Swearing an oath.

Nov 13, 2007
Swearing an oath.

In my country and many countries arround the world, we a re asked to swear on the bible when giving testimoney in court.

Jesus forbid us to swear by anything, and James supported this in his letter.

What then should we say when giving testimoney in court?

Should be just say that we will tell the truth and refuse to swear and face possible jail time?

Pastor Gary

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Oct 29, 2006
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We are to comply with the governmental/judicial procedures and protocols that are set in place by governmental order.

Remember what we were told in Romans 13:1-2 (NLT), "1 Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. 2 So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished."

Also quoting from the King James Version -

Romans 13:1-2 (KJV) as a comparison, "1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation."
Nov 13, 2007
Kevin when I lived in SA (Many years ago) there was a provision to make a formal declaration rather than to swear an oath. Has that been changed?

I do not know,but I will try and find out.

We are to comply with the governmental/judicial procedures and protocols that are set in place by governmental order.

I understand about submitting to authorities, but this is not really about submission but more about making oaths. I personally take the word of Jesus as a much higher authority than any other anyway.

If we make oaths or swear on anything then we are sinning, according to Jesus.

Our senior pastor had a similar experience in court and the magistrate actually allowed him to give testimoney without swearing, so yes, maybe there is provision in the law in my country, but what about other countries.

I find it kind of ironic, if a country has a procedure in court to swear upon Gods word, then surely the country is founded on christian foundations, then why do they insist on people swearing on the bible when it is clearly against Gods word?
Jan 6, 2007
In the USA, in most(if not all) of the courts, one is required to "affirm" (promise) that they will tell the truth under penalty of law. God nor the bible are mentioned in the oath. Any person caught in a varifiable lie is subject to criminal charges and punishment including fines and prision.
Sep 5, 2007
Central Oregon
In tribal court, our judicial system is one of a sovereign nation. We follow all federal laws, but are not required to follow state laws (although many times we do).

Today, we raise our right hands and promise to tell the truth when we're in court; or in my case, jury duty, we promise to hear the case and make our decisions only after all the evidence and testimony is presented.

I would have a very difficult time swearing on the bible. If one swears on the bible, in my own thinking, then he better make good and sure that he's able to carry out his promise without flaw, or he's swearing in vain.:(