ABC:Matthew 7

From BibleStrength
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Verse 1[edit]

See also Judge Not?

TheThinkingAtheist.com claims the Bible is wrong about the following passage, and makes the following comments:[1]

Leviticus 19:15 Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour.

God’s law given to Moses instructs the righteous to judge others.

Matthew 7:1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.

Part of Jesus’ sermon on the mount, instructing not to judge others.

Jesus reiterates the Old Testament commandment to use righteous judgment. (John 7:24) As seen from James 2, the principle is simply not to give preference to the rich over the poor in evaluating people differently by societal status.

James 2:1 ¶ My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.
2 For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;
3 And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool:
4 Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?
5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?
6 But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?
7 Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?
8 ¶ If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:
9 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.
10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
11 For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.
12 So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.
13 For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.

Matthew 7 on the other hand is a caution against suing others at court of law, seeking to punish others rather than showing mercy, since we are all guilty before God, and cannot expect mercy if we do not show it. 'Judge not' does not mean the modern perversion claimed in recent years of not criticizing anyone or anything, but Biblically means not punishing others for debts unpaid, as in a legal system.

Matthew 18:28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.
29 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.
31 So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.
32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:
33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?
34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

John 8:7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.
9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?
11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.

Forgive to be Forgiven[edit]

It should be pointed out that the critics are only quoting half of what Jesus said when they say "Judge not, that ye be not judged." (Matthew 7:1) That's only half the saying, the other half is in the next verse, which never seems to be quoted, "For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again." (Matthew 7:2) The reason we are urged not to judge is that God will judge us at the end of time with the same judgment we judged others with, and we will be condemned with the same condemnation we condemned others with. (Luke 6:37)

Jesus urged us not to judge others ourselves whenever possible, and instead of condemning others with the Law or any laws, to forgive them, knowing that otherwise God will not forgive us. Therefore, when we are told in the Lord's prayer "forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors" it is quite literal, we will be forgiven only by the standard we forgive others with. (Luke 11:4) Ultimately, we cannot "cast the first stone" unless sinless ourselves (John 8:7), and God will not forgive those who condemn others to death, but judge them by the same standard for their guilt, for we are all guilty before God of similar things. (Romans 2:1)

Matthew 7:2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

Luke 6:37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:

Luke 11:4 And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.

Matthew 18:32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:
33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?
34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

John 8:7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.

Meaning of Judge[edit]

There's generally a lot of confusion about what the New Testament means by "Do not judge" just because people don't realize the Bible was not written in modern English. The New Testament was written in ancient Greek that got translated into 16th century English, the KJV. A lot of this confusion is caused because our modern usage of the word "judge" is so vague as to include many possible meanings.

As will be shown, the Greek word translated "judge", krino, actually means condemnation including at court of law the way a Judge or prosecutor would "judge" someone. It certainly does not mean the non-specific, vague term used today of simply criticizing someone, a distortion of what Jesus actually said that would contradict other parts of the Bible if it meant that.

The following is the interlinear/original text of the Hebrew for Leviticus 19:15 and the Greek for Leviticus 19:15. In Leviticus 19:15, the Hebrew word shaphat is translated judge, whereas in the New Testament the Greek word krino is translated judge.

Leviticus 19:15 Ye shall do <`asah> no unrighteousness <`evel> in judgment: <mishpat> thou shalt not respect <nasa'> the person <paniym> of the poor, <dal> nor honour <hadar> the person <paniym> of the mighty: <gadowl> but in righteousness <tsedeq> shalt thou judge <shaphat> thy neighbour. <`amiyth>

Matthew 7:1 Judge <krino> not, <me> that <hina me> ye be <krino> not <hina me> judged. <krino>

Meaning of Krino[edit]

The following are some definitions for the word krino, although we'll look at how it's used elsewhere in other passages to decide as well.

