But above all things, my brothers, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath…
It is not without interest to note that in this respect the practice of the Essenes, in their efforts after holiness, was after the pattern of the preaching of St. James. They, too, avoided oaths as being no less an evil than perjury itself ( Josephus, "Wars" 2:08, 85). They, however, with a somewhat strange inconsistency, bound the members of their own society by "tremendous oaths" of obedience and secrecy.
Parallel VersesKJV: 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.
WEB: 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.