Matthew 7:1 Judge not

KJV Verse: 

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

Greek Verse: 

Literal Alternative: 

You don't want to criticize because you don't want to be not criticized.

Hidden Meaning: 

The Greek source here is short, only five words, a couple of negatives and a the same verb used twice, with a conjunction to join them. Because of the many different shades of meanings in the verb, it has many different shades of meanings in translation.

The negative used twice here is the Greek negative of a subjective opinion. The sense is that "you don't want" to do something, not that it isn't done. If it wasn't done, the objective negative of fact would be used. More about the Greek negative in this article. So you don't want to judge because you don't want to be judged. This is also used in commands, which in Greek, can also be requests. 

The terms used here for "judge" and "shall be judged" is a much more complicated idea. It primarily means "to separate", "to put asunder," and "to distinguish." It has a lot of other secondary meanings. Unlike most words, which Christ uses specifically, he uses this word in a variety of ways simply because no English word corresponds to it precisely. It can mean "judge", "criticize", "decide", "discriminate," and "separate," depending on the context. Since this is the first line in a new topic in his sermon, we have very little context. However, from the following text, the meaning seems to be more in the sense of "criticize". The form in this first occurrence is either a command or a simple statement, "don't criticize" or "you don't want to criticize." 

The word translated as "that" introduces dependent phrases and means "that", "where" and "when". It has the sense of "because" but Christ uses another word in that specific meaning.

The final part of this verse is the same as the first except that the verb changes from active to passive ("judge" to "be judged") and from the present tense ("now") to a tense that indicates something happening at some point in time, that specific point in time can be in the present, past, or future.

Wordplay: 

 A play on the many meanings of "to separate" from "to discriminate" to "to decide." 

The Spoken Version: 

A man from a group of Watchers called out, “So Judeans worry too much about their possessions?”
The Judeans, who made up the bulk of the crowd, booed.
The speaker smiled but shook his head “no.”
“You all,” he said to the Watchers, “don’t want to criticize.”
The Judeans laughed and jeered.
“When,” he continued, “you all don’t want to be criticized.” He nodded toward the Judeans, making a sour face. Now it was the Watchers turn to mock them.

Vocabulary: 

Μὴ (partic) "Not" is from me, which is the negative used in prohibitions and expressions of doubt meaning "not" and "no." As οὐ (ou) negates fact and statement; μή rejects, οὐ denies; μή is relative, οὐ absolute; μή subjective, οὐ objective. -

κρίνετε, (2nd pl pres ind act or verb 2nd pl pres imperat act) "Judge" is from krino, which primarily means "to separate", "to put asunder," and "to distinguish." It has a lot of other secondary meanings, including "to pick out", "to choose", "to decide" disputes or accounts, "to win" a battle, "to judge" especially in the sense of "estimate", "to expound," or "to interpret" in a particular way.

ἵνα (conj/adv) "That" is from hina, which means "in that place", "there", "where", "when", "that", "in order that", "when," and "because."

μὴ (partic) "Not" is from me, which is the negative used in prohibitions and expressions of doubt meaning "not" and "no." As οὐ (ou) negates fact and statement; μή rejects, οὐ denies; μή is relative, οὐ absolute; μή subjective, οὐ objective.

κριθῆτε: (2nd pl aor subj pass) "Be judged" is from krino, which primarily means "to separate", "to put asunder," and "to distinguish." It has a lot of other secondary meanings, including "to pick out", "to choose", "to decide" disputes or accounts, "to win" a battle, "to judge" especially in the sense of "estimate", "to expound," or "to interpret" in a particular way.

Related Verses: 

Mar 24 2017

evidence: 

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