"krinó: to judge, decide, Original Word: κρίνω, Definition: (a) I judge, whether in a law-court or privately: sometimes with cognate nouns emphasizing the notion of the verb, (b) I decide, I think (it) good."
"decree, determine, judge
Properly, to distinguish, i.e. Decide (mentally or judicially); by implication, to try, condemn, punish -- avenge, conclude, condemn, damn, decree, determine, esteem, judge, go to (sue at the) law, ordain, call in question, sentence to, think."
-Strong's Concordance and Strong's Exhaustive Concordance[2]

"Strong's Number: 2919
Definition:
to separate, put asunder, to pick out, select, choose
to approve, esteem, to prefer
to be of opinion, deem, think, to be of opinion
to determine, resolve, decree
to judge
to pronounce an opinion concerning right and wrong
to be judged, i.e. summoned to trial that one's case may be examined and judgment passed upon it
to pronounce judgment, to subject to censure
of those who act the part of judges or arbiters in matters of common life, or pass judgment on the deeds and words of others
to rule, govern
to preside over with the power of giving judicial decisions, because it was the prerogative of kings and rulers to pass judgment
to contend together, of warriors and combatants
to dispute
in a forensic sense
to go to law, have suit at law
King James Word Usage - Total: 114
judge 88, determine 7, condemn 5, go to law 2, call in question 2, esteem 2, miscellaneous 8"
-Thayer and Smith[3]

New Testament Usage[edit]

However, why not see how the word krino is used throughout the New Testament to see if it really does carry a legal meaning of condemnation as in court of law, rather than simply criticizing? The following are passages throughout the New Testament where krino is used, as quoted from PowerBible CD:

Matthew 5:40 And <kai> if any man will <thelo> sue <krino> thee <soi> at the law <krino>, and <kai> take away <lambano> thy <sou> coat <chiton>, let <aphiemi> him <autos> have <aphiemi> thy cloke <himation> also <kai>.

Matthew 19:28 And <de> Jesus <Iesous> said <epo> unto them <autos>, Verily <amen> I say <lego> unto you <humin>, That <hoti> ye <humeis> which <ho> have followed <akoloutheo> me <moi>, in <en> the regeneration <paliggenesia> when <hotan> the Son <huios> of man <anthropos> shall sit <kathizo> in <epi> the throne <thronos> of his <autos> glory <doxa>, ye <humeis> also <kai> shall sit <kathizo> upon <epi> twelve <dodeka> thrones <thronos>, judging <krino> the twelve <dodeka> tribes <phule> of Israel <Israel>.

Luke 19:22 And <de> he saith <lego> unto him <autos>, Out of <ek> thine own <sou> mouth <stoma> will I judge <krino> thee <se>, thou wicked <poneros> servant <doulos>. Thou knewest <eido> that <hoti> I <ego> was <eimi> an austere <austeros> man <anthropos>, taking up <airo> that <hos> I laid <tithemi> not <ou> down <tithemi>, and <kai> reaping <therizo> that <hos> I did <speiro> not <ou> sow <speiro>:

John 3:17 For <gar> God <theos> sent <apostello> not <ou> his <autos> Son <huios> into <eis> the world <kosmos> to <hina> condemn <krino> the world <kosmos>; but <alla> that <hina> the world <kosmos> through <dia> him <autos> might be saved <sozo>.
18 He that believeth <pisteuo> on <eis> him <autos> is <krino> not <ou> condemned <krino>: but <de> he that believeth <pisteuo> not <me> is condemned <krino> already <ede>, because <hoti> he hath <pisteuo> not <me> believed <pisteuo> in <eis> the name <onoma> of the only begotten <monogenes> Son <huios> of God <theos>.

John 7:51 Doth <krino> our <hemon> law <nomos> judge <krino> <me> any man <anthropos>, before <proteron> <ean me> it hear <akouo> <para> him <autos>, and <kai> know <ginosko> what <tis> he doeth <poieo>?

John 12:48 He that rejecteth <atheteo> me <eme>, and <kai> receiveth <lambano> not <me> my <mou> words <rhema>, hath <echo> one that judgeth <krino> him <autos>: the word <logos> that <hos> I have spoken <laleo>, the same <ekeinos> shall judge <krino> him <autos> in <en> the last <eschatos> day <hemera>.

