New International Version
Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.
New Living Translation
Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly.
English Standard Version
Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.
New American Standard Bible
Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.
King James Bible
My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.
Holman Christian Standard Bible
Not many should become teachers, my brothers, knowing that we will receive a stricter judgment,
International Standard Version
Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more severely than others.
Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers and sisters, because you know that we will be judged more strictly.
Aramaic Bible in Plain English
There should not be many teachers among you, my brethren, but you should know that we will incur greater judgment,
GOD'S WORD® Translation
Brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers. You know that we who teach will be judged more severely.
Jubilee Bible 2000
My brethren, make not unto yourselves many teachers, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.
King James 2000 Bible
My brethren, be not many teachers, knowing that we shall receive the severer judgment.
American King James Version
My brothers, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.
American Standard Version
Be not many of you teachers, my brethren, knowing that we shall receive heavier judgment.
Be ye not many masters, my brethren, knowing that you receive the greater judgment.
Darby Bible Translation
Be not many teachers, my brethren, knowing that we shall receive greater judgment.
English Revised Version
Be not many teachers, my brethren, knowing that we shall receive heavier judgment.
Webster's Bible Translation
My brethren, be not many teachers, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.
Weymouth New Testament
Do not be eager, my brethren, for many among you to become teachers; for you know that we teachers shall undergo severer judgement.
World English Bible
Let not many of you be teachers, my brothers, knowing that we will receive heavier judgment.
Young's Literal Translation
Many teachers become not, my brethren, having known that greater judgment we shall receive,
Parallel CommentariesMatthew Henry's Concise Commentary
3:1-12 We are taught to dread an unruly tongue, as one of the greatest evils. The affairs of mankind are thrown into confusion by the tongues of men. Every age of the world, and every condition of life, private or public, affords examples of this. Hell has more to do in promoting the fire of the tongue than men generally think; and whenever men's tongues are employed in sinful ways, they are set on fire of hell. No man can tame the tongue without Divine grace and assistance. The apostle does not represent it as impossible, but as extremely difficult. Other sins decay with age, this many times gets worse; we grow more froward and fretful, as natural strength decays, and the days come on in which we have no pleasure. When other sins are tamed and subdued by the infirmities of age, the spirit often grows more tart, nature being drawn down to the dregs, and the words used become more passionate. That man's tongue confutes itself, which at one time pretends to adore the perfections of God, and to refer all things to him; and at another time condemns even good men, if they do not use the same words and expressions. True religion will not admit of contradictions: how many sins would be prevented, if men would always be consistent! Pious and edifying language is the genuine produce of a sanctified heart; and none who understand Christianity, expect to hear curses, lies, boastings, and revilings from a true believer's mouth, any more than they look for the fruit of one tree from another. But facts prove that more professors succeed in bridling their senses and appetites, than in duly restraining their tongues. Then, depending on Divine grace, let us take heed to bless and curse not; and let us aim to be consistent in our words and actions.
Verses 1-12. - WARNING AGAINST OVER-READINESS TO TEACH, LEADING TO A DISCOURSE ON THE IMPORTANCE OF GOVERNMENT OF THE TONGUE. Verse 1. -
(1) Warning. Be not many teachers. The warning is parallel to that of our Lord in Matthew 23:8, seq., "Be not ye called Rabbi; for one is your Teacher [διδάσκαλος, and not, as Textus Receptus, καθηγητής], and all ye are brethren." Comp. also 'Pirqe Aboth,' 1:11, "Shemaiah said, Love work and hate lordship (הרבנות)." The readiness of the Jews to take upon them the office of teachers and to set up as "guides of the blind, teachers of babes," etc., is alluded to by St. Paul in Romans 2:17, seq., and such a passage as 1 Corinthians 14:26, seq., denotes not merely the presence of a similar tendency among Christians, but also the opportunity given for its exercise in the Church.
