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).


  1. Do you think God wrote those commandments? Did He write them on stone with His finger or was an angel involved, as with other acts of creation? Did He write those commandments in the same way that He caused the prophets and apostles to write down the other books of the Bible?

    Were the gospels and letters of the New Testament perfectly gathered into one neat collection and then copied 100% accurately by hand for the growing church? Was this was overseen by God, as with the commandments above? Were there were no errors, no edits, no selection? Was anything missed or lost?

    Are those words of Jesus really his words, verbatim?

    Are you confident about how the Bible came to be written?

    I don't mean to mock, but this "inspired" position is only maintainable if you deny outside information.

  2. You're correct, Frederick, the bible is man-made. There are no words of a god in it.

    If you have done any reading on this blog, you have to know that I don't believe that God wrote the ten commandments.


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