Tuesday, August 10

What Does the Bible say about Swearing?

The Bible tells us a lot about swearing and cursing, much to the dismay of many.I have been asked by several people to write on this topic, so here it is. In this entry, we will take a look at what the Bible has to say - what God has to say - on the long-debated topic of swearing.

I do not think I should need to list swear/curse words, but that they are so ingrained in society that you have all heard these terms. If I feel the need to mention a specific word, I will * it out. So let us take a look at what God tells us.

Exodus 20:7 says, "You shall not misuse the name of the Lord Your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name." (This is repeated in Deuteronomy 5:11) In other words, what we are used to hearing is this: "Do not take the Lord's name in vain."

But I tell you, Ephesians 4:29 says, "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." In other words, do not let curses come out of your mouth, but build others up.

Referring to the third commandment, "Do not take the Lord's name in vain," why is it that we will use the name of our creator as a curse, God ****, but we won't use the name of people such as, Martin Luther King Jr ****, or, Mohandas Gandhi ****, or even, George Washington ****? [No specific curse, but * used for understanding.]

We wouldn't. So why then, do we profane the name of the Creator of the entire Universe, the one who knew of our existence from before he created time and space? We should not, and he commands us not to. James, brother of Christ, tells us a bit on this issue.

James 1:26 says, "Those who consider themselves religious but do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless." That may sound harsh to some, but is there really a point in swearing? No, there isn't. If you want to get a point across, God is telling us to get it across the right way.

James goes on to give us a shining example. "With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water." (James 3:9-12)

It is understandable that many people have a hard time stopping. Is there a point in swearing? No. Is it hard to stop, if it has become habitual? Yes. But it can be done. Let us take a look at a few other verses, to show the seriousness of this.

In 1st Peter 3:10 we read, "For, 'Whoever among you would love life and see good days must keep your tongue from evil and your lips from deceitful speech. Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it." While many may think of swearing as a "small sin," I tell you, "For whoever keeps the whole law yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it." (James 2:10)

Even if you followed the other nine commandments (not counting the Commandments of Jesus), you are still breaking part of the law, causing all of your efforts to keep the entire law - broken. So while we may not see swearing as a serious issue, God does, and proves it over and over.

What Does Jesus say about the matter? Matthew 15:11, "Listen and understand. What goes into your mouth does not defile you, but what comes out of your mouth, that is what defiles you." In other words, it isn't what "goes into your mouth" that breaks the commandment. It's what you say.

Jesus goes on to say, in Matthew 15:17-20a, "Don't you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these defile you. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what defile you;"

What Jesus is telling us is: by cursing, it reveals the condition of our heart. If you are Christian, and you do swear, this is what Paul teaches us: "You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness." (Ephesians 4:22-24)

Think on this for a moment: The word "Christian" means to be Christ-Like. So, if we are called to be Christ-Like, would Jesus swear and curse? No, he would not. Therefore, even if none of these verses were in the Bible, we should follow Christ's example - and let go of our former self.

Leviticus 24 gives us a picture of what would happen to those who swear if we lived in the time of Moses. Verse 16 says, "anyone who blasphemes the name of the Lord is to be put to death. The entire assembly must stone them. Whether foreigner or native-born, when they blaspheme the Name they are to be put to death." In Verse 23, they stone this man.

It may sound harsh to some. However, we can be glad that when Jesus died, the Ceremonial Law of Leviticus was replaced by the Law in Hebrews. There are several other references to swearing and cursing in God's Word. Psalm 109:17 says, "As he loved cursing, so let it come unto him: as he delighted not in blessing, so let it be far from him."

So, dear readers, I am telling the truth when I say, God repeats over and over again, in essence, "Do not swear." God would only need to say this once for it to be true, but he repeats it time and time again, showing the importance of the issue - it is a clear "breach of contract," or breaking of God's Eternal Law.

If you are not Christian, I ask that you look at the evidence for God and the Bible. It is all around us. Archaeology and Apologetics time and time again proves the truth. Jesus came to pay the penalty, and when he died, he died for every single past, present, and future sin of humanity - all the sins of the world were placed on him in those hours, and the sky went black.

