James 5:12

“But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.”

King James Version (KJV)

Other Translations

But aboue all things, my brethren, sweare not, neither by heauen, neither by the earth, neither by any other othe: but let your yea, be yea, and your nay, nay: lest yee fall into condemnation.
- King James Version (1611) - View 1611 Bible Scan

But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath; but your yes is to be yes, and your no, no, so that you may not fall under judgment.
- New American Standard Version (1995)

But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by the heaven, nor by the earth, nor by any other oath: but let your yea be yea, and your nay, nay; that ye fall not under judgment.
- American Standard Version (1901)

But most of all, my brothers, do not take oaths, not by the heaven, or by the earth, or by any other thing: but let your Yes be Yes, and your No be No: so that you may not be judged.
- Basic English Bible

But before all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, nor by the earth, nor by any other oath; but let your yea be yea, and your nay, nay, that ye do not fall under judgment.
- Darby Bible

But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea, be yea: and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.
- Webster's Bible

But above all things, my brethren, do not swear, either by Heaven or by the earth, or with any other oath. Let your `yes' be simply `yes,' and your `no' be simply `no;' that you may not come under condemnation.
- Weymouth Bible

But above all things, my brothers, don't swear, neither by heaven, nor by the earth, nor by any other oath; but let your "yes" be "yes," and your "no," "no;" so that you don't fall into hypocrisy.
- World English Bible

Bifor alle thingis, my britheren, nyle ye swere, nether bi heuene, nether bi erthe, nethir bi what euere other ooth. But be youre word Yhe, yhe, Nay, nay, that ye fallen not vndir doom.
- Wycliffe Bible

And before all things, my brethren, do not swear, neither by the heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath, and let your Yes be Yes, and the No, No; that under judgment ye may not fall.
- Youngs Literal Bible

Bible commentary

Wesley's Notes for James 5:12


5:12 Swear not - However provoked. The Jews were notoriously guilty of common swearing, though not so much by God himself as by some of his creatures. The apostle here particularly forbids these oaths, as well as all swearing in common conversation. It is very observable, how solemnly the apostle introduces this command: above all things, swear not - As if he had said, Whatever you forget, do not forget this. This abundantly demonstrates the horrible iniquity of the crime. But he does not forbid the taking a solemn oath before a magistrate. Let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay - Use no higher asseverations in common discourse; and let your word stand firm. Whatever ye say, take care to make it good.


People's Bible Notes for James 5:12


Jas 5:12 Above all things, my brethren, swear not. This verse is an appropriation of the words of Christ (Mt 5:33-37). See notes there. Swearing is a besetting sin of the East unto this day.

Discussion for James 5:12

  • Brianna for verse 12
    The Bible makes things real simple, but sometimes we have to make it complicated. Jehovah God encourages us to be truthful, and direct. Imagine how easier life would be if we were direct instead of all this indirect, passive aggressive behavior so common today. Also, Yes I do agree with you Mike, If your yes is yes, and no is no, then what more do we need to swear on something?
  • Timothy for verse 12
    Interesting... Does this mean that Christians do not have to swear on the Bible when summoned to appear before court?
  • I believe we as Christians should not have to swear any Oath unless it is to our Lord and God. On earth a Christians word should be enough to where we should not have to swear any Oath.Once you swear a certain oath, then you are accountable for that oath even if the people over what you swore is doing wrong, you become part of the wrong doing. Just my thoughts? Anyone have a different view?

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