The intent of this book is to convey the meaning of the Ten
Commandments (a.k.a., the decalogue) to children, youth and adults.
Each chapter is divided into two parts: 1) Basic Meaning and
2) Further Meaning.
Basic meaning is just that - a clear and simple explanation
of the commandment. It is at the level that children will understand,
yet also provide a good introduction to the Further Meaning section
for youth and adults. The Further Meaning section goes into more
depth on each commandment. It is aimed at providing more insight
and historical context to the commandments in a straight-forward
manner that youth and adults can appreciate. There is a cartoon
for each part as well.
While I have no choice but to write from a Christian perspective
(looking back based on the teachings of Jesus), it is important
to understand the Ten Commandments in their original, Israelite
context (looking forward based on teachings of Moses). I make
a deliberate attempt to separate the two perspectives so that
Jewish and Christian readers will appreciate the commentary.
Perhaps one of the best opportunities to look at
two faith traditions through the eyes of one common story is
that of Joseph. The purpose of this analysis is to provide a
general comparison between the Joseph story from the book of
Genesis in the Hebrew Scriptures and the Koran (or Quran).
These stories were recorded several centuries apart
and yet they are strikingly similar accounts. The Joseph Parallel
section provides a study aid for examining the two texts side-by-side.
The accounts are kept in their original order and divided by
story element (pericope) to use in conjunction with this analysis
for verse references and exact textual reference. In creating
the parallel it became very clear that the overall plot and sequence
of events are almost identical. But a direct textual comparison
yields many significant differences.
Similarities and differences reveal aspects of
Judaism (and indirectly Christianity) and Islam that create opportunities
for increased understanding of these faith traditions and dialogue.
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