There are many passages that appear to directly contradict each other. Here is a sample on the subject of judgement.

Jesus Judges no one:

  • John 3:17, 18 - For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
  • John 8:15 - You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one.
  • John 12:47 - As for anyone who hears My words and does not keep them, I do not judge him. For I have not come to judge the world, but to save the world.

Jesus Judges all people:

  • John 5:22 - Furthermore, the Father judges no one, but has assigned all judgment to the Son
  • John 9:39 - Then Jesus declared, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind may see and those who see may become blind.”
  • 2 Tim 4:1 - I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of His appearing and His kingdom:
  • Heb 10:30 - For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge His people.”

How are we to understand these opposite statements?

  • I don't believe you gave the right context for John 12:47; verse 28 is relevant to its meaning. Also the context of John 8:15 had Jesus speaking about being perceived as 'alone', according to which supposition he did speak, if not for the sake of argument which he does at other places in John(John 6:5-6,8:13-14;46;54-55).
    – user21676
    Commented Nov 20, 2020 at 11:32
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    Possible related to hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/26533/… Commented Nov 20, 2020 at 11:40
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    This is not a question about a specific text of scripture. It is about a biblical topic. Have the rules about questions changed, recently ?
    – Nigel J
    Commented Nov 20, 2020 at 13:23
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    It seems like if you'd extended that John 8 quote to just the very next sentence you would have had your answer: "Yet even if I do judge...". So clearly that one out-of-context line, when the context is added back in, is not saying what this question is trying to imply it is saying.
    – T.E.D.
    Commented Nov 20, 2020 at 19:38
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    We allow questions about contradictions between passages. Normally they just concern two passages that seem contradictory, but because the verses on each side of this are so similar I think it's fine.
    – curiousdannii
    Commented Nov 21, 2020 at 2:00

13 Answers 13


The answer to the question does not lie in the statement but in the time/period. The first time Jesus was sent into the world His duty was to spread the Word of God to all men and not to judge anyone:

For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:17, 18

The next time Jesus comes which is called the second coming of Christ he comes as a Judge to separate the sheep from the goats as seen in Matthew 25 vs 31-35:

But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. Before him all the nations will be gathered, and he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will tell those on his right hand, ‘Come, blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry, and you gave me food to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me drink. I was a stranger, and you took me in.

Jesus will come to seek vengeance as seen in Hebrews 10:30:

For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine; I will repay,” and again, “The Lord will judge His people.”

If you study these texts they all talk about a future event by using the word "will". So the answer to your question is that Jesus will be the judge at the appointed day of Judgement(The last day) but as for now His duty is not to judge but to serve as the instrument to save the world.

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    (+1) Hi Kenart, welcome to BH.SE - thanks for contributing! This is a great first answer. It could probably be expanded to more carefully explain the texts highlighted in the Question, but it's still one of the best first answers I've seen in a while. Hope to see more from you soon - please do take the Site Tour when you get a chance.
    – Steve can help
    Commented Nov 20, 2020 at 23:15
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    I agree with Steve Taylor - excellent answer indeed. You could add something about Heb 9:28, "so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him." That is, Jesus appears the second time for salvation!
    – Dottard
    Commented Nov 21, 2020 at 3:33
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    @Dottard - Your comment ignores the fact that Jesus will definitely judge upon His return. I wish it were not the case, as I fear I'm a goat, not a sheep. He has been tasked with both duties: salvation and judgement. One of the great mysteries of His existence. Commented Nov 21, 2020 at 16:26
  • @anongoodnurse - I do not disagree - but I was hoping for some Biblical evidence and a good logical argument to sort out the apparent contradictions. I will read you answer below.
    – Dottard
    Commented Nov 21, 2020 at 19:40
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    @AnthonyBurg - good question that should be the subject of its own question.
    – Dottard
    Commented Nov 25, 2020 at 20:04

Suppose a lorry carries a load up a hill; we can say the lorry is responsible for taking the the load up the hill. But then we can say, no, actually the lorry was not responsible, it was the the driver who was responsible. Then we can say actually it wasn't the driver but God who sustains all things. [Heb 1:3 He upholds the universe].

