How Many Commandments Are In The Bible


The Bible is an important book for many and is a subject of much interest and frequent study. It consists of 66 books and is made up of two main sections, the Old Testament and New Testament. For centuries, people have been interested in understanding this huge and complex book better and they have often asked how to interpret it and apply it to their own lives. One important issue that is often discussed is how many commandments there are in the Bible. This is a subject that has been debated for a long time and is still of interest to many people today.


The answer to the question of how many commandments there are in the Bible is a bit more complicated than one might assume. Depending on who you ask and how you interpret the Bible, there can be different answers given. According to some, there are ten commandments and to others there are 613. And while it is true that the Bible contains 613 laws or commandments, the 10 that are mentioned most often are referred to as the Ten Commandments and they are found in the Book of Exodus, chapter 20.

Traditional answer

It is generally accepted that there are ten commandments in the Bible, with that number possibly reflecting the ten primary laws that God gave to Moses when he went to Mt. Sinai. These commandments are written in an order that is meant to indicate their importance, with the sixth and seventh commandment usually seen as being of lesser importance. The ten commandments clearly articulate God’s expectations for his people and his concern for the creation of a harmonious and just society. These commandments are, in order of importance, as follows:
I. Worship no other gods
II. Do not make idols
III. Do not take the Lord’s name in vain
IV. Keep the Sabbath day holy
V. Honor your father and mother
VI. Do not murder
VII. Do not commit adultery
VIII. Do not steal
IX. Do not bear false witness
X. Do not covet

In-Depth Explanation

The use of the 10 commandments is an ancient tradition, tracing its origin back to ancient Mesopotamia, where a similar code of law was used. In the Bible, God provided the commandments to Moses in Exodus, and within this same book, God provides subsequent instructions on how to interpret and implement these laws. As a result, today’s interpretation of the 10 commandments is seen as a representation of God’s perfect law, which is a moral and ethical ideal.
Throughout the Bible, the 10 commandments are referenced a number of times and are mentioned numerous times. For example, when Jesus is asked what the most important commandment is, he responds with “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37) which is considered to be the first commandment. Furthermore, in the sermon on the Mount, Jesus goes on to mention some of the other commandments in the Bible, reinforcing the teaching that these commandments are seen as important.

Unique Perspectives

While the traditional answer to the question is that there are ten commandments in the Bible, there are some who believe that there are more than ten. In particular, the Jewish faith follows 613 mitzvot (commandments) while maintaining that the Ten Commandments are at the heart of the faith and that, as with Jesus, they are the primary way to follow God’s will. The exact number of commandments may be subject to debate, but what is agreed on is that the 10 commandments listed in Exodus represent the will of God and therefore should be followed.

Modern Interpretation

With the advent of the modern age and increasingly complex societies, the question of how many commandments are in the Bible has taken on new importance. People have an opportunity to interpret the Bible in new and more nuanced ways, and as such, the way that the Ten Commandments are understood and applied to modern life can be seen to have changed significantly. In recent times, many people have sought to interpret the 10 commandments in ways that are more applicable to modern life, particularly in areas such as economic justice and gender equality. Furthermore, a number of Christian denominations have sought to reinterpret the commandments to highlight their relevance in modern society.


For many, the Ten Commandments are seen as an important framework for understanding and living the Christian life. Many churches, mosques, and other places of worship will often refer to the Ten Commandments and emphasize their importance. Furthermore, it is often used as a standard that can help people in their daily lives. As such, it is important to understand how these commandments apply to modern life, how they can help shape our decisions and how they are used in different communities.

Religious Scholars’ Perspective

Historically, religious scholars have sought to interpret the Ten Commandments in ways that make them applicable to their scripture and belief systems. For example, St. Augustine of Hippo wrote extensively on the Ten Commandments in the year 401, using a 4-fold analysis to interpret them. Specifically, his works outlined the ways in which the commandments could be seen as instructing redemption, restraint, reverence and respect. Similarly, medieval Islamic scholars developed a ten-level interpretation of the Ten Commandments, thus further reinforcing the idea that they were seen to be important and highly relevant to understand faith in general.


Ultimately, the answer to the question of how many commandments there are in the Bible is something that is still up for debate. While the traditional answer is that there are ten, some people believe that there are more. However, it is clear that the Ten Commandments are seen as important and carry a great deal of significance in the Bible. As such, it is valuable to understand how they are used, interpreted and applied to modern life, as this can have a significant impact on how we live our lives. It is also important to note how different faith traditions interpret and use the Ten Commandments in their own lives.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

Leave a Comment