Saturday, April 16, 2005


Principles of Conservatism: The Ten Commandments

The Beginnings

How many of us remember ALL of the Bible’s Ten Commandments? I will admit to a struggle before writing them down – and they were certainly not in order, nor were they close to the wording in Exodus. Since these Commandments lie at the origins of conservatism, at least that variant of conservatism professing our Christian heritage, repeating them here (in abbreviated form) as part of this series of posts on principles is appropriate, I believe.

I I am the Lord thy God.
II Thou shalt have no other Gods before me;
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven images…;
Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: …
III Thou shalt not take the name of the lord thy God in vain…
IV Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.
V Honor thy father and thy mother:…
VI Thou shalt not kill.
VII Thou shalt not commit adultery.
VIII Thou shalt not steal.
IX Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
X Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife … (manservant, maidservant, ox, ass, anything which is his.)…

There is still controversy between sects of Judeo-Christianity as to the exact numeration of the Commandments. I believe I have used here the accepted Protestant listing and combination of statements.

Many more commandments from God are contained in Exodus and Deuteronomy, but most of them have been “bypassed” as not relevant in today’s world. These original ten have been preserved by most sects, and to Christians, they represent the beginnings of our laws.


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