The Ten Commandments; the Ethos of God, or the Edict of Man?

The Ten Commandments of YAHWEH, our God as known in the Old Testament:  (click on image for a full view) (click on image for a full view)



  • given by Him according to His infinite wisdom, to GUIDE humankind away from self-destruction;

    >>> or <<<


  • invented for the CONTROL of civilization?


Definitions from:

Ethos: The character or fundamental values of a person, people, culture, or movement.

Edict: A proclamation of law or other authoritative command.


1. People suggest all the time that Religion was developed by man (surreptitiously or not), specifically for the purpose of CONTROLLING the masses, as civilization developed.

2. Well, could not that same argument in some respect befit the purposes of our Creator?

a Does GOD not want to control us or, to be more congenial and respectful - to LEAD us and protect us (certainly enough so that we do not literally self-destruct through folly, vice, or scurrilous and dangerous temptation). Would one not hope that his (our) chosen faith would at LEAST have these values?

b Or, does GOD not want to control us at all, but rather just let us run free and see how well we do, given His Providence, our circumstance, and our use of our blessed wherewithal which He bestowed upon us at birth?

c Or, could there be a figurative middle-ground, where GOD grants and bestows upon us an absolute and never-ending FREE-AGENCY (i.e.: our own wills), tempering us with our own unique wherewithal’s through His never-ending Grace and vested interest?

i. Wills which, through the determined mastery of our OWN agency, must anneal our fledgling spirits, to obtain the rightful Dominion we have been given in order to progress and rise above every adversity and challenge.

ii. Our spirits then must grow in their Dominion, upon a firm foundation, and develop the Power necessary to bridle our tongues and subject our flesh to the desires and choices of our own bestowed wills, which were gifted unto us unselfishly.

iii. Sensibly then, our wills can then be diligently aligned and positioned as ONE with His.

iv. Or, our wills can be NOT thus prudently aligned, and will therefore be considered of a foreign variety unbeknownst to the Gatekeeper, of a spotted, incomplete, and unwanted design orientation, indeed not of God’s own, according to His Word.

v. Could this not be so, while He reserves HIS Sovereignty by giving us RULES to live by - for us each to ultimately be Judged with Mercy AND Justice?

· Judged with an optional advocate Saviour designate - One who can be enlisted as our Redeemer, according to His Word.

· Then rewarded, or sentenced, according to the RULES we have ALL been given?

3. Of course, if we choose NOT to obey or, to be more congenial - to OBSERVE (since we ARE free to choose the thoughts we entertain - and the acts we do) The Ten Commandments, would we not through this abandonment be foolish? Would we not also INEVITABLY self-destruct from such a foolish decision, given our resultant reliance upon wisdom less sagacious, indeed our resultant reliance upon wisdom certainly less than infinite?

4. Does not a faith which espouses the tenets of God, and His Son, and His Holy Ghost witness the Majesty, Fairness and Love of a Supreme Creator? Does it not witness a Heavenly Father who wants us to Believe in Him, Believe in His Son, Believe in His Holy Ghost, and Believe that we can return to Him, treasured as His children, even a peculiar children,Zealous of good works? Even so, as we veritably each develop as unique individuals, we have a place reserved in His Kingdom, which He has prepared for us, according to His Word, if we so incline ourselves.

5. Conversely, does not the assumed notion that these venerable Ten Commandments, recorded in ages past, were the concoction of man, likely invoked as a convenient necessity or a pompous ploy, which therefore because of this, brings about, through dissension, the terrible discord and warring amongst people, the unreasonable and unrelenting controversy amongst scholars, the troubles and plagues of man, and no doubt - abandonment - or change? (God Forbid.)

Which is best, and are there any other ways to live a life with purpose - and without torment, given the WITNESS, and knowledge of the singularity of a precious mortality, linked in sequence with the eternal nature of one’s spirit?


Relevant Scripture:

Luke 10: 25-28

¶ “And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.”


Concerning torment, and the way to rid oneself of it.

As taken from the Record of Alma 36: 12 – 26

“(12) But I was racked with eternal torment, for my soul was harrowed up to the greatest degree and racked with all my sins. (13) Yea, I did remember all my sins and iniquities, for which I was tormented with the pains of hell; yea, I saw that I had rebelled against my God, and that I had not kept his holy commandments. (14) Yea, and I had murdered many of his children, or rather led them away unto destruction; yea, and in fine so great had been my iniquities, that the very thought of coming into the presence of my God did rack my soul with inexpressible horror. (15) Oh, thought I, that I could be banished and become extinct both soul and body, that I might not be brought to stand in the presence of my God, to be judged of my deeds. (16) And now, for three days and for three nights was I racked, even with the pains of a damned soul.

