The Ten Commandments Part 2

Jon Morgan offers an adequate answer to my last post. Not entirely satisfactory but adequate:

Hmmm... While there are many who claim Christianity without reading the Bible (and particularly the Old Testament), such ignorance would be surprising. Fortunately, it's also wrong. If you read from Deuteronomy you will find:

Deuteronomy 5:22 (ESV) 22 “These words the LORD spoke to all your assembly at the mountain out of the midst of the fire, the cloud, and the thick darkness, with a loud voice; and he added no more. And he wrote them on two tablets of stone and gave them to me.

So the original ten commandments on the original tablets of stone were those spoken on the mountain (and listed again in Deuteronomy 5). They were not just the verbal communications of Moses. If we read further in Deuteronomy we find:

Deuteronomy 10:1-5 (ESV) 1 “At that time the LORD said to me, ‘Cut for yourself two tablets of stone like the first, and come up to me on the mountain and make an ark of wood. 2 And I will write on the tablets the words that were on the first tablets that you broke, and you shall put them in the ark.’ 3 So I made an ark of acacia wood, and cut two tablets of stone like the first, and went up the mountain with the two tablets in my hand. 4 And he wrote on the tablets, in the same writing as before, the Ten Commandments that the LORD had spoken to you on the mountain out of the midst of the fire on the day of the assembly. And the LORD gave them to me. 5 Then I turned and came down from the mountain and put the tablets in the ark that I had made. And there they are, as the LORD commanded me.”

God wrote the second tablets with the Ten Commandments with the same words that were on the first tablets of stone, and they were the Ten Commandments that God spoke on the mountain in the midst of the fire.

It all seems to add up to the traditional interpretation being correct. Exodus 34 is certainly interesting, but if you read it carefully you find that these words were for Moses to give to the people and written by Moses, while the stone with the Ten Commandments was said to be written by God. The way I reconcile these is to assume that the two are different, which harmonises with the clear statements of Deuteronomy that give the words to the people on Mount Sinai as the Ten Commandments.

You are of course welcome to invoke any documentary hypothesis you choose or discount the testimony of Deuteronomy, but I accept both it and Exodus which together show clearly that the Ten Commandments were those revealed on Mount Sinai in fire to the people, not those given to Moses personally in Exodus 34.

It is true that Christ gave new commandments, and that these replace the law given to Israel. However, to say that they are entirely different is misleading. Christ fulfilled the law and replaced it, and it is noticable that some of his sayings are of the form "You have heard it said ... But I tell you ..." actually giving a harder command (for example, replacing "Do not kill" with not being angry).

The Ten Commandments.

Is it just me, or does it seem like atheists, agnostics and free thinkers in general have read and know much more about the Bible than the average Christian?

I could give many examples of why this seems to be the case, but one of most compelling to me is the case of the 10 Commandments as pointed out in a recent pamphlet by M. Lee Dietz.

As he correctly pointed out, most all Christians, including politicians who want them prominently displayed in government buildings, seem to think the 10 Commandments that God supposedly etched in stone tablets and gave to Moses are as follows...

1.Thou shall have no other gods before me.
2.Thou shall not make unto thee any graven image.
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 mother.
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..

I'm always seeing things like sketches, recreations and artists' renderings of the stone tablets that God gave to Moses. And 100% of the time, the above "charges" will be on them. But these were just verbal charges that God gave to Moses in Exodus 20 and told him to verbally communicate them to the people of Israel. They were never etched in stone and the Bible is very clear about this.

The commandments that were actually supposed to have been carved in stone by the finger of God, not once but twice, didn't appear until Exodus 34 and were as follows...

1. Thou shall worship no other god, for the Lord whose name is Jealous, is a jealous god.
2. Thou shall make thee no molten gods.
3. The feast of unleavened bread shalt thou keep
4. Six days thou shall work, but on the seventh day, thou shall rest
5. Thou shall observe the feast of weeks
6. Thrice a year your men children shall appear before the Lord, the God of Israel.
7. Thou shall not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leaven
8. Thou shall not leave the feast of the passover unto the morning
9. The first of the fruits of the land thou shall bring into the house of the Lord thy God
10. Thou shall not seethe a kid in his mother's milk.

As anyone can see, there is very little resemblance to the 10 charges that most Christians believe to be the commandments that were etched on those stone tablets. Its bad enough that they believe in a book of fairy tales, but it doesn't even look like most of them have even read it to begin with.

Blame the Victim

It was bound to happen and sure enough it did. George Tiller, an abortionist doctor, deserved to be murdered! So says Edward Fesar, who teaches for a community college Pasadena City College in Pasadena, California.

In this blog post Edward Feser compares Tiller to Jeffrey Dahmer, who killed, dismembered and ate 17 men and boys. Feser claims that "Tiller was almost certainly a more evil man than Dahmer was."

Actually, this is just typical of what happens when a Christian commits a crime in the name of God - blame the victim. It is always the victim's fault for being an abortion doctor to start with - or a homosexual or an atheist or whoever else the Christians are hating these days.

You would think a professor at a community college would be above such things but not this guy. He even has an atheist hate, book length, diatribe against the new atheists, "The Last Superstition: A Refutation of the New Atheism."