James 5:12
New International Version
Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear--not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. All you need to say is a simple "Yes" or "No." Otherwise you will be condemned.

New Living Translation
But most of all, my brothers and sisters, never take an oath, by heaven or earth or anything else. Just say a simple yes or no, so that you will not sin and be condemned.

English Standard Version
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.

Berean Study Bible
Above all, my brothers, do not swear, not by heaven or earth or by any other oath. Simply let your “Yes” be yes, and your “No,” no, so that you will not fall under judgment.

Berean Literal Bible
But before all things, my brothers, do not swear, neither by heaven, nor the earth, nor any other oath. But let your "Yes" be yes, and the "No," no, so that you might not fall under judgment.

New American Standard Bible
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.

King James 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.

Christian Standard Bible
Above all, my brothers and sisters, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. But let your "yes" mean "yes," and your "no" mean "no," so that you won't fall under judgment.

Contemporary English Version
My friends, above all else, don't take an oath. You must not swear by heaven or by earth or by anything else. "Yes" or "No" is all you need to say. If you say anything more, you will be condemned.

Good News Translation
Above all, my friends, do not use an oath when you make a promise. Do not swear by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Say only "Yes" when you mean yes, and "No" when you mean no, and then you will not come under God's judgment.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Now above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath. Your "yes" must be "yes," and your "no" must be "no," so that you won't fall under judgment.

International Standard Version
Above all, brothers, do not swear oaths by heaven, by earth, or by any other object. Instead, let your "Yes" mean yes and your "No" mean no! Otherwise, you may fall under condemnation.

NET Bible
And above all, my brothers and sisters, 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 into judgment.

New Heart English Bible
But above all things, my brothers, do not 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 do not fall under judgment.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But above all things, my brethren, do not be swearing vows, neither by Heaven, neither by The Earth, neither by any other oath; let your word be, 'Yes, yes' and 'No, no', lest you be condemned under the judgment.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Above all things, my brothers and sisters, do not take an oath on anything in heaven or on earth. Do not take any oath. If you mean yes, say yes. If you mean no, say no. Do this so that you won't be condemned.

New American Standard 1977
But above all, my brethren, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or with any other oath; but let your yes be yes, and your no, no; so that you may not fall under judgment.

Jubilee Bible 2000
But above all things, my brethren, do not swear by heaven or by the earth or by any other oath, but let your yes be yes and your no, no; lest ye fall into condemnation.

King James 2000 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 you fall under judgment.

American King James Version
But above all things, my brothers, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yes be yes; and your no, no; lest you fall into condemnation.

American Standard Version
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.

Douay-Rheims Bible
But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, nor by the earth, nor by any other oath. But let your speech be, yea, yea: no, no: that you fall not under judgment.

Darby Bible Translation
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.

English Revised Version
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.

Webster's Bible Translation
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.

Weymouth New Testament
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.

World English 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.

Young's Literal Translation
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.
Study Bible
Patience in Suffering
11See how blessed we consider those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen the outcome from the Lord. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy. 12Above all, my brothers, do not swear, not by heaven or earth or by any other oath. Simply let your “Yes” be yes, and your “No,” no, so that you will not fall under judgment. 13Is any one of you suffering? He should pray. Is anyone cheerful? He should sing praises.…
Cross References
Matthew 5:34
But I tell you not to swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God's throne;

James 1:16
Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers.

James 1:19
My beloved brothers, understand this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger,

Treasury of Scripture

But above all things, my brothers, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yes be yes; and your no, no; lest you fall into condemnation.

above.

1 Peter 4:8
And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.

3 John 1:2
Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.

swear not.

Matthew 5:33-37
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: …

Matthew 23:16-22
Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor! …

but.

2 Corinthians 1:17-20
When I therefore was thus minded, did I use lightness? or the things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, that with me there should be yea yea, and nay nay? …

lest.

James 3:1,2
My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation…

1 Corinthians 11:34
And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come.







Lexicon
Above
Πρὸ (Pro)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 4253: A primary preposition; 'fore', i.e. In front of, prior to.

all,
πάντων (pantōn)
Adjective - Genitive Neuter Plural
Strong's Greek 3956: All, the whole, every kind of. Including all the forms of declension; apparently a primary word; all, any, every, the whole.

my
μου (mou)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Genitive 1st Person Singular
Strong's Greek 1473: I, the first-person pronoun. A primary pronoun of the first person I.

brothers,
ἀδελφοί (adelphoi)
Noun - Vocative Masculine Plural
Strong's Greek 80: A brother, member of the same religious community, especially a fellow-Christian. A brother near or remote.

