Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Why Protestants and Catholics differ on the ten commandments.

This is an excellent article that explains the differences very well.

The Catholic Church Changed The Ten Commandments?

Here is an excerpt.

span style="font-style:italic;"> Um, no. The Old Testament was around long before the time of the Apostles, and the Decalogue, which is found in three different places in the Bible (Exodus 20 and Exodous 34 and Deuteronomy 5:6-21), has not been changed by the Catholic Church. Chapter and verse divisions are a medieval invention, however, and numbering systems of the Ten Words (Commandments), the manner in which they are grouped, and the "short-hand" used for them, vary among various religious groups. Exodus 20 is the version most often referred to when one speaks of the Ten Commandments, so it will be our reference point here. Here's how the relevant portion of Exodus 20 reads:


I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.


Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.


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.


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.


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.

Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
13 Thou shalt not kill. 1
14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.
15 Thou shalt not steal.
16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

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.

So we have 16 verses and Ten Commandments (this we know because of Exodus 34:28 and Deuteronomy 4:13 which speak of the "Ten Words" of God). How to group these verses and Commands? Here's how different groups have handled this:

You have to see the article for the graph that the author used to further explain this.

When the Commandments are listed, they are often listed in short-hand form, such that, for ex., verses 8, 9, 10 and 11 concerning the Sabbath become simply "Remember the Sabbath and to keep it holy." Because Latin Catholics group 3, 4, 5 and 6 together as all pertaining to the concept "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me," we are accused of having "dropped" the commandment against idols. That Eastern Catholics list the Commandments differently never enters the equation for people who think this way; they are simply against those they probably call the "Romish popers" and that's that (I hope it doesn't bother them that Jews would accuse them of totally forgetting the First Commandment, or that Latin Catholics could accuse some Protestants of skipping lightly over the commandments against lust. And why don't the Protestants who have a problem with our numbering system go after the Lutherans for the same thing, anyway?).

Bottom line:


chapter and verse numbering in the Bible came about in the Middle Ages


the Catholic Church (which includes Eastern Catholics, too) has two different numbering systems for the Commandments given, one agreeing with the most common Protestant enumeration;


the Latin Church's numbering is the most common in the Catholic Church and is the one referred to by Protestants who, ignoring Eastern Catholic Churches, accuse the Catholic Church of having dropped a Commandment;


no Commandment has been dropped, in any case, but the Latin Church's shorthand for the Commandments looks different than the typical Protestant version because of how the Commandments are grouped;


everyone knows how to find Exodus 20 in the Bible, anyway -- even us stoopid Latin Catholics; and


we don't care how they are grouped together; we only care that they are understood and obeyed -- not because we are under the Old Testament Moral and Ceremonial Law with its legalism and non-salvific ritual (we aren't!), but because we are to obey God as children of the New Covenant, whose moral law includes the Two Great Commandments (to love God and to love our neighbor) which surpass the Decalogue, and whose Sacraments surpass empty ritual, being media of grace.

Now if Candy did even an itty bitty bit of research she wouldn't keep making such a fool out of herself by posting so many errors. From the Catechism of the Catholic Church.


2110 The first commandment forbids honoring gods other than the one Lord who has revealed himself to his people. It proscribes superstition and irreligion. Superstition in some sense represents a perverse excess of religion; irreligion is the vice contrary by defect to the virtue of religion.

2111 Superstition is the deviation of religious feeling and of the practices this feeling imposes. It can even affect the worship we offer the true God, e.g., when one attributes an importance in some way magical to certain practices otherwise lawful or necessary. To attribute the efficacy of prayers or of sacramental signs to their mere external performance, apart from the interior dispositions that they demand, is to fall into superstition.[41]

2112 The first commandment condemns polytheism. It requires man neither to believe in, nor to venerate, other divinities than the one true God. Scripture constantly recalls this rejection of "idols, [of] silver and gold, the work of men's hands. They have mouths, but do not speak; eyes, but do not see." These empty idols make their worshippers empty: "Those who make them are like them; so are all who trust in them."[42] God, however, is the "living God"[43] who gives life and intervenes in history.

