I am writing to you about your supposed exposure of the confusion between the two sets of 10 commandments in Exodus 34. Normally when citing scriputure verses are used to, but by conviently omitting verses you have falsely given the impression that the opening remarks in chapter 34 that a new set of tablets would be carved is somehow linked with the list of laws enjoined upon the Hebrews that follows later in chapter 34. Note that Yahweh says "I will make a covenant with you" (he says this a lot to the Jews) and then gives them another bunch of seemingly arbitrary laws (hey he's God, he can do that).
Anyways, my point is that you have been intentionally or unintentionally deceptive by claiming that this second set of laws was carved on the replacement set of stones. The book doesn't say that and no Jews or Christians believe that, you just made it up. God said "Moses you dork, go get some more stones and I'll dictate again". Then he dictated but the author of Exodus doesn't bore us by repeating the list again, he just moves on to the new list of Hebrew laws that weren't carved down on anything worthy of note (except the author's memory perhaps).
As for the 3 columns comparing Protestant, RC and Jewish 10 commandments, clearly you are just being snigly. Who cares whether the covetting is split into two or combined in one? They only differ due to historical interpretation and sectarian differences. You don't really think that will shake someone's faith do you?
By the way I am not a Jew or Christian, but a Baha'i. I found your site amusing. Keep up your cause. I am sure that God may reward you for something as a result of promoting clear thinking or some such thing. I am reminded of the Hindu atheist who was so adamant in his convictions (faith?) that he was known to repeatedly tell people (preach?) that "There are no gods!". Since Lord Vishnu wanted all people to forever keep the gods in mind, the atheist went to heaven for always thinking about God. Pretty ironic, eh?
(P.S. I don't believe in the God that you don't believe in either! (; )
Cliff Walker responds:
I don't believe in any gods -- which probably means that I lack belief in only one more god than you lack belief in. If you can follow that, then you can see that we probably have more in common than we have differences, because we disbelieve in almost exactly the same number of gods -- that the list of alleged gods we reject as false gods in is (with one small exception) identical.
I still stand by the "Which Ten Commandments?" study because it is the natural reading of the passages in question, whether or not the major religions admit to this. The Roman Catholics erased the entire Second Commandment, didn't they? Who can respect their silence on the second set of tables if they are willing to blot out the Second Commandment?
The table comparing the three religions is an accurate reflection of what the major religions teach today -- with the notable exception that Jews tend to translate "Thou shalt not murder" rather than "Thou shalt not kill." To that one, I point out that the passage dealing with accidental manslaughter uses the same Hebrew word that is used in the commandment.
The whole thing is inconsistent through and through, and this is one reason why we don't want the Ten Commandments posted in our public schools or our courtrooms. This is the reason most easily presented to the public forum: Which Ten Commandments should we post? I say none of them, because they belong in the houses of worship and in the private homes of believers -- not in the public square.
It is much harder to detail the objectionable values contained in many of the Commandments, simply because so many Christian Americans actually respect these abhorrent values.
Besides, if it really was the clear and undeniable word of a god, there wouldn't be even the "snigly" discrepancies between the various religions.
-- Cliff Walker
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