John 18:31 Then <oun> said <epo> Pilate <Pilatos> unto them <autos>, Take <lambano> ye <humeis> him <autos>, and <kai> judge <krino> him <autos> according <kata> to your <humon> law <nomos>. The Jews <Ioudaios> therefore <oun> said <epo> unto him <autos>, It is <exesti> not <ou> lawful <exesti> for us <hemin> to put <apokteino> any man <oudeis> to death <apokteino>:

Acts 3:13 The God <theos> of Abraham <Abraam>, and <kai> of Isaac <Isaak>, and <kai> of Jacob <Iakob>, the God <theos> of our <hemon> fathers <pater>, hath glorified <doxazo> his <autos> Son <pais> Jesus <Iesous>; whom <hos> ye <humeis> delivered up <paradidomi>, and <kai> denied <arneomai> him <autos> in <kata> the presence <prosopon> of Pilate <Pilatos>, when he was determined <krino> to let <apoluo> him <ekeinos> go <apoluo>.

Acts 13:27 For <gar> they that dwell <katoikeo> at <en> Jerusalem <Hierousalem>, and <kai> their <autos> rulers <archon>, because they knew <agnoeo> him <touton> not <agnoeo>, nor yet <kai> the voices <phone> of the prophets <prophetes> which <ho> are read <anaginosko> <kata> every <pas> sabbath day <sabbaton>, they have fulfilled <pleroo> them in condemning <krino> him.

Acts 15:19 Wherefore <dio> my <ego> sentence is <krino>, that we trouble <parenochleo> not <me> them, which <ho> from among <apo> the Gentiles <ethnos> are turned <epistrepho> to <epi> God <theos>:

Acts 23:3 Then <tote> said <epo> Paul <Paulos> unto <pros> him <autos>, God <theos> shall <mello> smite <tupto> thee <se>, thou whited <koniao> wall <toichos>: for <kai> sittest <kathemai> thou <su> to judge <krino> me <me> after <kata> the law <nomos>, and <kai> commandest <keleuo> me <me> to be smitten <tupto> contrary to the law <paranomeo>?

Acts 24:6 Who <hos> also <kai> hath gone about <peirazo> to profane <bebeloo> the temple <hieron>: <kai> whom <hos> we took <krateo>, and <kai> would <thelo> have judged <krino> according <kata> to our <hemeteros> law <nomos>.

Acts 25:9 But <de> Festus <Phestos>, willing <thelo> to do <katatithemi> the Jews <Ioudaios> a pleasure <charis>, answered <apokrinomai> Paul <Paulos>, and said <epo>, Wilt thou <thelo> go up <anabaino> to <eis> Jerusalem <Hierosoluma>, and there <ekei> be judged <krino> of <peri> these things <touton> before <epi> me <emou>?
10 Then <de> said <epo> Paul <Paulos>, I stand <eimi> <histemi> at <epi> Caesar's <Kaisar> judgment seat <bema>, where <hou> I <me> ought <dei> to be judged <krino>: to the Jews <Ioudaios> have I done <adikeo> no <oudeis> wrong <adikeo>, as <hos> <kai> thou <su> very well <kallion> knowest <epiginosko>.

Romans 2:12 For <gar> as many as <hosos> have sinned <hamartano> without law <anomos> shall <apollumi> also <kai> perish <apollumi> without law <anomos>: and <kai> as many as <hosos> have sinned <hamartano> in <en> the law <nomos> shall be judged <krino> by <dia> the law <nomos>;

Romans 14:10 But <de> why <tis> dost <krino> thou <su> judge <krino> thy <sou> brother <adelphos>? or <e> <kai> why <tis> dost <exoutheneo> thou <su> set at nought <exoutheneo> thy <sou> brother <adelphos>? for <gar> we shall <paristemi> all <pas> stand before <paristemi> the judgment seat <bema> of Christ <Christos>.

1 Corinthians 5:12 For <gar> what <tis> have I <moi> to do to judge <krino> them also <kai> that are without <exo>? do <krino> not <ouchi> ye <humeis> judge <krino> them that are within <eso>?
13 But <de> them that are without <exo> God <theos> judgeth <krino>. Therefore <kai> put away <exairo> from <ek> among yourselves <humon> that <autos> wicked person <poneros>.

