Ten Commandments Overview

In my parish we recently took some time to go through the Ten Commandments in order to better understand God’s ordering of the world around us. There are many advantages to this practice, not only will it make for clearer heads for Christians as they interact with the world around them, but of course as the Law shows sin, they will themselves be better prepared for confession and absolution. It was a good opportunity to run through these basics once again.

The presentation included around 111 slides. I used many sources to put this together. CPH’s online catechism is helpful for copy/paste. Pr. Wolfmueller’s quick diagnostic is helpful. Pr. Korby’s list of confession questions is also a good help. The main content comes from Pr. Lincoln Winter’s “Teach These Things“, which is in my opinion one of the best catechesis curriculums out there for pastors to use. I supplemented that with J.M. Reu’s “Explanation of Martin Luther’s Small CatechismTogether with Four Supplements” and Johann Gerhard’s “On the Law

Each section involved discussion of the Commandment, Bible passages behind it or examples from it, the Large Catechism overview of it, virtues commended by it, examination based upon the command, how Jesus kept the command, and Bible Narratives to teach it.

Here is a PDF of the presentation. (33MB file)

I put this forward that others may benefit from it or use it to produce even better things.

6 thoughts on “Ten Commandments Overview

  1. Those wishing a deeper understanding of the Commandments as well as the entire Catechism would benefit from a current 15-part series on KFUO entitled the ‘Catechized Life.” Rev. Mark Bestul, the catechist for each lesson, brings an astonishingly fresh and understandable perspective to this in-depth study. Each excerpt first airs at 10:00 a.m. (Central Time) each Saturday. But, if you miss it, each podcast, including the most recent, is available On-Demand the following week. Go to KFUO. Click on “Study,” and then “Concord Matters.” Scroll down to find each excerpt. Have paper and pencil at-the-ready, as you’ll want to take notes to keep track of these awesome teachings.

  2. Was there something wrong with the Small Catechism with Explanations and the Large Catechism?

  3. Of course there is nothing wrong with the Small Catechism with Explanations and the Large Catechism, Timothy. But as presented on slide 10, “As the head of the family should teach them in a simple way to his household” is the most forgotten part of the catechism. So it is necessary to teach the catechism in larger group settings. And as much as I detest PowerPoint, it is a good medium for larger group/classroom settings.

    The latest edition of the (not so) Small Catechism (NSSC) is greatly expanded compared to the one I / we had in the late 60s. So much so that it would be practically impossible to memorize it. The one we were given is fairly easy to memorize, assuming catechesis takes place.

    But this requires that “the head of the family should teach them in a simple way.” This just does not happen. Some kids, I suppose, are expected to study this on their own, but more likely, nobody cares. Either way, it simply does not happen. Certainly not with the latest edition. There is a complete abdication of responsibility by parents/sponsors/teachers/Church.

    My opinion, the latest NSSC should be used as the parents ‘Teachers Manual’, while the children are to be catechized beyond the point of memorization of the older, smaller edition, and the Church, i.e., the voting men of the Parish, should absolutely insist upon this. To the point of communicant membership dependent upon a written examination? I do not know, but I am leaning that way.

    There is your Church Growth movement. First, stop the bleeding.

  4. FYI, here is a 1946 publication: https://www.ebay.com/itm/114187285137?hash=item1a9617b291:g:g8oAAOSwWPtelkga, which appears to accompany this 1941 SC: https://www.ebay.com/itm/373443242378?hash=item56f2f3a98a:g:GdoAAOSwYHFf5ZkK.

    I’ve never seen an Instructor’s Manual before. I’m a little strapped right now or I would make an offer on that IM.

    Not all that long ago one would see dozens of these 1941 SCs collecting dust on bookshelves at a Parish near you. Even more recently, one could find these for sale on eBay for pennies.

    Things were quite austere 1943-46, but our Lord used this austerity to provided for some efficiencies.

  5. Pastor Scheer,

    In the new catechism, I found it interesting that on page 113, when speaking about the 8th Commandment, it states that there may be times when not speaking the truth may be necessary. I found it unusual and I’ve never seen that before. It further says that it’s justified when it may prevent injustice or harm. Who decides when it’s justified? I think this could lead to a lot of issues. I was always told it was best to remain silent rather than to mislead someone or lie. I’d be interested in your position on this.

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