America and the Ten Commandments

StoneOxford University Press blog is running an excerpt from Jenna Weissman Joselit‘s new book Set in Stone: America’s Embrace of the Ten Commandments.

Here is a taste:

Although we are told that Moses received the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai, their presence has always been particularly strong in America. Regardless of who invokes them and for what purpose, the Ten Commandments have proved to be incredibly versatile and enduring in our cultural idiom. Below you’ll find ten moments in American history where the Decalogue has made its presence felt.

1. In June 1860, a man in Ohio named David Wyrick found an oddly shaped stone in one of the many Native American burial sites in the area which had indecipherable markings on it. He claimed to have found one of the stone tablets that God had bestowed upon Moses. Largely ridiculed at first, he then discovered another stone, shaped like the top of a church window which was covered in what was later confirmed as a variant of Hebrew script. When brought to experts the script did indeed feature a form of the Ten Commandments, abbreviated, but still the basic text. Was it authentic or an elaborate hoax? You can go to the Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum in Coschocton, Ohio to see the stones for yourself.

2. In 1897, Alabama Senator John Tyler Morgan proposed that all immigrants be given a test to display mastery of the Ten Commandments in order to gain American citizenship. He claimed that it was not a religious test but rather a “test that goes to the constitution of society.”

3. In 1905, the Congregation Sherith Israel in San Francisco revealed the stain glass window of its newly constructed synagogue. At first glance, the window seemed to depict a traditional scene of Moses descending from Mount Sinai with the stone tablets in his hand. Closer examination, however, revealed that the mountain in the background was not Mount Sinai, nor were the flora and fauna that of Israel. Rather, El Capitan of the Yosemite Valley loomed in the background, complete with the plant and animal life of central California, refiguring the Golden State as the Promised Land.

Read the entire post here.

One thought on “America and the Ten Commandments

  1. People who look at the 10 commandments only will miss a lot. People who take Christ’s name not doing what Jesus would do will take Christ’s name in vain. Swearing in the bible was an oath. People don’t do that kind of oath that God did not want peoiple to say.
    Colossians 2:16 – Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in
    respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:

    Romans 13:10-14: 10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

    Colossians 3:9-11:9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man and his deeds.

    Philippians 2:12: 12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

    Galatians 6:15:For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.

    Hebrews 12:15 “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;”

    Galatians 6:2-5: 2 Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.3 For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.4 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. 5 For every man shall bear his own burden.

    Jeremiah 23:36 | And the burden of the LORD shall ye mention no more: for every man’s word shall be his burden; for ye have perverted the words of the living God.

    Matthew 6:12: 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
    Jesus will forgive us the debt of eternal soul death when we forgive the debt that another cannot pay. It is a humble selfless thing to do showing mercy.

    Romans 12:18“If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.”

    Malachi 4:6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse. THE END OF THE PROPHETS.

    Philippians 4:8: 8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

    Romans 12:2121 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

    Matthew 5:7“Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.”

    Matthew 16:25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.

    James 3:10Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.

    Romans 14:10. But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

    Romans 2:1“Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.”

    1 Thessalonians 4:11 and that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you.

    Philippians 2:3 “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.”

    ◄ James 3:10 ►Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
    .
    Proverbs 27:2: 2 Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips.

    KJV Cambridge editon 1611 study bible. Old Scofield bible study bible. The Sword study bible or the KJV 1900.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s