1 Corinthians 6:1 Dare <tolmao> any <tis> of you <humon>, having <echo> a matter <pragma> against <pros> another <heteros>, go to law <krino> before <epi> the unjust <adikos>, and <kai> not <ouchi> before <epi> the saints <hagios>?
2 Do ye <eido> not <ou> know <eido> that <hoti> the saints <hagios> shall judge <krino> the world <kosmos>? and <kai> if <ei> the world <kosmos> shall be judged <krino> by <en> you <humin>, are ye <este> unworthy <anaxios> to judge <kriterion> the smallest matters <elachistos>?
3 Know ye <eido> not <ou> that <hoti> we shall judge <krino> angels <aggelos>? how much more <metige> <ge> things that pertain to this life <biotikos>?

1 Corinthians 6:6 But <alla> brother <adelphos> goeth to law <krino> with <meta> brother <adelphos>, and <kai> that <touto> before <epi> the unbelievers <apistos>.

2 Thessalonians 2:12 That <hina> they all <pas> might be damned <krino> who <ho> believed <pisteuo> not <me> the truth <aletheia>, but <alla> had pleasure <eudokeo> in <en> unrighteousness <adikia>.

2 Timothy 4:1 I <ego> charge <diamarturomai> thee therefore <oun> before <enopion> God <theos>, and <kai> the Lord <kurios> Jesus <Iesous> Christ <Christos>, who <ho> shall <mello> judge <krino> the quick <zao> and <kai> the dead <nekros> at <kata> his <autos> appearing <epiphaneia> and <kai> his <autos> kingdom <basileia>;

James 2:12 So <houto> speak ye <laleo>, and <kai> so <houto> do <poieo>, as <hos> they that shall be <mello> judged <krino> by <dia> the law <nomos> of liberty <eleutheria>.

James 4:11 Speak <katalaleo> not <me> evil <katalaleo> one of another <allelon>, brethren <adelphos>. He that speaketh evil <katalaleo> of his brother <adelphos>, and <kai> judgeth <krino> his <autos> brother <adelphos>, speaketh evil <katalaleo> of the law <nomos>, and <kai> judgeth <krino> the law <nomos>: but <de> if <ei> thou judge <krino> the law <nomos>, thou art <ei> not <ou> a doer <poietes> of the law <nomos>, but <alla> a judge <krites>.
12 There is <esti> one <heis> lawgiver <nomothetes>, who <ho> is able <dunamai> to save <sozo> and <kai> to destroy <apollumi>: who <tis> art <ei> thou <su> that <hos> judgest <krino> another <heteros>?

1 Peter 4:5 Who <hos> shall give <apodidomi> account <logos> to him that is <echo> ready <hetoimos> to judge <krino> the quick <zao> and <kai> the dead <nekros>.

Revelation 20:12 And <kai> I saw <eido> the dead <nekros>, small <mikros> and <kai> great <megas>, stand <histemi> before <enopion> God <theos>; and <kai> the books <biblion> were opened <anoigo>: and <kai> another <allos> book <biblion> was opened <anoigo>, which <hos> is <esti> the book of life <zoe>: and <kai> the dead <nekros> were judged <krino> out of <ek> those things which were written <grapho> in <en> the books <biblion>, according to <kata> their <autos> works <ergon>.
13 And <kai> the sea <thalassa> gave up <didomi> the dead <nekros> which <ho> were in <en> it <autos>; and <kai> death <thanatos> and <kai> hell <hades> delivered up <didomi> the dead <nekros> which <ho> were in <en> them <autos>: and <kai> they were judged <krino> every man <hekastos> according to <kata> their <autos> works <ergon>.

