Showing posts with label Ten Commandments. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ten Commandments. Show all posts

Monday, July 25, 2022

Anonymous Asks (207)

“What does it mean to ‘take the name of the Lord in vain’?”

Good question. Does it mean to use the words “God” or “Jesus” casually in conversation? For example, is the oft-heard epithet “Oh my god” a case of taking the Lord’s name in vain?

The phrase comes from the third of the original Ten Commandments given to Israel in Exodus 20 and restated in Deuteronomy: “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.”

The context (a list of important but diverse God-given commands) doesn’t leave us much else to parse for meaning. We are pretty much stuck with the words themselves. All the same, the words give us plenty to think about.

Thursday, July 01, 2021

Command Performance

I’ve been thinking about the commandments.

People say that in the Old Testament, God is full of these things. Rabbis claim there are 613 of them, as a matter of fact — an odd number, to be sure. Why should God have an opinion on these particular items? Why not 614? Why not fewer?

And the nature of the commandments — everything from killing each other, to what people eat, to how they wash, to how they match their fabrics … and still the list is not exhaustive, for it leaves many aspects of life totally unmentioned and spends what we might deem far too much time on others.

Why does God care about all these particulars?

Thursday, April 08, 2021

Bottom of the Ninth

I’m beginning to think that the ninth commandment is more important than I ever realized.

Traditionally, it reads, “Thou shalt not bear false witness” (KJV), or more colloquially, “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.”

Well … Duh!

“Okay,” I said to myself when I first read it, “that makes sense. In court, telling a lie about someone or something can get an innocent person into serious legal trouble. And to do that would be malicious. Fair enough.”

Sunday, January 24, 2021

A Built-In Self-Destruct Button

If you have spent a lot of time reading the Old Testament and trying to get into the mindset of the average law-abiding Jew, you probably agree with me that Christian freedom is a marvelous thing.

The believer’s relationship to the Law of Moses is one of the most misunderstood aspects of Christian life, notwithstanding statements like “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery” and “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

But freedom is not something we human beings do easily or naturally. We prefer rule-keeping.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Command Performance

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Friday, June 01, 2018

Too Hot to Handle: Which Ten Commandments?

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

Richard Carrier has an alternative Ten Commandments he’d like the world to consider, apparently on the basis of their utility:

“Unlike the Commandments of Moses, when suitably interpreted, none of these is outdated or antithetical to modern moral or political thought. Every one could be taken up by anyone today, of any creed, to some extent.”

Well, why not? Let’s take these babies out for a spin and see how they compare to the real deal.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Bottom of the Ninth

The most recent version of this post is available here

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Command Performance

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

This Is Interesting ...

Well, it’s interesting to me anyway.

The giving of the Ten Commandments to Israel at Mount Sinai occurred on the third new moon after the people of Israel had left Egypt. God addressed them directly in a thick cloud from the peak of a fiery, quaking mountain amid thunder, flashes of lightning and the sound of a trumpet.

The people were understandably petrified.

Monday, May 16, 2016

That Wacky Old Testament (4)

Bible Babble’s atheist webmaster appears confused by the second commandment:

“People seem to think the second commandment says you aren’t supposed to make a graven image of God, and that’s it. But you are not to make any graven images of anything in heaven, in the earth, or in the water. This would include no graven images of fish, moles, worms, birds, shrimp, ants, and all sorts of things. One must wonder why God was so worried about these things that he felt the need to put these ahead of murder and stealing.”

The apostle Paul saw it as his job (and the job of those he travelled and taught with) to demolish “every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God”.

You know, I think this just may qualify …

Friday, August 15, 2014

Too Hot to Handle: Which Ten Commandments?

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Command Performance

A more current version of this post is available here.