The 10 Commandments, Beatitudes, and Works of Mercy

Essay by tribbleHigh School, 10th gradeA+, October 2007

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Out of the 613 commandments in the Old Testament, the Ten Commandments are the most well-known, obviously because they are so much more important than the others. Disobeying a commandment is a sin, but I think that some are worse than others. Many people say that all sins are equal; after all, killers and liars supposedly end up in the same place. But I think it’s easy to see that the Ten Commandments are more important to God than the others. Why else would He have made such a big deal out of them? Besides, I doubt that people would be denied God’s favor just because they didn’t keep kosher or something like that, which is one of those 600 or so commandments that weren’t in stone. There are still others who say that these ten are commandments, and the others are just good deeds. That still doesn’t work, because in the Torah, it’s the same word.

Another interesting thing about the Ten Commandments is how different religions divide them up. In the Torah, it’s not exactly clear where each commandment starts and ends. Some Reformed Jews divide them differently from Orthodox Jews, and in Catholicism it’s different from both ways. The Ten Commandments are important in my life, and I think everyone’s life. How would we know right and wrong without them?I think the Works of Mercy would be commandments, too. In our textbook, the word “must” is used when talking about them, not “should.” I guess it means that you “must” to really be Christian. They’re all very important. Most of them I, and probably many other people, did without knowing that they were called works of mercy.

The Beatitudes are also rules of a sort, even though their not saying right out that you have to do...