Legal Usage[edit]

As should be apparent, the word frequently is used in reference to courts and law, and is actually translated 5 times as "condemn" and 2 times as "go to law."[3] It's translated "sue" in Matthew 5:40. It's the same word used to refer to Pilate judging Jesus in court in John 18:31, Acts 3:13, and 13:27. It's the same word used to refer to the Pharisees judging Paul in court according to Jewish Law in Acts 23:3 and 24:6, and the word used to refer to Paul's trial before Festus in Acts 25:9-10. In 1 Corinthians 6:1-6 Paul uses it to refer to Christians going to court and suing one another before unbelievers. It's the same word used to refer to Jesus' final judgment of the world in John 3:17-18, 12:48, Romans 14:10, 2 Timothy 4:1, 1 Peter 4:5, and Revelation 20:12-13.

Meaning of Shaphat[edit]

However, the word shaphat in the Old Testament also has a similar meaning to krino in the New Testament, of legal judgment as in a court of law.

"shaphat: to judge, govern"

"avenge, that condemn, contend, defend, execute judgment, be a judgment
A primitive root; to judge, i.e. Pronounce sentence (for or against); by implication, to vindicate or punish; by extenssion, to govern; passively, to litigate (literally or figuratively) -- + avenge, X that condemn, contend, defend, execute (judgment), (be a) judge(-ment), X needs, plead, reason, rule."
-Strong's Concordance and Strong's Exhaustive Concordance[4]

"Strong's Number: 08199
Definition:
to judge, govern, vindicate, punish
(Qal)
to act as law-giver or judge or governor (of God, man) 1a
to rule, govern, judge
to decide controversy (of God, man)
to execute judgment 1a
discriminating (of man) 1a
vindicating 1a
condemning and punishing 1a
at theophanic advent for final judgment
(Niphal)
to enter into controversy, plead, have controversy together
to be judged
(Poel) judge, opponent-at-law (participle)
King James Word Usage - Total: 203
judge (v) 119, judge (n) 60, plead 11, avenged 2, condemn 2, execute 2, judgment 2, defend 1, deliver 1, miscellaneous 3

Old Testament Usage[edit]

Like its New Testament counterpart, shaphat also appears to carry a connotation of legal justice. As in the New Testament, it sometimes refers to God Himself as Judge. Usage is bolded for ease of reading.

Genesis 18:25 That be far <chaliylah> from thee to do <`asah> after this manner <dabar>, to slay <muwth> the righteous <tsaddiyq> with the wicked <rasha`>: and that the righteous <tsaddiyq> should be as the wicked <rasha`>, that be far <chaliylah> from thee: Shall not the Judge <shaphat> of all the earth <'erets> do <`asah> right <mishpat>?

Exodus 18:13 And it came to pass on the morrow <mochorath>, that Moses <Mosheh> sat <yashab> to judge <shaphat> the people <`am>: and the people <`am> stood <`amad> by Moses <Mosheh> from the morning <boqer> unto the evening <`ereb>.

Exodus 18:16 When they have a matter <dabar>, they come <bow'> unto me; and I judge <shaphat> between one <'iysh> and another <rea`>, and I do make them know <yada`> the statutes <choq> of God <'elohiym>, and his laws <towrah>.

Numbers 35:24 Then the congregation <`edah> shall judge <shaphat> between the slayer <nakah> and the revenger <ga'al> of blood <dam> according to these judgments <mishpat>:

Deuteronomy 16:18 Judges <shaphat> and officers <shoter> shalt thou make <nathan> thee in all thy gates <sha`ar>, which the LORD <Y@hovah> thy God <'elohiym> giveth <nathan> thee, throughout thy tribes <shebet>: and they shall judge <shaphat> the people <`am> with just <tsedeq> judgment <mishpat>.

Deuteronomy 17:9 And thou shalt come <bow'> unto the priests <kohen> the Levites <Leviyiy>, and unto the judge <shaphat> that shall be in those days <yowm>, and enquire <darash>; and they shall shew <nagad> thee the sentence <dabar> of judgment <mishpat>:

Deuteronomy 19:18 And the judges <shaphat> shall make diligent <yatab> inquisition <darash>: and, behold, if the witness <`ed> be a false <sheqer> witness <`ed>, and hath testified <`anah> falsely <sheqer> against his brother <'ach>;

Judges 11:27 Wherefore I have not sinned <chata'> against thee, but thou doest <`asah> <'eth> me wrong <ra`> to war <lacham> against me: the LORD <Y@hovah> the Judge <shaphat> be judge <shaphat> this day <yowm> between the children <ben> of Israel <Yisra'el> and the children <ben> of Ammon <`Ammown>.

