In Tennessee we were taken to a large Christian bookshop and the owner asked me what I thought of his shop. I said it was a beautiful shop, but that his books on the 'emerging church' were wrong. He said: 'Judge not, lest you be judged!' He had never learned that there are FIVE Greek words for judging in the Bible...
Fortunately, I had learned the truth about biblical judging from Jacob Prasch, and was able to say to the owner of the shop: "There are five Greek words for judging in the Bible, and three of them we are COMMANDED to do. When Jesus said 'Judge not lest you be judged,' He was talking about hypocritical judging. He doesn't want us to be judging hypocritically, but He expects us to discern, decide, review critically, analyse and generally use the brains He gave us."
The bookshop owner told me he had never heard before that there were different kinds of judging. Of course he hadn't. Most churches today do not teach such things. I thank God for Jacob Prasch and other good Bible teachers. Actually the owner came over to me a few minutes later and apologized for the way he had spoken, and said he would look into the matter of judging. I hope he did.
Meanwhile, it is my turn to teach Sunday School this week, and it will be on judging and the five Greek words. Below is what I will tell our older children, which I printed out for each of them on four A4 sheets. Please feel free to print out and use it. And never again let anyone gag you by saying: 'Judge not!' Here is the Sunday School lesson:Sunday School July 3, 2011
5 Greek words for judging Memory verse: 1 Cor 2:15 He that is spiritual judges all things.
This is based on a teaching I learned from Jacob Prasch, Jewish-American Bible teacher and head of Moriel Ministries (www.moriel.org) ‘Moriel’ means ‘God is my teacher’.
“Judging” in English is one word; in Greek there are five main words for judging which mean very different things. Some judging we are not to do; some judging we are commanded to do. There are scriptures which tell us not to judge, and others which command us to judge.
Jesus said: Do not judge or you too will be judged, for in the same way you judge others you will be judged. Matt 7:1,2
Jesus also said: Stop judging by mere appearances and make a right judgement! John 7:24
James said: Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it …who are you to judge your neighbour?
James also says: You adulterous people…(judging them) - James, Chap 4:4
Paul says: Judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. 1 Cor 4:5
Paul also says: (about the immoral brother): I have already passed judgement … hand this man over to Satan. 1 Cor 5:3
All three say not to judge … and then tell us to judge. So does the Bible contradict itself? Never! You have to look at the Greek word used in each case.
The main Greek word for judging is “krino” (pronounced kree – no). “Krites” (cry – teas) is a judge, magistrate, the root of our word hypocrite (hypo – krites).
Five Greek words:
Krino – eternal judgement, heaven or hell; only Christ can judge in this fashion.
Hypo-krites – hypocritical judging; we are forbidden to do this
Ana-krino – to discern
Dia-krino – to decide
Kritikos – to review critically, analyse
The last three words for judging we are commanded to do.
Matt 7 (‘Judge not, or you will be judged’) Here the context is one of hypocrisy. The Lord Jesus warns us not to judge hypocritically, or we will be judged ourselves. If we judge someone else for a sin that we ourselves are guilty of, God will judge us, perhaps by public exposure. If, for example, you are a thief and you are loudly condemning someone else for stealing, God will probably see to it that you are exposed as a thief. Jesus was hard on hypocrites, kind to sinners. Do not judge someone for what you are doing; instead, repent of your own sin! Get the plank out of your own eye!
There is a big difference between judging a person and their motives (only God knows the heart) and judging their actions, doctrine and practice. If you see a practice that is wrong, you should stand against it. Many of the epistles are judging apostasy. In 2 Timothy (2:17and 4:10) Paul names three men and warns the Christians about them. Paul is being discerning and we are to be as well.
To discern (ana-krino) is not a privilege – it is a command.
To decide (dia-krino) is a command
To review critically (kritikos) is a command.
Today we need much more diakrino (Greek for discern, decide): to investigate in order to spiritually discern if something is of God or not, according to scripture. As in: ‘Let two or three prophets speak and let the others pass judgement.’ 1 Cor 14:29
If you do not judge actions, practices, doctrines – you are in rebellion and you are going to be deceived. Deception in the churches is one of the chief marks that we are indeed in the last days.
Other Greek words for judging:
Gnome (pronounced no- may) – opinion
Di Kaioma – judgement, opinion, a judicial opinion
Krises – dispensing justice, sentencing
Some points for discussion follow.
Judging – memory verse: ‘He that is spiritual judges all things.’ 1 Cor 2:15 So if you are going to judge things, how would you deal with it if you are with someone and they say:
- 1 Jesus is a friend to everybody in the world.
- 2 Jesus would never do anything unfriendly.
- 3 Jesus would never judge anybody.
- 5 If you have enough faith, you can claim your healing.
· 6 Never pray ‘Thy will be done,’ because that shows a lack of faith
No 1: 'A friend to everyone?' Jesus would LIKE to be a friend to everybody in the world, but most people reject Him. He said most people would take the broad way that leads to destruction, and only a few people would find the narrow way that leads to Heaven.
No. 2 'Never do anything unfriendly?' Jesus made a whip of cords. He overturned the tables of the men selling things in the Temple and drove them out of the building.
No. 3 'Never judge anybody?' To the phony miracle men He will say: ‘Depart from me you evil doers. I never knew you.’
No. 4 'All roads lead to God?' Jesus said: ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’
No 5. 'All can get healed?' The great apostle Paul said: ‘Trophimus have I left sick in Miletus.’ 2 Tim 4:20
No 6 'Never pray that God's will be done?' In the darkest hour of His life, Jesus prayed in the garden of Gethsemane: ‘Thy will be done.’
Finally, here is our little 'test' page:
Judging – July 2011 True or false
Jesus told us never to judge at all, never ever. T F
Jesus expects us to make right judgements T F
If we think somebody’s teaching is wrong, we should just keep our mouths shut about it. T F
If we disagree with a sermon, we should test it against what the Bible says. T F
A hypocrite is a really good person. T F
A hypocrite is someone who judges someone else, and is guilty of the same thing themselves. T F
A discerning person is someone who studies and investigates a matter to find the truth. T F
Fill in the blanks using one of these words: right, five, judges, commanded
He that is spiritual ___________________ all things. 1 Cor 2:15
Stop judging by mere appearances and make a __________________judgement! John 7:24
There are _______________ main words for judging in Greek.
Three of the main words we are _________________________________ to do.
For discussion You see a book in a Christian bookshop that you know is wrong and you tell the owner of the shop about it. He tells you: ‘Judge not, lest you be judged.’ What would you say to him? .