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Thread: Why does the Roman Catholic Church remove the second commandment?

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    Default Why does the Roman Catholic Church remove the second commandment?

    Exodus 20:4 states Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
    20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

    If you've ever been to a Roman Catholic Church the answer to this question should be self-evident.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JesusSaves510 View Post
    Exodus 20:4 states Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
    20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

    If you've ever been to a Roman Catholic Church the answer to this question should be self-evident.
    It doesn't remove it. It is still there as part of the first commandment. We just number the commandments differently.

    There are actually 12 commandments.

    Deuteronomy 5:7-21
    1. You shall not have other gods besides me.
    2. You shall not carve idols for yourselves in the shape of anything in the sky above or on the earth below or in the waters beneath the earth;
    3. You shall not bow down before them or worship them. For I, the Lord, your God, am a jealous God, inflicting punishments for their fathers’ wickedness on the children of those who hate me, down to the third and fourth generation but bestowing mercy, down to the thousandth generation, on the children of those who love me and keep my commandments.
    4. You shall not take the name of the Lord, your God, in vain. For the Lord will not leave unpunished him who takes his name in vain.
    5. Take care to keep holy the sabbath day as the Lord, your God, commanded you. Six days you may labour and do all your work; but the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord, your God. No work may be done then, whether by you, or your son or daughter, or your male or female slave, or your ox or ass or any of your beasts, or the alien who lives with you. Your male and female slave should rest as you do. For remember that you too were once slaves in Egypt, and the Lord, your God, brought you from there with his strong hand and outstretched arm. That is why the Lord, your God, has commanded you to observe the sabbath day.
    6. Honour your father and your mother, as the Lord, your God, has commanded you, that you may have a long life and prosperity in the land which the Lord, your God, is giving you.
    7. You shall not kill.
    8. You shall not commit adultery.
    9. You shall not steal.
    10. You shall not bear dishonest witness against your neighbor.
    11. You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife.
    12. You shall not desire your neighbour’s house or field, nor his male or female slave, nor his ox or ass, nor anything that belongs to him.

    The list in Exodus 20:3-17 is similar

    In each list there are actually 12 commandments. To get down to ten some have to be conflated.

    Catholics (and Lutherans) conflate 1,2 &3, presumably because they all concern the same topic. Most Protestants (except Lutherans) & Orthodox conflate 2&3 and 11&12


    From the Catechism of the Catholic Church
    Article 1
    THE FIRST COMMANDMENT
    I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them.
    It is written: "You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve."

    Under the section:- IV. "You Shall Not Make For Yourself a Graven Image . . ." there are four paragraphs (2129 – 2132) discussing this part of the commandment

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    Hi Bede

    I can't speak for JesusSaves510 but perhaps he/she was looking for an explanation for why Catholics pray and bow to images disregarding the 2nd Command. If you all consolidate them that would make no difference. Images, carvings and all sorts of elaborate adornations are not to be prayed to. Let me ask you, who is your avitar supposed to be? Do you pray and ask for blessings to such an image? If you are assuming that is Our Savior how can you know for sure? Since NO-ONE knows (except for being created in his image, likeness) exactly what ANY of the heavenly entities look like, how can anyone pray to a man made image?

    "You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God...."

    According to scripture we are not supposed to pray to carvings or images of anything in heaven, how would Our Lord feel about man bowing to the image of a man? Your Pope to be exact.

    Where does it state he is an exeption? Can you produce where in scripture Catholism got the impression their form of praise is exempt from the 2nd Command?

    I am not trying to attack your belief, just looking to understand it is all.


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    Nilo
    Three things are too wonderful for me;
    four I do not understand:

    Prov 30:18

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    Though it is true that in the catechism the verses are simply given, but every website, plaque, and poster that I've seen that lists the Roman Catholic ten commandments always leaves out the second one and always divides the 10th one into two. The idea that there were really twelve commandments is an unscriptural notion see-Exodus 34:28, Deuteronomy 4:13, 10:4.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JesusSaves510 View Post
    Though it is true that in the catechism the verses are simply given, but every website, plaque, and poster that I've seen that lists the Roman Catholic ten commandments always leaves out the second one and always divides the 10th one into two. The idea that there were really twelve commandments is an unscriptural notion see-Exodus 34:28, Deuteronomy 4:13, 10:4.
    If you read the list I gave you will see that there are 10 "You shall not" plus the two positive commandments.

    There are therefore 12 commandments. To reduce them to 10 you have to conflate some of them. There is no other way. I gave you the Deuteronmy list but Exodus is basically the same.

    You refer to Exodus 34:28. If you read Exodus 34:27-28 it says:
    ‘Then the Lord said to Moses, “Write down these words, for in accordance with them I have made a covenant with you and with Israel.” So Moses stayed there with the Lord for forty days and forty nights, without eating any food or drinking any water, and he wrote on the tablets the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.’

