The Gift of the Law—Exodus 20

Here is the seventh in a series of Bible studies that present the Bible as being in the side of pacifism. In this essay, “The Gift of the Law,” I reflect on the Ten Commandments as an introduction to Old Testament law. I focus on the commandment, “thou shall not murder” and its implications for pacifism. I suggest that its relevance lay not so much in setting out an absolute command to be pacifists as in establishing that God is the author of life, not human beings, and that the significance of this understanding evolves eventually to lead to clarity about pacifism by the time of Jesus.

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