Anonymous asked in Society & CultureReligion & Spirituality · 10 years ago

WEre the ten commandments plagarized?

Below you will find references to the dating of the ten commandments--and dating of the code of Ur-Nammu. Many Christians tell us our morality derived from the ten commandments--by inference that before then we must have been immoral. Clearly the dating of these two documents shows that the biblical ten commandments against robbery, murder, rape, and adultry were predated by over 600 years by earlier human codes. Note that the UR code came in the 21st century BC, while ten commandments came 13th century BC. Abraham came from UR, and would have been exposed to these laws and transmitting them to the hebrews. Doesn't this clearly indicate the hebrew authors simply plagarized existing human laws into their own religious dogma via a man exposed to them--abraham?

Biblical Ten Commandments

1 Kings 6:1 (King James Version)

1And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon's reign over Israel, in the month Zif, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD.

The date can be calculated based on a 961BC date for Solomons Temple, we then add the 480 years which arrives at 1441 BC for the Exodus. The 10 Commandments would have been received some time after that - probably in 1440 or later in 1441, depending on which month the Exodus began in. The verse below indicates it took 3 months to travel from Egypt to Sinai where the commandments were given to Moses.


The Code of Ur-Nammu is the oldest known tablet containing a law code surviving today. It was written in the Sumerian language circa 2100 BC-2050 BC . Although the preface directly credits the laws to king Ur-Nammu of Ur (2112-2095 BC), some historians think they should rather be ascribed to his son Shulgi.

The first copy of the code, in two fragments found at Nippur, was translated by Samuel Kramer in 1952; owing to its partial preservation, only the prologue and 5 of the laws were discernible[1]. Further tablets were found in Ur and translated in 1965, allowing some 40 of the 57 laws to be reconstructed.[2] Another copy found in Sippar contains slight variants.

Although it is known that earlier law-codes existed, such as the Code of Urukagina, this represents the earliest legal text that is extant. It predated the Code of Hammurabi by some three centuries.

The laws are arranged in casuistic form of if-(crime), then-(punishment) — a pattern to be followed in nearly all subsequent codes. For the oldest extant law-code known to history, it is considered remarkably advanced, because it institutes fines of monetary compensation for bodily damage, as opposed to the later lex talionis (‘eye for an eye’) principle of Babylonian law; however, murder, robbery, adultery and rape were capital offenses.


If you took out the commandments that were common as one religous poster noted to previous cultures--what you'd be left with is the "one commandment" alll the rest are to be found in writings from earlierr cultures. I will admit keeping the sabbath special is a unique hebrew affectation.

11 Answers

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago
    Favourite answer

    Yes. Along with the Sumerian tablets, other sources of the 10 Commandments also came from Pagan documents written by the Hittites & the Egyptians, then was plagiarized and added to by ancient Hebrew writers.

    Hittites: The original texts appear to be similar to "treaties imposed by Hittite kings on their vassals in the 14th-13th centuries" BCE. 6,7 The Hittite documents and the Ten Commandments appear to be both divided into the same six sections: stating the name of the ruler, his status, benefits to the people, detailed description of their obligations, "Heaven and earth and various natural features... called to witness" the treaty, 6 and sanctions for non-compliance.

    Egyptians: Part of the Egyptian religion's Book of the Dead (a.k.a. the Papyrus of Ani) bears an amazing resemblance to the Ten Commandments. They involve prohibition of adultery, murder, theft, lying, cursing God, false witness, abandonment of parents. 8 Since the Book of the Dead predates the date attributed to the Jewish Exodus from Egypt, and since the Ten Commandments postdate the Exodus, it would appear that the Book was the source of the Decalogue rather than the opposite. Of course, the similarities between the two might have been coincidental. If an ethical person of any era and any religion were asked to compose a minimal set of moral behaviors, they might well come up with a similar selection of commands.

  • keagle
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    The Ten Commandments Of Dating

  • 4 years ago

    My cut and paste for your cut and paste: When Was the Exodus? Answer: Some believe the Exodus never took place because there is no physical or literary proof beyond the Bible. Others say all the proof that is needed is in the Bible. Archaeologists and historians tend to take a middle view and date the Exodus somewhere within the 3d and 2d millennium B.C. Most favor one of 3 basic time frames, 16th, 15th, or 13th century B.C. The main problem with dating the Exodus is that archaeological evidence and Biblical references do not line up. 16th and 15th century dates make the period of the Judges too long (300-400 years long), involve extensive interaction with kingdoms which only came into existence later, and make no mention of the heavy local influence the Egyptians had in the area of Syria and Palestine. However, some Biblical evidence supports the 15th century date, and the expulsion of the Hyksos favors the earlier date. The expulsion of the Hyksos evidence is important because it is the only historically recorded collective exodus from Egypt of people from Asia until the first millennium B.C. The 13th century date solves the problems of the earlier ones (the period of the Judges would not be too long, there is archaeological evidence of the kingdoms the Hebrews had extensive contact with, and the Egyptians were no longer a major force in the area) and is the date accepted by more archaeologists and historians than the others. With the 13th century dating of the Exodus, settlement of Canaan by the Israelites occurs in the 12th century B.C.

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    1) WEre the ten commandments plagarized?

    Not obviously. Naturally, some laws are common to *almost* all human societies - e.g. laws against theft and murder of one's fellow-citizens (also included in the 10 commandments). Certainly there are societies that do not have such laws, but they are by far the exception rather than the norm.

    On the other hand, the 10 Commandments includes laws *not* common to most societies or to any nearby contemporary societies: the law to honor the Sabbath, for example.

    Conclusion: I think what you are seeing here is merely a commonality among human societies - not a case of plagiarism. Look at most societies who were (or are) completely lacking in contact with the Middle East and you will find the *same* sort of laws against murder, theft, etc. - and in societies that do not have written language, these same laws are implemented orally and have been since any record (oral or written) has been kept.


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  • 10 years ago

    Despite the assertions of Christians to the contrary, Christianity is not unique, nor original. It is made up of bits and pieces of law established decades - sometimes centuries - before the supposed exodus of the Jews from Egypt.

    Many of these moral guidelines can be found in records from other regions of the globe hundreds of years before that area had any contact with Christianity, which undermines the Christian claim that morality stems from their god, but instead highlights that moral guidelines stem from the enforcing of ideas that promote the good of the tribe/society.

  • 10 years ago

    I do not believe in the ten commandments in any way or the bible or the christian god.

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    I saw some Christians questioning the scientific dating methods wrt dinosaur fossils. Shows how brain-washed they are.

  • 4 years ago

    This is an interesting question

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    Have to agree, the Babylonians/Egyptians came up with it first.

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    You wish...

    Some people, it seems, are obsessed with trying to oppose God

    and absolutely accommodating, complacent and compliant when

    it comes to entities that rail against Him.

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