Title: The Decalogue
Teacher: Jacob Bender
Date: September 13, 2015
scriptures: Exodus 20:1-17, Psalm 1:1-3, Exodus 11, Exodus 19:17, Deuteronomy 5:7, Exodus 34:28, Hebrews 1:1-2, Hosea, John 1:1, John 1:14
The word we translate as “commandments” is the Hebrew word dabar, and it really has a much simpler meaning than you would think. It means “words.” So the Hebrews said it this way, “The Ten Words” – or like we talk about in this teaching, they called it a ten word Ketubah. It was the terms of their marriage.
In the Greek, the Ten Commandments are “deka logos” – again, on the surface, it means, “the ten words” – many of you who grew up in a Catholic tradition or Lutheran or any more traditional denominations, you have probably heard of the ten commandments referred to as “The Decalogue.” And this is where get this term from. From “deka logos.”
So “the Decalogue” is a pretty famous name for the Ten Commandments, and it is the way the Greeks translated it.
Well, deca, as we said means ten, and logos which we just said means word, comes from the word… “Logue” means logic… and in the Greek it is the principle behind reality. You know the phrase “it’s only logical….” Well that may be a better way to look at the commandments… It’s really pure logic. It’s more of a reality than it is a law.
When you think of laws, you probably think of things like these:
Things like “No skateboarding” – but if you are a skateboarder, most likely, that sign is not going to stop you. Unless there is a police officer right there or someone of authority who can enforce the regulation that the sign is placing on you, then it is just a sign. Its more like a request that should you choose to not obey, may be met with a consequence of some sort.
A speed limit sign represents a law.
A “Do not Liter” sign represents a law.
But these, these are realities:
When you look at it this way, rules seem nice, don’t they? Rules you can break. Most rules you can screw up some times, and even if you do get caught, you will pay a price, in most cases do your time, and move on.
But with these, there is no slipping through the cracks… There is no “NOT getting caught”… and in fact you may not walk away at all. And if you do walk away, there is permanent damage.
And that is the Ten Commandments. Each and every one of these, if you do not follow them… You are going to crash. You are going to get burned.
You are going to hurt yourself. You are going to hurt your community. It is going to destroy you. Not because God is mad at you because you did something he said not to do so now you are getting punished… No, it’s not like that.
These things in and of them themselves are toxic.
Dr. Frank Seekins was the first one that I heard use an example like this, he gave the example of a speed limit sign vs. a low clearance sign and the differing consequences of ignoring the two… and in fact it was that description that inspired this entire series on the Ten Commandments that we are calling “Realities.”
So we hope that you will join us over these next 8 weeks as we look at an ancient text, hopefully through fresh eyes.
This ebook is a transcript of a multi-part teaching by Shane Willard. In it, he makes an amazing correlation between the five parts of a Jewish wedding, and the process that God brought the people of Israel through leading up to giving them the Ten Commandments. Pastor Shane is a friend of my Pastor in New York, and has been a guest in our church there. This low-priced ebook will be an amazing resource to you.
Dr. Frank Seekins is one of the leading authorities on Hebrew word pictures alive today. He did an amazing teaching about the Ten Commandments in word pictures, and this message “The Ten Realities” is in part the inspiration behind the series we are doing and the perspective which we are coming at this classic passage of scripture. “The Ten Realities” is the second teaching in this video, so to watch it you would either need to skip ahead, or first watch his teaching on honor.