We all have heard the Oath of Office, or the Hippocratic Oath, or even the simple Oath to Tell the Truth – you know – I solemnly swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help me God.
But do you really know what they are saying up on the podium? Do you really understand it? Well – by supplying you with the text of all these various oaths – I hope to enable you to now only understand them – but to then to hold those who have taken them responsible for upholding the oath that they took!
OATH The Definition
–noun, plural oaths
1. a solemn appeal to a deity, or to some revered person or thing, to witness one’s determination to speak the truth, to keep a promise, etc.: to testify upon oath.
2. a statement or promise strengthened by such an appeal.
3. a formally affirmed statement or promise accepted as an equivalent of an appeal to a deity or to a revered person or thing; affirmation.
4. the form of words in which such a statement or promise is made.
5. an irreverent or blasphemous use of the name of God or anything sacred.
6. any profane expression; curse; swearword: He slammed the door with a muttered oath.
7. take an oath, to swear solemnly; vow.
bef. 900; ME ooth, OE ath; c. G Eid
2. vow, pledge. 5. profanity.
Dictionary.com, “oath,” in Dictionary.com Unabridged. Source location: Random House, Inc. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/oath. Available: http://dictionary.reference.com. Accessed: October 22, 2009.
Folks – please remember – this is ONLY the definition of the word OATH. It appears that an OATH – is in and off itself a calling upon your god to witness what you are about to say is in fact – the truth.
Remember that when you witness a politician stand with his or her hand on the bible – or other holy book – and repeat the words you will find on the following pages. Remember that when you hear of anyone taking an oat – and especially when you personally must swear an oath. It is really NOT something to fool with – whether you believe or don’t believe in “GOD.”
BTW: In these here United States of America – we do take into account that some folks who have objections to “swearing,” or even expressing a belief in a GOD…of any definition. And therefore the law allows for an affirmation instead.
An affirmation is a solemn declaration allowed to those who conscientiously object to taking an oath – which would be an admission of a belief in a GOD. It has exactly the same legal effect as an oath – with out the religious implications.
Some additional definitions that you might find helpful:
Etymology: Middle English solempne, from Anglo-French, from Latin sollemnis regularly appointed, solemn
Date: 14th century
1 : marked by the invocation of a religious sanction <a solemn oath>
2 : marked by the observance of established form or ceremony; specifically : celebrated with full liturgical ceremony
3 a : awe-inspiring : sublime <solemn beauty>
3 b : marked by grave sedateness and earnest sobriety <a solemn gathering> c : somber, gloomy <a solemn gray building>
synonyms see serious
Etymology: Middle English sweren, from Old English swerian; akin to Old High German swerien to swear and perhaps to Old Church Slavic svaru quarrel
Date: before 12th century
1 : to utter or take solemnly (an oath)
2 a : to assert as true or promise under oath <a sworn affidavit> <swore to uphold the Constitution>
2 b : to assert or promise emphatically or earnestly <swore he’d study harder next time>
3 a : to put to an oath : administer an oath to
3 b : to bind by an oath <swore them to secrecy>
4 obsolete : to invoke the name of (a sacred being) in an oath
5 : to bring into a specified state by swearing <swore his life away>
1 : to take an oath
2 : to use profane or obscene language : curse
“swear.” Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. 2009.