Why Did the Catholic Church DROP the Commandment about Idolatry?



My confessor told me to memorize the Ten Commandments, last week, as an aid to confession. Of course I know them but as a Protestant I never actually memorized them by number and the Catholic Practice of being able to say something like “It is a sin against the sixth commandment” would leave me totally in the dark. Which one was the sixth commandment? Was that the one against adultery or lying? I would have to get out my Bible and try to figure it out. But then I would still be confused because the list differs between Protestants and Catholics. So, I thought I really must memorize the Catholic list. And I did. I don’t think it was part of my penance…but either way I have done it.

Then I started wondering why our lists differ in the first place. I wondered if the Catholic Church used the Jewish list and the Protestants made a point of listing the commandment against idolatry in order to use it against the Catholic Church. And that does seem to be exactly the case regarding the accusation about the Catholic Church dropping the commandment against idolatry . But there was more info on this issue so I want to pass it on to you.

This article is from Fish Eaters. An excellent Catholic Defender website. I recommend a visti. I have edited their article below in a few places but it is for the most part their excellent explanation.

Q. Why Did the Catholic Church DROP the Command about Idolatry?

A. Some Protestants accuse the Catholic Church of having dropped one of the 10 Commandments. “You’re idolators! You worship statues! And because you do, your Church dropped the commandment against graven images!”

The truth, of course, is that the Catholic Church did not and could not change the Ten Commandments. Latin Catholics and Protestants simply list them differently. There are 16 verses in Ex. 20 to fit into Ten Commandments. The Scripture itself does not neatly categorize the verses as pertaining to this or that commandment.

It is incredible that such a pernicious lie could be so easily spread and believed, especially since the truth could easily be determined by just looking into the matter. But the rumor lives. Now, below are the ways in which Protestants and Roman Catholics enumerate the Commandments:

Most common Protestant listing:

Thou shalt have no other gods before me

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image

Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain

Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy

Honour thy father and thy mother

Thou shalt not kill

Thou shalt not commit adultery

Thou shalt not steal

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour

Thou shalt not covet

Latin Catholic listing:

Thou shalt not have other gods besides Me

Thou shalt not take the Name of the Lord thy God in vain

Remember to keep holy the Lord’s day

Honor thy father and thy mother

Thou shalt not murder

Thou shalt not commit adultery

Thou shalt not steal

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods

So what the heck? What did happen to the commandment about graven images in the Catholic listing? Did the Church just “drop” a commandment? 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 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:

Exodus 20

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

3 Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.

4 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.

5 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;

6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

7 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.

8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:

10 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:

11 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.

12 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.

17 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? Differences are interesting. I tried to put the table in my post but it did not work. Please see the table on
<a href=”Fish Eaters.”>Fish Eaters
When the Commandments are listed, they are often listed in short-hand form. 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 (Despite the fact that the Jewish method also groups all four of the verses “worship God alone. Why aren’t the Jews therefore, also accused of dropping the commandment against idolatry?)

That Eastern Catholics list the Commandments differently never enters the equation for people who think this way; they are just looking for any evidence against the Catholic Church, 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 dropping a commandment?).

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 stupid 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.

Footnote: 1 The Septuagint, the Latin Vulgate (the official Scripture of the Church), and the original Douay-Reims phrase the Fifth Word as “Thou shalt not murder”; later Douay-Reims versions, such as the Challoner, and the King James Bible, etc., phrase it as “Thou shalt not kill.” “Thou shalt not murder,” however, is the original intent and the meaning of the earliest texts. Catholics, of course, have 2,000 years of Church teaching and the Magisterium to interpret Scripture, and the meaning of the Fifth Commandment is that one is not to take innocent life. It doesn’t entail pacifism, ignoring the needs of self-defense and justice, worrying about squashing bugs, etc.

UPDATE: I have gotten several comments about why we count prohibition against coveting twice instead of once in spite of the post. An interesting comment was:

Someone on another site also pointed out that if coveting someone’s spouse is redundant to the Commandment against adultery, then coveting someone’s goods is redundant to the Commandment against stealing as well. Clearly God views inappropriate & illicit desires to be distinct offenses from actually acting on those desires. (And after all, how many people have never stolen or committed adultery for no better reason than because the opportunity/temptation where they could do it & not get caught never came up?)It makes room for the recognition that coveting things includes stuff like “keeping up with the Jones” & the many forms that materialism takes, along with the many other forms of greed like failure to pay a just wage, etc, – and coveting another’s spouse includes not only things like lusting after them but even those wrongs such as comparing your own spouse to another’s and trying to make your spouse be like them or being unhappy with who you have because you could have done better or wished you could have done better and so on – are all offensive to God, too.—Grace
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50 Responses

  1. Jesus came in the flesh and became an image of the living G-d in flesh and since He did that-we are free to use his likeness as Jesus. Unlike before, when G-d was not ready to reveal Himself to us.

