The broadening of the Fourth Commandment in Christian tradition

Over the course of time, the Fourth Commandment developed a broader meaning. While the wording of the commandment only speaks of honouring one's parents, Christian tradition also regarded this commandment as an obligation to acknowledge all authority. The Fourth Commandment relates primarily to one's conduct with respect to one's forefathers.

Any obligation of obedience–even toward one's parents–is tempered by the standard: "We ought to obey God rather than men" (Acts 5: 29).

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