Does the Bible say “Do not judge?”

Innumerable people with superficial Bible knowledge, or some axe to grind preach this message: The Bible says do not judge! Who are you to judge me!

The Law of Moses says: “You shall do no injustice in judgment. You shall not be partial to the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty. IN RIGHTEOUSNESS YOU SHALL JUDGE YOUR NEIGHBOR.” (Leviticus 19:15)

Jesus Christ said: “Do not judge according to appearance, but JUDGE WITH RIGHTEOUS JUDGMENT.” (John 7:24)

Paul, Christ’s apostle wrote: “…Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you, not even one, who will be able to JUDGE BETWEEN HIS BRETHREN?” (1 Corinthians 6:5)

It is right to privately deem the actions of others as right or wrong according to God’s ethical standard.

It is wrong to act as a vigilante when you judge the deed of another to be wrong.

It is wonderful to give praise or reward when you see another do a good deed.

It is right for public judgments to be made which result in tangible rewards or punishments for those lawfully and rightly judged.

(Emphases added in Scripture texts; the context of which as always should be considered. Leviticus chapter 19 especially has many good and wise precepts about how to live out love for neighbor, the second of the two great commandments on which all the law depends.)

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