Matt 5:33-37


#1

So I was reading Matt 5 and came across this passage:

33 “Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, ‘Do not break your oath, but fulfill to the Lord the vows you have made.’ 34 But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36 And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37 All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.[g]

Could someone explain this to me? So is Jesus saying that we shouldn't say things like "I swear on my mother's grave, I am right!" Is swearing on the bible a TV show thing, or is that a real "legal" custom, and if so, does this passage say you shouldn't do that?

lol, I know as a Catholic, we generally don't go by solitary passages to explain anything, so maybe there's something somewhere else on the subject, but I was just wondering.

ETA:....well, goes to show how much I know about the Bible. After googling, I realized this was part of the sermon on the mount :p


#2

These are some of the notes which I have edited as to avoid copyright infringement in the Ignatius Study Bible:

Jesus forbids oath swearing for private purposes. Oaths are important, however, in the public sector for the good of society. Judges, doctors, soldiers, politicians, and other professionals swear oaths for public service. Oaths are sworn to make or renew covenants (cf. Heb 6:13-18.)...

In Jesus day, the practice of oath swearing was sometimes mishandled: people would swear private oaths for personal advantage... oaths were taken lightly or even disregarded...Jesus denounces this, teaching that truthfulness and integrity should govern private life.


#3

[quote="adrift, post:2, topic:334193"]
These are some of the notes which I have edited as to avoid copyright infringement in the Ignatius Study Bible:

Jesus forbids oath swearing for private purposes. Oaths are important, however, in the public sector for the good of society. Judges, doctors, soldiers, politicians, and other professionals swear oaths for public service. Oaths are sworn to make or renew covenants (cf. Heb 6:13-18.)...

In Jesus day, the practice of oath swearing was sometimes mishandled: people would swear private oaths for personal advantage... oaths were taken lightly or even disregarded...Jesus denounces this, teaching that truthfulness and integrity should govern private life.

[/quote]

ah, there it is! I knew there must be a historical context for this. Thanks :)


#4

From the Haydock Commentary:

Ver. 34. Swear not at all. We must not imagine that here are forbidden all oaths, where there is a just and necessary cause of calling God to witness. An oath on such an occasion is an act of justice and religion. Here are forbidden unnecessary oaths in common discourse, by which the sacred name of God, which never ought to be pronounced without reverence and respect, is so frequently and scandalously profaned. (Witham) --- 'Tis not forbidden to swear in truth, justice and judgment; to the honour of God, or our own or neighbours' just defence; but only to swear rashly, or profanely, in common discourse, and without necessity. (Challoner)

Ver. 35. The Anabaptists and other sectarists, following the letter, and not the spirit of the Scripture, and walking in the footsteps of their predecessors, the Waldenses, and the Pelagians, will allow of no oath to be lawful, not even before a judge. (Bristow)


#5

Jesus is simply showing that honest people need not make external promises. If you are truly honest your word is solid and there is no need to give it extra support.

Peace and with love,
-Carlos


#6

[quote="carlostomas, post:5, topic:334193"]
Jesus is simply showing that honest people need not make external promises. If you are truly honest your word is solid and there is no need to give it extra support.

Peace and with love,
-Carlos

[/quote]

This is the correct answer. Need a second opinion? Ask James:

5:12
But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your "yes" be yes and your "no" be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation.


#7

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