    Jesus is the New Covenant and so He released us from archaic agreements, but bound us to those that remain true–our Church Fathers are guided by the Holy Spirit to help us know which ones we are to remain faithful to. I hope this helps.

    We don’t worship a statue of Jesus–we worship Jesus as G-d incarnate–the statue and crucifix reminds us of what He endured here on earth–something we could see–if we lived back then….so it can’t be idolatry.

    • >>Jesus is the New Covenant and so He released us from archaic agreements…<<

      Ummm…Pardon me,I would be interested in knowing just what part of "forever" you are misunderstanding.

      Exo_12:24 “And you shall guard this word as a law for you and your sons, forever.

      Exo_31:17 ‘Between Me and the children of Yisra’ĕl it is a sign forever. For in six days יהוה made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed.’ ”

      Lev_16:29 “And this shall be for you a law forever: In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you afflict your beings, and do no work, the native or the stranger who sojourns among you.

      Deu_19:15 One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.

      Grab your Bible…there are plenty more "witnesses" that the Mosaic "agreement" is still in affect. (by the way, you might also want to REALLY study the Yehoveh's definition of "covenent", too)

      On the subject of "omitting the second commandment" I've also wondered just how do Catholics view their own practice of kneeling and praying to a statue of a person. (YHVH is His Name, by the way, which can be pronounced Yehoveh) It just seems to be "convenient" that the one commandment that is "shorthanded" off the "short list" happens to deal with a practice that looks an awful lot like what that commandment says not to do?

      • Hmmmmmm…….Or….. is it “convenient” that the Protestants accuse the Catholic Church of worshiping statues, (which we do not) and they also happened to choose to make that part of Ex. 20 (about bowing down in worship to statues) a separate commandment?

        For more clarity on the Catholic position regarding statues please click this link–>Another Protestant Tradition: Catholics worship Idols.

  2. I know Augustine used the Catholic numbering. I remember reading it in one of his homilies. He talked about how the first three regard our duty towards God, and how the next 7 regard our duties toward man. He went on to compare this to the trinity and the seven days of creation. For him, the grouping of the Decalogue this way was symbolic. Even though I don’t think the numbering of the Ten Commandments really matters in the long run, I like the Catholic grouping because of this symbolism.

    That being said, I remember reading in a secondary source that Origen used the Protestant numbering, and that’s where the reformers got it from. I don’t know if that’s true. I haven’t seen an exact citation in Origen to back it up.

    But if it is true, it’s kind of ironic for the most fundamentalist Christians to use the Protestant numbering (not that they have any interest in church history at all, however). The KJV-only Christians are the ones who most often assert that the Catholic church “hid” the second commandment, and they are also the ones who hate Origen the most, because, as an Alexandrian, they feel he perverted the Scriptures.

  3. Well its a moot point allt he argumant about numbering – what matters is PRACTICE. As a Protestant its clearly obvious to me that the 2nd Commandment was “dropped” ( omitted from most Catchism teachings in schools etc ) so while the scripture remains, the 2nd Commandment isnt taught. So yes, in effect because in practice the 2nd Commandment isnt taught as it should be – the Church HAS dropped the 2nd Commandment.

    The reason Protestants exist is because gutsy people like Luther called the church out, to hold up a mirror so it could see how pagan and legaistic it had become. Naturally Luther and others who follow biblical teaching ( as was the original model ) and rejected the Tradition = Bible heresy wrongness, these men wanted to follow Christs & Gods teachings, not the teaching of men. After all, if you change the rules so much that tradition becomes like a fairy story , why even bother to call it christianity in the first place? Why not just invent some pagan religion with heaps of tradition and leave it as that? Thats what ctaholicism is right now – a pagan tradition based religion with mere lip service to christianity. Some people want the truth, but this is supressed by legality, dogma and lies.

    ‘Come out of the unclean thing and I will take you in’
    2 Cor 6:17

    When relaity is distorted for so long, people accept it as truth – this is the catholic church NOW.

    • Gutsy? Luther…. He bailed… Just like every protestant church does time after time… hmmm I don’t like this rule, I am outta here… I don’t like this preacher, this doesn’t fit my life style….I am outta here.