The lorry is an instrument so I will call its responsibility instrumental responsibility.

God is ultimately responsible so I will call His responsibility ultimate responsibility.

We now have two categories of responsibility.

If the lorry could talk it could say "I was responsible for the load going up the hill". In the instrumental sense this would be true. If the the lorry said "I was not responsible for the load going up the hill" in the ultimate sense this would also be true.

Jesus can say "For judgement I have come into this world" and in the instrumental sense this is true.

Jesus can also say "I judge no one" because in the ultimate sense this is true. Jesus only does what "the Father has given me to accomplish". John 5:36.

Ultimate responsibility is an appeal to a higher authority.

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    How does this answer the question?
    – Dottard
    Commented Nov 20, 2020 at 20:53
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    @Dottard it shows how both statements that appear to be contradictory can be both true at the same time Commented Nov 21, 2020 at 7:40
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    @C.Stroud - you used an interesting example () to explain the truth (+1). YES, God is a/the just Judge (Deut. 32:36; Psa. 7:11; 75:7; Ecc. 3:17; James 4:12) and Jesus is the instrument (Instrumental Authority) of God (Ultimate Authority) in executing His judgement. Of course, God is Spirit (Exo. 19; Mal. 3:6; John 4:24; 6:46; Col. 1:15 (invisible God); 1Tim. 6:16 (whom no man has seen or can see); 1John 4:12) as opposed to the driver in the example (parable) provided. Commented Nov 21, 2020 at 18:50
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    @amara, God bless you! Here is what apostle Paul, a chosen vessel of Jesus (Acts 9:15), declared in Acts 17:30-31 saying, “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.” Commented Nov 22, 2020 at 10:36

Maybe not a specific (or good) answer, but: anyone who reads Scripture will find hundreds of contradictions. The takeaway is that Scripture was intended to instruct, not intended to be taken word-for-word literally.

Before I became a Christian, I delighted in these contradictions. It was evidence to my naive mind that Scripture was untrustworthy. Once I became a Christian, I find some of them delightfully instructive (a small example, but here is one. Is it six or seven? How could it be both?):

There are six things which the LORD hates,
Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him:
Haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
And hands that shed innocent blood,
A heart that devises wicked plans,
Feet that run rapidly to evil,
A false witness who utters lies,
And one who spreads strife among brothers. - Prov. 6: 16-19

The answer to this one is easy: He lists lies twice, emphasizing the terrible nature of a lie.

Likewise, your question is a bifurcation: Does Jesus judge, or does he not?

We are told, in different sections of the Bible, that He does both. The problem lies in thinking they are saying contradictory things instead of stating different aspects of His nature and purpose. As others have said, He came to save mankind. He will come again, to judge the living and the dead. But He does both, in both incarnations.

...unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matt 5:20) But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell. (Matt 5:22)
“Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven. Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. Matt 10:32-34 {Emphasis mine}

Yet in Matthew 9, Jesus forgives sin.

And they brought to Him a paralytic lying on a bed. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, “Take courage, son; your sins are forgiven.” 3And some of the scribes said to themselves, “This fellow blasphemes.” 4And Jesus knowing their thoughts said, “Why are you thinking evil in your hearts? 5“Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, and walk’? 6“But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—then He said to the paralytic, “Get up, pick up your bed and go home.”

I am using Jesus' own words here. I believe we see in Matthew not only Jesus' compassion and role as Savior, but His judgement as well.