{do} not
μὴ (mē)
Adverb
Strong's Greek 3361: Not, lest. A primary particle of qualified negation; not, lest; also (whereas ou expects an affirmative one) whether.

swear,
ὀμνύετε (omnyete)
Verb - Present Imperative Active - 2nd Person Plural
Strong's Greek 3660: A prolonged form of a primary, but obsolete omo, for which another prolonged form omoo is used in certain tenses; to swear, i.e. Take oath.

not [by]
μήτε (mēte)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 3383: Nor, neither, not even, neither�nor. From me and te; not too, i.e. neither or nor; also, not even.

heaven
οὐρανὸν (ouranon)
Noun - Accusative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 3772: Perhaps from the same as oros; the sky; by extension, heaven; by implication, happiness, power, eternity; specially, the Gospel.

[or]
μήτε (mēte)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 3383: Nor, neither, not even, neither�nor. From me and te; not too, i.e. neither or nor; also, not even.

earth
γῆν (gēn)
Noun - Accusative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 1093: Contracted from a primary word; soil; by extension a region, or the solid part or the whole of the terrene globe.

[or by]
μήτε (mēte)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 3383: Nor, neither, not even, neither�nor. From me and te; not too, i.e. neither or nor; also, not even.

any
τινὰ (tina)
Interrogative / Indefinite Pronoun - Accusative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 5100: Any one, some one, a certain one or thing. An enclitic indefinite pronoun; some or any person or object.

other
ἄλλον (allon)
Adjective - Accusative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 243: Other, another (of more than two), different. A primary word; 'else, ' i.e. Different.

oath.
ὅρκον (horkon)
Noun - Accusative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 3727: An oath. From herkos; a limit, i.e. restraint.

Simply
δὲ (de)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 1161: A primary particle; but, and, etc.

{let} your
ὑμῶν (hymōn)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Genitive 2nd Person Plural
Strong's Greek 4771: You. The person pronoun of the second person singular; thou.

“Yes”
Ναὶ (Nai)
Particle
Strong's Greek 3483: Yes, certainly, even so. A primary particle of strong affirmation; yes.

be
ἤτω (ētō)
Verb - Present Imperative Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's Greek 1510: I am, exist. The first person singular present indicative; a prolonged form of a primary and defective verb; I exist.

yes,
ναί (nai)
Particle
Strong's Greek 3483: Yes, certainly, even so. A primary particle of strong affirmation; yes.

and
καὶ (kai)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 2532: And, even, also, namely.

[your]
τὸ (to)
Article - Nominative Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

“No,”
Οὒ (Ou)
Adverb
Strong's Greek 3756: No, not. Also ouk, and ouch a primary word; the absolute negative adverb; no or not.

no,
οὔ (ou)
Adverb
Strong's Greek 3756: No, not. Also ouk, and ouch a primary word; the absolute negative adverb; no or not.

so that
ἵνα (hina)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 2443: In order that, so that. Probably from the same as the former part of heautou; in order that.

you will not fall
πέσητε (pesēte)
Verb - Aorist Subjunctive Active - 2nd Person Plural
Strong's Greek 4098: A reduplicated and contracted form of peto; probably akin to petomai through the idea of alighting; to fall.

under
ὑπὸ (hypo)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 5259: A primary preposition; under, i.e. of place, or with verbs; of place (underneath) or where (below) or time (when).

judgment.
κρίσιν (krisin)
Noun - Accusative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 2920: Decision; by extension, a tribunal; by implication, justice.
(12) The question of the lawfulness of oaths has oftentimes perplexed alike the doctors of the Church and its simpler hearers of God's word. The text, taken as it stands, would support the views of the Essenes, and many of the Paulicians, and other ancient sectaries. With equal force it might be urged by the followers of Peter Waldo, or the Unitas Fratrum (the Moravians), or the Society of Friends.

Swear not.--The words are put quite distinctly in Greek and English--neither by the heaven, nor by the earth. And it sounds like special pleading, worthy of a rabbi, to hear such a divine as Huther say that "swearing by the name of God is not mentioned," nor accordingly is such an oath prohibited. "We must not imagine," he continues (and his argument had best be fairly given), "that this is included in the last member of the clause, the Apostle evidently intending by it (i.e., 'neither by any other oath') to point only at certain formulae, of which several are mentioned in Matthew 5:34-37. Had he intended to forbid swearing by the name of God he would most certainly have mentioned it expressly; for not only is it in the Law, in contradistinction to other oaths, commanded (see Deuteronomy 6:13; Deuteronomy 10:20; Psalm 63:11), but in the prophets is announced as a token of the future turning of men to God" (Isaiah 65:16; Jeremiah 12:16; Jeremiah 23:7-8). There were, we learn, many subtle distinctions in Jewish oaths; and the unlucky foreigner who trusted in an apparently firm one, too often found out his mistake. Certainly all such subterfuges are utterly condemned; and further, every word which breaks the letter or spirit of God's Third Commandment. As to the higher judicial forms of oaths, remembering that our Lord answered such before Caiaphas (Matthew 26:63-64), we can fearlessly conclude, with the 39th Article of Religion, that "a man may swear, when the magistrate requireth, in a cause of faith and charity, so it be done according to the prophet's teaching--in justice, judgment, and truth."

