The Ten Commandments could be summed up as God’s laws for man’s living in God’s world. While originally given to Israel at Mt. Sinai in preparation to enter the Promised Land, the applicability of the Ten Commandments extends beyond Israel and Canaan. The Ten Commandments represent God’s moral law for His people. While the applications of the laws might change over time, the laws themselves do not.
With an eye on the text and an eye on today’s world, Martin Murphy has written Brief Study of the Ten Commandments, which is a short exposition and application of the Ten Commandments (Theocentric Publishing Group, 2015). Trained at Reformed Theological Seminary, Murphy has spent his life teaching, preaching, and writing. He co-founded Theocentric Publishing Group with James Vickery where their goal is to publish Christian books centered on God.
This little book is an unashamed defense of the contemporary relevancy of the Ten Commandments. Having taught through and read several good books on the Ten Commandments myself, I will say that Murphy has done a good of presenting the essential nature of each commandment and offering reasonable applications (though not every reader will agree with all of them).
There are a few features of this book that are worth noting. First, it is grounded in the text. Murphy draws out the meaning of each commandment through exegesis of the text and and places them in their historical context. Second, each commandment is followed to the New Testament where it is reiterated and expanded on. This shows the continuity the Ten Commandments have for Christians today over against the rest of the commandments that were time-bound and fulfilled in Jesus. Third, Murphy concludes each chapter with solid contemporary applications. Some readers will feel that Murphy takes some of the application to far (I did in places) but these are few and far between and do not distract from the larger benefit of the book. Fourth, Murphy insight-fully draws on the connections between the commandments. For example, he points out the unified nature of the first four commandments: the first tells us who to worship, the second tells us how to worship, the third tell us the proper use of God’s name whom we worship, and the fourth tells us to remember to give God the Sabbath day as an opportunity for His people to worship God as a group. Finally, Murphy’s passion for Christian’s to live lives obedient to the Lord is on every page. Though he writes with an more traditional tone, there is love for the reader.
I recommend this book as a great little study on the Ten Commandments that deserves a broad reading.
I received this book for free from Theocentric Publishing Group for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”