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Catholic Culture Resources
Catholic Culture Resources

Catholic Dictionary

Find accurate definitions of over 5,000 Catholic terms and phrases (including abbreviations). Based on Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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The Ten Commandments as part of the Christian religion. Christ on several occasions confirmed the binding character of the Decalogue (Matthew 5:21-27; Mark 7:10, 10:19; John 7:19) and even made them more stringent. He deepened and supplemented them in the Sermon on the Mount, and summed up their obligations in the double precept of loving God and one's neighbor (Matthew 12:29-31).

From the beginning the Church considered the Ten Commandments a standard way of teaching the faithful. At the Council of Trent the theory was condemned that "the Ten Commandments do not pertain at all to Christians" (Denzinger 1569).

There are two arrangements of the Decalogue in use among Christians. The Catholic Church, along with certain Protestants, e.g., Lutherans, follow the Massoretic (traditional) text in combining the two prohibitions about false worship into one. The number ten is made up by dividing the precept against covetousness into the last two commandments.


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