Louisiana's Landmark Decision: Embracing the Ten Commandments in Education

Louisiana's Landmark Decision: Embracing the Ten Commandments in Education

The Ten Commandments in Public Schools: A Messianic Jewish Perspective


The recent decision by Louisiana's governor to mandate the display of the Ten Commandments in every classroom across the state's public schools and colleges has sparked considerable debate about the role of religion in government institutions. For the Messianic Jewish community, this development offers a unique opportunity to reflect on the significance of the Ten Commandments and their place in modern society.

The Significance of the Ten Commandments

The Ten Commandments, or Aseret Ha'Dibrot, hold a central place in Jewish tradition and theology. Given at Mount Sinai, they represent the foundational principles of ethical and spiritual life. As recorded in Exodus 20:1-17 and Deuteronomy 5:6-21, these commandments encapsulate the covenantal relationship between God and His people.

Biblical Foundations

The importance of the Ten Commandments is underscored throughout the Tanakh. Deuteronomy 6:6-7 emphasizes the need to keep these words at the forefront of daily life:

"These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up."

This passage not only highlights the significance of the commandments but also the responsibility to teach them to future generations.

The Role of the Ten Commandments in Education

For Messianic Jews, the integration of the Ten Commandments into the educational system aligns with the biblical mandate to instill God's laws in our children. Psalm 119:105 says:

"Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path."

This verse speaks to the guiding power of God's commandments in providing moral and ethical direction. Displaying the Ten Commandments in schools can serve as a constant reminder of these timeless principles.

Religious and Governmental Intersections

The requirement to display the Ten Commandments in public schools and colleges also touches on the broader issue of the intersection between religion and government. In 1 Kings 8:23, Solomon acknowledges God's covenantal faithfulness:

"Lord, the God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below—you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way."

This recognition of God’s sovereignty can inform our understanding of the role of His commandments in public life, suggesting that these divine laws have a place in guiding societal values and ethics.

Contemporary Relevance

The display of the Ten Commandments in classrooms can provide students with a moral framework that transcends religious boundaries, offering principles such as honoring parents, valuing life, and respecting others' property. As Proverbs 22:6 advises:

"Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it."

By embedding these values within the educational system, society can foster a generation grounded in ethical behavior and mutual respect.

Addressing Concerns

While the display of religious texts in public institutions can be contentious, it is essential to approach this issue with sensitivity and respect for diverse beliefs. Isaiah 1:17 calls us to:

"Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow."

This verse reminds us of the importance of justice and compassion in all our actions, including how we navigate the inclusion of religious symbols in public spaces.


For the Messianic Jewish community, the integration of the Ten Commandments into Louisiana's public schools and colleges represents a meaningful step toward acknowledging the enduring relevance of biblical principles in contemporary society. By displaying these commandments, we not only honor our heritage but also contribute to the moral and ethical education of future generations. As we engage in this ongoing conversation, let us do so with a spirit of respect, justice, and faithfulness to the values that the Ten Commandments embody.

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Submitted By: Daniel Malkiel

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