England's bishop of Gloucester discovered that more than half the clergymen in his diocese could not repeat the Ten Commandments, and 10 percent of them did not know where to find them in the Bible. But that was 450 years ago. Has the situation improved since then? Hardly--as a recent Sunday Times random survey of Anglican clergymen revealed.

Of the 200 clerics interviewed, only 34 percent could cite all Ten Commandments. Among the rest, one felt they were too negative, and another dismissed them as not being relevant to modern moral challenges.

Exodus 20:1-17

The Watchtower--December 1, 1997

Do you know the Ten Commandments or where to find them? They are recorded in Exodus, the second book of the Bible, the first 17 verses of chapter 20. Why not read them? Here is a simple way to group them. The first four relate to our worship of God, the fifth highlights family life, numbers six through nine concern our relationship with our fellowman, and the tenth is unique, causing us to search our own hearts, to check our motives. Here is a brief summary of how Christians might apply the principles.

First: Give our Creator exclusive devotion. Second: Do not use images in worship. Third: Always respect and dignify God's name. Fourth: Allow time to concentrate on spiritual matters, without distraction. Fifth: Children, respect your parents. Sixth: Do not murder. Seventh: Avoid adultery. Eighth: Do not steal. Ninth: Tell the truth. Tenth: Shun covetousness.

The Ten Commandments were part of the code of laws given to Moses. But the principles they embody are timeless. (Romans 6:14; Colossians 2:13, 14) For this reason, Jesus' followers quoted from and referred to the Ten Commandments. (Romans 13:8-10) How much happier--and safer--life would be today if all respected and lived by these divinely inspired principles!

The Watchtower--December 1, 1997

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