Did the Catholic Church change the Second Commandment?

On my YouTube channel, there is an obscene amount of rabid anti-Catholicism and of other religions foaming at the mouth over what they accuse Catholics of believing. All bark and little bite, yet they will yell, scream, insult, argue, degrade and condemn Catholics on a wide variety of gripes that they have including the Catholic Church supposedly changing the Second Commandment.

Unfortunately, many of these people are ex-Catholics who knew little to nothing about their religion before they left. They never researched their religion until after they bailed. Therefore, they most often do not understand the Bible and have a far smaller knowledge of Catholicism, it’s beliefs and practices, and its history. On this blog, we will be dismantling many of their false claims and misunderstandings. Now, on to the Second Commandment.

Catholics changed the Second Commandment!!!

In the comment section of multiple videos on my YouTube channel, anti-Catholics rant about the Catholic Church changing the 10 commandments. In their mind, this is proof positive that the Catholic Church is evil. How dare they change the commandments of God. The audacity!

The First Commandment is “Thou shalt not worship any false gods.” The Second Commandment is, “Thou shalt not make for yourself any idol, nor bow down to it or worship it.” However, the Catholics have removed that commandment, so they say, making it read instead: “Thou shalt not take the Lord’s name in vain.” They also split up commandment 10 into two different commandments regarding coveting.

Is this true? What is the real story? Did Catholics change the Second Commandment to justify their idol worship? No. Of course not! This is simply ignorance of the Bible and of history.

In the Bible, there are two different lists of the 10 Commandments, one in Exodus and one in Deuteronomy. And the two lists differ from each other slightly. Catholics have always used the list of commandments found in Deuteronomy whereas Protestants have traditionally utilized the list found in Exodus.

Deuteronomy treats the directive, “Thou shalt not make for yourself any idol, nor bow down to it or worship it” as part of the First Commandment. The First Commandment is “Don’t have any false gods.” So naturally, this serves as part of that commandment. If you only worship the true God, you will not create false idols or worship them.

So, it’s not that the Catholic Church took out the Second Commandment, it is just a part of the First Commandment which is about worshipping the true God and not false ones. Likewise, Deuteronomy talks about two different types of coveting: coveting your neighbors wife and coveting your neighbors goods. It splits them up. So, it is not the Catholic Church who did this but the Bible.

In the book of Exodus, Scripture treats coveting as one commandment: “Thou shalt not covet,” and it adds , “Thou shalt not make for yourself any idol, nor bow down to it or worship it” as the Second Commandment. So it splits up the First Commandment into two commandments, probably to reinforce the fact that in the Book of Exodus, the Israelites made and worshipped a golden calf, a false God. This was right after pledging allegiance to God. So, the Bible notes the differences.

St. Augustine in the 400s parsed out the list that Catholics use today. It is the list Catholics have always used. This list was used by Christians for more than a thousand years before Protestants came to use their own list from Exodus. So, if anything, it was the Protestants who, over a thousand years later, changed the list of commandments that Christians had traditionally used. Thus, the Catholic Church did not take out the Second Commandment.

If you have any questions or thoughts, feel free to add your comment down below. Also feel free to visit my YouTube channel here to learn more about the Catholic faith and what Catholics really believe.

Thanks so much for reading. Make sure to see below for many great resources to learn the Catholic faith, whether you are a Catholic or a non-Catholic.

RESOURCES:

(** = personally recommended for this subject)

  1. ** The Real Story of Catholic History: Answering Twenty Centuries of Anti-Catholic Myths – https://goo.gl/TqqZ4y
  2. ** “Catholicism and Fundamentalism: Attacks on “Romanism” by “Bible Christians.” (A classic and must read). – https://goo.gl/fNxXuB
  3. “The Catholic Verses: 95 Biblical Verses that Confound Protestants “ by Dave Armstrong. https://amzn.to/2oCeZ5Q
  4. ** “Pope Fiction: Answers to 30 Myths & Misconceptions About the Papacy” by Patrick Madrid. https://amzn.to/2BWbPn1
  5. “Seven Lies about Catholic History: infamous myths about the church’s past and how to answer them” by Diane Moczar. https://amzn.to/2wIlcRt
  6. ** What Catholics Really Believe – https://www.amazon.com/What-Catholics-Really-Believe-Misconceptions/dp/0898705533/ref=sr_1_2?crid=2F7E94M2M0833&keywords=what+catholics+really+believe&qid=1557859371&s=gateway&sprefix=what+catholics+%2Caps%2C132&sr=8-2
  7. “Handbook of Catholic Apologetics” by Peter Krett, Ronald K. Tacelli. https://amzn.to/2NVzkkR
  8. “A biblical defense of Catholicism” by Dave Armstrong. https://amzn.to/2Q6XI1x
  9. ** “If Protestantism is True,” by Devin Rose . https://amzn.to/2Q46vkz
  10. Nuts & Bolts: a practical guide for explaining and defending the Catholic faith” by Tim Staples. https://amzn.to/2LSR5wk
  11. ** The Case for Catholicism – Answers to classic and contemporary objections. (This is the most up-to-date, comprehensive, and thorough defense of the Catholic Church against Protestant objections in print). – https://goo.gl/RwtpWy
  12. Rome Sweet Home (A militant anti-Catholic who thought Catholics were going to hell, and now he’s one of the biggest Catholic speakers in the world! A Catholic classic!) – https://goo.gl/h1Fqs1
  13. ** CD SET: 5 CDS: Catholic Tim Staples Debate vs. Protestant Steve Gregg. It’s a must listen to debate for any Catholic serious about defending the faith or learning more. https://goo.gl/ntJZj1





About Bryan Mercier

Bryan Mercier is a professional Catholic speaker, retreat leader, author, YouTuber, and a Catholic apologist who has been teaching and preaching for almost two decades. He has also been aired on TV and radio in different states, including Relevant Radio, Ave Maria Radio, Sirius XM Satellite, and EWTN. He is the founder of "Catholic Truth," a non-profit dedicated to the New Evangelization and helping Catholics to know, love, and live their faith with purpose and passion each day!
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