    • I am not Catholic, I have until now been very against it. Purely from listening to other peoples opinions about it and without finding out for myself. Asking questions to the right people and giving it my own thought instead of just latching onto what others say about it. Again I say I am NOT catholic.

      I have two things to say here. 1st. I am very interested in monastacism and hope very much to enter a monastery. I was guided through prayer to the rule of St Benedict, which I was shocked at not liking Catholicism. But I trust Gods guidance so I read through it. St Benedict as I am sure you know was Catholic. But I assure you, on reading his rule and how it works, it is 100% old testament and new testament based. The whole way of life, from the smallest to the biggest matters are centred on God word and Christs teachings. So that is actual proof that Catholics too believe very much in the word of God. And every Catholic I have spoken to very much know that God and Christ are above Mary. But she was after all the mother of our savior. Surely she deserves a little respect. I think Jesus would not be happy about how many people run down His earthly mother with such venom.

      Secondly, I am actually very suspicious as to why the reformers actually felt the need to demolish the Church which had been up and running since Christ? You say about distorting things. Well isn’t what the reformation did a complete distortion? You only have the word of those who follow the reformation. And again I say I AM NOT Catholic. With the reformation came fragmentation of the church into how many denominations? Did Christ instruct us to make countless different Churches? I think not.

      After my enlightening conversation with the author of this page, I have heard answers that I cannot deny are truthful, and believe me I am not a gulible person. I am very dicerning and can tell when someone is talking rubbish. He has not given me any fairy tale answers but ones that are quite viable if you have an open mind.

      And Christ Himself said that the Church would be persecuted. I think the way the Catholic Church gets it in the neck so much and even from people who are supposed to be believers in Christ (He taught to love our neighbour) I think that maybe the reformation has only induced perjudice and judgemental people and discrimination.

  4. As I understand it, Catholics merge the 2nd Commandment ,”Thou shalt not make any graven images…” into the 1st Commandment, “Thou shalt have no other Gods before me…” stating that this is a shorthand form because the meaning is basically the same. If that is the case, and reaching a shorthand form is a desired result for the first two, then why is the “Do not covet” Commandment also not combined into one shorthand verse since the meaning is the same: Do not covet anything that belongs to another person. I don’t understand the logic of it . Condensing the verses referring to the worship of one God, then turning around and expanding the verse referring to coveting – where is the logic behind that? It makes no sense.

    • It does seem so but it is a very ancient way to number them. Scripture alone does not tell us how to number the Ten Commandments.

    • That is exactly what I was thinking. It didn’t make sense to use the Do not covet twice …it should be do not covet anything that doesn’t belong to you…it’s so easy to understand…but the scriptures do say that so many will be blind.

      • Jews and catholic summarize the commandment the same way

        Thou shalt not have other gods besides Me

        which includes:
        “Thou shalt not have other gods besides 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. ”

        I agree that perhaps both the Jews and Catholics could emphasize, the part about idolatry more, but you can’t accuse catholic of changing it., because they keep it the same as the jews

        I think any christian would say that lust and greed are different sins, If Catholics did anything wrong is that they empathized this in the commandments.

        Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife (commandment against lust)
        Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods (commandment against greed)

  5. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife
    -this is fornication / adultery, , a different and graver sin than coveting thy neighbors property.

    • Timothy,
      I see your point. But Scripture alone does not specifically tell us how to make the commandments into TEN. So, historically there have been different lists. I do not agree with your dismissive attitude to the fact that the Jews, who were God’s Chosen People, were given the Ten Commandments in the first place. Their method of listing them is certainly historically relevant. The Catholic Church, in general adopted their listing, because the first Christians were Jews. Of course Jesus supercedes the Old Covenant but that doesn’t mean all that came before is irrelevant. For the very same reason we have seven more books in the OT than Protestants. Because we adopted the Greek translation of the OT, from the Jews. The Jews later dropped those seven books and even later still (1500 yrs later) Luther and the Protestants also dropped them.

      But i could say the same thing about the Protestant list.

      Do not worship other Gods
      Do not worship idols

      Pretty much the same thing also, since idols are other gods. The command not to worship idols is specific, but could certainly also be unstated but still covered under, Do Not Worship Other Gods.

      Personally it seems like there are really NINE distinct Commandments. But we have scripture that says:

      Deuteronomy 4:13
      13 He declared to you his covenant, the Ten Commandments, which he commanded you to follow and then wrote them on two stone tablets.

      Deuteronomy 10:4
      The LORD wrote on these tablets what he had written before, the Ten Commandments he had proclaimed to you on the mountain, out of the fire, on the day of the assembly. And the LORD gave them to me.

