January 12: School & Family Catechist, WSC Q. 76 & 77

by Rev. William Smith (1834)

The Westminster Shorter Catechism, Questions 76 & 77.

Q. 76. Which is the ninth commandment?

A. The ninth commandment is, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor,” Exod. xx. 16.

Q. 77. What is required in the ninth commandment?

A. The ninth commandment requireth the maintaining and promoting of truth between man and man, and of our own, and our neighbor’s good name, especially in witness-bearing.


Bear false witness. –Tell what we know to be a lie.

Maintaining and promoting truth. –Defending the truth when it is opposed and denied, and otherwise exerting ourselves to forward, and carry it on.  

Witness-bearing. –Giving evidence, or testimony upon oath, or making known the truth when called upon to do so.


The duties required in the ninth commandment, are four-fold:

  1. The maintaining and promoting of truth between man and man. –Zech. viii. 16. Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbor.
  2. The maintaining and promoting of our own good name. –1 Pet. iii 16. Having a good conscience, that when as they speak evil of you, as of evil-doers, they may be ashamed, that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.
  3. The maintaining and promoting also, of our neighbor’s good name. –Psalm ci. 5. Whoso privily slandereth his neighbor, him will I cut off.
  4. That this is especially to be attended to, in witness-bearing. –Prov. xiv. 5, 25. A faithful witness will not lie. A true witness delivereth souls.



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