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Matthew Henry

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary - James 4:11-17

In this part of the chapter, I. We are cautioned against the sin of evil-speaking: Speak not evil one of another, brethren, Jas. 4:11. The Greek word, katalaleite, signifies speaking any thing that may hurt or injure another; we must not speak evil things of others, though they be true, unless we be called to it, and there be some necessary occasion for the; much less must we report evil things when they are false, or, for aught we know, may be so. Our lips must be guided by the law of... read more

William Barclay

William Barclay's Daily Study Bible - James 4:11-12

4:11-12 Stop talking harshly about each other. He who speaks harshly of his brother, or who judges his brother, speaks harshly of the law and judges the law; and, if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge of it. One is law-giver and judge, he who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge your neighbour? The word James uses for to speak harshly of, or, to slander is katalalein ( Greek #2635 ). Usually this verb means to slander someone when he is not... read more

John Gill

John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary - James 4:11

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... read more

Adam Clarke

Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible - James 4:11

Speak not evil one of another - Perhaps this exhortation refers to evil speaking, slander, and backbiting in general, the writer having no particular persons in view. It may, however, refer to the contentions among the zealots, and different factions then prevailing among this wretched people, or to their calumnies against those of their brethren who had embraced the Christian faith. He that speaketh evil of his brother - It was an avowed and very general maxim among the rabbins, that... read more

John Calvin

John Calvin's Commentary on the Bible - James 4:11

Verse 11 11Speak not evil, or, defame not. We see how much labor James takes in correcting the lust for slandering. For hypocrisy is always presumptuous, and we are by nature hypocrites, fondly exalting ourselves by calumniating others. There is also another disease innate in human nature, that every one would have all others to live according to his own will or fancy. This presumption James suitably condemns in this passage, that is, because we dare to impose on our brethren our rule of life.... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - James 4:1-12

REBUKE OF QUARRELS ARISING FROM PRIDE AND GREED . A terribly sadden transition from the "peace" with which James 3:1-18 . closed. read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - James 4:11

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 ; ἢ ( 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 )."... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - James 4:11-12

Warning against censorious depreciation of others. read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - James 4:11-12

The sin of detraction. Observe how this differs from slander. Slander involves an imputation of falsehood. Detraction may be couched in truth and clothed in fair language. It is that tendency to disparage good actions, to look for blemishes and defects in them, using care and artifice to pervert or misrepresent things for that purpose. It is a poison often infused in sweet liquor and administered in a golden cup. On the nature and character of this sin, see a good sermon by Isaac Barrow... read more

Spence, H. D. M., etc.

The Pulpit Commentary - James 4:11-12

Evil-speaking and evil-judging Here James still continues his warning against the spirit of selfishness and worldliness. In these two verses he issues a solemn interdict against the habit of calumny and unjust censure of brethren. For evil-speaking is one of the most familiar manifestations of that spirit of strife which he has already rebuked. I. THE PROHIBITION . (Verse 11) 1. Fundamentally it is directed against evil-judging. The apostle's words are to be interpreted... read more

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