how many commandments?

I have known this for a long while, but I saw an interesting article that did a nice job of clarifying the topic.

The ten commandments appear in Exodus and Deuteronomy, but in neither place is there any reference to this being a list of commandments, nor to there being ten. In fact, the Jewish community talks about the “ten statements.” And if you break the passages down you can work it out to twelve statements.

So how do we get to ten?

  • For the Jews, “I am the Lord your God” is a separate statement, while Christians combine that with “You shall have no other gods before me.”
  • For Jews and Catholics, not worshipping other Gods and not making graven images are combined into a single statement, while for Protestants and Eastern Orthodox, it’s two.
  • Coveting another’s wife and property is one statement for Jews, Protestants, and Eastern Orthodox, while it’s two for Catholics.

The Bible is not as specific, cut, and dried as some people would like to believe.

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