The Texas Ten Commandments Monument

The Ten Commandments Monument in Texas reflects all three major traditions regarding the enumeration of the Ten Commandments. It includes the heart of the Jewish first commandment, "I am the Lord your God," at the top of the monument, though Christians who were not aware that this statement was considered the first commandment in Judaism would probably just assume by its position that it was the title of the inscription. The Jewish and Catholic traditions of combining the first two Protestant commandments into one are reflected by the slight indentation before the words, "Thou shalt not make to thyself any graven images." The Catholic tradition of splitting the Protestant tenth commandment into two separate commandments is reflected on the monument by having the two sections of the Protestant commandment begin separate lines. The monument subtly presents all three versions of the Ten Commandments in ways that are almost invisible to the unsuspecting Jew or Christian familiar only with his or her traditional understanding of the passage.