Swearing Oaths

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by LorrieAB, Nov 25, 2005.

  1. LorrieAB

    LorrieAB
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    Is it me or is Scripture VERY clear about not swearing and taking oaths in the NT.? How does this fit in with the military, political, and judicial oaths?
     
  2. Marcia

    Marcia
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    My understanding is that oaths in the OT involved swearing on the gods, or swearing that something terrible would happen to you if you did not follow through ("may my life be taken and my children die, upon the name of ----(god's name)if I do not serve my king"), and were also connected to curses in the pagan cultures, so oaths were connected to the worship of false gods and to superstition.

    It does not seem that the kind of oath one takes today in court or the military, for example, is the same thing.

    Would be good to hear from others, especially those who know about what the pagan oaths involved.
     
  3. LorrieAB

    LorrieAB
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    Thanks for the reply. Just wondering what others' convictions might be re: Mat 5:34 and James 5:12. Seems pretty straght forward to me.
     
  4. Marcia

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    I could be wrong, but I think "swearing" in those passages relates to the oath taking and the curses that I mentioned before. Swearing to something then is like saying now, "I swear by my mother's grave," or something along those lines, and is not biblical.

    I believe that courts now allow people to bypass the swearing on the Bible and merely make a statement, though I'm not sure what the statement is.
     
  5. Marcia

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    There is actually a court case in NC that started this past July due to Muslims wanting to swear on the Koran instead of the Bible. This article discusses that issue and states this:

     
  6. Artimaeus

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    Mat 5:33 Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:
    Mat 5:34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all;

    "Swear not at all" - I can't get past that.
     
  7. Gold Dragon

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    The alternative to swearing on the Bible in court is called solemn affirmation. The British Quakers around the 1700s and their interpretation of these passages about oaths lead to the British practice of solemn affirmation that North Americans have also adopted.
     
  8. Bro Tony

    Bro Tony
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    What Gold Dragon said is true even here in the US. When one goes to the court or joins the military or serves as a juror, the option is given to swear or affirm. Many times the swearing is accompanied by either a hand on the Bible or a hand raised to the heaven. Those who chose to affirm neither place their hand on the Bible or raise it to heaven. I am in agreement with Arimaeus. It is clear that the Bible says not to swear at all by heaven or by a hair on your head, to let your yes be yes and no be no, and anything more is evil. I have served in the military, I have been a witness in a trial and I have served on a jury. Each time I simply stated that I affirmed that what I said or committed to I would keep.

    Bro Tony
     

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