Thinking:10 Commandments or 10,000?

The Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:2-17 NKJV)
1 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.
2 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My Commandments.
3 “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
4 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
5 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
6 “You shall not murder.
7 “You shall not commit adultery.
8 “You shall not steal.
9 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
10 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”

For most people these are the standards to which we are called to live and conduct ourselves. For some, these constitute a set of rules that must be obeyed in order to earn the right to enter heaven. Others have found ways to make them “socially relevant”.

What do you think of this one?

BY Jamie Quatro

1. no1 b4 me. srsly.
2. dnt wrshp pix/idols
3. no omg’s
4. no wrk on w/end (sat 4 now; sun l8r)
5. pos ok – ur m&d r cool
6. dnt kill ppl
7. :-X only w/ m8
8. dnt steal
9. dnt lie re: bf
10. dnt ogle ur bf’s m8. or ox. or dnkey. myob.

M, pls rite on tabs & giv 2 ppl.
ttyl, JHWH.
ps. wwjd?

And then we have:
The Ten Commandments Southern Style
1. Just one God
2. Put nothin’ before God
3. Watch yer mouth
4. Git yourself to Sunday meetin’
5. Honor yer Ma & Pa
6. No killin’
7. No foolin’ around with another fellow’s gal
8. No tellin’ tales or gossipin’
9. No tellin’ tales or gossipin’
10. Don’t be hankerin’ for yer buddy’s stuff

And then there is the following translation:
(Revised Plain English Translation)

Hey Moses! Listen up!! This is God. I have some important stuff to tell you, and I want you to relay it to all of your people:

  1. First of all, I am the best God there is. So don’t go looking for a better one. For reasons you wouldn’t understand I won’t show Myself to you to prove it. I am just telling you.
  2. You better believe what I just said! If you don’t, I will persecute you and all your descendants, even your innocent great-grandchildren. You heard what I did to Adam and Eve; so you know what I can do to the innocent, but stupid, people I have created.
  3. Don’t try to tell Me what to do or what not to do. That isn’t the way it works. The way it works is that I tell you what to do. I’ll do what I want to do no matter what you say or pray.
  4. Sunday is My day, and you better not forget it! I would appreciate a little bowing and scraping on Sundays to honor My vanity, but don’t do anything to disturb Me. Well, that’s all the really important stuff; but here are a few more things you should know:
  5. Be respectful to your parents. I’m not saying you have to love them, but you better show respect. Later I’ll send Someone to talk with you about love and how to treat your children and neighbors and enemies. For now you’ll just have to do the best you can.
  6. I don’t want you to go around killing people willy-nilly. I’ve created some enemies that I may need your help to deal with (such as heretics, witches, homosexuals, abortionists, etc.), but I’ll give you specific instructions concerning them when the time comes. Meantime, don’t kill anyone unless I tell you to. Until then, let Me do it!
  7. Don’t fool around with another man’s wife. His daughters and sisters and other females are okay as long as they’re not married.
  8. Stealing another man’s property is also out! If you can grab it first, okay. But once he gets it, it’s his. Stealing a woman’s property? Let Me think about that some more.
  9. Lying about your neighbor is also out. Other lies, if they serve My purposes, may be okay. But watch it!
  10. Don’t sit around leering at another man’s wife, and don’t go slobbering over anything else he has. I’m not really concerned about your wife making eyes at your neighbor’s husband. Since I intend you to be the head of your family, I leave that up to you.

(Yes, this is a facetious parody, so don’t get all upset at the posting!)
I’ve seen them defined in this manner: “The Ten Commandments refers to a list of moral imperatives or standards from the Judeo-Christian tradition. They were written by God and given to Moses.” And in this manner: “as the unattainable standard that does not describe who we are but rather who we should be.”

But one of the questions that comes to my mind through all of these descriptions and explanations is, if we (humans) have such a difficult time with these 10, why have we made so many more “rules”, “laws”, commandments to follow? Although some people will say that these commandments are archaic and no longer relevant, these same people will oftentimes give a whole new set of rules for which others are expected to obey. If society as a whole, without regard to specific religious beliefs, have created a set of laws to help us coexist in harmony with each other, why are so many of us challenged by these relatively simple rules? I for one, think it is worth my time and effort to ask myself these questions and earnestly seek a truthful answer. For in that process I may be able to define who I am, who I want to be, and how I can make a contribution to the community for which I am a part.

How about you? Are you up for the effort?


One thought on “Thinking:10 Commandments or 10,000?

  1. Pingback: Paraphrasing the Ten Words « The Return of Benjamin

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