James 4:11
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it.

New Living Translation
Don't speak evil against each other, dear brothers and sisters. If you criticize and judge each other, then you are criticizing and judging God's law. But your job is to obey the law, not to judge whether it applies to you.

English Standard Version
Do not speak evil against one another, brothers. The one who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks evil against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge.

New American Standard Bible
Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge of it.

King James Bible
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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Don't criticize one another, brothers. He who criticizes a brother or judges his brother criticizes the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge.

International Standard Version
Do not criticize each other, brothers. Whoever makes it his habit to criticize his brother or to judge his brother is judging the Law and condemning the Law. But if you condemn the Law, you are not a practicer of the Law but its judge.

NET Bible
Do not speak against one another, brothers and sisters. He who speaks against a fellow believer or judges a fellow believer speaks against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but its judge.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Do not speak against each other, my brethren, for he who speaks against his brother or judges his brother speaks against The Written Law, and judges The Written Law; if you judge The Written Law, you are not a doer of the law, but its judge.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Brothers and sisters, stop slandering each other. Those who slander and judge other believers slander and judge God's teachings. If you judge God's teachings, you are no longer following them. Instead, you are judging them.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Murmur not against one another, brethren. He that speaks evil of his brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law; but if thou judge the law, thou art not a keeper of the law, but a judge.

King James 2000 Bible
Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaks evil of his brother, and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law, and judges the law: but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law, but a judge.

American King James Version
Speak not evil one of another, brothers. He that speaks evil of his brother, and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law, and judges the law: but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law, but a judge.

American Standard Version
Speak not one against another, brethren. He that speaketh against a brother, or judgeth his brother, speaketh against the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judgest the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Detract not one another, my brethren. He that detracteth his brother, or he that judgeth his brother, detracteth the law, and judgeth the law. But if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.

Darby Bible Translation
Speak not against one another, brethren. He that speaks against [his] brother, or judges his brother, speaks against [the] law and judges [the] law. But if thou judgest [the] law, thou art not doer of [the] law, but judge.

English Revised Version
Speak not one against another, brethren. He that speaketh against a brother, or judgeth his brother, speaketh against the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judgest the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.

Webster's Bible Translation
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 judgest the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.

Weymouth New Testament
Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. The man who speaks evil of a brother-man or judges his brother-man speaks evil of the Law and judges the Law. But if you judge the Law, you are no longer one who obeys the Law, but one who judges it.

World English Bible
Don't speak against one another, brothers. He who speaks against a brother and judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law, but a judge.

Young's Literal Translation
Speak not one against another, brethren; he who is speaking against a brother, and is judging his brother, doth speak against law, and doth judge law, and if law thou dost judge, thou art not a doer of law but a judge;
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

4:11-17 Our lips must be governed by the law of kindness, as well as truth and justice. Christians are brethren. And to break God's commands, is to speak evil of them, and to judge them, as if they laid too great a restraint upon us. We have the law of God, which is a rule to all; let us not presume to set up our own notions and opinions as a rule to those about us, and let us be careful that we be not condemned of the Lord. Go to now, is a call to any one to consider his conduct as being wrong. How apt worldly and contriving men are to leave God out of their plans! How vain it is to look for any thing good without God's blessing and guidance! The frailty, shortness, and uncertainty of life, ought to check the vanity and presumptuous confidence of all projects for futurity. We can fix the hour and minute of the sun's rising and setting to-morrow, but we cannot fix the certain time of a vapour being scattered. So short, unreal, and fading is human life, and all the prosperity or enjoyment that attends it; though bliss or woe for ever must be according to our conduct during this fleeting moment. We are always to depend on the will of God. Our times are not in our own hands, but at the disposal of God. Our heads may be filled with cares and contrivances for ourselves, or our families, or our friends; but Providence often throws our plans into confusion. All we design, and all we do, should be with submissive dependence on God. It is foolish, and it is hurtful, to boast of worldly things and aspiring projects; it will bring great disappointment, and will prove destruction in the end. Omissions are sins which will be brought into judgment, as well as commissions. He that does not the good he knows should be done, as well as he who does the evil he knows should not be done, will be condemned. Oh that we were as careful not to omit prayer, and not to neglect to meditate and examine our consciences, as we are not to commit gross outward vices against light!