Let your yea be yea . . .--Your word be as your bond, needing no strengthening by any invocation of God, or holy things, "lest ye fall into judgment"--not "condemnation," though certainly such might follow.

Verse 12. - Exhortation against swearing, founded on our Lord's teaching in the sermon on the mount, Matthew 5:33-37 - a passage which was evidently present to St. James's thoughts. He, like his Master, "lays down rules and maxims and principles without specifying the limitations and exceptions." The sermon on the mount, as interpreted by our Lord's own actions, is a clear witness that this formed Ms method of teaching. If, then, his words do not touch the case of oaths solemnly tendered to men in a court of justice (and his own acceptance of an adjuration on his trial shows that they do not), no more do St. James's. Both our Lord and his apostle had probably in view "only those profane adjurations with which men who have no deep-seated fear of God garnish their common talk" (see Sadler's 'Commentary on St. Matthew,' p. 66). The special oaths mentioned were those in vogue among the Jews, and just the very ones which our Lord himself had specified (comp. Lightfoot's 'Horae Hebraicae,' vol. 2. p. 127, edit. Gandell). On the need of such teaching as this, see Thomson's 'Land and the Book,' p. 190: "This people are fearfully profane. Everybody curses and swears when in a passion. No people that I have ever known can compare with these Orientals for profaneness in the use of the names and attributes of God. The evil habit seems inveterate and universal. When Peter, therefore, 'began to curse and to swear' on that dismal night of temptation, we are not to suppose that it was something foreign to his former habits. He merely relapsed, under high excitement, into what, as a sailor and a fisherman, he had been accustomed to all his life. The people now use the very same sort of oaths that are mentioned and condemned by our Lord. They swear by the head, by their life, by heaven, by the temple, or what is in its place, the church. The forms of cursing and swearing, however, are almost infinite, and fall on the pained ear all day long." So, too, Aben Ezra speaks of the practice of swearing as almost universal in his day, so that he says, "men swear daily countless times, and then swear that they have not sworn!" With regard to the translation of the verse, two renderings are possible:

(1) that of the A.V. and of the R.V. (text), "Let your yea be yea, and your nay, nay."

(2) That of the R.V. margin, "Let yours be the yea, yea, and the nay, nay;" viz. those enjoined by our Lord (Matthew 5:37), "Let your communication be Yea, yea; Nay, nay; for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil." On behalf of this latter rendering, may be pleaded

(a) the clearness of the reference to our Lord's teaching; and

(b) the fact that this is the interpretation given to the clause in the two leading versions of antiquity, the Syriac and the Vulgate, both of which have exactly the same words here and in St. Matthew. Vulgate, Sit autem sermo vester est est, non non. Lest ye fall into condemnation. Happily the A.V. here follows the text of the Elzevirs, ὑπὸ κρίσιν (א, A, B, Latt., Syriac, Coptic), and so avoids the erroneous reading of Stephens, εἰς ὑπόκρισιν (K, L). 5:12-18 The sin of swearing is condemned; but how many make light of common profane swearing! Such swearing expressly throws contempt upon God's name and authority. This sin brings neither gain, nor pleasure, nor reputation, but is showing enmity to God without occasion and without advantage It shows a man to be an enemy to God, however he pretends to call himself by his name, or sometimes joins in acts of worship. But the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. In a day of affliction nothing is more seasonable than prayer. The spirit is then most humble, and the heart is broken and tender. It is necessary to exercise faith and hope under afflictions; and prayer is the appointed means for obtaining and increasing these graces. Observe, that the saving of the sick is not ascribed to the anointing with oil, but to prayer. In a time of sickness it is not cold and formal prayer that is effectual, but the prayer of faith. The great thing we should beg of God for ourselves and others in the time of sickness is, the pardon of sin. Let nothing be done to encourage any to delay, under the mistaken fancy that a confession, a prayer, a minister's absolution and exhortation, or the sacrament, will set all right at last, where the duties of a godly life have been disregarded. To acknowledge our faults to each other, will tend greatly to peace and brotherly love. And when a righteous person, a true believer, justified in Christ, and by his grace walking before God in holy obedience, presents an effectual fervent prayer, wrought in his heart by the power of the Holy Spirit, raising holy affections and believing expectations and so leading earnestly to plead the promises of God at his mercy-seat, it avails much. The power of prayer is proved from the history of Elijah. In prayer we must not look to the merit of man, but to the grace of God. It is not enough to say a prayer, but we must pray in prayer. Thoughts must be fixed, desires must be firm and ardent, and graces exercised. This instance of the power of prayer, encourages every Christian to be earnest in prayer. God never says to any of the seed of Jacob, Seek my face in vain. Where there may not be so much of miracle in God's answering our prayers, yet there may be as much of grace.
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Alphabetical: Above all and any anything be brethren brothers But by condemned do earth either else fall heaven is judgment Let may my No not oath or other so swear that to under will with Yes you your

NT Letters: James 5:12 But above all things my brothers don't (Ja Jas. Jam) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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