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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Judging

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Joined: 2003/7/28
Posts: 404
Watford, UK


Matthew 7:1-2

1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

My question is, what does it mean to judge someone?

Mark Nash

 2004/5/5 8:04Profile

Joined: 2004/3/9
Posts: 8

 Re: Judging

i've done a little studying on this because this verse always seemed to conflict with the verse that says that you will know someone by their fruits. from what i've found, to j"udge" is to have information on something/someone and allow your mind to go off and start making opinions and stereotypes based on the information you have. while, form the other verse, to "know" someone by their fruits is more of just having the information and nothing more. it parallels with the idea of taking captive your thoughts and renewing your mind. you can have information about a person or ministry or whatever and that's fine but when you allow yourself to form opinions and make barriers in your mind towards them then i think that's crossing over to judging. i don't know if that answers what you're looking for, but that's what i've learned about this.


 2004/5/5 13:53Profile

Joined: 2004/3/28
Posts: 354

 Re: Judging

I'll just paste part of what I said in another thread, the issue of judgement (and Matthew 7:1 in particular) comes up a lot, it's important to know what God wants us to do or not do in regards to making judgements.

A friend of mine has a good tract on Biblical judgment, I'll borrow from it here. There is a sense in which we are not only permitted, but commanded to judge:

Psalm 37
30 The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment.

Psalm 119
13 With my lips have I declared all the judgments of Thy mouth.

Proverbs 31
9 Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.

Luke 7
43 Simon answered and said, "I suppose that he to whom he forgave most. And He said unto him, "Thou hast rightly judged."

Ezekiel 22
2 "Now, thou son of man, wilt thou judge, wilt thou judge the bloody city? Yea, thou shalt show her all her abominations.

1 Corinthians 2
15 But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged by no man.
16 "For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct Him?" But we have the mind of Christ.

1 Corinthians 6
2 Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? And if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?

1 Corinthians 6
3 Know ye not that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life?

John 7
24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment."

There is also Scripture that tells us how not to judge, some of which is often misconstrued to mean we should not judge at all. Matthew 7:1 particularly, I've noticed we (when we preach open-air) get that almost every single day.

Matthew 7
1 "Judge not, that ye be not judged.
2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, `Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye,' and behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

Clearly, this is speaking of hypocritical judgment, i.e. judging others for something you yourself are guilty of (and in a more general sense, e.g. if a man is a wanton sinner that happens to not steal, he would not be particularly qualified to judge thieves even then). If you are guilty of sin, wholeheartedly repent and seek God, and only when God has cleansed you of whatever it was, should you consider yourself fit to judge.

Romans 14
3 Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him that eateth not, judge him that eateth; for God hath received him.
4 Who art thou who judgest another man's servant? To his own master he standeth or falleth; yea, he shall be held up, for God is able to make him stand.
5 One man esteemeth one day above another; another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
6 He that regardeth one day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not that day, to the Lord doth he not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not and giveth God thanks.
7 For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.
8 For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord. Whether we live therefore or die, we are the Lord's.
9 For to this end Christ both died, and arose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.
10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? Or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

This is about things like dietary preferences, not willful known sin, if people are walking in darkness or otherwise committing grave errors, I don't think this passage applies directly.

Romans 2
1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art who judgest; for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself, for thou that judgest doest the same things.
2 But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who commit such things.
3 And thinkest thou this, O man, who judgest those who do such things and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?

Again, it's against hypocritical judgment. Again, [b]live what you preach[/b] or be prepared for a very unpleasant Judgment Day.

James 4
11 Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law and judgeth the law. But if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.

If someone is in right relationship with God (i.e. a "brother") and without willful sin in their life, we have no grounds to judge them harshly. If they're living in willful known sin, they're not in right relationship with God.

 2004/5/5 16:15Profile

Joined: 2003/3/6
Posts: 13
college station , tx


Hey ...
FYI, the most excellent resource on the subject I have found is this book...

"To Judge or not to Judge" by Lillian and Tait. It can be found on or

Hope this helps...

Chad Sepulveda

 2004/5/5 17:38Profile

Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re: krinO and katakrinO

Have you ever noticed how many units of measurement man has created? Calories, joules, kilometres, pounds, pints, light-years, there is no end to them. I ask the question because we are creatures who instinctively measure one thing against another. This instinct is the basis of assessment. Every choice we make will be preceeded by some kind of assessment. It is one of the things that makes us human. It is not the process of assessment which is wrong; it is what we do with the information so gathered.

The NT has levels of judgement which are not always distinguished in our English bibles.

The word 'krinO' means to distinguish, or assess; it does not necessarily have a negative connotation. Every action we take is the result of a continual assessment or process of judging; this stops us from running into the back of the car in front, or makes sure we stop moving the fork when the food has reached our mouth. It is what we 'do' with the assessment that is important.

The word 'katakrinO' means to thoroughly or finally judge. The preposition 'kata' when used as a suffix means downwards or thoroughly eg. pinO is to drink, but katapinO is to drink-down, or thoroughly or swallow. Here lies the danger as this action has a finality about it. 'katakrinO' is the word sometimes translated 'condemn' or 'damn' in many English translations. In a the courtroom context it means to 'sentence' or 'pronounce sentence'. It is the final action of the judge before the 'krinO'ed one passes to execution. We call such judged people 'criminals' (krima-judgement). The man who is 'sentenced' is 'condemned' and goes to the 'condemned cell' awaiting final execution.