(17) And it came to pass that as I was thus racked with torment, while I was harrowed up by the memory of my many sins, behold, I remembered also to have heard my father prophesy unto the people concerning the coming of one Jesus Christ, a Son of God, to atone for the sins of the world. (18) Now, as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me, who am in the gall of bitterness, and am encircled about by the everlasting chains of death. (19) And now, behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more.

(20) And oh, what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain! (21) Yea, I say unto you, my son, that there could be nothing so exquisite and so bitter as were my pains. Yea, and again I say unto you, my son, that on the other hand, there can be nothing so exquisite and sweet as was my joy. (22) Yea, methought I saw, even as our father Lehi saw, God sitting upon his throne, surrounded with numberless concourses of angels, in the attitude of singing and praising their God; yea, and my soul did long to be there. (23) But behold, my limbs did receive their strength again, and I stood upon my feet, and did manifest unto the people that I had been born of God.

(24) Yea, and from that time even until now, I have labored without ceasing, that I might bring souls unto repentance; that I might bring them to taste of the exceeding joy of which I did taste; that they might also be born of God, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. (25) Yea, and now behold, O my son, the Lord doth give me exceedingly great joy in the fruit of my labors; (26) For because of the word which he has imparted unto me, behold, many have been born of God, and have tasted as I have tasted, and have seen eye to eye as I have seen; therefore they do know of these things of which I have spoken, as I do know; and the knowledge which I have is of God.”


A law given, and a punishment affixed

Alma 42:22

"But there is a law given, and a punishment affixed, and a repentance granted; which repentance, mercy claimeth; otherwise, justice claimeth the creature and executeth the law, and the law inflicteth the punishment; if not so, the works of justice would be destroyed, and God would cease to be God."

Alma 42:23

"But God ceaseth not to be God, and mercy claimeth the penitent, and mercy cometh because of the atonement; and the atonement bringeth to pass the resurrection of the dead; and the resurrection of the dead bringeth back men into the presence of God; and thus they are restored into his presence, to be judged according to their works, according to the law and justice."

Alma 42:24

"For behold, justice exerciseth all his demands, and also mercy claimeth all which is her own; and thus, none but the truly penitent are saved."

Doctrine and Covenants 88:40

"For intelligence cleaveth unto intelligence; wisdom receiveth wisdom; truth embraceth truth; virtue loveth virtue; light cleaveth unto light; mercy hath compassion on mercy and claimeth her own; justice continueth its course and claimeth its own; judgment goeth before the face of him who sitteth upon the throne and governeth and executeth all things."

Bible Dictionary; Jehovah

The covenant or proper name of the God of Israel. It denotes the “Unchangeable One,” “the eternal I AM” (Ex. 6: 3; Ps. 83: 18; Isa. 12: 2; Isa. 26: 4). The original pronunciation of this name has possibly been lost, as the Jews, in reading, never mentioned it, but substituted one of the other names of God, usually Adonai. Probably it was pronounced Jahveh, or Yahveh. In the KJV, the Jewish custom has been followed, and the name is generally denoted by LORD or GOD, printed in small capitals.

Comments 16 comments

RevLady profile image

RevLady 6 years ago from Lantana, Florida

Hi TD,

In answer to the question, the ethos of God is preferred. For me, God's way is always best.

Great hub and I appreciated the edict - ethos -comparison.

Many blessings,

Forever His,

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

Great hub Timothy. Coming soon- THE SECOND TEN COMMANDMENTS! God didn't want to confuse those folks who had just invented fire. But He'll get back to us! Great hub!

Timothy Donnelly profile image

Timothy Donnelly 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Thank you RevLady for visiting my Hubs. You are always so gracious in your comments. Let us each continue and humbly strive to adopt the ethos of God as our own as well, as we become One with Him. Good Tidings indeed.

Timothy Donnelly profile image

Timothy Donnelly 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Hi Micky, thanks for keeping me in your sights. BTW, I believe someone Real Great has us also in His sights - and I might add, I believe He has already come back to fulfill some Biblical prophesy, as has been promised; but ONLY until ALL true prophesies have been fulfilled - AND His Father directs Him to, will He then finally return to establish His reign, according to His Word.

As far as confusion goes my friend, I am no expert but; I can say with conviction that sometimes Another Witness of Jesus Christ helps - something like Coles Notes, for lack of a better and more reverent example. Hey, how about this: Another witness is like having a SPARE tire - both of the same make! That is an example you can dig! Good Tidings Micky - nothing but Good Tidings!

poetlorraine 6 years ago

enjoyed the hub nice to see god's name referred to.,

Timothy Donnelly profile image

Timothy Donnelly 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Thanks poetlorraine, nice to have you stopping over, and I'm glad you enjoyed reading this hub about the ethos of God.