      So, we have come up with a listing of TEN. How the ancient Jews listed them is the most credible to me.

      • And what about the book of acts,
        Men in later times took it upon themselves to bring in a male dominated clergy,that whent about building up a monstrosity that branched of and killed tens of millions of bible believing christians jews moslems and jipsyies./the papal roman catholic church.;;
        We are quick to call muhaamaad a false teacher,but ask yourself what would you do if you seen the horror the church of his time had become,apostate,pagan,anti christ.-well it was enougth to start a new religion in gods name,and maybe just maybe islam was gods judgment against what man had done to the relgion of the nazerean.
        Im glad im going to the last day as a bible believing follower of the lord jesus,and yahwey,rather than a blind obiedience to a usurper sitting on a throne.
        What is truth.?

        • Matthew 5:11
          “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.

        • Ironic that this poster refers to Pilate for guidance on the Truth – and just like Pilate asks his question and turns away without actually wanting to hear the answer…

      • Hum – I am a catholic and there are indeed 10 –
        1) I am the lord you GOD , you shall not have strange gods before me.
        2) You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vein.
        3) Remember to keep holy the Lords day!
        4) Honour your father and mother
        5) you shall NOT kill
        6) You shall not commit adultery
        7) you shall NOT steal
        8) You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour
        9) you shall not covert your neighbours wife.
        10) you shall not covert your neighbour’s goods. ……….

        There are the 10 that they teach anybody that has converted to Roman Catholic Faith – or any ” craddle catholics – these are the correct version -Thanks and God bless =

  6. Thou shalt have no other gods before me
    – means not to worship any other god, but God the father.

    Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image
    – which means not to worship any image as god, like the pagans did,
    – and Catholics do not worship an image,
    – they honor there saints, as reminders and examples of how they followed christ, in there pursuit of holiness.
    – Just like the statue of liberty is not a graven image, that anyone worships, but a beacon that the USA should exemplify in the pursuit of freedom and liberty.

  7. Isn’t there already a commandment dealing with adultery? So that gives us one for adultery and one for adultery/coveting the neighbor’s wife? If coveting needs to broken down into two commandments, don’t you think that making graven images and worshiping and serving them should have a bit of extra explanation also? Maybe you don’t see it, but I do see distinctions there as much as in the 9th and 10th commandments referring to coveting. Also, when I covet anything of my neighbors’, I am expressing unthankfulness and dissatisfaction with what God has given to me. I am forgetting that God deals with each of us as individuals and has a plan for my life that is quite different from His plan for my neighbor. I try not to lightly dismiss any sin as being lesser than another sin. They all matter.

  8. Rico, my intent was not to say that Catholics worship idols. I am simply wondering about the reasoning behind skipping over the graven images commandment. By the way, there are Budhists and Hindus in our world today who do worship idols. Idol worship is not just an Old Testament occurrence. Pagans still exist.

  9. Dorix
    – you right there is already one for adultery,
    – I should have said lust, instead of adultery,
    – I think lust for a neighbor wife is different than envy for a neighbors property, but maybe that just me.

    I have no problem with either versions, protestant/orthodox or catholic/Lutheran , or Jewish,

    I know they are all ordered differently, but they all try to summarize 16 commandments into 10.

    – but I do see you point, making graven images should have a better explanation,

    Thanks for making me think,

  10. I was a catholic for many years. There was confession, intercessional prayer, statues, pomp and circumstance, and many many other forms of idol worship and unscriptural shennanigans. What I have experienced and observed is that if you do something long enough, it becomes true to you, but is not True at all. By the way, did I mention that most of the statuary were caucasions. What a subliminal message!

  11. The Catholic Church is making a lot of sense by including “making graven images, bowing down and serving them (idolatry)” as part of the 1st Commandment which is to worship the one true God only. The Protestants are very wrong in isolating “making graven images” as a separate commandment since this is clearly not prohibited by God (See Ex 25:22, Ex 26:1). As far as making a distinction between coveting one’s “neighbor’s wife” and “property” in the 9th and 10th Commandments, I think that it is providential when the Church is able to restore the dignity of women to its rightful place by breaking with the patriarchal old world which treated women as mere “chattels.” We also see this when Jesus addressed the divorce question and restated God’s original plan for the equal partnership (between a man and a woman) and permanency of marriages. If Protestants persist, they should examine the plight and oppression of women in Islamic societies, and then thank Mother Church for her wisdom.

    • You are wrong.

      Coveting itself is sin and it is possible for a man to covet another mans wife because she is a good wife and not for the reason of physical carnal lust.