2113 Idolatry not only refers to false pagan worship. It remains a constant temptation to faith. Idolatry consists in divinizing what is not God. Man commits idolatry whenever he honors and reveres a creature in place of God, whether this be gods or demons (for example, satanism), power, pleasure, race, ancestors, the state, money, etc. Jesus says, "You cannot serve God and mammon."[44] Many martyrs died for not adoring "the Beast"[45] refusing even to simulate such worship. Idolatry rejects the unique Lordship of God; it is therefore incompatible with communion with God.[46]

2114 Human life finds its unity in the adoration of the one God. The commandment to worship the Lord alone integrates man and saves him from an endless disintegration. Idolatry is a perversion of man's innate religious sense. An idolater is someone who "transfers his indestructible notion of God to anything other than God."[47]
Divination and magic

2115 God can reveal the future to his prophets or to other saints. Still, a sound Christian attitude consists in putting oneself confidently into the hands of Providence for whatever concerns the future, and giving up all unhealthy curiosity about it. Improvidence, however, can constitute a lack of responsibility.

2116 All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to "unveil" the future.[48] Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone.

2117 All practices of magic or sorcery, by which one attempts to tame occult powers, so as to place them at one's service and have a supernatural power over others - even if this were for the sake of restoring their health - are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion. These practices are even more to be condemned when accompanied by the intention of harming someone, or when they have recourse to the intervention of demons. Wearing charms is also reprehensible. Spiritism often implies divination or magical practices; the Church for her part warns the faithful against it. Recourse to so-called traditional cures does not justify either the invocation of evil powers or the exploitation of another's credulity.

2118 God's first commandment condemns the main sins of irreligion: tempting God, in words or deeds, sacrilege, and simony.

2119 Tempting God consists in putting his goodness and almighty power to the test by word or deed. Thus Satan tried to induce Jesus to throw himself down from the Temple and, by this gesture, force God to act.[49] Jesus opposed Satan with the word of God: "You shall not put the LORD your God to the test."[50] The challenge contained in such tempting of God wounds the respect and trust we owe our Creator and Lord. It always harbors doubt about his love, his providence, and his power.[51]

2120 Sacrilege consists in profaning or treating unworthily the sacraments and other liturgical actions, as well as persons, things, or places consecrated to God. Sacrilege is a grave sin especially when committed against the Eucharist, for in this sacrament the true Body of Christ is made substantially present for us.[52]

2121 Simony is defined as the buying or selling of spiritual things.[53] To Simon the magician, who wanted to buy the spiritual power he saw at work in the apostles, St. Peter responded: "Your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain God's gift with money!"[54] Peter thus held to the words of Jesus: "You received without pay, give without pay."[55] It is impossible to appropriate to oneself spiritual goods and behave toward them as their owner or master, for they have their source in God. One can receive them only from him, without payment.

2122 The minister should ask nothing for the administration of the sacraments beyond the offerings defined by the competent authority, always being careful that the needy are not deprived of the help of the sacraments because of their poverty."[56] The competent authority determines these "offerings" in accordance with the principle that the Christian people ought to contribute to the support of the Church's ministers. "The laborer deserves his food."[57]

2123 "Many . . . of our contemporaries either do not at all perceive, or explicitly reject, this intimate and vital bond of man to God. Atheism must therefore be regarded as one of the most serious problems of our time."[58]

2124 The name "atheism" covers many very different phenomena. One common form is the practical materialism which restricts its needs and aspirations to space and time. Atheistic humanism falsely considers man to be "an end to himself, and the sole maker, with supreme control, of his own history."[59] Another form of contemporary atheism looks for the liberation of man through economic and social liberation. "It holds that religion, of its very nature, thwarts such emancipation by raising man's hopes in a future life, thus both deceiving him and discouraging him from working for a better form of life on earth."[60]

2125 Since it rejects or denies the existence of God, atheism is a sin against the virtue of religion.[61] The imputability of this offense can be significantly diminished in virtue of the intentions and the circumstances. "Believers can have more than a little to do with the rise of atheism. To the extent that they are careless about their instruction in the faith, or present its teaching falsely, or even fail in their religious, moral, or social life, they must be said to conceal rather than to reveal the true nature of God and of religion."[62]

2126 Atheism is often based on a false conception of human autonomy, exaggerated to the point of refusing any dependence on God.[63] Yet, "to acknowledge God is in no way to oppose the dignity of man, since such dignity is grounded and brought to perfection in God...."[64] "For the Church knows full well that her message is in harmony with the most secret desires of the human heart."[65]

2127 Agnosticism assumes a number of forms. In certain cases the agnostic refrains from denying God; instead he postulates the existence of a transcendent being which is incapable of revealing itself, and about which nothing can be said. In other cases, the agnostic makes no judgment about God's existence, declaring it impossible to prove, or even to affirm or deny.

