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Sorry Greg Laurie, you're not right about Matthew 7:1

Mr Laurie, sent out the following devotional on email. I quote it in full so that I cannot bindividual s accused of quoting him out of Context.

FRIDAY, MAY 3, 2013

The Bible's Most Popular Verse

"Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you."


There was a time when probably the best-known Bible verse would have been John 3:16: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." It seemed as though everyone either knew this verse or knew a little bit about it.

But that is no longer the favorite verse of most people, especially nonbelievers. In fact, I believe the nonbeliever's favorite verse is Matthew 7:1. I don't think they know the actual reference, but they love to quote it: "Judge not, that you be not judged."

That is usually what they say to a Christian who has the audacity to hold a biblical worldview. If we dare say that something is right or wrong, or if we make an evaluation about something, they will shoot back, "How can you say that? That is so judgmental! That is so narrow-minded! That is so bigoted! Doesn't the Bible say, 'Judge not, lest you be judged'?"

Don't be put off by that. A better translation of this verse would be, "Condemn not, that you be not condemned." I am not in the position to say who will get into heaven or who will end up in hell. Ultimately that is up to God.

But I am to make judgments in life. Every day, I make judgments. If I am stepping into the street, I look both ways to make sure it is safe. That is a judgment. If I see a dog and decide to pet it, only to change my mind when he suddenly bares his teeth and growls, then that is a judgment.

So I am to make judgments and evaluations as a follower of Jesus Christ. We must make judgments. But we must not condemn.


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So Mr Laurie claims that what Jesus is quoted as saying in the verses is not "do not judge" but "do not condemn" - While I agree with him we are NOT to condemn as in pronounce judgement on a person, but I do not believe he is right about this particular quotation.

The Greek word in the text is κρίνετε - pronounced KRINETE. It is related to the Greek verb κρίνω (krinō) - to judge.  There are ten occurrences of this word in the New Testament and in none of them is the word translated to condemn - only to judge.

Not only is it inappropriate for people to judge an individual and condemn the person, it is wrong to make blanket judging statements about groups of people for actions that they suppose to be wrong. Jesus pointed this out by saying that can a man remove the speck from his brothers eye when has a plank in his own? The point being we cannot point a finger at others without realising that we have a lot to sort out in our own lives.

What Jesus was saying was that we ought not to go around pointing out the faults of others. There is one place for judgement, and that is in the court of law where people can bring forward an accusation, or accusations, and then present evidence to PROVE that the alleged crime was committed, and the accused person or people have the opportunity to plead their case, and defend themselves against unfounded allegations.

The Greek word katakrino means to condemn.

Making statements that certain types of people are already condemned you are condemning the individuals who identify as being part of that group.


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