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Read Introduction to James


“But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. But let your “Yes” be “Yes,” and your “No,” “No,” lest you fall into judgment.”



Impatience and grumbling can lead to rash speech and false oaths.

above all,

Our speech represents our spiritual condition, so we should be careful that we make sure that we put the priority on communication with integrity. 

my brethren,

James addresses his concerns about making false oaths to members of the family of God. These believers use oaths as a cover for their false claims. 

do not swear, either by heaven or by earth

The word “swear” here does not mean profanity, blasphemy, or dirty talk. The New Testament uses the word “swear” for affirming or denying by a solemn oath. The word means to affirm, promise, threaten, with a religious oath. This gives a religious guarantee to validate their statement. 


It violates the Christian principle to affirm the truth of a statement by calling on a divine being to execute sanctions against a person if the statement in question is not true. 


When we swear by anything in God’s province, we bring God into the deal. Some people use God as a front for their falsehood. This makes our lie more impressive to the unwary. When we make an opinion and portray it as truth, we lie.