Psalms 50:6 And the heavens <shamayim> shall declare <nagad> his righteousness <tsedeq>: for God <'elohiym> is judge <shaphat> himself. Selah <celah>.

A difference between the New Testament word krino may be that the word shaphat was sometimes used in reference to ruling a nation as well, for example kings and leaders were said to be judges. In some cases such as 1 Samuel 8:5, it referred specifically to ruling and not judging in court of law. Perhaps this was because the Israel concept of a judge was somewhat different than what we think of today. It began with Moses ruling the people and deciding their disputes (Exodus 18:13-20), and was linked with leadership and rule over the people, as seen in 2 Samuel 15:4.

Judges 2:18 And when the LORD <Y@hovah> raised <quwm> them up judges <shaphat>, then the LORD <Y@hovah> was with the judge <shaphat>, and delivered <yasha`> them out of the hand <yad> of their enemies <'oyeb> all the days <yowm> of the judge <shaphat>: for it repented <nacham> the LORD <Y@hovah> because <paniym> of their groanings <n@'aqah> by reason of them that oppressed <lachats> them and vexed <dachaq> them.

1 Samuel 8:5 And said <'amar> unto him, Behold, thou art old <zaqen>, and thy sons <ben> walk <halak> not in thy ways <derek>: now make <suwm> us a king <melek> to judge <shaphat> us like all the nations <gowy>.

2 Samuel 15:4 Absalom <'Abiyshalowm> said <'amar> moreover, Oh that I were made <suwm> judge <shaphat> in the land <'erets>, that every man <'iysh> which hath any suit <riyb> or cause <mishpat> might come <bow'> unto me, and I would do him justice <tsadaq>!

Isaiah 33:22 For the LORD <Y@hovah> is our judge <shaphat>, the LORD <Y@hovah> is our lawgiver <chaqaq>, the LORD <Y@hovah> is our king <melek>; he will save <yasha`> us.

Hosea 13:10 I will <'ehiy> be thy king <melek>: where <'ephow> is any other that may save <yasha`> thee in all thy cities <`iyr>? and thy judges <shaphat> of whom thou saidst <'amar>, Give <nathan> me a king <melek> and princes <sar>?

New Testament Compared to Old Testament[edit]

Don't Treat Poor and Rich Differently[edit]

The principle of Leviticus 19:15 is actually repeated also in the New Testament as well. Put simply it means not treating the poor differently from the rich.

Leviticus 19:15 Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour.

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

James 2:1 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.
2 For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;
3 And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool:
4 Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?
5 Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?
6 But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?
7 Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?
8 ¶ If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:
9 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.

Judgment Necessary at Times[edit]

In some cases, justice and judgment was necessary, both in the Old Testament and New Testament. Moses was the first judge, deciding the disputes and problems between Israelites (Exodus 18:13-20), judges and officers were appointed as key positions in Israel (Deuteronomy 16:18), and later judges were appointed by God to rule Israel, delivering them from their enemies. (Judges 2:18) Samson, Deborah, Gideon, and others were said to be such judges, governing Israel and sometimes playing the part of warriors and generals in leading Israel against enemy armies.

In the New Testament, Paul urged churches to appoint some of the wisest members as judges, since Christians were going to court against one another before unbelievers. Paul reminded them that Christians will judge angels and the entire world at the end of time, and are hardly unworthy to judge minor matters. Paul's teaching was that while God judges those outside the church, it is necessary for the church to judge those inside, removing evil people who would destroy the reputation of Christianity if allowed to stay, by their evil lifestyles and actions. (1 Corinthians 5:9-6:6) Paul also said that rulers are necessary in the Earth and should be respected as "ordained by God." (Romans 13:1-6)

Conclusion[edit]

Law Just, But Cannot Justify[edit]

While the Old Testament Law, including Leviticus 19:5, was a just Law (1 Timothy 1:8, Romans 7:7), it cannot justify any human (Romans 3:20), but by it all are guilty of death before God. (Romans 6:23) As Paul says, the Law is just (Romans 7:7, 1 Timothy 1:8), but was just a schoolmaster to show us our faults (Galatians 3:24-25) that we might repent and turn from them (Romans 6:1-2, Galatians 6:7-8, Philippians 3:18-19), forgiving others as God wants so He can forgive us. (Next section)

Romans 3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

1 John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

James 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
11 For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.
12 So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.
13 For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.

