Thursday, March 13, 2014

Judge Not...

Far too frequently, the world—and, sadly, many Christians—misrepresents Jesus' words, where He says, "Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you" (Matt. 7:1-2; cf. Luke 6:37). They deliberately ignore where Jesus also said, "Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment" (John 7:24). They even ignore the Apostle Paul's words, where he says, "For I, on my part, though absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged him who has so committed this, as though I were present" (1 Cor. 5:3), and, "For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves" (1 Cor. 5:12-13). Paul also poses these questions, "Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? . . . Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life?" (1 Cor. 6:2-3).

These people also deliberately ignore the English language and the fact that the word "judge" has more than one definition, other than the definition they are attempting to force upon it to suit their egregious misquoting of Jesus' words. In all the above verses (with the exception of the second occurrence of the word "judge" found in 1 Corinthians 6:2), the Greek word is exactly the same: krino (κρινω). It means "to separate, distinguish, discriminate between good and evil, select, choose out the good, to judge, to form or give an opinion after separating and considering the particulars of a case." What Jesus meant by what He said in Matthew 7:1-2 is that we are not to judge in an absolute sense, that is, to condemn a person in the legal sense. But we are supposed to judge, and He extols the manner with which we ought to do so in John 7:24.

The Apostle Paul judged a man whose actions were being overlooked within the church, and tells us that we are to judge those inside the church. Not with a self-righteous judgment of condemnation in the absolute sense, but in distinguishing right from wrong, good from evil, fruit bearing from fruit barren. Jesus' own words agree: "You will know them by their fruits" (Matt. 7:16, 20). When looking at new or young Christians, it may be difficult to distinguish between babes in Christ and false converts. But someone who claims to have been a Christian for 10, 20, 30, 40 or more years, if they do not demonstrate the fruit thereof, then they have never been saved to begin with. Just as it is impossible to remain a physical infant forever, it is also impossible to remain a spiritual infant forever. If the Spirit of God is within you, there will be growth. It is impossible to be spiritually stagnant.

Below, you will find each Greek word translated as "judge," "judged," "judges," "judgest," "judgeth," and "judging" found within the New Testament of the King James Bible.

350. ανακρινω anakrino: to discern, to judge, to examine or question in order to pass a judicial sentence, to examine accurately or carefully, to inquire, or ask questions in general. (1 Cor. 4:3 as "judge"; 1 Cor. 2:14 as "discerned"; 1 Cor. 2:15, 4:4 as "judgeth"; 1 Cor. 2:15, 4:3, 14:24 as "judged")

1252. διακρινω diakrino: to distinguish, To make a distinction, to decide, to judge, to separate oneself from. (1 Cor. 6:5; 11:31; 14:29)

1348 δικαστης dikastes: to give judgment, to give justice. (Luke 12:14; Acts 7:27, 35)

2233 ηγεομαι hegeomai: metaphorically; to lead out before the mind, to esteem of persons, to hold or esteem an individual in a particular light. (Heb. 11:11)

2523 καθιζω kathizo: to cause to sit down, to set as judges. (1 Cor. 6:4)

2919 κρινω krino: to separate, distinguish, discriminate between good and evil, select, choose out the good, to judge, to form or give an opinion after separating and considering the particulars of a case. (This is the word used the majority of the time throughout the New Testament, and can be found translated as "judge," "judged," "judgest," "judgeth," and "judging.")

2922 κριτηριον kriterion: a judge, judgment, the art, act, or authority of judging or determining. (1 Cor. 6:2)

2923 κριτης krites: to judge, he who decides, a judge. (Matt. 5:25; 12:58; 18:2, 6; Acts 10:42; 18:15; 24:10; 2 Tim. 4:8; Heb. 12:23; James 4:11; 5:9; Matt. 12:27, Luke 11:19, Acts 13:20, James 2:4 as "judges")