Ask a Bible Teacher

Where Are The Real 10 Commandments?

Q. I was talking with an atheist about morality and about God’s holy nature, and the Ten Commandments came up, and she asked me “What is the tenth commandment?” I responded “Do not covet”. She immediately said that I was wrong and said the actual Ten Commandments are in Exodus 34: 1-28. I looked it over and indeed in verse 28 it calls these orders, the Ten Commandments. I was not able to really continue the conversation because first I wanted to read over what she had referred to.  Which ones are the actual Ten Commandments?

A. There are a total of 613 commandments in the Torah, the five books of Moses. They can be separated into three categories, the 10 commandments, the Ceremonial Law for Temple worship, and the Social Law that governed the community. The original 10 commandments are found in Exodus 20: 1-17 and are repeated in Deut. 5:6-21. Although Exodus 34:1-28 contains 10 commandments, they can’t be the original 10 because half of them are Ceremonial Laws and only apply to Temple Worship.  Remember, unbelievers don’t have to prove themselves right to win an argument. They just have to get you to doubt whether you are.

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