BREAKING NEWS – BREAKING NEWS
A spokesperson has confirmed that archeologists have discovered a fragment of writings that are almost certainly an early version of the Ten Commandments, long considered the cornerstone of the Abrahamic religious tradition’s emphasis on justice and fairness. The scriptures, like the Nag Hammadi manuscripts, were discovered hidden in a large sealed jar which had been buried just outside a site on the Sinai Peninsula. The site was being excavated as part of a new phase of an Israeli settlement expansion.
It has long been known that the earliest segments of the Old Testament were handed down through oral tradition for hundreds of years before being committed to writing. There are several stories in Genesis that are presented twice, in two very different ways. For example, when Yahweh created humans, in one case Genesis states “male and female he created them.” Shortly after those verses, another version of the creation of humans states that God created Adam, and when Adam got lonely, God took a rib from Adam’s side and from it created a woman to keep Adam company. The number of animals included on Noah’s ark also differed between two tellings. In one, pairs of every kind of animal were taken on board; in another, only seven pairs of animals. It is believed that these and other contradictory tellings are the result of the inclusion of different oral traditions at the time the Hebrews were committing their history to writing.
And now archeologists confirm that a competing version of the ten commandments has recently been found. (please read all the way to the end)
This is (in abridged form) the text of Exodus 20, verses 1-17
“I am the Lord your God, You shall have no other gods before me. 4 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, 7 “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God 8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 12 “Honor your father and your mother,13 “You shall not murder.14 “You shall not commit adultery.15 “You shall not steal.16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
The Baltimore Chatechism, the foundation of every Catholic school child’s education, reads as follows:
- I am the Lord thy God; thou shalt not have strange gods before me.
- Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
- Remember thou keep holy the Lords Day.
- Honor thy father and thy mother.
- Thou shall not kill.
- Thou shalt not commit adultery.
- Thou shalt not steal.
- Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
- Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors wife.
- Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors goods.
THE NEW DISCOVERY
And this, in abridged form, is the text of the ten commands of the Lord according to the newly discovered scrolls.
- I am the Lord your God, you shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, nor shall you misuse My name
- Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.
- Honor your father and your mother.
- Men, look after your wife and children, and treat them with kindness, for they are dear to the Lord.
- You shall not murder.
- You shall not rape, nor shall you take advantage of young children in a sexual manner.
- You shall not commit adultery, nor shall you fantasize about or stalk a woman who is not interested in you.
- You shall not steal.
- You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
- You shall not covet your neighbor’s house, wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor. For even the coveting is anathema to the Lord your God.
When I was a child, I had always noticed that the last two Catholic commandments were kind of repetitive. And I wondered why adultery and coveting your neighbor’s wife were listed separately, as well. But I am amazed and fortified to learn of these two lost commandments.
Said Karl Druski, the German leading the recovery effort, “In the oral tradition, counting the number of items or mandates in a story was an oft-used way to make sure you didn’t leave anything out in the retelling. Once it had been settled that there were ten commands, it was important to repeat ten. What likely happened is someone realized he had noted only eight, couldn’t come up with the missing two, so made up the two lame ones at the end. And for some reason, this is the version that survived to become part of the Hebrew Bible.
Sirena Glaston, a British researcher and paleoanthropologist disagrees with the opinion of Professor Druski. “It is clear to me that whoever dropped these two commands was a man who did not want his sexual conduct controlled in this way. Commandments 4 and 6, in particular, both tell men that they must treat women and children with respect, and they may not beat or abuse their wife and children in any way, but must take responsibility for their care. One segment, badly damaged by rodent activity, appears to tell men not to grab women’s pussies, but because two male anthropologists on the team disputed that interpretation, it was dropped from the official transcript.” Archeologists and religious historians who agree with Professor Glaston hypothesize that to come up with ten commandments after dropping the two that men might find inconvenient, the author broke up the first and last commands, which were quite long, anyway, into two separate ones.
It will be some time before the religious historical community will be able to come to agreement on the veracity of this finding. But its existence will likely make a great impact on moral teaching around the globe.
The newly discovered commandments:
Men, look after your wife and children, and treat them with kindness, for they are dear to the Lord.
You shall not rape, nor shall you take advantage of young children in a sexual manner.
author’s note: If only this were true. These commandments are needed, but sadly missing.