2128 Agnosticism can sometimes include a certain search for God, but it can equally express indifferentism, a flight from the ultimate question of existence, and a sluggish moral conscience. Agnosticism is all too often equivalent to practical atheism.

2129 The divine injunction included the prohibition of every representation of God by the hand of man. Deuteronomy explains: "Since you saw no form on the day that the Lord spoke to you at Horeb out of the midst of the fire, beware lest you act corruptly by making a graven image for yourselves, in the form of any figure...."[66] It is the absolutely transcendent God who revealed himself to Israel. "He is the all," but at the same time "he is greater than all his works."[67] He is "the author of beauty."[68]

2130 Nevertheless, already in the Old Testament, God ordained or permitted the making of images that pointed symbolically toward salvation by the incarnate Word: so it was with the bronze serpent, the ark of the covenant, and the cherubim.[69]

2131 Basing itself on the mystery of the incarnate Word, the seventh ecumenical council at Nicaea (787) justified against the iconoclasts the veneration of icons - of Christ, but also of the Mother of God, the angels, and all the saints. By becoming incarnate, the Son of God introduced a new "economy" of images.

2132 The Christian veneration of images is not contrary to the first commandment which proscribes idols. Indeed, "the honor rendered to an image passes to its prototype," and "whoever venerates an image venerates the person portrayed in it."[70] The honor paid to sacred images is a "respectful veneration," not the adoration due to God alone:
Religious worship is not directed to images in themselves, considered as mere things, but under their distinctive aspect as images leading us on to God incarnate. The movement toward the image does not terminate in it as image, but tends toward that whose image it is.[71]


kritterc said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to respond to Candy's post.

Perplexity said...

Doing research and checking sources is obvious to anyone who truly wants to know something. Candy has proven, time and again, that she doesn't want to know anything. She only wants to continue on her chosen path and remain ignorant.

All anyone ever needs to do is enter a few key words from just about anything she posts and come up with hundreds of hits.

In many ways, it is about semantics, not interpretation. Words changed in translation, but if you read the Ten Commandments of the Jews, Catholics and Protestants, Orthodox, Muslim, Later Day Saints... they all say the same thing. Hundreds of translations over thousands of years are bound to have cultural elements involved. Whoever translated is not blinded by his own life and experiences, or his language or culture or upbrining; he was instead created by them and it was all a part of his translation and interpretation.

I have to wonder, truly, what is the difference between "kill" and "murder" - in the context in which it is used in the Commandments.

Webster's dictionary defines murder as: 1. To kill with premeditated malice; to kill (a human being) willfully, deliberately, and unlawfully. See Murder, n.

Webster's defines kill as: 1. To deprive of life, animal or vegetable, in any manner or by any means; to render inanimate; to put to death; to slay.

So, in essence the Ten Commandments could (I'm saying could; I'm using semantics here) say:

Thou shalt not deprive of life in any manner or by any means, or render inanimate or put to death.

All I'm saying is that arguing about semantics, which Candy seems to be doing in a huge way, is a waste of time and energy.

Regardless of your religion, you generally believe that you shouldn't take anyone's life, right? You are following what God wants of you, right? No matter what words are used?

If I am wrong, someone clarify please. But this is how I have taken the so called arguments about the differences in the Ten Commandments.

BTW...I got those definitions from here:

unknown anon said...

Those who support capital punishment often attempt to make the distinction between "kill" and "murder," in order to justify their support of state-sanctioned killing.

Perplexity said...

Those who support capital punishment often attempt to make the distinction between "kill" and "murder," in order to justify their support of state-sanctioned killing.

That doesn't make it right. And it doesn't mean it is relevant. Linguistically, there is no distinction. Again, semantics are drawn into play in order for one "side" to support a cause against another "side". There is no battle if there is no topic. Semantics allows people to create topics to use as a reason for battle.

Erika S. said...


Tracy said...

Thank you Elena for taking time out of your busy life to again address the crazy candy.

