The Ninth Commandment – Q&A #1

The Ninth Commandment
“Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.”

Question: What does “bear false witness” mean?

Answer: Let us take this one word at a time. The verb bear means to move or carry
something from one place to another, or to give out something. False is the opposite
of “true,” and is something that is not real, or right, or is based on a lie. Witness means
to tell what you know about a person or an event. So, to “bear false witness” means to spread, or tell, lies about someone or something.

When this commandment was originally given to the Hebrew people, it was mainly a rule to prohibit telling a lie in a court of law. However, the spirit of this commandment would forbid any kind of lying. Mary Baker Eddy writes:

“‘Thou shalt not bear false witness;’ that is, thou shalt not utter a lie, either mentally or audibly, nor cause it to be thought. Obedience to these commandments is indispensable to health, happiness, and length of days.” (Mis. 67)

The Bible also tells us what God thinks of lying:

“These six things doth the Lord hate; yea, seven are an abomination unto him: a proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief. A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord
among brethren.”
(Proverbs 6)

Practice: If you are tempted today to tell a lie about someone in order to get them in trouble, now is the time to stop that urge. You will only hurt yourself. Are you tempted to say something bad about yourself? Zip your lips!

* * *
(Excerpted from “First Lessons in Christian Science, Volume One: The Ten Commandments”
Copyright 2001)

To read more about this book and blog, please see the “About” page (use link at top of this page). To receive these weekday posts via email, locate the “Follow” button and sign up. You can also go to the “Contact Me” page and send a request to sign up and I’ll send an invitation with a link to join.

Go to the “Ten Commandments” page (use link at top of page), to read previous posts, plus introductory and background material to help in teaching the lessons.

To print out the image below, which is from the original book, click on the image and save to your computer. To read explanation on how to use these “clip and carry” lessons, see the “About” page.

False witness - #1


Leave a Reply

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

You are commenting using your 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