• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Explain the relevance of the Decalogue for issues in Christian morality

Extracts from this document...


Transfer-Encoding: chunked ´╗┐Explain the relevance of the Decalogue for issues in Christian morality (35) The Decalogue is the basis for pure Christian ethics and is maintained to this day. The term Decalogue refers to the Ten Commandments that are found in Exodus, when they were presented to Moses as a sign of God?s covenant with the people of Israel. Many of our modern state laws are influenced by the moral code of the Old Testament. In the words of Dane, they ?in some respects form a charter of fundamental human rights.? In examining their relevance, a good place to start would be their Old Testament origin. For the Old Testament the idea of ethics is tied up with the idea of a covenant. A covenant is not in the Old Testament a bargain, an agreement, a treaty between two people, but between God and Israel. The whole point of the covenant is that in it the whole initiative is with God. ...read more.


The Decalogue provides a way of understanding what is right and wrong as well as being an eternal guide to decision making. Some laws in the Pentateuch are casuistic in nature ? state the rule and the equivalent punishment. (?If you?then??) Contrastingly, the Ten Commandments are apodictic ? ?You shall not?? It was not even considered that they would be broken. They are regarded as moral absolutes and are therefore still considered by Christians to be universal laws. Moving on to some of the specific commandments, the first four commandments are directly related to God. The very first is to have no other gods asides from Yaweh. It is assumed that if someone sincerely follows the first commandment the rest will fall into place naturally, motivated by a love for God. TD Alexander wrote, ?Sole allegiance to the Lord lies at the heart of the covenant relationship.? The second is, ?You shall not make for yourself an idol?You shall not bow down to them or worship them.? This was also to set them apart from other nations. ...read more.


It is worth noting that the Hebrew word for kill is, ?ratsach,? which only applies to killing of innocents ? not killing in war or other legitimate circumstances. The command against adultery is also particularly relevant to a modern Christian living in a sexually promiscuous culture. The Decalogue promotes the importance of marriage and the seriousness of this commandment is stated in Leviticus 20:10: ?If a man commits adultery with another man's wife--with the wife of his neighbour--both the adulterer and the adulteress are to be put to death.? The final commands, such as, ?You shall not covet,? are concerned with the inner feelings or thoughts which could lead to actions which are already forbidden by the previous commandments, like adultery or theft. In terms of morality this suggests that our internal thoughts or desires are as important as our actions. Finally, although the Decalogue is still relevant for Christian morality, the New Testament takes precedence. Jesus reinforced most of the Decalogue, but he added that to love God and to love others were the crux of morality. Perhaps the Decalogue would be more relevant to a Jewish believer than a Christian. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Christianity section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Christianity essays

  1. Outline the arguments for the dependency of morality and religion

    One cannot achieve a true state of morality in this life Kant argued and so there most be one were one can achieve as Kant put it a Summum Bonum. Therefore God must exist as God is not something that we only want, but something that must exist for us so that we can have a higher sense of goodness.

  2. Outline and explain the issues included in uncovering the historical Patrick (30 Marks)

    If this is correct, there was a small roman settlement in Northamptonshire. The name of this settlement was then taken and given to a place outside Daventry. However, this suggestion fails to meet one of the most important of the criteria- this area would not be very accessible to Irish raiders, as it is in the midlands.

  1. Why are the I AM sayings so controversial? Exodus 3: ...

    Marsh explains the "I am the light of the world" saying when he said, "Jesus rather than the candlesticks of Judaism, is the light and the light of the world".

  2. For a Christian euthanasia can never be a good death. Discuss

    If a terminally ill person is suffering in pain and discomfort, and they want to end their life to stop the suffering, then it would be more loving for the family, the doctor and the person to agree on the assisted suicide to take place.

  1. Christian Morality

    good Christian and to be a good Christian you should follow this set of rules.

  2. The Status of Women In the New Testament.

    And it was ''Finally...the women who, drawing close to the dramatic events of his crucifixion and death, when 'all the disciples deserted him and fled.'(Matthew 26:56)

  1. Christianization throughout History. I wanted to find out the true origins of the ...

    In his rule he made the people rebel against God and join in his own mystery religion, in which he figured prominently. When Nimrod eventually died, his mystery religion continued on. His wife Queen Semiramis saw to that. Once he was dead, she deified him as the Sun-god.

  2. Explain how the Ten Commandments inform Christian about duties to God and neighbour.

    Following this, we have the second commandment, ?You shall not make for yourself an idol.? As mentioned briefly earlier, God demands the need for his people to be monotheistic, which is worshipping one God alone. It is this that Huesman comments ?distinguishes Israel from her neighbours.? We are told of

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work