Bible Q & A
Should Christians swear by an oath?
teaching of Jesus and of the early
inspired true New Testament Church
was not to swear
under any circumstances. The
Scriptures are very plain on this
point: “But above
all things, my brethren
SWEAR NOT…but let your yea be yea;
and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into
condemnation” (Jas. 5:12).
Jesus Himself personally
instructed: “…I say unto you,
‘Swear not at all; neither by the
heaven; for it is God’s throne: Nor
by the earth; for it is his
footstool: neither by Jerusalem;
for it is the city of the great
King. Neither shalt thou swear by
thy head because thou canst not make
one hair white or black. But let
your communication be, Yea, yea;
Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more
than the cometh of evil (the evil
one, or of sin)’” (Matt. 5:33-37).
Here Jesus warns against swearing
because we cannot perform the oath
and we would be taking the name of
God in vain.
Not only is it wrong to lie under oath,
but we as mortal human beings are so
prone to mistaken judgment or lack
of knowledge that any error we would
make under oath would be to take the name of God in
vain. It is sin!
are merely to say, “Yes,” or “No,”
to the best of our understanding.
Then we are not guilty of using
God’s name in vain. It is the law
of the United States to permit
affirmation – that is say “Yes”
or “No” – without raising the
hand to swear.
men are not to swear by an oath, how
are we to account for the fact that
God swears by Himself? (Heb.
6:13-17; Ps. 110:4; Luke 1:73) In
Isaiah 45:23, God has sworn that
every knee shall yet bow to Him.
answer is simple. The right to take
an oath belongs to God. God alone
has infallible judgment. When we
are made immortal members of the God
family, prophecy proves that we
shall swear by God because we
shall be God –
members of the God family. Then we
shall have the power to perform our
oaths. This we cannot do now.
Jesus, while in the flesh, did
not swear, setting us
an example (I Pet. 2:21).
Men in Old Testament times did
swear, but it was not revealed to
them the God alone can
properly exercise such a right.
word of a Christian is to be
good. One GREAT
characteristic of God is the
infallibility, the ABSOLUTE
surety of His Word! Our word
– our simple “Yes, “ or “No,” is to
be worth far more than
thousands of oath, sworn by this or
that! Paul did call upon God
as his witness! Paul said:
“…before God, I LIE NOT!” (Gal.
1:20). He affirmed that he was
telling the TRUTH, but he did
not swear “by” anything.
People are held accountable
according to the knowledge
possessed. We now know from the
very words of Jesus that it is wrong
for mortal men to swear by an oath
at any time. Taking an oath is a