Maybe I missed something here.
In Bible study tonight we were looking at Matthew 5. This passage from the Sermon on the Mount came up:
33"Again, you have heard that it was said to the people long ago, 'Do not break your oath, but keep the oaths you have made to the Lord.' 34But I tell you, Do not swear at all: either by heaven, for it is God's throne; 35or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King. 36And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. 37Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.
I didn't remember this during the very silly
flap about a Muslim Congressman taking the oath of office on a Koran. Nor did I remember it any of the times I've hard grumbling about people choosing an affirmation rather than an oath.
Now, I'm aware that there is more than one interpretation of these words, some of which hold that Jesus does not mean the plain me aning of the words. For instance, I gather one interpretation is that God cares about the truthfulness of all promises whether or not we invoke His name, and another is that Jesus was referring to particular oath practices of the scribes and Pharisees despite the seeming breadth of his instructions. But at the very least, there's a plausible plain-language reading that one ought not be throwing around God's name to back up the solemnity of promises. In light of that, doesn't the blather from some circles about people who won't swear on the Bible seem to lack a certain amount of humility?
David, any thoughts on this one?
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