      Carnal lust for a married woman is Adultry which is already a commandment. A man who is not married but lusts after a married woman is commiting adultry in his heart as taught by our Lord and only Teacher The Messiah Jesus.

      You can not seperate coveting into two seperate commandments and remove the seperate commandment of idolatry as Greed/Vanity are also forms of idolatry. You should spend some time reading The New Testament with the teachings of Jesus as they relate to The Ten Commandments properly.

      First off, as it is cited more than once in the old testament The Heavenly Father made all elements, materials, on the Earth and he can not be fashioned out of them in any way. As we know The Heavnly Father is the only living God and making Carved images of Jesus is showing irreverance for God in many ways as we are to love him in a splendor and awe of him. As Jesus himself said everything he did and everywhere he went The Heavenly Father was with him.

      As we are commanded not to Lie and bear false witness against our neighbor we certainly we never allowed or given permission to lie and bear false witness about what The Lord Jesus physically looks like as all this imagry created does not depict him in one exact physical likeness.

      The truth behind Jesus’s teaching “If you have seen the son you have seen The Father” actually depicts that if you know and believe the truth of the teachings given by Jesus then you see and understand the teaching of Our Heavenly Father given in them as well.

      Also as the second commandment truly states if you understand them as a whole and not look at them in someone elses laziness of summarizing the true meaning away in them, which itself is sin, we are not to create any carved image in the heavens above. I am sure we can all aggree that Jesus ascended into the heavens above and if you believe saints to also ascend into the heavens then we can certainly not create statues or necklaces of them either.

      On another topic if you read 1 Peter Chapter 3 turly neither men or women are allowed to adorn themselves in Jewlery as it is a sign of ungodliness, particulary made of gold, see Revelation, Not to seek God or Silver. The necklaces of The Catholic Patron Saints need to be removed and done away with. As Our Heavenly Father and Our Lord Jesus both share with us a woman who fears God is to be praised and that adorning comes from inner beauty of the soul.

      Also as Jesus teaches us we are to know the sound of our sheppards voice. This is not a physical vocal sound but knowing and understanding the teaching given by our Heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus as he is the messiah and the only True Teacher of the faith! No one can add to or take away from it in any way, see Revelation.

      Also as a man’s wife is a possession of a man we are not to split the tenth commandment into two parts as we are not to covet anything that is our neighbors. This is refrenced many times in the new testament as not even man is authorized to allow the divorce of a couple that was joined by God. Truly Jesus does teach that he himself requires that we can not choose a spouse, children, or parents/family living after that of Adam and Eve over him as it makes us unworthy of him and salvation with him.

      Praying to anyone other than the only living God is worshiping a different God. As Christ replied to Satan he serves The Lord his God alone and only him in this matter. We can and are required to however call upon the name of Christ Jesus for salvation to as this is defferent as anything done outside of his name is sin.

      Also Those who can hear and accept this that you will not be given or taken in wedlock and that absolute and complete yeilding to christ serving the kingdom of God as a slave to it makes you worthy of it as a reborn child of God and the ressurrection to be like that of an angle, Saint. The true communion of Saints is those who hear this and it is performed by taking fellowship with each other in remberance of The Lord in what is often reffered to as communion/The Lords Supper.

      Many who have posted here sadly show they are not knowledgable of the true Gospel of The Kingdom of God and are not equiped with the spirit of truth/wisdom of it to share it with others.

      Many people need to stop looking for ways to defend the sins of vanity and greed which are idolatry themselves in making all this imagry and learn The Fear of God. As the sinful result of all this vanity in imagry truly sinfully builds up wealth on this Earth, which Jesus also teaches we are not to do.

      We all fall short of The Glory of God. I am neither a follower of Catholic or Prostant, Martin Luther Grace Alone. Faith without true works of repentance performed with the indwelling of The Holy Spirit is dead faith with no true sign of assurance of salvation that only comes by Repentance and the Indwelling of The Holy Spirit.

      The Initial Ten Commandments given in the old testament:
      I: You shall have not other Gods before me.
      Ex. 20:3, Deut. 5:7

      Note: The first and second commandments are separate because it is possible for a false deity worshiper to worship a false God that has no carved image. For example there is no carved image of Allah, worshiped by the Muslims who are the followers of the false prophet Mohammed. Also Greed/Vanity are Idolatry which creates items of luxury often for external adorning of person or home.

