Alright, Sister Exodus, I made a mistake.

In some translations, Exodus 20.13 (the sixth of the Ten Commandments) says you shouldn’t murder, while other translations say you shouldn’t kill. It may be interpreted as a style issue, but however you figure the reason behind the schism in word choice, it is worth taking the time to clarify. Murdering and killing are not the same thing.

The original Hebrew for the word in question is רָצַח (ratsach), which means “to murder”, not “to kill.”

There may be someone reading this blogpost who would say, That's adorable, Kathryn, you know how to use the Internet. Would you like a gold star?

No. I would not like a gold star.

Thank you for asking.

I’m regurgitating this not-trivial piece of trivia, because I used “Thou shalt not kill” as an argument against the death penalty in my last post, “Faster, Sister Exodus! Kill! Kill!” After I played the Exodus 20.13 card (thinking, at the time, that I had it right), Sister Exodus answered it with Exodus 21.12, which says that anyone who takes the life of another should be put to death. In light of the Sixth Commandment translation discovery, Exodus 21.12 is more strongly supported by the sixth commandment than I previously realized.

This is me fessing up to my former ignorance. I may not have considered it worth blogging about if it weren’t for the fact that I previously used bad information to argue my point.

Thank you for reading. I feel better now. I mean, about the oversight. I don't feel any different about capital punishment.

How about you? Have you ever (knowingly or unknowingly) given people bad information to support an important point?