Which 10 commandments? A guide for Christians. Part 2.

In part 1, I already demonstrated that Christians aren’t even aware of what the real 10 commandments are. Therefore, they aren’t following them at all. But they still have an idea that there are 10, and they think they have them down. But they don’t, actually.


  1. “I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt not have any strange gods before Me.”

  2. “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.”

  3. “Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day.”

  4. “Honor thy father and mother.”

  5. “Thou shalt not kill.”

  6. “Thou shalt not commit adultery.”

  7. “Thou shalt not steal.”

  8. “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.”

  9. “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife.”

  10. “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods.”


  1. “I am the Lord thy God, thou shalt not have any strange gods before Me.”

  2. “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image”

  3. “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in Vain.”
  4. “Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day.”

  5. “Honor thy father and mother.”

  6. “Thou shalt not kill.”

  7. “Thou shalt not commit adultery.”

  8. “Thou shalt not steal.”

  9. “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.”

  10. “Thou shalt not covet”

Why are these two different? It shouldn’t be hard, right? I mean, it’s in a book! Well, yes and no. Just like the actual 10 commandments, these also weren’t neatly numbered. There are actually seventeen verses that result in the now-traditional 10, and some of the verses had multiple instructions that could be considered separate. So they had to chop them up somewhere. As a result, there are EIGHT different versions of the 10 commandments.

The Catholic 10 are suspiciously missing the bit about graven images. Why? The Catholic church made lots and lots of money selling little figurines to the lay people. They called them “indulgences”, and they told people that the only way they could get to heaven was buy one and offer it as a sacrifice to a statue, yet another graven image. Naturally, one indulgence only helped a little bit, so the more you bought, the better chance you had to make it into heaven. It was a total racket, but they kept it up for about 1000 years by also making a rule that the bible could only be written in Latin.

Keeping the pew fillers ignorant and making money hand over fist lasted until Martin Luther, one of the few real heroes of religious history, noticed the hypocrisy while studying to be a priest.  Since hypocrisy seems to be a Christian value, this upset church leaders very much, and they kicked him out. Martin then founded Lutheranism, thereby keeping the Catholic church from getting too crazy or powerful ever since.

Anyway, despite there being no agreement on “the ten”, Christians still pretend like they’re the most important rules we could possibly have to live by. But since we have our bibles open, can anyone explain why we stopped at ten?

Yes, there are many more commandments. Moses took down the first dozen or so, then some people got scared, so Moses wanders away a bit so the people don’t get scared by God talking, and God keeps rattling on more commandments.

Other than the annoying interruption, there is no change between the first dozen or so and the rest.  God did not say “okay, those are the hard rules, now for some administrative shit.”  To the contrary, death penalty offenses are then described.  God clearly wasn’t done with serious rules at the interruption.

A clear reading of the bible also demonstrates that the first ten weren’t more special than the rest.  God made sure that Moses had them all written down and made them part of his “covenant”, which God and Moses made official with a little ceremony at the end with burning animals and sprinkling blood and all.  Yes, god was clear that ALL those instructions were important.

At this point, god writes the covenant on stone tablets for Moses, then Moses heads down the mountain with this most important law.  Then he sees the people worshiping an idol and flips out, because they were disobeying a law they hadn’t heard yet, and smashes the tablets.

The tablets Moses smashed did not have just the (modern) ten commandments.  You are thinking of a movie starring Charleton Heston.  As we just saw, the tablets contained the entire written “covenant.”  These are the laws god wanted them to follow.  Not just 10 of them.  Yes, if you think the tablets contained just 10 commandments, your religion is informed more by Hollywood than the bible.  Get over it.

So even using the phrase “ten commandments” in the modern sense is really just picking the first 12-15 laws of God’s covenant, chopping them up into ten, and ignoring the rest.  The actual ten commandments are forgotten.

The Spartan Atheist


3 thoughts on “Which 10 commandments? A guide for Christians. Part 2.

  1. ” …thou shalt not have any strange gods before Me.” I once said to a nun in 7th or 8th grade that since our god was kinda strange, too, being that he was invisible and all, I found it kinda hard to follow this particular commandment. Needless to say, I got a crack across the face. Ah, Catholic School, how I miss thee!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. If the true blue, holier-than-thou Christians EVER read their “Holy Book” from cover to cover, I wonder how they would justify the SEVERAL things they do that are CLEARLY against their Holy God’s “commandments.” Oh wait. I forgot. Their church leader told them it’s OK because God didn’t really mean it that way …

    Liked by 2 people

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