Quoting the Jewish rabbi and scholar Jacob Neusner, Pope Benedict XVI explains that to Israel, keeping this commandment was more than ritual; it was a way to imitate God, who rested on the seventh day after the creation. Although a few Christian denominations follow the Judaic practice of observing the Sabbath on Saturday, Catholics, along with most Christians, observe Sunday as a special day, which they call the "Lord's Day".This practice dates to the first century, arising from their belief that Jesus rose from the dead on the first day of the week.The Catechism attributes the latter actions to a "desire for power over time, history, and in the last analysis, other human beings as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers".In the 8th century, heated arguments arose over whether religious icons (in this context paintings) were prohibited by the first commandment.Aquinas, a Doctor of the Church, considered them to be the "primary precepts of justice and all law, and natural reason gives immediate assent to them as being plainly evident principles.""I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them." The Catechism associates this commandment with the three theological virtues.The first virtue, faith, instructs Catholics to believe in God and avoid heresy, apostasy, and schism.The others deal with the relationships between individuals, such as that between parent and child; they include prohibitions against lying, stealing, murdering, adultery and covetousness.
Later, theologians Thomas Aquinas and Bonaventure offered notable commentaries on the Commandments.Explaining Church teaching, Kreeft states, "The Commandments are to the moral order what the creation story in Genesis 1 is to the natural order. They are not man's ideas about God, but God's ideas about man." While evidence exists that the Commandments were part of catechesis in monasteries and other venues, there was no official Church position to promote specific methods of religious instruction during the Middle Ages.The Fourth Lateran Council (1215) was the first attempt to remedy this problem.They explain that today, idolatry expresses itself in the worship of other things, and list some as "power, money, materialism and sports." Many ancient cultures believed that names were sacred; some had prohibitions on when a person's name could be spoken.
The Gospel of John relates an incident where a group of Jews attempted to stone Jesus after he used a sacred name of God to refer to himself.
They first appear in the Book of Exodus, according to which Moses, acting under the orders of God, freed the Israelites from physical slavery in Egypt.