The Ten Commandments

History

The Ten Commandments (also called the Decalogue) were given to Moses, the great leader of the Hebrews, over 3,000 years ago after the Hebrews were delivered from slavery in Egypt. While the Law of Moses is made up of over 600 rules, the Ten Commandments were a succinct list of rules from which the others were developed. They are recorded in two chapters of the Hebrew Scriptures (specifically the Pentateuch): Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5.

When Jesus was asked, "What must I do to inherit eternal life?", he replied: "You know the Commandments, keep these and you will live." For now, just notice that Jesus attests to the importance of the Ten Commandments. This is why Christians and Jews accept them.

The Ten Commandments

The Jewish tradition (according to Scripture) viewed the Law as a gift from God, not an option or curse. Christian tradition views sin as enslavement rather than something fun we are denied. To accept salvation is to be freed from slavery to sin and raised to a new life. In the table below, you can see the commandments and how they free us from sin and free us for a new life.

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