Date:         Thu, 27 Apr 1995 10:38:30 +0100
Sender:       Christian explanation of the Scriptures to Israel
From:         Teus Benschop 
Subject:      Catechism, 14
  Q: Which is the ninth commandment?
  A: The ninth commandment is,  "Thou shalt not bear false witness  against
  thy neighbour".
  This involves, in plain language, you shall not lie.
     In  the previous commandments,  the Lord has  cared for the  life, the
  chastity and the outward goods of the man. But now--because "a  good name
  is  rather to  be chosen  than  great riches,"  (Proverbs 22:1)  and also
  "better than precious ointment, (Ecclesiastes 7:1)--He cares for our good
  name,  that it may  be preserved.  And, having forbidden  in the previous
  commandments, that we  stick out our hands  to harm our neighbour  in his
  life or goods, and that we not defile the people with uncleanness, He now
  forbids, that we  not defile our  neighbour with the tongue.  That thing,
  which, though little, is like a fire, yes, a world of iniquity, an unruly
  evil, full of  deadly poison, James 3:6,8.  As in all  commandments, some
  things are forbidden, and some are required.
  Q: What is required in the ninth commandment?
  A: The ninth commandment requireth the maintaining and promoting of truth
  between man  and  man, and  of our  own  and our  neighbour's good  name,
  especially in witness-bearing.
  What does  this commandment require?  First, the maintaining  of truth in
  the world. We have to speak the truth and to suppress lies. We have to be
  true, and upright, and to suppress the hypocrisy. "Speak ye every man the
  truth to his neighbour." (Zechariah 8:16) Besides  maintaining the truth,
  we  also must promote  it. This is  more difficult. Where  the truth lies
  under,  we must  help it, and  bring it  to the light.  When we  see some
  falsehood, and  it is  in  our power  to correct  it, and  we do  nothing
  against it, we sin. Not through our deeds, but through our negligence. We
  ought to promote truth. This requires work, not sloth.
     Besides maintaining truth, and promoting it, we also must maintain and
  promote the good name of ourselves and the  other people. We may not bear
  false witness  against ourselves. That means, we may not give offense. We
  also must avoid the appearance of evil. When we do something that is good
  in itself,  but that  can give offense  to others,  we must  refrain from
  that, lest we bear false  witness against ourselves. "Demetrius hath good
  report of all men, and of the truth itself: yea, and we also bear record;
  and ye  know  that our  record is  true." (3  John 1:12)  Likewise is  it
  forbidden to  gossip about others,  and to listen  to such gossips.  And,
  because  we must also promote  the good name  of others, when  we come in
  company  with others,  and some  are  speaking evil  of  people, we  must
  suppress it, saying that they sin against the ninth  commandment. When we
  let it go, we sin, for we did not promote the good name of our neighbour.
     Especially in  witness-bearing, we  ought to speak  the truth.  In the
  court  of justice, especially there,  lies are forbidden. Wherefore often
  the witness must  swear, that  he speaks the  truth. "A faithful  witness
  will not lie: but a false witness will utter lies." (Proverbs 14:5)
  Q: What is forbidden in the ninth commandment?
  A: The ninth commandment  forbiddeth whatsoever is prejudicial  to truth,
  or injurious to our own or our neighbour's good name.
  It is forbidden  to use deceit  with our tongues; to  have the poison  of
  asps under our lips; to have our mouth full of cursing and bitterness; to
  be unfaithful in our speaking; to flatter with our tongue; to  be full of
  hypocrisy; to be a liar; to speak out proud  things; to rule the world by
  a deceiving tongue; to make our tongue a  sharp sword, or like spears and
  arrows, shooting on  the people; to prepare  lies at night, and  to speak
  them our by  day; to walk with slanders; to  speak falsely of peace where
  is not; to make our tongue like a fire, putting all  around us in flames;
  to have sharpened our tongues  like a serpent; to have our mouth  full of
  deceit, fraud, mischief and vanity;  to love cursing and gossiping. These
  things,  and much  more, like our  depraved nature  can bring  forth, are
     Taking up reproach against our  neighbour is forbidden. We, too often,
  listen to  such  things. We  like it  to  read scandalous  things in  the
  newspapers,   magazines,  and  where  not.  These  things  conflict  with
  sincerity, and ought not to be so, reader.
     Chr-Exp, a Christian explanation of the Tanach and the New Testament
              Editor: Teus Benschop  -
                      No copyrights on this publication
            Institution Practical Bible-education, the Netherlands
     End of Catechism, 14

file: /pub./resources/text/ipb-e/cate: cat-014.txt