The: James Moffatt Translation
Exodus 20:1-17

God spoke all these words. "I am the Eternal, your God, who brought you from the land of Egypt, that slavepen"
  1. You shall have no gods but me
  2. You shall not carve any idols for yourselves, the shape of anything in heaven above or on the earth below or in the sea; you shall not bow down to them nor worship them, for I the Eternal, your God, am a jealous God, punishing children for the sins of their fathers, punishing those who hate me, down to the third and the fourth generation, but showing kindness to thousands of those who love me and obey my orders
  3. You shall not use the name of the Eternal, your God, profanely; for the Eternal will never acquit anyone who uses his name profanely
  4. Remember to hold the Sabbath sacred. 9. Six days you may labour and do all your business, but the seventh day is the Sabbath in honor of the Eternal, your God, and on it you must do no business, neither you nor your son nor your daughter nor your slaves, male or female, nor your cattle, nor the alien who is among you; for in six days the Eternal made sky and earth and sea and all that they contain, and then he rested on the seventh day; therefore the Eternal blessed the Sabbath, making it a sacred day
  5. Honor your father and your mother, that you may have a long life in the land which the Eternal, your God, is giving you
  6. You shall not murder
  7. You shall not commit adultery
  8. You shall not steal
  9. You shall not give false evidence against a fellow-countryman
  10. You shall not covet a fellow-countryman’s household; you shall not covet a fellow-countryman’s wife, nor his slaves, male or female, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor anything that belongs to a fellow-countryman
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Known details

James Moffatt


The aim of the translator, James Moffatt, a doctor of divinity, was to present the Old and New Testaments in effective, intelligible English. No translation of an ancient classic can be quite intelligible unless the reader is sufficiently acquainted with its environment to understand some of its flying allusions and characteristic metaphors. The translator felt that ought to be done at the present day to offer the unlearned a transcript of the Biblical literature as it lies in the light thrown upon it by modern research. A real translation is in the main an interpretation. To the best of his ability he has tried to be exact and idiomatic.

The initial difficulties in making a new version are started by the text used. The traditional or "massoretic" text of the Old Testament, though of primary value, is often desparately corrupt. At points where the text was in such disrepair that no conjecture could heal it, he inserted three dots. A longer line of dots in the poetical books indicated the original text was missing or it was in too much disrepair.

Some Hebrew terms have no English equivalent which corresponds to the original meaning. Something is dropped if they pass from Hebrew to English. The Tetragrammaton is rendered "the Eternal," except in an enigmatic title like "the Lord of Hosts," although the translator would have preferred to use "Yahweh."

The text used for the New Testament was that of H. von Soden, whose critical edition of the Greek New Testament based upon unprecedented researches, appeared during the first decade of the twentieth century. Quotations or direct reminiscences of the Old Testament are printed in italics.