louis Ginzberg argued that the tenth commandment Covet not thy neighbor's wife is directed against a sin which may lead to a trespassing of all Ten Commandments.

Julius Wellhausen 's influential hypothesis regarding the formation of the Pentateuch suggests that Exodus and 34 "might be regarded as the document which formed the starting point of the religious history of Israel. In a 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 Moses at Mt.

Sinai would have emphasized rituals, and that the "ethical" Decalogue Christians recite in their own churches was composed at a later date, when Israelite prophets had begun to prophesy the coming of the messiah. Levinson points out that there is no evidence, internal to the Hebrew Bible or in external sources, to support this conjecture. He concludes that its vogue among later critical historians represents the persistence of the idea that the supersession of Judaism by Christianity is part of a longer history of progress from the ritualistic to the ethical.

By the s, 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 —17 and Exodus —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. According to John Bright, however, there is an important distinction between the Decalogue and the "book of the covenant" Exodus and — The Decalogue, he argues, was modelled on the suzerainty treaties of the Hittites and other Mesopotamian Empires , that is, represents the relationship between God and Israel as a relationship between king and vassal, and enacts that bond.

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. 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.

The book of the covenant, he notes, bears a greater similarity to Mesopotamian law codes e. He argues that the function of this "book" is to move from the realm of treaty to the realm of law: "The Book of the Covenant Ex. Hilton J.

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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. Some proponents of the Documentary hypothesis have argued that the biblical text in Exodus [] identifies a different list as the ten commandments, that of Exodus — 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 —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 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. He writes that Exodus —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 20 and Deuteronomy 5. The writer has Moses smash the tablets "because this raised doubts about the Judah's central religious shrine". 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.


  1. Resource Categories.
  2. Weighed and Wanting: Addresses on the Ten Commandments.
  3. Sketches from a Celestial Sea - Those of Darkness & Light;
  4. The Ten Commandments (Annotated, Updated): Reasonable Rules for Life by Dwight L. Moody;
  5. And speak to people good words 6 and establish prayer 7 and give Zakat 8. European Protestants replaced some visual art in their churches with plaques of the Ten Commandments after the Reformation.

    Ten Commandments - Wikipedia

    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 of Moses holding the tablets of the Decalogue, along other religious figures including Solomon, Confucius, and Mohamed holding the Qur'an, are sculpted on the north and south friezes of the pediment of the Supreme Court building in Washington. In the s and s the Fraternal Order of Eagles placed possibly thousands of Ten Commandments displays in courthouses and school rooms, including many stone monuments on courthouse property.

    Hundreds of monuments were also placed by director Cecil B. DeMille as a publicity stunt to promote his film The Ten Commandments. By the beginning of the twenty-first century in the U. 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. 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.

    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 with this name were directed by Cecil B. DeMille : a silent movie which was released in and starred Theodore Roberts as Moses and a colour VistaVision version which was released in , and starred Charlton Heston as Moses. The receipt of the Ten Commandments by Moses was satirized in Mel Brooks 's movie History of the World Part I , which shows Moses played by Brooks, in a similar costume to Charlton Heston 's Moses in the film , receiving three tablets containing fifteen commandments, but before he can present them to his people, he stumbles and drops one of the tablets, shattering it.

    The Lord Jesus Christ said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. It is not enough to hear God's voice, but we must obey.

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    Obedience is a part of the honour we owe to God. Obedience carries in it the life-blood of religion. Obedience without knowledge is blind, and knowledge without obedience is lame. Rachel was fair to look upon, but, being barren, said, 'Give me children, or I die;' so, if knowledge does not bring forth the child of obedience, it will die.

    Saul thought it was enough for him to offer sacrifices, though he disobeyed God's command; but 'to obey is better than sacrifice. Not but that God did enjoin those religious rites of worship; but the meaning is that he looked chiefly for obedience - without which, sacrifice was but devout folly. The end why God has given us his laws, is obedience. Why does a king publish an edict, but that it may be observed? Please Note : To continue browsing while you are listening to the free MP3 audio books or sermons , or watching the free videos , on this page, click on the small speaker icon , or the 12pt video icon to the right of the title to open Sermonaudio's MP3 or video player in a separate window.

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