    Have you actually read what those commandments are?

    You will find them listed in the previous verses. There are at least 13 starting with
    “Take care, therefore, not to make a covenant with these inhabitants of the land that you are to enter; else they will become a snare among you. “ (vs 12)

    And ending with
    “You shall not boil a kid in its mother’s milk.” (vs 26)

    Do you list “You shall not boil a kid in its mother’s milk.” As your 10th commandment?

    To go back to what we actually think of as the 10 commandments there are at least 12, as I listed - 12 “you shall not” and 2 positive ones. If you take the Exodus list there are 12 as well

    Let’s take the first three (Ex 30:3-6)
    1. You shall not have other gods besides me.
    2. You shall not carve idols for yourselves in the shape of anything in the sky above or on the earth below or in the waters beneath the earth;
    3. you shall not bow down before them or worship them. For I, the Lord, your God, am a jealous God, inflicting punishment for their fathers’ wickedness on the children of those who hate me, down to the third and fourth generation; but bestowing mercy down to the thousandth generation, on the children of those who love me and keep my commandments.

    I don’t see that list of three in Protestant churches. No, you conflate them into two.

    Moreover I do not see the full commandments listed either, just the first part.

    What is your commandment five?
    “Honour your father and your mother”

    That’s how I see it listed but it is incomplete. The full commandment is:
    “Honour your father and your mother, that you may have a long life in the land which the Lord, your God, is giving you.”

    How often do you see that written up?

    Everyone shortens the commandments to a simplified list for memory purposes. Catholics are no different.

    Incidentally I’ve read that the Jews take the first three as one commandment as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nilo View Post
    Hi Bede

    I can't speak for JesusSaves510 but perhaps he/she was looking for an explanation for why Catholics pray and bow to images disregarding the 2nd Command. If you all consolidate them that would make no difference. Images, carvings and all sorts of elaborate adornations are not to be prayed to. Let me ask you, who is your avitar supposed to be? Do you pray and ask for blessings to such an image? If you are assuming that is Our Savior how can you know for sure? Since NO-ONE knows (except for being created in his image, likeness) exactly what ANY of the heavenly entities look like, how can anyone pray to a man made image?

    "You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. 5 You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the LORD your God am a jealous God...."

    According to scripture we are not supposed to pray to carvings or images of anything in heaven, how would Our Lord feel about man bowing to the image of a man? Your Pope to be exact.

    Where does it state he is an exeption? Can you produce where in scripture Catholism got the impression their form of praise is exempt from the 2nd Command?

    I am not trying to attack your belief, just looking to understand it is all.


    Thanks


    Nilo
    Hi Nilo,

    Deuteronomy 5:7-21
    1. You shall not have other gods besides me.
    2. You shall not carve idols for yourselves in the shape of anything in the sky above or on the earth below or in the waters beneath the earth;
    3. You shall not bow down before them or worship them. For I, the Lord, your God, am a jealous God, inflicting punishments for their fathers’ wickedness on the children of those who hate me, down to the third and fourth generation but bestowing mercy, down to the thousandth generation, on the children of those who love me and keep my commandments.

    The problem with the Protestant way of numbering the commandments is that they separate 2 & 3 above from their true context which is about false gods..

    Commandments 2 & 3 above are just expansions of the first one. The prohibition was against worshipping false gods. We do not worship images. They are there to remind us of the people they represent, just as I have images of my children and grandson on the mantlepiece and on the walls of my house.

    There were images in the Temple
    “Make two cherubim of beaten gold for the two ends of the propitiatory, fastening them so that one cherub springs direct from each end. cherubim shall have their wings spread out above, covering the propitiatory with them; they shall be turned toward each other, but with their faces looking toward the propitiatory.” (Ex 25:18-20)

    “In the sanctuary were two cherubim, each ten cubits high, made of olive wood. …….The cherubim were placed in the inmost part of the temple, with their wings spread wide, so that one wing of each cherub touched a side wall while the other wing, pointing toward the middle of the room, touched the corresponding wing of the second cherub (1Kg 6:23, 27)

    The walls on all sides of both the inner and the outer rooms had carved figures of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers” (1Kg 6:29)

    “The sea was then cast; it was made with a circular rim, and measured ten cubits across, five in height, and thirty in circumference. Under the brim, gourds encircled it, ten to the cubit all the way around; the gourds were in two rows and were cast in one mold with the sea. This rested on twelve oxen, three facing north, three facing west, three facing south, and three facing east, with their haunches all toward the centre, where the sea was set upon them”. (1Kg 7:23-25)

    “On the surfaces of the supports and on the panels, wherever there was a clear space, cherubim, lions, and palm trees were carved, as well as wreaths all around.” (1Kg 7:36)

    God ordered Moses to make a bronze image of a snake.
    “the Lord said to Moses, “Make a saraph and mount it on a pole, and if anyone who has been bitten looks at it, he will recover.” Moses accordingly made a bronze serpent and mounted it on a pole, and whenever anyone who had been bitten by a serpent looked at the bronze serpent, he recovered.”(Num 21:8-9).