Romans 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

1 Timothy 1:8 But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;
9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,
10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;

Romans 3:9 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;
10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

Galatians 3:19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.
20 Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.
21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.
22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.
24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

Romans 3:31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.

Urged Not to Judge[edit]

Thus, Jesus was correct in urging people not to seek out positions of judgment, since it means greater responsibility before God in the end. We will receive greater condemnation with such greater responsibility. Judges and rulers are necessary in the Earth for governance. (Romans 13:1-6)

James 3:1 My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.

Matthew 23:8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.

Romans 2:1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that 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 them which commit such things.
3 And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?

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.
12 There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?

Rather than a commandment that judging as a judge in court of law is wrong, it is a warning that we should not seek to be such judges since we will be condemned by God with the same condemnations we use towards others, and the same standards of judgment we use on others will be used on us. We are told not to respect the status of people, rich or poor, something that God despises as partiality in justice. (James 2:1-8) We are commanded to forgive others as Jesus forgave us, for a servant who does not forgive his fellow servants cannot expect his master to forgive him. (Luke 19:22)

Ultimately, God alone is the ultimate Judge of all the Earth, and will be the one who decides disputes in the end. We should let Him determine vengeance, and not even seek to avenge ourselves, since enemies will be punished even more greatly if we do not respond with evil. (Romans 12:19-22) We shouldn't even rejoice if our enemies fall lest God see it in displeasure and turn His wrath from them. (Proverbs 24:17-18) The reason for not judging others whenever possible is to minimize our level of condemnation and judgment by God at the end of time, forgiving that our Lord may forgive us.

Summary[edit]

In summary, judgment is necessary for rulers to keep the world from falling into chaos, and is Biblically allowed. Ultimately, the Old Testament Law including Leviticus 19:5 was a just Law for punishing evil, but by that Law will none be justified. Therefore, Jesus ushered in a new way (Galatians 3:23), showing that we must show mercy to others since we are all guilty of death before God, and cannot expect His mercy if we do not show the same mercy to others. The Law was not wrong, but only by showing mercy can we expect God to forgive our own faults according to the Law. It was designed to show us our faults and need for salvation (Romans 7:1) but was just a schoolmaster to bring us to trust in Jesus. (Galatians 3:24)

Thus, Jesus and other apostles repeatedly urge us not to judge/condemn others to death, since we cannot cast the first stone unless sinless ourselves. (John 8:7) Jesus told the example of a servant who, forgiven a huge debt by his lord, then turned around and threw his fellow servant into prison for a minor debt. The angry ruler then threw the wicked servant into prison to pay the debt he had owed. Jesus concluded with "So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses." (Matthew 18:35) The Law, including Leviticus, was just, but could not justify, and was given to show us our faults and sinfulness.

Verse 7, Are Prayers Always Answered?[edit]

Patheos' Bob Seidensticker claims there is a contradiction here and makes the following comments (italicized):[5]

Jesus promises that prayers are answered

Jesus says a lot about prayer, and he makes big claims for it.

Matthew 7:7 ¶ Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

Mark 11:24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

John 14:12 ¶ Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

Apologists say that Jesus isn’t like a genie, but they need to reread their Bibles. Jesus really does say, “Ask, and ye shall receive”—it’s in John 16:24. He says it without caveats. That promise has been tested uncountably many times, often by desperate people, but if Jesus answers, it’s indistinguishable from chance. (More on prayer here and here.)