(2) Reason for the warning. Knowing that we shall receive heavier judgment (ληψόμεθα). By the use of the first person, St. James includes himself, thus giving a remarkable proof of humility. (The Vulgate, missing this, has wrongly sumitis.) Comp. vers. 2, 9, where also he uses the first person, with great delicacy of feeling not separating himself from those whose conduct he denounces. Μεῖζον κρίμα. The form of expression recalls our Lord's saying of the Pharisees, "These shall receive greater condemnation (περισσότερον κρίμα) " (Mark 12:40; Luke 20:47).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
My brethren, be not many masters,.... The apostle having dispatched the subject of faith and good works, which constitute the pure and undefiled religion mentioned in James 1:27 which gave rise to this discourse, he proceeds to consider the evidence of a religious man, suggested in James 1:26 who is one that bridles the tongue; and enters into an account of the use and abuse of the tongue: and which is introduced by this exhortation; and which seems to be opposed to an affectation among the Jews, to whom James writes, of being called "Rabbi, Rabbi", or "Mori, Mori", master, master, condemned by Christ, Matthew 23:8. The words may be rendered, "be not many teachers"; or be not fond, and forward, and ambitious of being preachers of the word, but rather choose to be hearers of it, agreeably to the advice in James 1:19, "be swift to hear, slow to speak"; not but that the office of a teacher is a good work, and a very desirable one; and spiritual gifts, qualifying for it, are to be coveted with a view to the glory of God, and the good of souls; and to have many teachers is a blessing to the churches of Christ and a large number of them is often not only proper, but absolutely necessary: but then this office should not be entered upon without suitable gifts, a divine mission, and a regular call by a church; and when entered into, should not be performed in a magisterial way, as lords over God's heritage, and as claiming a dominion over the faith of men, but as helpers of their joy, peace, and comfort; nor according to the commandments of men, but according to the oracles of God. Or it may be, this exhortation may have respect to censorious persons, rigid and severe reprovers of others, who take upon them, in a haughty manner, to charge and rebuke others for their faults; reproof for sin ought to be given; sin should not be suffered upon the brethren; to reprove is not blameworthy, but commendable, when it is done in a right manner, with a good spirit, and to a good end: in case of private offences, it should be privately given, and for public ones, men should be rebuked before all; but then this ought to be done in a gentle manner, and in a spirit of meekness; and when it is a clear case, and plain matter of fact, and which ought not to be exaggerated and aggravated; mole hills are not to be made mountains of, or a man be made an offender for a word, or a matter of human frailty; and reproof should be given by persons not guilty of the same, or worse crimes, themselves, and always with a good end; not to screen and cover their own vices, or to be thought more holy and religious than others, or to satisfy a revengeful spirit, but for the glory of God, and the restoring of the person that has sinned.
Knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation: should men enter into the office of teaching others without a call, or perform it negligently, or live not according to the doctrine they teach others, such would be judged out of their own mouths, and by their own words, and their condemnation would be aggravated; and should men judge rash judgment, they themselves will be judged at a higher tribunal; and should they be too censorious, and bear too hard on others, they will have judgment without mercy.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Jas 3:1-18. Danger of Eagerness to Teach, and of an Unbridled Tongue: True Wisdom Shown by Uncontentious Meekness.
1. be not—literally, "become not": taking the office too hastily, and of your own accord.
many—The office is a noble one; but few are fit for it. Few govern the tongue well (Jas 3:2), and only such as can govern it are fit for the office; therefore, "teachers" ought not to be many.
masters—rather, "teachers." The Jews were especially prone to this presumption. The idea that faith (so called) without works (Jas 2:14-26) was all that is required, prompted "many" to set up as "teachers," as has been the case in all ages of the Church. At first all were allowed to teach in turns. Even their inspired gifts did not prevent liability to abuse, as James here implies: much more is this so when self-constituted teachers have no such miraculous gifts.
knowing—as all might know.
we … greater condemnation—James in a humble, conciliatory spirit, includes himself: if we teachers abuse the office, we shall receive greater condemnation than those who are mere hearers (compare Lu 12:42-46). Calvin, like English Version, translates, "masters" that is, self-constituted censors and reprovers of others Jas 4:12 accords with this view.
James 3:1 Additional Commentaries
Taming the Tongue
1Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment. 2For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well.…
"But you are not to be called 'Rabbi,' for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers.
Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul.
an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of little children, because you have in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth--
1 Timothy 1:7
They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.
Don't be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters.
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,
Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
My brothers, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.
condemnation. or, judgement.
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NT Letters: James 3:1 Let not many of you be teachers (Ja Jas. Jam) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools