Photo: The Holy Bible.

The Prayer Foundation Versions of the Decalogue:

(From Exodus 20:1-17)

 

The Ten Commandments:

Different Versions (Judaism, Eastern Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Protestant)

Image: The Prayer Foundation logo (with white Celtic cross on a green shield). 

By Monk Preston (Co-Founder  & President, The Prayer Foundation )

Image: portion of illuminated manuscript page from "The Book of Kells."

King James Version

1. I am the LORD thy God.  Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.  Thou shall not bow down to them, nor serve them.

3. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain.

4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

5. Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land.

6. Thou shalt not kill.

7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.

8. Thou shalt not steal.

9. Thou shalt not bear false witness.

10. Thou shalt not covet any thing that is your neighbor's.                          ___________

(Briefest) King James Version

1.  Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.

 3. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain.

 4.Remember the Sabbath day.

 5. Honor thy father and thy mother.

6. Thou shalt not kill.

7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.

8. Thou shalt not steal.

9. Thou shalt not bear false witness.

10. Thou shalt not covet.    

__________

New Testament Verses: (KJV)

1. Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.     -Matthew 4:10

2. Little children, keep yourselves from idols.     -I John 5:21,29 Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device. -Acts 17:29

3. ...that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.  -I Timothy 6:1

4. One man esteems one day above another: another esteems every day alike.  Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. -Romans 14:5         And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them.      -Acts 20:7     I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day. -Revelation 1:10

5. Honour thy father and thy mother.    -Matthew 19:19

6. Thou shalt not kill.           -Romans 13:9

7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.         -Matthew 19:19

8. Thou shalt not steal.        -Romans 13:9

9. Thou shalt not bear false witness.          -Romans 13:9

10. Thou shalt not covet.             -Romans 13:9 ___________

New King James Version

 1. I am the LORD your God.  You shall have no other gods before me.

2. You shall not make for yourself a carved image.  You shall not bow down to them, nor serve them.

                          3. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.

4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

5. Honor your father and your mother: that your days may be long upon the land.

                       6. You shall not murder.

7. You shall not commit adultery.

8. You shall not steal.

9. You shall not bear false witness.      

10. You shall not covet anything that is your neighbor's.

                  ___________

What is the Relationship of The Ten Commandments to the Law of Moses, and to Christians Today?

Some may point out that The Ten Commandments are part of the Law of Moses, and therefore do not apply to Christians. 

"Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;"                     -Colossians 2:14

However, nine of The Ten Commandments are restated in the New Testament.  The only one that is not, is the fourth commandment, on honoring the Sabbath.

As Christians we are free to honor God on every day equally, or to especially honor Him on particular days. 

"One man esteems one day above another: another esteems every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind."            -Romans 14:5 

The first Christians met on the first day of the week (Sunday: "The Lord's Day") to weekly honor the Lord on the day of his Resurrection.

This occurred as a Christian custom from the earliest days of the Church, and is recorded in the New Testament as being in the presence of, and with the blessing of, the Apostles.  

Some Christians have chosen to meet and worship on Saturday, the Old Testament Jewish Sabbath. 

They are free in Christ to do this, and the Bible says that those who have not the same practice, are not to judge them in this, nor they to judge those whose practice differs from theirs

"Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days.  Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ."                   -Colossians 2:16,17  

 It is common for many ministers to take Mondays off, because their "office" requires them to do their work (ministry) on Sundays.  

The principle of one day a week set aside for God, to rest from our ordinary labors, is present in all of these observances, but none of them is required.

___________

Have you received Christ as your Lord and Saviour?

Find out how to do so on our page:

Plan of Salvation

___________

Tell others about Jesus:

  We are all called by God to share our faith (witness) with those who are not Christians.  Some Bible verses that you will find helpful for doing this, and that you may want to commit to memory are found on other pages on our  web site (see: Memory Verses; 2nd Set: Salvation!, Plan of Salvation, and Statement of Faith). ___________

 

 

1768 parchment  by Jekuthiel Sofer emulates the 1675 Decalogue at Amsterdam Esnoga Synagogue. 

1768 parchment  by Jekuthiel Sofer emulates the 1675 Decalogue at Amsterdam Esnoga Synagogue.

Memorizing The Ten Commandments

I was recently reading in Philip Schaff's excellent trilogy, "The Creeds of Christendom" that the Protestant Reformers had the children memorize the Ten Commandments (in their Catechisms) along with the Lord's Prayer and the Creeds, and I decided that I wanted to memorize them, also.  I searched to find out which English version would be the best one for me to memorize.  I learned to my great surprise that the Jewish, different kinds of Protestant, Eastern Orthodox, and Roman Catholic breakdowns and wordings of the Ten Commandments are all slightly different!

Of course, you would want to memorize the version your own Church uses, if it has one, but what if it doesn't?

The Lutheran and Roman Catholic are similar to each other in their divisions (but with differing words).  Still different from these is the division used by the Eastern Orthodox, which is similar to that of the Anglican, Reformed, and most of the other Protestant Churches.  The Jewish division is different again from all of the above.

What Version did Jesus Learn?

