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Discussion 1 to the 7th Commandment
The Seventh Commandment

by David Ljung Madison

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I was reading "The 10 Commandments as a Basis for Morality?" (an excellent article) and have one nitpick on the 7th commandment essay.

Most definitions of "adultery" *do* include a component of unfaithfulness or infidelity. Hence, the "open marriage" example you raise would arguably *not* be "adultery".

Also, you have an interesting point about whether the meaning of the law changes. Even so, this might weaken your argument since it's not entirely relevant and it can be disputed. I would bet that most Christians would claim that the law has not changed, even if society and language has - the intent of the law should be interpreted as "god" meant it in it's time.

Also, you might want to look at Easton's Bible Dictionary definition, it's still somewhat sexist, but doesn't quite support the claims you make of only women being adulterers.

And finally, using an open marriage as an example is unlikely to convince any but the most liberal-minded. If you aren't preaching to the choir, then you're trying to convince people that do believe in the 10 commandments, and most of them won't be swayed by the "morality" of an open marriage.

It might be more useful to take the tack of questioning the *importance* of the 7th commandment. Even if you believe adultery should never be committed (definitions and open-marriages aside), how important is this in terms of communicating a full moral message? And how important is it in schools? Even so, I'd probably give it higher moral marks, like #8. (All 10 would still pull in an "F")

Anyway, great site, just thought I'd throw some debate your way.