For centuries, every Bible used the phrase "thou shall not kill" as a commandment. Why did it SUDDENLY change from "kill" to "murder"?

To me, it appears as if Christians realised "thou shall not kill" was indefensible, so they moved the goalposts, but what do YOU think was the reason?

32 Answers

  • 4 months ago

    I think it was the people were not very intelligent and had a barbaric culture,killing for them was so normal, they never thought that to kill could be wrong. Never turn the other cheek, hit right back. Under these circumstances it must be changed to murder to give them a feeling for right and wrong. It is just like in gen 1.29 grains and fruit shall be your food, but who wants to know that? So the rules are changed, God is good even for killers and meat eaters. 

  • 4 months ago

    It turns out that the Hebrew word that was originally translated as "kill" in that commandment is usually reserved for murder. So it was just an attempt to bring the English versions of the Bible closer to the meaning of the Masoretic text.

  • 4 months ago

    You can Never say it was kill Not murder.. It is murder & if you read Torah it is always murder is bad, not execution or killing in self-defense....

  • 4 months ago

    Exodus 20:13 has an ancient Hebrew word that means 'murder'. It also includes killing, for when you murder someone, you do kill them. But you are wrong to claim 'every Bible used kill' (for centuries.) Young's Literal Translation was produced in 1862 and has 'murder' both there an in Romans 13:9 (which was written in koine Greek). Chi Girl has already explained why the Greek word means murder. Note that the verse in Romans is quoting from the verse in Exodus.

    Well, the Bible knows the difference, for God's law commanded putting to death (killing) murderers. That's another example in the Bible of murder including killing. But because there are certain situations where it is legal to kill another human, you cannot call every killing 'murder'. That's why the law was recently changed to allow human babies in the womb to be killed, without the consenting mothers being charged with murder. For centuries, abortion was called murder. Now it's called killing. I'm sure you understand more than you're letting on.

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  • 4 months ago

    WHY? Because it should have been 'murder' all along. Unless of course you believe that every time someone in the military kills someone in defense of themselves and their country they are breaking that commandment. Or if someone who shoots a man who is raping his child is breaking that commandment. Or if someone jumps out in front of your car on purpose and is killed. [and so on] To KILL someone and to MURDER someone are two different things.

  • 4 months ago

    That's the *English* Bible.  The word used is "φονεύσεις" which is translated "murder."  God sanctions some killings in the Old Testament; it's obvious that "murder" is what is forbidden.

    @ Jea -- You're making no sense.  Again.

    Source(s): Greek Orthodox Christian
  • 4 months ago

    The Ten commandments say "Thou shalt not murder" (Exodus 20) but the New Testament Romans 13:9 says, "Thou shalt not kill".

    The only reason we use the word murder, is because in war, when the army has to kill the enemy lest they take over our land and rape the women etc., murder is a better word because it doesn't relate to war, but relates to murder of the innocent unborn, murder from knifings in the street, murder from shootings etc.  It's not the same thing as killing in war, because men must protect the citizens of the land they live in.  However, there is absolutely no reason for anyone to murder anyone else, especially if you live in a land where there is no war raging.

  • AgProv
    Lv 6
    4 months ago

    Well, they've got to weasel it a bit. Otherwise burning people at the stake for heresy would have been breaking the commandment -  you have to be able to have exceptions, otherwise slaying the unbeleiver or burning heretics would have been a breach. Justifiable killing (think of the fact the USA still has the death sentence) needs an exemption clause. Maybe the religious right in the USA has this in mind when they change the wording slightly - lawyering an exception clause for people who will do a necessary job in Gilead!

  • yesmar
    Lv 7
    4 months ago

    I think you're exactly right.  The reason is "human nature".  People want to validate their violent tendencies, their right to defend themselves and their supposed right to exact vengeance.

    Source(s): Jesus follower
  • 4 months ago

    Muder and killing are not the same thing. Anyone with a functional braincell understands that murder is what was meant by the commandment.

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