 I conjectured, wouldn't the Jewish version, the one Jesus used, be the correct one?  It turns out that the current Jewish version, "The Talmudic Division", is actually from the 3rd Century!  

At the actual time of Jesus, what was used was "The Philonic Division", mentioned by both Josephus and Philo.  This turns out to be very similar to what the Eastern Orthodox Church and most Protestants (non-Lutheran) use.

The Ten Commandments are listed in Exodus 20:1-17 and in Deuteronomy 5:7-21

For a better understanding of what the Lord was intending, and to get everything in its full and correct context, you will want to read the entirety of Exodus 20:1-17, and Deuteronomy 5:7-21, which contain the complete texts of the Ten Commandments.

The listing in Exodus seemed to me more in keeping with the succinctness generally used.  I took the King James Version, and deleted as many of the surrounding (explanatory) words as I could.  

Then I did the same with the New King James Version, which is our favorite modern English Version of the Bible (see our webpage: Bible Translations: A Comparison).

The final results may be seen in the two columns in the upper left, both suitable for memorization.

Finally, I took the longer King James Version (uppermost  far left column) and simply modernized "shalt" to "shall" (keeping in mind that where the text says "kill", the original word actually means "murder" (see explanation below).  

This is the version I finally memorized, and that all of us memorize for use in our Liturgy (Worship Service) during Lent, and for our personal use and instruction throughout the rest of the year.  It is posted in its entirety further below on this page. ______________________________________________________

Note: The New King James Version changes the word "kill" to "murder".  This is actually a more accurate and correct translation of the Hebrew word ("ratsah") that is used in this verse.  

"Kill" in English is an all-encompassing verb that covers the taking of life in all forms and for all classes of victims.  That kind of generalization is expressed in Hebrew through the verb "harag."  However, the verb that appears in the Torah's prohibition is a completely different one, "ratsah" which, it would seem, should be rendered "murder."  This root refers only to criminal acts of killing.  

-Excerpted from: "Thou Shalt Not Murder" by Eliezer Segal, "Jewish Free Press", October 19, 2000, p. 8).  Eliezer Segal has written several books, and more than 350 editions of his Column "From the Sources", concerning Judaism and related areas.

The Greek Septuagint translation correctly translated the Hebrew word "ratsah" into Greek with the Greek word for "murder".  The King James Version, usually very accurate in its rendering of Hebrew words, here retains Jerome's translation in his Latin Vulgate version, the official version of the Roman Catholic Church. ______________________________________________________

Division of The Ten Commandments by Religion/Denomination:
Commandment: Jewish (Talmudic/3rd Century)*** Anglican, Reformed, and other Protestant Eastern Orthodox Roman Catholic, Lutheran**
I am the Lord your God 1 preface 1 1
You shall have no other gods before me 2 1
You shall not make for yourself an idol 2 2
You shall not make wrongful use of the name of your God 3 3 3 2
Remember the Sabbath and keep it holy 4 4 4 3
Honor your father and mother 5 5 5 4
You shall not murder* 6 6 6 5
You shall not commit adultery 7 7 7 6
You shall not steal 8 8 8 7
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor 9 9 9 8
You shall not covet your neighbor's wife 10 10 10 9
You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor 10
 

*

Notes:

The Roman Catholic Church (and the King James Version) uses the translation "kill" (less specific) instead of "murder".

** Some Lutheran churches use a slightly different division of the Ninth and Tenth Commandments (9. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house; 10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his workers, or his cattle, or anything that is your neighbor’s).
*** The "Talmudic Division" is the breakdown held by modern Judaism, and dates to at least the Third Century. The "Philonic Division", which dates to the first century, is found in the writings of Philo and Josephus. They ended the first commandment after verse 3 and list the second commandment as verses 4-6, similar to most Protestants (non-Lutheran) and the Eastern Orthodox Church.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Photo: of our actual Celtic Cross Shield (TM).  The Prayer Foundation Logo and Trademark.  Phot Copyright 2007 S.G.P.  All Rights Reserved.   _____________________________________________________

Sources:

  •  "Division of Ten Commandments" Chart, Accompanying Notes, & Parchment Photo from Wikipedia: "The Ten Commandments".
  • "Thou Shalt Not Murder" by Eliezer Segal, "Jewish Free Press" (October 19, 2000, p. 8).

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The Ten Commandments:                                                     (The Prayer Foundation Memorization Version)          

(From Exodus 20:1-17)                                                                                   1. I am the LORD thy God.  Thou shall have no other gods before me.                                                                                                                   2. Thou shall not make unto thee any graven image.  Thou shall not bow down to them, nor serve them.                                                                       3. Thou shall not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain.                  4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.                                            5. Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land.                                                                                                                  6. Thou shall not kill.                                                                                       7. Thou shall not commit adultery.                                                                 8. Thou shall not steal.                                                                                    9. Thou shall not bear false witness.                                                              10. Thou shall not covet anything that is thy neighbor's. ________________________________________________

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(Except Wikipedia Chart, Accompanying Notes, & Parchment Photo) Copyright © 2008 S.G.P. All rights reserved.

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