Posts Tagged ‘Oath’

Matthew 5:33-37 Jesus on the Subject of Oaths

Oath

Taking the Oath

“Spiders, snakes, nor lizard heads; if I tattle tale I’ll die till I’m dead.” This was the oath Toby (the little turtle) had to swear to Skippy and his sisters (the rabbit children) in Disney’s Robbin Hood movie. Even children recognize the importance of a promise or an oath.

I was all set to argue the difference between a promise and an oath with regard to Jesus’ teaching today. I had already written a page and a half of this very concept, but was struggling within myself as to how that fit with what Jesus was saying. Then I received a different picture of what Jesus was saying. I don’t believe Jesus was distinguishing between swearing to something through an oath and making a promise. I believe He was instead, addressing the character and authority of the ones making the oaths or promises.

Jesus started His teaching by stating what had been the norm up until then. In Jewish society, it was common practice to make oaths. Making oaths involved making a promise, then swearing by something of higher value or authority than oneself as proof that the promise would be fulfilled. Read more »