• Ten Commandments

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

    By Emanuel Swedenborg
    Introduction by Ray Silverman
    Edited by Morgan Beard
    Translated by B. Erikson Odhner, Jonathan S. Rose, and George F. Dole

    Using his unique method of biblical interpretation, Swedish scientist and visionary Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772) peels back the layers of the Ten Commandments to reveal fundamental lessons on God, loving others, and how to live and grow as spiritual people. Swedenborg’s four major commentaries on the topic are being published in a single volume for the first time, illuminating this familiar set of biblical teachings for spiritual seekers and students of Swedenborg alike. Read more

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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

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.


B. Erikson Odhner is director of studies at the Academy of the New Church Secondary Schools, where he has worked to prepare the next generation of Swedenborgian scholars by teaching Latin, among other subjects and duties, since 1978. He earned an MA in classical studies from Villanova University. Throughout his career, he has edited Latin editions of the works of Emanuel Swedenborg as well as translated those works into English and edited the translations of others.


Jonathan S. Rose is the series editor of the New Century Edition, an ongoing project that incorporates the latest scholarship to produce a modern, accessible translation of Emanuel Swedenborg’s theological works. Holder of a BA and an MDiv in religion and an MA and a PhD in Latin, Dr. Rose has worked for years in the study of Neo-Latin and in Swedenborgian research. He was both chaplain and a tenured professor of religion and sacred languages at Bryn Athyn College before taking on his current position.


George F. Dole holds a BA from Yale, an MA from Oxford, and a PhD from Harvard. Now professor emeritus, Dr. Dole taught ancient languages, the Bible, and theology at the Swedenborg School of Religion in Newton, MA. His translations of Swedenborg’s writings have won critical acclaim. He is also the author of A Book about Us, Freedom and Evil, and A Thoughtful Soul

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Emanuel Swedenborg

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