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Someone pointed out to me the Lutheran numbering of the Ten Commandments.

Could someone more familiar with the Lutheranism teach me about this?

Thanks.

Views: 951

Replies to This Discussion

Frank,
For starters, we are told in Scripture that there are Ten Commandments, but they aren't numbered, so they have been numbered differently over the centuries by different traditions.

Luther had no intention of starting a "new" religion. He was not trying to re-invent Christianity. Rather, he and others were very concerned with errors where Rome had gone astray, and sought to help the Church correct those errors, that God would restore the Church to Biblical theology.

As a result, where 16th century Catholicism was not in error, Luther pretty much maintained what he knew from Catholicism of his day and age. His idea for the Catechism (small and large) was based on earlier examples of the Church seeking to teach "the basics"--hence The Ten Commandments, The Apostles' Creed, and The Lords' Prayer. Other parts were added later, such as Baptism, The Lord's Supper, and the Office of the Keys (binding and loosing).

Therefore, it is not really surprising that Luther used the same Ten Commandments that the Roman Catholic Church used in his day and age. This can be shown better still by a wonderful chart located at Wikipedia. I would suggest opening it in a separate browser window, so you can see it while following this discussion. For that chart, please CLICK HERE and scroll down to "Division of the commandments according to different religions", which is the fourth part of the Wikipedia article. It states that the numbering we have was established by St. Augustine, which also makes perfect sense, as the pre-Reformation Luther had been an Augustinian monk, priest, and university professor.

What more would we like to discuss about this topic. Perhaps WHY it is divided as it is? Perhaps the awkwardness of not "being on the same page" with some other Christians, who divide it differently. Perhaps, is "I am the Lord your God" even a commandment? Perhaps why the graven images phrase doesn't even show up in our abbreviated form of the Commandments. Perhaps on the two Tables of the Law, or on the centrality of the first commandment. I hope others chime in here!
Rik, thanks for your informative reply. I really enjoyed the graph, and find I prefer the Orthodox numbering...
which looks alot like the protestant one I'm familiar with.
Frank,
It seems the Orthodox numbering seems similar to the Lutheran-Catholic numbering, although it makes the "graven image" command Commandment #2, and combines the two coveting commands (# 9 & 10) as one--Commandment # 10. Interesting. The graven image command seems to be part of having "no other God's" before Him. Sti8ll, I believe it is mentioned as its own commandment. It's interesting that God gave us all Ten Commandments, but the exact numbering has not been preserved over the centuries.

Frank said:
Rik, thanks for your informative reply. I really enjoyed the graph, and find I prefer the Orthodox numbering...
which looks alot like the protestant one I'm familiar with.
The fact that there are two renderings of the Ten Commandments in the Bible says that it is not the numbering that is important but the "obedience of faith".
I just received The book Lutheranism 101, in the book there is a chart on the numbering system by the Lutherans, Catholics, Othodox, Other Christians, and Jewish. Interesting, Lutherans and Catholics number only Nine Commandments.
COOL!
I would check my copy, except a pastor bought it from me and I just ordered a new copy. That's a pretty good book.

Harry said:
I just received The book Lutheranism 101, in the book there is a chart on the numbering system by the Lutherans, Catholics, Othodox, Other Christians, and Jewish. Interesting, Lutherans and Catholics number only Nine Commandments.

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