    As the Catechism puts it:
    2130 Nevertheless, already in the Old Testament, God ordained or permitted the making of images that pointed symbolically toward salvation by the incarnate Word: so it was with the bronze serpent, the ark of the covenant, and the cherubim.

    As to bowing, it is not worship.
    “And they told the king, "Here is Nathan the prophet." And when he came in before the king, he bowed before the king, with his face to the ground.” (1Kg 1:23).
    That is God’s prophet bowing to a man. It is just a form of honouring someone.

    Bede
    Last edited by Bede; 11-23-2011 at 05:09 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bede View Post
    There are therefore 12 commandments. To reduce them to 10 you have to conflate some of them. There is no other way. I gave you the Deuteronmy list but Exodus is basically the same.
    That is apparently what God does since he speaks specifically of ten commandments. I think I will follow God's way of numbering the commandments.

    Do you list “You shall not boil a kid in its mother’s milk.” As your 10th commandment?
    The ten commandments are those listed in both Exodus and Deuteronomy.

    Everyone shortens the commandments to a simplified list for memory purposes. Catholics are no different.
    The issue here isn't about shortening the commandments but about counting them.

    There were images in the Temple.
    But did anyone ever bow down to them?

    Only the priests were able to enter the temple and see these images and the cherubim over the ark were only seen by the high priest once a year.

    God ordered Moses to make a bronze image of a snake.
    “the Lord said to Moses, “Make a saraph and mount it on a pole, and if anyone who has been bitten looks at it, he will recover.” Moses accordingly made a bronze serpent and mounted it on a pole, and whenever anyone who had been bitten by a serpent looked at the bronze serpent, he recovered.”(Num 21:8-9).
    Hezekiah later had to destroy this image because people were worshipping it.

    He broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made, for until those days the people of Israel had made offerings to it (it was called Nehushtan).
    2 Kings 18:4
    This shows that images can lead people astray even when they have been made in obedience to God's command. Doesn't this mean that making images when God hasn't given a command can be even more dangerous?
    God wants full custody of his children, not just visits on Sunday.
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    Quote Originally Posted by theophilus40 View Post
    That is apparently what God does since he speaks specifically of ten commandments. I think I will follow God's way of numbering the commandments.
    Perhaps you could show me the numbering of the commandments in the Bible.

    I don’t see any numbers 1-10 in my Bible.

    Is yours a special one?

    Quote Originally Posted by theophilus40 View Post
    The ten commandments are those listed in both Exodus and Deuteronomy.
    You referenced Ex 34:28. I was showing you the ten commandments that Exodus 34:28 was referencing and they weren’t the commandments in Ex 20:2-17 or Deut 5:7-21.

    So we have two sets of ten commandments on tablets of stone, with different commandments, except that the first lot were broken.

    Quote Originally Posted by theophilus40 View Post
    The issue here isn't about shortening the commandments but about counting them.
    Show me how the Bible counts them. I don’t see any numbers 1-10 in my Bible.


    Quote Originally Posted by theophilus40 View Post
    But did anyone ever bow down to them?
    What is your problem with bowing? It’s not worship.

    Quote Originally Posted by theophilus40 View Post
    Only the priests were able to enter the temple and see these images and the cherubim over the ark were only seen by the high priest once a year.
    What difference does that make?

    Everyone could see the bronze serpent

    Quote Originally Posted by theophilus40 View Post
    Hezekiah later had to destroy this image because people were worshipping it.
    Exactly. Having statues is OK, Worshipping them is not. But we don’t worship statues, or even the people they depict (except for Jesus).


    Quote Originally Posted by theophilus40 View Post
    This shows that images can lead people astray even when they have been made in obedience to God's command. Doesn't this mean that making images when God hasn't given a command can be even more dangerous?
    No.

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    And he declared unto you his covenant, which he commanded you to perform, even ten commandments; and he wrote them upon two tables of stone. (Deut 4:13)

    I'm not a Hebrew scholar so someone else will have to confirm if this text says that their were ten commandments in the original language.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bede View Post
    What is your problem with bowing? It’s not worship.
    Nebuchadnezzar, Daniel, and his friends didn't seem to think the way you do. I mean, if bowing was not worship, then why wouldn't Hananiah, Azariah, and Mishael bow before the statue of Nebuchadnezzar and just not worship. In bowing they would have been worshipping. They were so adamant about the fact that they were willing to suffer death in order to keep God's command.

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