Jesus literally died so that you could have life. All he's asking you do to is accept his sacrifice, confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," (Romans 10:9) and if you believe in your heart that he is risen from the dead, ask forgiveness for your sins, you will be saved. Follow his Commandments, and spread the truth of God's Word.

My intention was not for people to detest what I write, but so that they may see what God has to say about this matter, and to act upon it - not let it go. With that, I close. Comments are always welcome, as are questions, you can email vexx801@yahoo.com or visit the facebook, which contains many photos of Bible Archaeology and Evidence. God Bless, and Take Care, Dear Reader. Troy Hillman


  1. This really resonates with me. I putting my oldself away is what I've gotta do. Thanks for posting, it encourages me to be a better Christian. Although I am new to church and stuff, Jesus has always shown himself to me, since my childhood. It's time I fully acknowledge him by working hard to follow his word.

  2. Thank for this blog thing, recently I asked one of my peers why they swear and they told me the Bible doesn't say anything against it. So I turned to my youth group leaders immediately and asked them. Instead of telling me they told me to go and google 'What the Bible says about Swearing?' Lets just say that I have come to see swearing in a new way. (I found Bible verses about swearing...I was amazed)

  3. How can you get your husband to stop using profanity? He is a very strong minded person and to discuss this with him would not bring any good results.

    1. using profanity is the opposite of praying. When we pray as christians,its goes up to the Lord and is answered by him. Either by him sending his holy sprit down or angels to help.
      When profanity is used it goes to Satan. He answers by sending demons to the one who uses it. Then people who use profanity wonder why bad stuff happens to themselfs. Its because they curse themselfs by calling demons into their lives

  4. I have the hardest time not cursing because #1 stressed 2. Frustrated 3. overwhelmed 4. Worried because people have to pre-plan there next life move, which presents worry eventhough u are hoping for best but u expect the worse 5. I feel horrible once I've curse, it makes me feel spiritually mad for the failure within myself that wasn't displayed/ but relieved at other times.... to say what I feel in a harsh tone of expressive words that show intensity. Its hard due to reasons above , but I will try harder to hold my tongue. Patience is a virtue but silence is moments of peace that I should meditate on

  5. i realy enjoy rap music, n there's a lota' cursing involed. even if i stop swearing, should i quit listening to (& reciting) other tracks?

    1. Anonymous,
      My deepest apologies for such a late reply. Perhaps the best advice I can offer is that of a situational nature. A pastor who is a friend of mine once told me that if I can listen to that type of music and not be negatively influenced by it, there is nothing necessarily wrong by it.

      However, there is a Tibetan proverb that may serve us here. When we lie on a mountain of gold, some of it rubs off on us. Likewise, the same will happen if we lie on a mountain of dirt. Further, in one of the New Testament documents, Paul quotes the Greek poet Menander and says, "Bad company corrupts moral character."

      What does this have to do with your question? I suppose the things to keep in mind is that our heart, mind and soul does not exist outside of everything else. What we listen to, what we watch, what we read and observe - these things can and often do shape the kind of personality we develop throughout our life, so it is almost inescapable to be influenced by rap music.

      A final example - if I listen to artists such as Borgore, to Jay-Z, Eminem and others, and these individuals are singing about sexual misconduct, I am more likely to have sex on the mind and therefore my mind is much more likely to produce a variety of sexual fantasies and images.

      So, I will stick with what my old friend once said. If you can listen to the music and not have it influence you negatively, then you should be fine. Understandably, rap music is filled with catchy beats so that the tune gets stuck in a loop in your head.

      Best wishes, hope these considerations are of some use to you!

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If you wish to comment, I invite discussion, however, I will not publish comments which contain derogatory remarks and/or curse words. As this is a Christian website, my hope is to keep the comments clean, and ask that the commenter respect this rule. There is no need to resort to name-calling or utilize curse words to degrade the other party. Thank you.