Many Protestants and quasi-Christian denominations believe that the Catholic Church changed the Ten Commandments in order to try to “justify” certain Catholic practices (praying to Mary and the Saints, having religious statues and other art, percieved idolatry etc.). However, a close look at the differences between the two lists of commandments and the reasons they exist will reveal this perception as being false.
Basically, the Protestant version of the commandments splits the First Commandment into two separate commandments. In doing so, in order to keep the number of commandments at ten, they are forced to combine the Ninth and Tenth commandments into one, resulting in the reduction of the status of your “neighbor’s wife” to that of your “neighbor’s property.” I’m pretty sure that God didn’t intend for that to be the case…
Despite appearances, we know Exodus 20 is not a prohibition against making “any likeness of anything” in a strict sense because we clearly see God either commanding or praising the making of images and statues in multiple biblical texts (see Exodus 25:18; Numbers 21:8-9; I Kings 6:23-28, 9:3). Just five chapters after this so-called prohibition against statues, for example, God commands Moses to make statues representing two angels to be placed over the mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant:
And you shall make two cherubim of gold… The cherubim shall spread out their wings above, overshadowing the mercy seat with their wings, their faces one to another…. And you shall put the mercy seat on the top of the ark… There I will meet with you (Ex. 25:18-22).