You Shall Not Give False Testimony Against Your Neighbor

According to Scripture:

Exodus 20:16

“You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

Proverbs 25:18

Like a club or a sword or a sharp arrow is the man who gives false testimony against his neighbor.

According to Luther’s Catechism:

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.

What does this mean?–Answer.

We should fear and love God that we may not deceitfully belie, betray, slander, or defame our neighbor, but defend him, [think and] speak well of him, and put the best construction on everything.

 According to the Cathechism of the Catholic Church: 6 parts
I. Living in the Truth
2465 The Old Testament attests that God is the source of all truth. His Word is truth. His Law is truth. His “faithfulness endures to all generations.”254 Since God is “true,” the members of his people are called to live in the truth.255
II. To Bear Witness to the Church
2471 Before Pilate, Christ proclaims that he “has come into the world, to bear witness to the truth.”265 The Christian is not to “be ashamed then of testifying to our Lord.”266 In situations that require witness to the faith, the Christian must profess it without equivocation, after the example of St. Paul before his judges. We must keep “a clear conscience toward God and toward men.”267
III. Offenses Against Truth

2476 False witness and perjury. When it is made publicly, a statement contrary to the truth takes on a particular gravity. In court it becomes false witness.275 When it is under oath, it is perjury. Acts such as these contribute to condemnation of the innocent, exoneration of the guilty, or the increased punishment of the accused.276 They gravely compromise the exercise of justice and the fairness of judicial decisions.

IV. Respect for the Truth
2488 The right to the communication of the truth is not unconditional. Everyone must conform his life to the Gospel precept of fraternal love. This requires us in concrete situations to judge whether or not it is appropriate to reveal the truth to someone who asks for it.
V. The Use of the Social Communications Media
2493 Within modern society the communications media play a major role in information, cultural promotion, and formation. This role is increasing, as a result of technological progress, the extent and diversity of the news transmitted, and the influence exercised on public opinion.
VI. Truth, Beaty, and Sacred Art
2500 The practice of goodness is accompanied by spontaneous spiritual joy and moral beauty. Likewise, truth carries with it the joy and splendor of spiritual beauty. Truth is beautiful in itself. Truth in words, the rational expression of the knowledge of created and uncreated reality, is necessary to man, who is endowed with intellect. But truth can also find other complementary forms of human expression, above all when it is a matter of evoking what is beyond words: the depths of the human heart, the exaltations of the soul, the mystery of God. Even before revealing himself to man in words of truth, God reveals himself to him through the universal language of creation, the work of his Word, of his wisdom: the order and harmony of the cosmos – which both the child and the scientist discover – “from the greatness and beauty of created things comes a corresponding perception of their Creator,” “for the author of beauty created them.”289

I don’t feel the need to give any extra commentary on this commandment. It can be summed up very easily with, do not lie. Small or big, it is still a lie. Watch your tongue.


Ten Commandments:

  1. Thou Shalt Have No Other gods
  2. Thou Shalt Not Take the Name of the Lord, Thy God, in vain.
  3. Remember the Sabbath Day by Keeping it Holy
  4. Honor Your Father and Mother
  5. Thou shalt not kill.
  6. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
  7. Thou shalt not steal.
  8. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
  9. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house.
  10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his man-servant, nor his maid-servant, nor his cattle, nor anything that is his. 

Memory Verse of the Week:

Ecclesiastics 7:18

It is good to grasp the one and not let go of the other. The man who fears God will avoid all [extremes].


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4 responses to “You Shall Not Give False Testimony Against Your Neighbor

  1. Thanks for reminding us Josh! Most Christians seem to forget the 8 commandment. They lie at will.

    Thanks for sharing. God bless you.

  2. Pingback: You shall not give false testimony about your neighbour « bummyla·

  3. Pingback: Instructions and Our Excuses | Life of a Sinner·

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