Scripture Query and Answer: Swearing

James 5:12  •  1 min. read  •  grade level: 9
Q. What does James 5:1212But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation. (James 5:12) take in? Is not swearing or taking an oath, for any purpose or in any place, positively forbidden by this scripture? And ought not a Christian, in a court of justice, as well as in his daily walk amongst men, to let his yea be yea and his nay nay, lest he fall into condemnation?
W. G.
A. The passages in James 5, as in Matt. 5, refers solely, in my judgment, to the question of light, irreverent asseveration or imprecation, so common among men, and especially in that day among Jews. The Christian was, of course, in danger of the same. No form of judicial oath, it will be noticed, is referred to. It is a. question, in Matthew expressly, of our communication, not of a declaration before a magistrate The Lord was silent before the high priest, till adjured. The oath in such a case is the solemn intervention of God's authority in those who are His ministers in the world.