The third commandment: Lifting the Lord's name

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The original context and meaning of the Third Commandment within the Decalogue is debated among Old Testament scholars, with no firm consensus as to whether oath-taking, the use of God’s name for magic purposes or for proper worship, lies behind the prohibition. Key words that are used in a variety of ways in other contexts add to the uncertainty. Recognition that even within Scripture the Third Commandment has been improvised for new settings gives a freedom to explore its meaning and relevance for the Church in the world today. When God’s name is used by individuals, communities, or nations in support of any type of injustice, it is being used wrongfully. Equally, God’s name is honored by those who live and work for truth, peace, and justice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)467-477
Number of pages11
JournalReview and Expositor
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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