      II: You shall not make for yourself a carved image; idol; in the form of anything in heaven above or on the Earth below or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; For I The Lord your God am a Jealous God.
      Ex. 20:4-6, Deut. 5:8-10

      III: You shall not profane The Name of The Lord Your God.
      Ex. 20:7, Deut. 5:11

      IV: You shall remember the Sabbath Day by keeping it Holy
      Ex. 20:8-11, Deut. 5:12-15

      V: You shall Honor your father and mother
      Ex. 20:12, Deut. 5:16

      VI: You shall not: spill the blood of man, kill, murder, any of mankind for any reason
      Ex. 20:13, Deut. 5:17

      Jesus teaches us that even being angry with your brother in Christ constitutes Murder. If just anger is murder than certainly the old translation of spill the blood which does not kill the physical body completely still constitutes murder weather against a neighbor or Brethren. Vengeance is always for God alone to take and we are always to reward Evil with Good.

      VII: You shall not commit adultery
      Ex. 20:14, Deut. 5:18

      VIII: You shall not steal
      Ex. 20:15, Deut. 5:19

      IX: You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
      Ex. 20:16, Deut. 5:20

      X: You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or anything that belongs to your neighbor.
      Ex. 20:17, Deut. 5:21

      Jesus summarizes The original Ten Commandments:
      The Pharisees who considered themselves experts and teachers of the Laws asked The Lord Jesus trying to trap him; teacher what is the greatest commandment:

      Jesus taught – The Lord our God, The Lord is one. Love The Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the law and the prophets hang on these two commandments.
      Jesus – S. Matt. 22:34-40 S. Mark 12:28-34

      Jesus gives a new commandment:
      XI: “A new command, commandment, I give you: Love one another as I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
      Jesus – S. John. 13:34-35

      • I realize this comment is over a year old, but since it is turning up in my google search, I feel called to address this. God did NOT give woman to man as a possession – that is un-Scriptural. Scripture tells us that God gave woman to man as a help-mate. Recall that He took her from Adam’s SIDE not his foot.

        The distinctive difference is that you can do whatever you want with a possession with no regard for it & no sin is incurred by doing so; you cannot ever do the same with a human being without offending God.

        I have read that St. Augustine favored this numbering of the Commandments and that is why so many Catholics (& Lutherans, etc) have embraced it. One of the reasons he preferred it was because it removed the common (& un-Scriptural) view of women as property. A human soul is made in the image & likeness of God and so can never be the property of another.

        While that may not be your preference, it is absurd to suggest that combining the prohibition against idol worship with the Commandment “I am the Lord your God and you shall have no other gods before Me” somehow hides it and allows us to forget about it – especially in this age when idol worship is most commonly things like money, entertainment, and carnal pleasures rather than man-made wooden or stone creations. To worship ANYTHING or ANYONE other than God breaks the first Commandment – it is impossible to break the prohibition against idol worship distinctly and separately from the Commandment that there is only one God and Him alone shall we worship. You attempt to defend your view by asserting that one can break the first Commandment without breaking the one prohibiting idol worship, but fail to see that actual point at hand here (since the first is not the one being “left out”) is that one CANNOT break the Commandment prohibiting idol worship without breaking the first.

        Jesus’ summation of the Ten Commandments into two is so perfectly suited to this discussion that I am surprised you did not see the Holy Spirit’s inspiration – after all, can you not see how the Pharisees could have been likewise scandalized at Jesus’ abridgement of the TEN Commandments into TWO? – why He must have been trying to hide not only the prohibition against idol worship, but look at all the other Commandments He failed to mention – clearly then He must have been trying to defend breaking the sabbath & dishonoring one’s mother and father, etc.

        I pray that souls will see how untenable this uncharitable effort to disparage our faith has been…

        • Thank you. That was very interesting about St. Augustine’s point that women are not possessions.

          • My privilege to share what others have shared with me!

            Someone on another site also pointed out that if coveting someone’s spouse is redundant to the Commandment against adultery, then coveting someone’s goods is redundant to the Commandment against stealing as well. Clearly God views inappropriate & illicit desires to be distinct offenses from actually acting on those desires. (And after all, how many people have never stolen or committed adultery for no better reason than because the opportunity/temptation where they could do it & not get caught never came up?)

            It makes room for the recognition that coveting things includes stuff like “keeping up with the Jones” & the many forms that materialism takes, along with the many other forms of greed like failure to pay a just wage, etc, – and coveting another’s spouse includes not only things like lusting after them but even those wrongs such as comparing your own spouse to another’s and trying to make your spouse be like them or being unhappy with who you have because you could have done better or wished you could have done better and so on – are all offensive to God, too.

