What Would Would It Look Like If Christians Took the Ninth Commandment Seriously?

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If they did, it might look something like what the Westminster Divines outlined in the Westminster Larger Catechism’s answer on the duties required of the ninth commandment (“”You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor”).

Question 144: What are the duties required in the ninth commandment?

Answer: The duties required in the ninth commandment are,

  • the preserving and promoting of truth between man and man, and the good name of our neighbor, as well as our own;
  • appearing and standing for the truth;
  • and from the heart, sincerely, freely, clearly, and fully, speaking the truth, and only the truth, in matters of judgment and justice, and in all other things whatsoever;
  • a charitable esteem of our neighbors;
  • loving, desiring, and rejoicing in their good name;
  • sorrowing for, and covering of their infirmities;
  • freely acknowledging of their gifts and graces, defending their innocency;
  • a ready receiving of a good report, and unwillingness to admit of an evil report, concerning them;
  • discouraging tale-bearers, flatterers, and slanderers;
  • love and care of our own good name, and defending it when need requireth;
  • keeping of lawful promises;
  • studying and practicing of whatsoever things are true, honest, lovely, and of good report.

Justin Taylor, PhD


Justin Taylor is executive vice president of book publishing and book publisher for Crossway and

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