Tautology and idiots with moral relativism

You know some of the things that make me laugh are people who try to match their baseless and pointless ideas (that they think are original) against thousands of years of scholarship and study, and it underscores a specific problem with people: People are stupid and they don’t know it. Let me give you an example.

Someone decided the 6th commandment (for those who didn’t go to Sunday School: “Thou shalt not kill” -KJV) doesn’t mean “thou shalt do no murder” from the original Hebrew. Translations have been putting this underscored prohibited taking of life for thousands of years as murder. Otherwise there would be punishment for self-defense (something even Jesus talked about) and accidental death. But no, people don’t buy that. Here is the Hebrew:


The Jewish sages note that the word “ratsakh” applies only to illegal killing (e.g., premeditated murder or manslaughter) — and is never used in the administration of justice or for killing in war. Hence the KJV translation as “thou shalt not kill” is too broad.
Since man is made in the image of God, his life is infinitely precious — only God Himself has the right to give and take life. In the Mishnah it is written, “Why was only one man (i.e., Adam) created by God? — to teach that whoever takes a single life destroys thereby a whole world.”
But murder can be figurative as well as literal. The Talmud notes that shaming another publicly is like murder, since the shame causes the blood to leave the face. Moreover, gossip or slander are considered murderous to the dignity of man. ThePirkei Avot(Ethics of the Fathers) states, “The evil tongue slays three persons: the utterer of the evil, the listener, and the one spoken about…” The Lord Jesus also linked the ideas of our words and attitudes with murder (see Matt. 15:19).


This is just one example of where this is defined. And if you add the rest of the Torah’s teachings on the subject (and Jesus if you’re a Christian) and you see specifically, without vague wriggle room, what God thinks of the 6th commandment.

People think “do no murder” is too vague and too obvious for it to be a commandment. Because they cannot accept absolutes. If they don’t want to accept them, fine. That doesn’t make you right, or smarter than many generations of Jewish/Hebrew scholars who actually speak Hebrew and know far more than you or I about historical context, subtleties of the language (Hebrew is a very specific language. Perhaps that’s why God chose it for his Old Testament.)

So before you decide you’ve got some amazing insight into what the 6th commandment is or is not, be sure you’ve studied as much as the Hebrews did. Until you do, it’s just a guess.

Addendum (1/4/16): In terms of scholarly input, there can be differences of opinion about what Hebrew scholars may say (and they may disagree on certain points, as well as nuances in their language), but you can, with context, realize what the 6th commandment means. If you can’t, you haven’t read the Old Testament.