Breaking the Ten Commandments Discover the Deeper Meaning is a book in which the author, Eric Butterworth, has uncovered discernments concerning each of the commandments that takes the reader beyond the surface. Butterworth wrote this book originally in the 70s and it was re-released this year in paperback. I chose to read this book via ebook to review it. I honestly expected the book to be a dry read. I was completely taken aback by the honest appraisal of each commandment beyond the typical biblical discernment. Reading about each commandment was like the opening of a new flower – petal by petal, layer by layer.
I found myself going back to reread a section and then making a connection in applying it to my life. My pastor had linked the Sermon on the Mount to the Commandments so I had already begun a journey of unpacking the magnitude of Jesus’ words. I also found myself choosing to pneumonically tying an image to each of the commandments based on his explanations and discernment. For instance, the sixth commandment says, “You shall not kill” (Exodus 20:13). Butterworth opens the discussion by saying this: “Four words, plain and simple, no qualifications. Does the frenetic advocate of the Decalogue keep this commandment and accept its implications unequivocally? No killing at all…no destruction of life of any kind…no eating meat…no killing insects…no killing in self-defense…no capital punishment…no war. Suddenly our ‘back to the Ten Commandments’ man runs for cover. Then begins his array of rationalizations: ‘But we must eat meat to get sufficient protein…and actually Jesus ate meat. We have a right to kill in self-defense. Society has a right to kill offenders. A nation has a right to kill enemies in war.'” Butterworth finishes that thought with, “We are left with the inescapable conclusion that no one really takes it literally.” Within that same chapter, he discusses the reason that pearls are created – irritation! Irritation is the beginning emotions for anger that leads to rage and in many cases – murder. Hence the image of a pearl will help me remember to not kill or become enraged.
I would encourage anyone who wants to uncover and disect the truths found in the Ten Commandments to pick up a copy of this re-release of Eric Butterworth’s book.
I received this book free for review from netgalley.com.