  • Many thanks for this excellent and thoughtful answer. I agree. There is different timing of different aspects of Jesus work.
    – Dottard
    Commented Nov 21, 2020 at 19:44

Will the King of kings Judge? You can count upon it. If He didn't, He would be the first king that didn't judge. Jesus is the King of kings and LORD of lords. When will He judge? In His times--future times per 1 Ti 6:12-15, KJV:

Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ: Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; (My emphasis)

Why didn't He judge the first time on earth? Because He came to be judged for the sin of the world, before He would be divided His portion with the great and before He, Himself, physically divides the spoil (of His judgments of men) with the strong per Isaiah 53:11-12:

He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities. Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. (My emphasis)

The plainly spoken words are not difficult, as He said in John 12:47:

And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. (My emphasis)

That was spoken during His first "coming" to this earth as the only begotten Son of God. That makes the matter of whether He judges any man conditional-conditional upon that man's believing or not believing those very words spoken by the WORD of God, period. Yes, Jesus was also the Son of man at the very time that he was the Son of God. However, He was obedient to the Father unto death so that He could accomplish salvation for mankind.

Some answers to this question claim that actually the Father will judge, albeit by the words which Jesus speaks. When you consider that the Father never was a man, how would that look to all the unbelievers being judged? They would claim, unfair!, unrighteous!, I want an attorney! Again, simple and straightforward, God is righteous. That is why the person of God--the WORD of God--the only begotten Son of God--operating in the capacity of His flesh and blood Son, without spot or blemish--came to suffer and die for the sins of the world, as explicitly and plainly stated by Jesus, Himself, in John 5:25-26:

Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;

Only after He died and was resurrected, did He receive the authority from the Father to judge mankind. In Matthew 28:18, after Jesus had been resurrected and had been glorified, Jesus told His disciples:

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

Accordingly, it was because Jesus was the Son of man--NOT the Son of God, that He has now been given ALL authority to EXECUTE JUDGMENT of mankind, as John 5:25-26, supra, CONTINUES to inform in the very next verse--verse 27:

And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.

It is appointed unto man once to die, and after that, the judgment--not while Jesus was on earth saving mankind, but only after mankind has already lived out his life and has already chosen--his or her God-given choice--to believe or not. At that time, no man will have the right to claim foul, unfair, unjust, or unrighteous, to the RIGHTEOUS JUDGE, Jesus Christ, that Son of man in His times.

  • “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased.” Commented Nov 21, 2020 at 16:48
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    @Dottard Word-twiddling even my answer, huh? No wonder you have such a problem believing the plainspoken WORD of God. about whether Jesus will judge, or not--whether The WORD of God is a liar, or just a bit confused. You seem to happily have tucked the word "because" under the rug. Eyeglasses might help, even if you are juist reading answers by an old worn-out carpenter. I say that because I would never infer that anyone would purposely ignore words to get their point across. Commented Nov 21, 2020 at 22:11
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    @Dottard My wording "Accordingly, it was because " uses the EXPRESS QUOTE of the word " because that I EXPRESSLY quoted from John 5 27, as you well know. NOW, you contend that my wording is questionable? It is not my wording you are questioning, but rather the words of my LORD and Savior, Jesus Christ. I have been studying Bible Hermeneutics since the 1950s. There is no scientific pursuit in your comments to arrive at the truth as to this matter. Am I the judge? NO. But as an apology, your response lacks the elements of an apology. Commented Nov 22, 2020 at 0:33

These statements are not contradictory but are referring to different things. When Jesus says he did not come to judge, he is referring to the purpose for which he was sent into the world.

  • “God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him” (Jn 3:17).

If we stand back and look at Jesus' life and teachings, the truth of this statement seems clear. Jesus did not come to judge or condemn, but “to seek and to save” (Lk 19:10). Through his words, actions, and interactions, through his passion and death, Jesus consistently drove home and brought to fruition the message of God’s merciful and redeeming love. Here are a few of the countless examples in the text:

  • Jesus showed mercy to the woman caught in adultery: Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.” (Jn 8:1-11)
  • Jesus came to the house of Zacchaeus, the tax collector: “Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.’” (Lk 19:5-10)
  • In the parable of the prodigal son, the merciful love of God is embodied in the father's love for his two sons, each of whom in their own way had strayed far from home. Instead of passing judgment, the father showed unconditional love and mercy towards both. Seeing the wayward younger brother come home from afar, “filled with compassion; he ran and put his arms around him and kissed him.” And speaking to the dutiful yet self-righteous and resentful elder brother, he said, “Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours.” (Lk 15 11:32)