            Have really enjoyed finding your blog & reading about your conversion! I am a revert myself (came back 2 decades ago) & have felt like the eager disciples on the way to Emmaus since I began learning what the Lord has shared with His Church. The Hound of Heaven pinned me after my first child was born & made me realize that I was now responsible for that little soul as well as my own & needed to figure out what exactly I believed so that I didn’t take him astray with me. It’s been a roller-coaster ride (& 4 more blessings) since then! God is good! 🙂

  12. “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 (Despite the fact that the Jewish method also groups all four of the verses “worship God alone. Why aren’t the Jews therefore, also accused of dropping the commandment against idolatry?)”

    I think it is fair to say if the Jewish of Today knew anything of scripture or belief in God they would not be Jewish they would be followers/disciples of Christ. In the body of Christ their is neither Jewish nor Gentile but Christ is in all and of all. As they are no longer to be called Jewish but be reborn of God.

    Christs understanding of The Commandments is the absolute source of truth of them not the Jewish.

    Their is one teacher and he is The messiah Jesus.

  13. I’ve read all of these replies and to me an important question is why there are two “coveting” commandments. Just saying thou shalt not covet should cover everything. Looks to me like someone purposely divided it to make sure the commandments still add up to ten.

    • Bingo. My baby sister figured that out all by herself when I gave her the real commandments and then the false commandments.

      She said, “Aren’t the last two the same?”

      Indeed they are. In fact “Thou shalt not covet.” is the commandment. Wife and oxen are just EXAMPLES.

      • Because a little CHILD innocent of adult carnal knowledge is going to recognize the difference between coveting an animal vs coveting a human being?! Seriously?

        Please see my answer to Timothy above – particularly the part about Jesus reducing the Ten to just Two and consider that whatever you are accusing us of applies just as much (& even more uncharitably) to His abridgement.

    • For starters, because a human being can never be considered the possession of another. The sin of trying to possess another soul is radically different from the sin of trying to possess an object or an animal.

  14. The “thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife” is actually covered already by the commandment prohibiting adultery BTW. I could see all of this being changed so that the ten commandments wouldn’t conflict with pictures and statues being in churches. A lot worse has been done over the centuries like the Inquistition, burning people at the stake for translating the Bible into English, and threatening people with it who suggest the the earth isn’t the center of the universe

    • Dear Telling it like it is,

      Yes, it could look that way if you are taught that the Catholic Church is idolotrous. But as I mentioned in the post above there are historically different ways to make the verses into 10 Words or 10 Commandments. One could very easily, also make the case that the Protestant division is also redundant, since making idols is not a different commandment from having no other gods except the Lord.

      Thou shalt have no other gods before me
      Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image

      Here is the whole passage that Protestants make into two commandments and Catholics make into one.

      Ex 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before Me.
      4 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.
      5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God,

      As you see, God is not prohibiting the making of statues, art, but of worshiping them. To be honest I can see how these could all be made into 9 commandments rather than 10 and avoid all redundancy. But we did not try to hide the prohibition against worshiping statues because we do NOT worship statues. That is a Protestant lie. God even told the Jews to put graven images of things in Heaven and things on earth in the Temple and even in the Holy of Holies!! Please take a look at this post—>Another Protestant Tradition: Catholics worship Idols.

  15. Making statues and worshiping them is a separate and distinct commandment which God implemented for a specific reason.

    To split up the covetous commandment is ridiculous and awkward as well as a sin that the catholic whore is guilty of also.

    So frankly your lies are a thinly veiled cover up of what you truly worship which is your whore of a religion that seeks to supplant the ONLY mediator between God and man which is Jesus Christ.

    If Jesus where alive today He would call you hypocrites and broods of vipers as He did the religious liars of His time. And you would seek to put Him back on the cross.

    I pray God hasten the day in which He returns and avenges the blood of the true Christians your whore of a religion has spilled. Amen.

    • Dear David,

      You might find the historical information about how the passages from Ex. 20 was broken down into ten commandments interesting. Why Did the Catholic Church DROP the Commandment about Idolatry?

      Also, you might find this post interesting as well. –>Another Protestant Tradition: Catholics worship Idols.

      BTW David, we are here to ask and answer questions and have a conversation. Hate speech is not appreciated and it does not attract to your point of view. Ad Hominem attacks are usually made when a person has nothing substantive to say so they resort to name calling. I hope you will be able to join the conversation in a humble and loving way in the future.

    • God have mercy on your soul – may the Holy Spirit lead you to Truth and Light that you may know & reflect the virtues (especially charity) that are the hallmark of His adopted children.

  16. To me Read the whole passage. Making solgans you can miss the point! ( I dont own a velet Elvis)

    The Ten Commandments
    20 And God spoke all these words, saying,[a]

    2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

    3 “You shall have no other gods before[b] me.

