Thursday, December 01, 2005

Swearing an oath and gameplaying

By the time Jesus comes on the scene, religious leaders had come up with a game called "Breaking Oaths for Dummies". If a person swore that he would do something, he just might not have to keep the oath if he swore by the right thing. If he swore the same oath by something else however, he WOULD have to keep the oath.

Do you see anything like this in the Old Testament? Of course not. All oaths were oaths that were to be kept. All oath swearing was oath swearing to God.

Therefore, if someone swore by his head, the temple, the gold in the temple, or the heavens, that oath needed to be kept because all oath swearing invoked the name of God. This invoking of the name of God when someone swore an oath was either explicit or implicit, but God's name was always there.

When religious leaders during the time of Jesus taught that one could swear an oath that need not be kept because of what the person was swearing by, this was ridiculous because all oaths involved the name of God, even if the name of God was not explicitely used. All oaths needed to be kept.

Oath swearing was and is very serious. Honesty and the name of God are serious things. Leaders of the saints during the time of Jesus should have known better, but instead of teaching people the truth, they encouraged dishonesty and the taking of God's name in vain. If this was their way of doing things, they should not swear at all.


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