Did Jesus cuss [NO], and must we emulate him?

A Jehovah’s Witness made the case to me that we must always imitate the actions of Jesus, and for this reason we are not to use profanity.

Neither one of these points seemed absolutely self-evident.

Are they explicitly spelled out in scripture (never mind the suspect JW translation)?

  1. If Jesus thought it appropriate to overturn tables in a rage, he may well have used an Aramaic curse word or two, so long as he didn’t use his Father’s name in vain, and treated others as he would treat himself.

For example, an interjection of the F word that is not being used to verbally assault someone would be plausible.

  1. Are we commanded to always do as Jesus did? Even before “WWJD” became a fad in recent years, it has been tradition to emulate the actions of Jesus. However, I don’t recall any command that we do so except in a few specific cases (the Our Father, the consecration).

While my question is about scripture, obviously tradition shows a diversity of Saints who pursued their own charisms, each probably slightly different from the path Christ might have taken in their situations.

To answer the title question: NO!!! To even think of such a thing is blasphemy.

Suggestion: Don’t get involved with JWs.

Why is it blasphemy?

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Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of God made man. He fulfilled His own law, including but not limited to the Ten Commandments, of which the Second Commandment is: “Thou shalt not take the Name of the Lord thy God in vain…”. As such, He would NEVER cuss.

And over the centuries, He has told many Saints, Blesseds, Venerables and other holy people that He detests cursing, profanity and blasphemy.


You can cuss without taking the lords name in vain?


Jesus did say the Eph word: Ephphatha (Mark 7:34). :wink:


Um, that seems like quite a leap beyond the actual text, and ignores other scripture verses about the level of care and gentleness we should take with what comes out of our mouths.

It’s already bad enough when someone says, “Jesus once flipped a table, so I can too!” We certainly shouldn’t go past the text/Tradition to start arguing out of nowhere that Jesus “may well have” done something totally different for which we have no evidence in either scripture or tradition, so now we can do that other thing too.

PS having a profanity habit isn’t a charism.


I personally don’t think it is quite black and white. σκύβαλα appears in the Bible a number of times, and in certain passages it appears hard for me to imagine a meaning other than sh**. One example is Phil 3:8, often translated as dung. Sometimes there just doesn’t seem to be a better word for sin than a curse word like that, again in my opinion .

On the other hand I don’t believe that the Lord would have used profanity related to sexuality. That is harder for me to imagine, because he was so pure and chaste. This was a great question that forced me to think. Thank you for your post.

IIRC, in Greek it means “be opened”. It’s NOT cussing.


I’m pretty sure he’s making a joke about it making an F sound at the beginning (thus being the “Eph/F word”).


While I’m unaware of Christ swearing, He did insult people from time to time. He called Saint Peter “Satan” in response to Peter begging Him not to go to his death, He called the Sadducees “Brood of Vipers” and the Pharisees “Whitewashed Tombs”.

As for God the Father, while I don’t recall Him using swear words, He did use vulgar language on occasion. In Ezekiel 23, when using a story about two unfaithful women as a metaphor for Israel and Judea’s idolatry, He says “There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses”. Even if that’s not technically a swear most today would consider it profanity.

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That is correct. In English, the letter F and the syllable eph are pronounced the same, like eff. This is the basis of my joke.


Sorry but it wasn’t funny.


*to you.

I thought it was a good joke.



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I apologize for my irreverent use of Scripture.

I specifically excluded that type of cussing: “he may well have used an Aramaic curse word or two, so long as he didn’t use his Father’s name in vain…”


[quote=“MNathaniel, post:7, topic:633158”]
Um, that seems like quite a leap beyond the actual text, and ignores other scripture verses about the level of care and gentleness we should take with what comes out of our mouths. [/quote]

Do tell.

I was actually not suggesting an affirmative that we can or should cuss, but a negative: if we have no scriptural evidence for whether Jesus cussed, we shouldn’t pretend we do.

My second question, which I may not have stated clearly, is whether we should imitate Jesus in all things.

He was the perfect representative of God. As read in Corinthians, Peter, Psalms and James to name a few.

2 Corinthians 5:21
For our sake he made the sinless one a victim for sin, so that in him we might become the uprightness of God.

1 Peter - 2 21
This, in fact, is what you were called to do, because Christ suffered for you and left an example for you to follow in his steps. 22 He had done nothing wrong, and had spoken no deceit. 23 He was insulted and did not retaliate with insults; when he was suffering he made no threats but put his trust in the upright judge.

Psalms 141:3
3 Yahweh, mount a guard over my mouth, a guard at the door of my lips.

James 3 1-18
1 Only a few of you, my brothers, should be teachers, bearing in mind that we shall receive a stricter judgement. 2 For we all trip up in many ways. Someone who does not trip up in speech has reached perfection and is able to keep the whole body on a tight rein. 3 Once we put a bit in the horse’s mouth, to make it do what we want, we have the whole animal under our control. 4 Or think of ships: no matter how big they are, even if a gale is driving them, they are directed by a tiny rudder wherever the whim of the helmsman decides.

5 So the tongue is only a tiny part of the body, but its boasts are great. Think how small a flame can set fire to a huge forest; 6 The tongue is a flame too. Among all the parts of the body, the tongue is a whole wicked world: it infects the whole body; catching fire itself from hell, it sets fire to the whole wheel of creation. 7 Wild animals and birds, reptiles and fish of every kind can all be tamed, and have been tamed, by humans;

8 but nobody can tame the tongue – it is a pest that will not keep still, full of deadly poison. 9 We use it to bless the Lord and Father, but we also use it to curse people who are made in God’s image: 10 the blessing and curse come out of the same mouth. My brothers, this must be wrong 11 does any water supply give a flow of fresh water and salt water out of the same pipe?

12 Can a fig tree yield olives, my brothers, or a vine yield figs? No more can sea water yield fresh water. 13 Anyone who is wise or understanding among you should from a good give evidence of deeds done in the gentleness of wisdom. 14 But if at heart you have the bitterness of jealousy, or selfish ambition, do not be boastful or hide the truth with lies; 15 this is not the wisdom that comes from above, but earthly, human and devilish.

16 Wherever there are jealousy and ambition, there are also disharmony and wickedness of every kind; 17 whereas the wisdom that comes down from above is essentially something pure; it is also peaceable, kindly and considerate; it is full of mercy and shows itself by doing good; nor is there any trace of partiality or hypocrisy in it. 18 The peace sown by peacemakers brings a harvest of justice.

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