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.
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.
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.
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.
James 5:12 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
Above all things - swear not - What relation this exhortation can have to the subject in question, I confess I cannot see. It may not have been designed to stand in any connection, but to be a separate piece of advice, as in the several cases which immediately follow. That the Jews were notoriously guilty of common swearing is allowed on all hands; and that swearing by heaven, earth, Jerusalem, the temple, the altar, different parts of the body, was not considered by them as binding oaths, has been sufficiently proved. Rabbi Akiba taught that "a man might swear with his lips, and annul it in his heart; and then the oath was not binding." See the notes on Matthew 5:33, etc., where the subject is considered in great detail.
Let your yea be yea, etc. - Do not pretend to say yea with your lips, and annul it in your heart; let the yea or the nay which you express be bona fide such. Do not imagine that any mental reservation can cancel any such expressions of obligation in the sight of God.
Lest ye fall into condemnation - Ἱνα μη ὑπο κρισιν πεσητε· Lest ye fall under judgment. Several MSS. join ὑπο and κρισιν together, ὑποκρισιν, and prefix εις, into, which makes a widely different reading: Lest ye fall into hypocrisy. Now, as it is a fact, that the Jews did teach that there might be mental reservation, that would annul the oath, how solemnly soever it was taken; the object of St. James, if the last reading be genuine, and it is supported by a great number of excellent MSS., some versions, and some of the most eminent of the fathers, was to guard against that hypocritical method of taking an oath, which is subversive of all moral feeling, and must make conscience itself callous.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
swear not. See on
but. See on
LibraryJune the Twenty-Ninth Effectual Prayers
"The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." --JAMES v. 13-20. Or, as Weymouth translates it, "The heartfelt supplication of a righteous man exerts a mighty influence." Prayer may be empty words, with no more power than those empty shells which have been foisted upon the Turks in their war with the Balkan States. Firing empty shells! That is what many professed prayers really are; they have nothing in them, and they accomplish nothing. They are just forged upon the lips, and …
John Henry Jowett—My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year
"Who Will Rise up with Me against the Wicked?"
On the Whole, Since Scripture Places the Principal Part of Worship in the Invocation Of...
But Some Seem to be Moved by the Fact...
But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God's throne;
Don't be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters.
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,
Jump to PreviousCondemnation Earth Either Fall Heaven Hypocrisy Judgment Oath Simply Swear
Jump to NextCondemnation Earth Either Fall Heaven Hypocrisy Judgment Oath Simply Swear
LinksJames 5:12 NIV
James 5:12 NLT
James 5:12 ESV
James 5:12 NASB
James 5:12 KJV
James 5:12 Bible Apps
James 5:12 Biblia Paralela
James 5:12 Chinese Bible
James 5:12 French Bible
James 5:12 German Bible
James 5:12 Commentaries
THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica®.