Re: What does it mean?

From: Ross A. Finlayson (
Date: Tue May 22 2001 - 20:17:00 MDT

scerir wrote:

> The third commandment.
> "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain"
> ["for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name
> in vain", Exodus 20:7]
> What does it mean? I cannot understand.
> Do not misuse the name of the Lord? Too simple, imo.
> The word "vain" is the Hebrew word "shav".
> It has a variety of translations, including emptiness, vanity, falsehood,
> nothingness, emptiness of speech, lying, and worthlessness.
> S.
> The Vatican says:
> Rejection of false oaths is a duty toward God. As Creator and Lord,
> God is the norm of all truth. Human speech is either in accord with
> or in opposition to God who is Truth itself. When it is truthful and legitimate,
> an oath highlights the relationship of human speech with God's truth.
> A false oath calls on God to be witness to a lie.
> In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus explained the second commandment:
> "You have heard that it was said to the men of old, 'You shall not swear
> falsely, but shall perform to the Lord what you have sworn.' But I say to you,
> Do not swear at all. . . . Let what you say be simply 'Yes' or 'No'; anything
> more than this comes from the evil one."Jesus teaches that every oath
> involves a reference to God and that God's presence and his truth must be
> honored in all speech. Discretion in calling upon God is allied with a respectful
> awareness of his presence, which all our assertions either witness to or mock.

Maybe it meant that it is a defined sin to represent oneself as God. That is in the
context where "taking the name of " is "assuming the guise of", and in the context of
an alternate to the more commonly understood meaning. Is it possible that that
translation is accurate? More regularly, it means to avoid cursing and swearing
false oaths, and to practice honesty, somewhat as explicated in your reference. Why
do you ask?

Considering as an example the Piss Christ, I think Jesus the Christ would think that
it was art, perhaps better art than some percentage of the iconography, where Jesus
the man is not available for comment. For example, the loving Jesus would be humble
and would exhibit love for those whose urine his icon floated within, and offer them
salvation. Then again, that cropo-Madonna is a knockoff of the Piss Christ.


Ross Andrew Finlayson
Finlayson Consulting
Ross at Tiki-Lounge:
"It's always one more."  - Internet multi-player computer game player

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