Ten Commandments

The Secrets of Spiritual Growth Found in God's Principles for Living

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Emanuel Swedenborg
Morgan Beard
B. Erikson Odhner
Jonathan S. Rose
George F. Dole
  • West Chester, PA: 
    Swedenborg Foundation
    , December
     248 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.


Swedish scientist and visionary Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772) writes that the Ten Commandments are the most important part of the Bible. They encapsulate what we need to do to grow as spiritual people, with a meaning that penetrates far beyond the surface level of words and deeds.

One of the fundamentals of Swedenborg’s theology is the concept that underlying the literal text of the Bible is an inner spiritual meaning. Using this method of interpretation, Swedenborg peels back the layers of the Ten Commandments to reveal a cohesive set of teachings with both practical applications and far-reaching spiritual implications.

Although Swedenborg discusses the Ten Commandments in many places throughout his writings, he wrote four extended commentaries on the subject in four separate volumes: Secrets of Heaven (volume 7, published in 1754), True Christianity (1771), the short work Life (1763), and the posthumously published Revelation Explained (1758–1759). Those four commentaries are now being combined in a single volume for the first time, allowing the reader to compare and contrast Swedenborg’s approach across a seventeen-year span.

This book offers new insights for spiritual seekers and students of Swedenborg alike, illuminating what is at once a familiar set of biblical teachings and one of the cornerstones of Swedenborg’s system of personal growth.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772) was a Swedish scientist, nobleman, and theologian who spent his life investigating the mysteries of the soul. Born in Stockholm to a staunchly Lutheran family, he graduated from the University of Uppsala and then traveled to England, Holland, France, and Germany to study the leading scientists of the time. He gained favor with Sweden’s King Charles XII, who gave him a position as an overseer of the Swedish mining industry. Later, he was granted a seat in the Swedish House of Nobles by Charles XII’s successor, Queen Ulrika Eleonora. Between 1743 and 1745 he began to have visions of heaven, hell, and Jesus Christ that resulted in a stream of books about the nature of God, the afterlife, and the inner meaning of the Bible. He devoted the last decades of his life to studying Scripture and presenting his own unique theology to the world.

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