Pulpit Commentary

Verses 11, 12. - Warning against censorious depreciation of others. Verse 11. - Speak not evil. Καταλαλεῖν: only here and 1 Peter 2:12; 1 Peter 3:16. Vulgate, detrahere. But the context shows that the writer is thinking rather of harsh censorious judging. R.V., "Speak not one against another." And judgeth; rather, or judgeth; η} (א, A, B, Vulgate, Syriac, Coptic) for καὶ of the Textus Receptus. Speaketh evil of the law. What law? According to Dean Plumptre, "the royal law of Christ, which forbids judging (Matthew 7:1-5)." Alford: "The law of Christian life: the old moral Law, glorified and amplified by Christ: the νόμος βασιλικός of James 2:8; νόμος τῆς ἐλευθερίας of James 1:25." Huther: "the law of Christian life which, according to its contents, is none other than the law of love."

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

Speak not evil one of another, brethren,.... The apostle here returns to his former subject, concerning the vices of the tongue, he had been upon in the preceding chapter, James 3:6, and here mentions one, which professors of religion were too much guilty of, and that is, speaking evil one of another; which is done either by raising false reports, and bringing false charges; or by aggravating failings and infirmities; or by lessening and depreciating characters, and endeavouring to bring others into discredit and disesteem among men: this is a very great evil, and what the men of the world do, and from them it is expected; but for the saints to speak evil one of another, to sit and speak against a brother, and slander an own mother's son, is barbarous and unnatural.

He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law; he that is a talebearer and backbites his brother, his fellow member, and detracts from his good name and character, and takes upon him to judge his heart, and his state, as well as, to condemn his actions, he speaks evil of the law; and judges and condemns that, as if that forbid a thing that was lawful, even tale bearing and detraction, Leviticus 19:16, or by speaking evil of him for a good thing he does, he blames and condemns the law, as though it commanded a thing that was evil; and by passing sentence upon his brother, he takes upon him the province of the law, which is to accuse, charge, convince, pronounce guilty, and condemn:

but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law; as is a duty, and would best become:

but a judge; and so such a person not only infringes the right of the law, but assumes the place of the Judge and lawgiver himself; whereas, as follows,

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

11. Having mentioned sins of the tongue (Jas 3:5-12), he shows here that evil-speaking flows from the same spirit of exalting self at the expense of one's neighbor as caused the "fightings" reprobated in this chapter (Jas 4:1).

Speak not evil—literally, "Speak not against" one another.

brethren—implying the inconsistency of such depreciatory speaking of one another in brethren.

speaketh evil of the law—for the law in commanding, "Love thy neighbor as thyself" (Jas 2:8), virtually condemns evil-speaking and judging [Estius]. Those who superciliously condemn the acts and words of others which do not please themselves, thus aiming at the reputation of sanctity, put their own moroseness in the place of the law, and claim to themselves a power of censuring above the law of God, condemning what the law permits [Calvin]. Such a one acts as though the law could not perform its own office of judging, but he must fly upon the office [Bengel]. This is the last mention of the law in the New Testament. Alford rightly takes the "law" to be the old moral law applied in its comprehensive spiritual fulness by Christ: "the law of liberty."

if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer … but a judge—Setting aside the Christian brotherhood as all alike called to be doers of the law, in subjection to it, such a one arrogates the office of a judge.

James 4:11 Additional Commentaries
Context
Drawing Near to God
10Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you. 11Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge of it. 12There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor?
Cross References
Matthew 7:1
"Do not judge, or you too will be judged.

Romans 14:4
Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.

2 Corinthians 12:20
For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder.

James 1:16
Don't be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters.

James 1:19
My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,

James 1:22
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

James 2:8
If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, "Love your neighbor as yourself," you are doing right.

James 5:7
Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord's coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains.

James 5:9
Don't grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!

James 5:10
Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.

1 Peter 2:1
Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.
Treasury of Scripture

Speak not evil one of another, brothers. He that speaks evil of his brother, and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law, and judges the law: but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law, but a judge.

Speak.

Psalm 140:11 Let not an evil speaker be established in the earth: evil shall hunt …

Ephesians 4:31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, …

1 Timothy 3:11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful …

2 Timothy 3:3 Without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, …

Titus 2:3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becomes holiness, …

1 Peter 2:1 Why laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and …

and judgeth.

Matthew 7:1,2 Judge not, that you be not judged…

Luke 6:37 Judge not, and you shall not be judged: condemn not, and you shall …

Romans 2:1 Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are that judge: …

Romans 14:3,4,10-12 Let not him that eats despise him that eats not; and let not him …

1 Corinthians 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who …

speaketh evil of the law.

Romans 7:7,12,13 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. No, I had not …

a doer.

James 1:22,23,25 But be you doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves…

Romans 2:13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers …

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