If sermonindex users of e-sword conduct a search on Strongs Number 2632 (condemn) you will get an excellent idea of how the word is used. Always with a sense of finality.

The Matt 7 passage has in mind the censorious attitude which often prevails among religious people. It is often a judgement that turns the spotlight on another's sin and hides my own. It is as old as Adam "the woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat". We need to be watchful with the process and even more cautious as to the final 'sentence'. People who instantly and finally 'sentence' others are 'sententious'; they have set themselves up as judge. Some would go further and carry out the execution if they could.

The Lord Jesus put His finger on the issue when He said; I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me. (Joh 5:30 KJV) The man who is
1. conscious that he has no ability to judge rightly and
2. and whose judgement is based on genuine revelation (as I hear, I judge)
3. who seeks not his own will and or justification, but
4. who is conscious that he has been commissioned by God (sent) and
5. and is constantly seeking His will only;

...his judgement will be just.

for the rest of us... a little caution may be required in our judgements! ;-)

Ron Bailey

 2004/5/6 5:16Profile

Joined: 2004/3/31
Posts: 901
Melbourne, Australia


I aplly this rule, its okay to judge, just come with a verdict of "not guilty". :-)

Aaron Ireland

 2004/5/6 7:22Profile

Joined: 2003/8/15
Posts: 179


First off I think we don't really understand what it means to judge. I for one struggle with what it really means.

I think that scripture is clear that we are not to judge with a critical attitude or an attitude that we are the final judge. I also think that the scriptures are clear that we are to judge with righteous judgement.

1 Cor 5:12-13 - 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.

We are to discern and judge by God's word. I think to exhort, admonish and tell others in the church about sin or even pointing out sin is the
way we are to judge. When you do this many people say don't judge. My question then is if this is true, how do we ever turn one away from their sin and snatch him from the fire.

For those that are not Christians we should not judge them. We should only preach Christ and Christ crucified to them. That will be with words and with our lives. It should not be in a condemning way but with the love of Christ and an attitude of bringing the good news that they can be saved from their sin. To tell someone of their sin is not to judge them.

Many people say don't judge because we don't know the heart. While this is true, whatever is in the heart will come out, by word and deed. We will know by the fruit. I feel that we all judge. When we say that someone is a Christian we are judging and when we say that someone is not a Christian, we are judging. If we can't judge then none of us can say that someone is or is not a Christian, only the God and the Holy Spirit can.

I will close with a couple of questions to ponder.

Was Peter judging Ananias and Sapphira when he said "why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit.. (Acts 5:3)?

Was Paul judging Peter when he opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned? He even did it in front of all the others. (Gal 2:11)

This is always a sensitive subject and usually most stay away from it. I think it is because we take one scripture that says do not judge and we don't fully understand. I am looking forward to more insight and teaching from others about it.

I have a hard time sharing my heart in typed word so I hope I was clear to what I think. Wouldn't be nice if we could all just get together and fellowship for a week just pouring of the scriptures and learning from each other.

Sincerely in Christ,



 2004/5/6 8:58Profile

Joined: 2004/3/28
Posts: 354


Thank you, Ron, for enlightening us (at least me) on the differences in the Greek. Would you mind if I or some friends of mine were to use part of what you said in a tract on Biblical judgment?

I don't believe any of us should ever even want to "condemn" (or "damn") anyone else, that authority and responsibility is God's alone (vengeance is His, etc). When my friends and I preach we're never trying to condemn anyone (although we are accused of that on an absurdly regular basis), and just about every sign we use has John 3:18 on it (we preach it, too, of course)

John 3:18
"He that believeth in Him is not condemned; but He that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

We'd hope that would make the situation clearer to our listeners, but that would likely be a triumph of hope over experience.

As for the non-final form of judgement, we do occaisionally do that, when we have sufficient information to make a judgment. For example, my friend John might explain what the Bible means by "drunkenness" or "fornication" and ask the crowd/people walking by if any of them are guilty of those sins. If they raise their hand or otherwise admit it, I don't think it's an unreasonable judgment at that point to consider them "drunkards" or "fornicators," and refer to them as such to their faces in hopes of their being convicted (not in a mocking fashion, though).

Most of the time, though, I don't think we're even judging specific people to that degree. Most of the preaching (at least of mine) is explaining the requirements of God's Law, and I tell the people listening to judge themselves by the information I've given to determine for themselves whether they're sinners. Admittedly, it seems necessary to press the point home more than that.

Anyway, I'll quit rambling.

Thanks, everyone, for an enlightening discussion.

God's grace be with all of you,

 2004/5/6 11:32Profile

Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK


Hi Keith
you ask Thank you, Ron, for enlightening us (at least me) on the differences in the Greek. Would you mind if I or some friends of mine were to use part of what you said in a tract on Biblical judgment?

Freely we have received, freely give...
its all yours bro, help yourself...

Ron Bailey

 2004/5/6 11:45Profile

Joined: 2003/11/28
Posts: 16

 Re: Judging

Yesterday I was contemplating once again on the scriptures "Judge not lest ye be judged" and found these words in a commentary (Jamieson, Fausset and Brown), Quote -
' The thing here to be condemned is that disposition to look unfavorably on the character and actions of others, which leads invariably to the pronouncing of rash, unjust, and unlovely judgments upon them....what the Lord aims at is the spirit from which they spring.'

julianne whyte

 2004/5/9 20:25Profile

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