It has become clear to me that our Catholic faith is clearly being persecuted, but, I'm sure that is nothing new, followers of our Lord have always been persecuted for their beliefs, so, I just tell myself that if it is for the Lord, I can get through it with his Grace!
So, we just have to keep telling the truth, the truth has set us free, sadly Candy and her cohorts are not free and they are afraid of what they don't understand and she clearly won't comment here, she is just too scared to face the truth and she knows that all her false words spoken against the Catholic church will be refuted and proved wrong and then what? She will look like the fool.

She is a sad, sad woman.

Tracy said...

She is at it again.. she has posted something new....

Sue Bee said...

I commented on this on my blog too.

Your reply is much better. :-)

Claire said...

here is a great link...

that a great pastor wrote - a reworked 1 Corinthians 13 - called 1 BLOGinthians 13 - all about blogging in love.

i'll leave the intereptation up to you guys. but i was really sad reading the comments on BOTH of your blogs. is that how true beleivers act? will anyone look at that and know we love Jesus? will anyone read them and "see our good works and praise our heavenly Father."????

Elena said...

In our defense Claire please note that there were no blog posts directed against Candy as a person, merely disputing her theological points. When our commenters were asked to stop making personal remarks, they did.

Candy stirs up anger. That is clearly unbiblical and I still think she needs to step up and take some responsibility for the hard feelings she has caused.

Claire said...

the feelings behind some of these comments and the posts dont come across as "just truth seeking" or to encourage her to take responsilbity. calling her a sad sad woman doesnt sound loving and christian-like to me - rather the oppostite. i'm not excusing or even endorsing her theological points of view - w hich do differ from my own - but i think we all need to be bigger people and pray and be more Jesus like in all areas of our life. blogging included. we want to be people who glorify God, and who shine so people can see Him in us. This doesnt paint that picture - and i am sure you are all much more gracious, giving, loving, friendly and FRUITY (fruits of hte Holy SPirit) that what comes across.

Elena said...

the feelings behind some of these comments and the posts dont come across as "just truth seeking" or to encourage her to take responsilbity.

I respectfully disagree. There is not a single post up here that has been written with anything but the goal of putting out the truth about the Catholic church's teaching.

If Candy says the CC teaches x and we can show through our official catechism backed with scripture that the CC teaches y- that is indeed an attempt to put out a factual piece of truth about what the Catholic church teaches!

calling her a sad sad woman doesnt sound loving and christian-like to me - rather the oppostite.

Maybe so. But you have to understand there is a lot of frustration here from people who have tried to post corrected information only to have their posts discarded and then find themselves banned. A lot of her errors have been corrected multiple times, but yet we never see a retraction. She's got to step to the plate and own some of that. It is sinful and even unscriptural to keep stirring up anger as she does.

i'm not excusing or even endorsing her theological points of view - w hich do differ from my own - but i think we all need to be bigger people and pray and be more Jesus like in all areas of our life.

Amen. Which is why we asked our commenters to tone it down, and they have. What more do you want?

we want to be people who glorify God, and who shine so people can see Him in us. This doesnt paint that picture - and i am sure you are all much more gracious, giving, loving, friendly and FRUITY (fruits of hte Holy SPirit) that what comes across.

Well I think that's subjective. It would certainly "feed my flesh" (one of Candy's favorite phrases) to just let everyone go at it and criticize everything about her and her blog. But we have tried to stay away from that and redoubled our efforts after she bashed our faith yet again last week.

Thanks for your input Claire. I wondering if you are offering the same critique over at Candy's? and if so did she post it?

Claire said...

yes i have :o)

Elena said...

did it get published?

Elena said...

I don't see that it has been published Claire. I'll be surprised if it DOES get published without a lot of edits! I'll also be surprised if she makes any comments about it.

We'll see.

Please note though that your comment WAS posted here without any edits. A lot of us were never given that courtesy on Candy's blog.

Claire said...

i only posted the comment this morning. so there is plenty of grace for her to moderate it. i know as a mum that there are days when u dont get to your puter or you put things on hold and that is fine by me.

Elena said...

Don't be disappointed if it never shows up or if it shows up in an edited version.

Elena said...

I just double check her site Claire. There are a lot of new comments on there since this afternoon. Yours wasn't one of them.

I'm not surprised.