Ten Commandments -- Varying Divisions

D. Ezra Johnson ezra_50 at HOTMAIL.COM
Mon Feb 21 21:49:06 UTC 2000

I found out a little about this at my cousin's Bar Mitzvah the other week,
because his Torah portion included the Commandments.

The first thing I remember is that most Jews consider "I am the Lord thy
God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of
bondage" to be the First Commandment. It is interesting in that it is not
strictly speaking a commandment at all.

So I think the Jews' 1st and 2nd commandments are equivalent to the
Christians' 1st commandment. Or maybe not quite so, because maybe the Jews'
2nd commandment includes the Christians' 2nd also. Anyway, they don't quite
line up.

I wish I had the Torah commentary that was explaining all this... another
difference may have been whether the prohibition on graven images and that
on idolatry were one commandment or two. Another might have been whether the
prohibition on bearing false witness was combined with the no-coveting one.

I know that the Torah commentary I was looking at also pointed out a few
differences between Catholics, Lutherans, and other Protestants as well. And
I think Muslims may have their own division..

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