Origin, Versions and Contradictions

The state of Louisiana recently mandated that the Ten Commandments be posted in all public classrooms. As societies have noticeably lost a well-rooted sense of civility and personal ethics, it seems worthwhile to attempt to nurture these values.

Though this particular effort is admirable in its motives and intentions, it is also worthwhile to be a bit more aware of its origin and uses over the past 3,000 + years. This is, here, very brief. The discussion and viral discourse on this issue has been going on for a long, long time. And, continues.

In all, the Ten Commandments have never been proved to exist as it is biblically presented, the idea that a god directly ‘fingered’ it in stone is questionable as it was for a group of people totally illiterate, the simplicity actually avails itself to internal anarchy and an open window for ‘theocratic powers’, the language it was assumed to be inscribed is unknown and been translated in an amazing number of variations.

The obvious worthiness of this list of rules was to simplistically define guidelines for a large group of people who had no idea how to rule themselves after hundreds of years of authoritarianism. The fundamentals within the Ten Commandments are relevant to the Ma’At, the extensive and detailed commandments of Egyptian spiritual law, written 25 hundred years before Moses. The raw reality of these people (Jewish) was a form of ‘tribalism’ and feudal rule within and between them. They were as subject to internal savagery among themselves as their opportunities for a unified people. The real origins and history of what is called ‘Judaism’ is as ambiguous, bias-defined, as any one group of people can be.

The Ten Commandments do have a worthiness, in principle, but defy the history of all people of all religions and varieties of cults and multiple-deity cultures. It seems the human design, individually and collectively, has the aspirations for spiritual civility while also being incapable of fulfilling them. Moses did his share of killing, if the biblical accounts are valid. The Jewish tribes defied these commandments as they massacred the Canaanites. Josiah heroically destroyed Jerico and its people. And, all under the blessings of Jehovah (God). Of course, all religions and cultures have this manner of history of self-righteousness and justifications for their own conduct. 

A by-product of Judaism is Christianity. Everything in the Christian Bible is Jewish, in history, Messiah, doctrine, prophecy and The Ten Commandments. Whether admitted or not, Islaam is also a by-product of Judaism. It’s history and original format includes the Jewish theocratic and social influences. Jesus, for example, is mentioned 25 times in the Quran and Mohammad is mentioned 5 times. Both are considered teachers and prophets.

Ultimately,  mandating the Ten Commandments is public schools may have some long-term benefits. We would hope so. But, the downside is unavoidable. In a nation born on the principles of freedom of religion we must face the reality that the Ten Commandments are a Judaic-Christian document availing itself to the theocratic authoritarianism of Christianity. It is, in essence, availing our nation to the same, or similar, oppressions we would have under Islamic Shari Law.

Perhaps the Ten Commandments should be subjected to the process of ‘amendments’ likened to our wonderful Constitution. And, with two purposes:  to protect us from the oppression of others and to defend ourselves from ourselves.          

ten commandments

This is a copy of the King James version (translation) of the Ten Commandments. Notice how it is so relevant to the times of Moses. Then look at the more current translations as they omit many cultural details and attempt to be simplistic and relevant to the current times. This, in order to help us realize how sincere yet ambiguous, simplistic and contradictory they remain as we conduct ourselves in the real world.       

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