Karen Russell profile image

Karen Russell 6 years ago


Timothy Donnelly profile image

Timothy Donnelly 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Thank you Karen, I appreciate your comment and interest. BTW, sorry for the delay in responding; I have just changed cities in Ontario, and my computer mother board failed just before my move.

Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 6 years ago from Great Britain

Fantastic hub. Makes sense to me that we have free-will. God didn´t make us as robots., but He did give us the bible like a book of instructions for a happy life.

Amazed to see such a good reference to the name Jehovah. Also makes sense to me. Everyone else has a proper name, why not God?.

Timothy Donnelly profile image

Timothy Donnelly 6 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Hi Dim! Nice to see you over here! Thanks for your kind and astute comments, I will always appreciate your perspective.

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago

God bless you Timothy!

Timothy Donnelly profile image

Timothy Donnelly 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Thanks again for stopping by Micky! I've been off-line because of circumstance lately; I've also been really busy living life (spinning my wheels at times) -- but the kind of drugery which I lead sometimes can also have its own silver lining too, I think. See Ya Around!

angie ashbourne profile image

angie ashbourne 5 years ago

Hi! Timothy Good Hub! I like the Ten Commandments Summarized.

Timothy Donnelly profile image

Timothy Donnelly 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Thanks Angie. Great to have you over in my Hubbersphere anytime!

Maralexa profile image

Maralexa 5 years ago from Vancouver, Canada and San Jose del Cabo, Mexico

Hi Timothy. This was such an interesting hub that I just have to comment. Your question of whether the 10 Commandments are from God or man is very intriguing. And your development of your arguments that lead to deeper questions, are fascinating.

My questions and comments are very sincere. I have trouble clearly understanding you in some areas and so have made these comments:

1. Religion is the organization of people around a set of beliefs in a supreme being. Many religions have become so full of rules and traditions that the religion no longer resembles the initial tenets of the belief. So some people may be quite right that religions were developed to include rules made to control the masses. And, frankly, I doubt this happened surreptitiously.

2. If we accept that God was (would be) willing to guide us by subterfuge instead of divinely, then we suggest he is not pure love and truth.

3. God does not “want to control us” . He wants us to choose and commit to following him. To learn about him and thereby, know how to lead our lives according to the 10 Commandments or the 1 Commandment stated by Jesus.

4. God tempers us (just as gold is tempered/refined to make it pure) through trials and afflictions, in order for us to learn Patience, and patience strengthens us and shows us our true Character, which in turn shows us that not only have we prevailed through trials but that our Hope is certain, we can have faith in our hope and certainty in God’s love and never ending care.

5. We will not be judged according to God’s “rules” and we will not be judged according to what we do, have done, or not done and will not do. We will not be judged and then sentenced “according to the rules we have been given”, we will be judged by the degree to which we have followed God on a day-by-day basis.

6. This will direct us to different areas of responsibility in heaven. Our sentence of heaven or hell is based on our Salvation by our belief that Jesus is the son of God and knowing that through him (his suffering and death for us) we are guaranteed a place in heaven. I believe that God gives everyone a chance to be redeemed. But those who choose to live through eternity on their own power, will be given the opportunity to do so. Without God. And that is hell.

7. I don’t think we “veritably” develop as “unique” individuals, so much as we inevitably develop as “uniquely His”, as opposed to those who do not choose to come to God.

Are we thinking along the same lines but just saying things a little differently? Or, have I misunderstood your excellent comments and questions?

Thank you. And I wish you continued success in your writing.

Timothy Donnelly profile image

Timothy Donnelly 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada Author

Maralexa, first of all, I would like to thank you for your tremendous comment, your gracious compliment, and your reasonable queries. Let me begin my reply with a general response by addressing your questions:

“Are we thinking along the same lines but just saying things a little differently? Or, have I misunderstood your excellent comments and questions?”

I shall then endeavour to qualify and elaborate (with references) on your points, but I not here, because it turned out to be over 3000 words.

In the interim, my general response must suffice.

Maralexa, let me compliment you on your EXCELLENT English comprehension skills; I do most certainly believe that we are thinking “along the same lines”, to a very large degree! If my Hub was not completely clear, it is due to my writing style and philosophising (which asks question of us all), not your conception of the ideas I put forth.

Thanks again Maralexa, and I wish you continued success in your writing as well.

Regards, Timothy.

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