    4 “You shall not make for yourself a graven 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; 5 you shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.

    7 “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.

    8 “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor, and do all your work; 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your manservant, or your maidservant, or your cattle, or the sojourner who is within your gates; 11 for in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it.

    12 “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which the Lord your God gives you.

    13 “You shall not kill.

    14 “You shall not commit adultery.

    15 “You shall not steal.

    16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

    17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or “his ass”, or anything that is your neighbor’s.”

    (Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition)

    • Yeah I see ten words with the second word regarding graven images. Graven images were the main cause of falling away and anger from YHVH towards his chosen throughout Tanakh. It was a serious problem because our Father who is spirit is worshipped in spirit and truth. I’ve been to dozens of Catholic masses and I’ve seen the worship of statues many many times. Try hanging around the house to house Fatima worship of the little dolls at many catholic households. Why even chance breaking a very serious word by praying to a person or former saint and burying them upside down in your yard when you want to sell your house? Superstitions are demonic and following and yielding to them is worship of the fallen. Having read the Tanakh and Brit Hadasha It couldn’t be more clear that too much worldly superstition has crept in this group and that one of their own devout monks named luther could clearly articulate the wonton disregard of The Mercy and Grace of YHVH. Selling indulgences to get the no so in favor with G-d out of some false idea of an inbetween prison that only the wealthy could escape at the work of a pope? Scary.

      • Dear Alefnull,
        We do not worship Mary or any of the Saints. We do honor them but we worship the Lord Alone. What you have seen with your eyes you have not judged rightly with your mind. If you have never even bothered to ask a Catholic if they worship Mary or any other creature, then you have also made an uncharitable judgement/condemnation.

  17. I have just recently learned of the reported ‘change’ to the Ten Commandments by the Catholic church. I have to say I still have a question after reading this post. The post refers to the ‘shorthand’ list of commandments. So my question is, did the church change the list of commandments in some actual published Bible or just wherever this ‘shorthand’ list would be used in other publications?

  18. Dear Doreen,

    The Ten Commandments have not been changed by the Catholic Church. They are still unchanged as always in the OT i.e.. Exodus 20.

    The Catholic Church simply adopted the Jewish numbering of the Ten Commandments. The Protestant denominations adopted a different way of numbering the Ten Commandments 1500 years later. I don’t KNOW, for sure, if they numbered them this way in order to give themselves ammunition against the Catholic Church’s practice of intercessory prayer to Saints and having Statues or whether this just enabled later Protestants to accuse the Catholic Church of changing or dropping the commandment against idolatry. Make no mistake…..

    Idolotry is a deadly sin in the Catholic Church.

    What was meant by the shorthand for the commandments?

    Instead of saying that the first commandment is thus:

    FIRST COMMANDMENT:

    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.

    the SHORTHAND VERSION OF THE FIRST COMMANDMENT:

    Thou shalt not have other gods besides Me

  19. So what I am taking away fro this is that Catholics felt they could do a better job writing the bible than God, I mean obviously God did not say it right, or clearly enough. Sort of like how Satan felt he had to redo Gods work and become the new god.

    • So what I am taking away from your comment is that you apparently didn’t even read the article and therefore don’t actually have any interest in the reasons, you just feel perfectly comfortable making superficial judgments without giving any benefit of the doubt – the kind we used to call “the Christian benefit of the doubt” because it was about avoiding the sin of rash judgment and assuming the charitable best about others until you had an actual, concrete reason to assume the worst.

  20. The Pope is of great authority and power, that he is able to modify, declare, or interpret even divine laws. The Pope can modify divine law, since his power is not of man, but of God, and he acts as vicegerent of God upon earth…” — Lucius Ferraris, in “Prompta Bibliotheca Canonica, Juridica, Moralis, Theologica, Ascetica, Polemica, Rubristica, Historica”, Volume V, article on “Papa, Article II”, titled “Concerning the extent of Papal dignity, authority, or dominion and infallibility”, #30, published in Petit-Montrouge (Paris) by J. P. Migne, 1858 edition.

    Really? Infallible? Spokesman for YHVH? Never read that ever in the scriptura.

    • The Pope has no power, what so ever, to “modify divine law.” He teaches infallibly ONLY when he teaches on faith and morals TO THE WHOLE CHURCH. This is not b/c he is something great in himself but b/c God wills to protect His Church from error. So it is by the power of God alone working through a man. Besides, the Pope never teaches anything new but only on the Faith once delivered. The document or book that you referenced is not authoritative teaching of the Catholic Church.

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