The critic carelessly claims that Jesus makes no caveats when it comes to prayer, when in fact there are numerous caveats mentioned. First of all, Matthew 7:7 is in the context of Jesus' broader comments on prayer, (cp. Luke 11:1-13) that we should pray without repetition or asking for physical possessions, since God knows what we need without us asking Him. (Matthew 6:7-8) We are told not to concern ourselves in prayer with material possessions but treasure in Heaven, and that our hearts will only be in Heaven if that is where our treasure is. (Matthew 16:19-21) We should be content with food and clothing from God, seeking first God's kingdom and His righteousness. (Matthew 6:25-34)

Furthermore, Jesus' statement that if we ask we will receive was made concerning God's giving of the Holy Spirit to those who ask. (Luke 11:9-13) We are commanded to additionally pray, first and foremost, that God's will be done, not our own. (Matthew 6:9; Luke 11:2) Aside from food and clothing, we should not be asking for anything physical. (Matthew 6:11,25; Luke 11:3; 12:22-31) It is only when seeking God's kingdom first that we can expect God to eventually, in His own time, add more. (Matthew 6:33; Luke 12:31) Nor will this necessarily be in this life; we should be most concerned with treasures in the Kingdom of Heaven. (Luke 12:32-33; Matthew 6:19-20)

We can only expect God to receive our petitions if we are asking according to His will, after the manner Jesus taught us to pray in Matthew 6-7 and Luke 11-12. (1 John 5:14-15) Faith is more than just believing that God exists, but doing God's commandments because we trust in Him. (1 John 3:22-24) God does not hear prayers from those He has no relationship with, and for Him to hear us, we must have fully cleansed hearts, walking in full confidence and purity towards Him. (Hebrews 10:22-23) One thing that is freely given by God is wisdom, so long as those asking for it ask in faith without doubting. (James 1:5-7) Receiving from God is contingent not just upon asking God, but asking correctly in humility, out of love rather than lust, having submitted ourselves to God, drawing near to Him, with cleansed hands and purified hearts. (James 4:2-10)

As David writes in the Psalms, "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me." (Psalms 66:18) God only hears the prayer of the righteous. (Proverbs 15:29; 28:29; Isaiah 1:15) The blind man Jesus healed testified to this, saying "Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth." (John 9:31) Those who have despised God will be ignored by Him when trouble comes upon them. (Proverbs 1:29-30; Jeremiah 14:10-12) Those who have done evil to others and did not show mercy to them will be similarly be ignored by God during their times of trouble. (Zechariah 7:12-13; Micah 3:3-4; Ezekiel 8:17-18)

Receiving by asking in the name of Jesus (John 14:13-14) is contingent upon us abiding in Jesus and His words abiding in us, so that we do all of His commandments. (John 15:7) We are only Jesus' disciples if bearing fruit. (John 15:8) Furthermore, it requires two Christians agreeing upon something, not just one, in some cases. (Matthew 18:19) Prayer in faith, being able to work miracles, involves a holy, righteous life that seeks the glory of Jesus and God the Father, to do the Father's will not ours, asking in humility while focused on rewards in Heaven, not on Earth, having helped others as we hope for God to help us, ideally asking in fellowship with another Christian who meets those requirements.

Answered prayers follow after holiness. We should first be asking that if there is anything in our hearts not according to God's will that He will change us. Only when our hearts are right and pure before God can we expect to start asking for miracles. Put simply, we cannot expect God's blessings unless we are doing His will.

Sources[edit]

  1. TheThinkingAtheist. Bible Contradictions. Retrieved from http://www.thethinkingatheist.com/page/bible-contradictions.
  2. Strong, James (2009). Strong's Exhaustive Concordance to the Bible. Retrieved from http://biblesuite.com/strongs/greek/2919.htm.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Thayer and Smith. Greek Lexicon entry for Krino. The KJV New Testament Greek Lexicon. Retrieved from http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/kjv/krino.html.
  4. Strong, James (2009). Strong's Exhaustive Concordance to the Bible. Retrieved from http://biblesuite.com/strongs/greek/2919.htm.
  5. Seidensticker, P. (2018, October 20). "Top 20 Most Damning Bible Contradictions." Patheos.