That Jesus did not come to judge does not lead to the conclusion that he would never act as judge. In fact, in the gospel of John, Jesus defends his authority to judge as coming from and through the Father:

  • “You judge by human standards; I judge no one. Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is valid; for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me” (Jn 8:15-16)
  • “As I hear, I judge; and my judgment is just, because I seek to do not my own will but the will of him who sent me. (Jn 5:30)
  • “The Father judges no one but has given all judgment to the Son, so that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father.” (Jn 5:22-23)

And in the gospel Matthew (Mt 25:31-46), Jesus speaks of an unspecified time when he will come “in glory” to render judgment on all peoples:

  • “All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.” (Mt 25:32)

Not only would Jesus then judge, but his word, indeed he himself, would be the metric by which all are judged:

  • “The one who rejects me and does not receive my word has a judge; on the last day the word that I have spoken will serve as judge” (Jn 12:48)
  • “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me… Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” (Mt 25:35-40)

Does Jesus Judge or Not?

There are many passages that appear to directly contradict each other. Here is a sample on the subject of judgment.

Jesus Judges all people:

Jesus acknowledged that God had appointed him as a judge who met the divine standard. At John 5:22 ASV he said:

Furthermore, the Father judges no one,but has assigned all judgment to the Son.

John 9:39 - Then Jesus declared, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind may see and those who see may become blind.”

But when does that time of judgment start? Who are judged, and with what outcome?

Figuratively, all peoples of the earth are now gathered before the Judge and are accountable for the way they respond to his message of salvation. When judgment is executed soon at the great tribulation, the disobedient goatlike people “will depart into everlasting cutting-off, but the righteous ones "the obedient sheeplike ones" into everlasting life.”​

Matthew 25:31-33 (NASB)

The Judgment

31 “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne. 32 And all the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, just as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; 33 and He will put the sheep on His right, but the goats on the left.

Revelation 16:14-16 (NASB)

14 for they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the entire [a]world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty. 15 (“Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his clothes, so that he will not walk about naked and people will not see his shame.”) 16 And they gathered them together to the place which in Hebrew is called Har-Magedon.

How are we to understand these opposite statements?

Jesus Judges no one:

John 3:17, 18 - For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Jesus coming to the earth was on a mission of salvation.

God sent his only-begotten Son on a mission of salvation.(John 3:16) God did not send his Son here in order to judge the world. If God’s Son had been sent on such a judicial mission, the outlook for all mankind would have been hopeless. The sentence of adverse judgment that would have been pronounced by Jesus Christ upon the human family would have been condemnation to death.

Romans 5:12 (NASB)

12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all mankind, because all sinned—

The ransom sacrifice is the basis for salvation, Jesus has granted the authority and power "to save completely those who are approaching God through him."

Hebrews 7:23-25 (NASB)

23 The former priests, on the one hand, existed in greater numbers because they were prevented by death from continuing; 24 [b]Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently. 25 Therefore He is also able to save [c]forever those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

1 John 4:14 (NASB)

14 We have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.


When human words are applied to God, they change their meaning and are transfigured into new, wonderful meanings. The same with the term "judgment":

humanly, "judgment" means that one's action is esteemed and if found wrong the actor is given a just reprisal. For instance, a student's test is esteemed, and if found that he answered 8 from 10 correctly, he is given B+ not A, or if it is found that he plagiarised, he is expelled from the college. And justice is served.

Not so with God.

God has created us with a purpose that we, creatures, share in His, Creator's life, that we, temporal beings may become eternal beings in Him. Now, for being eternal beings in Him, our souls, that is to say, our personalities need to have certain features which are growing in us only through practicing His Son's commandments, for we are to gather in Him, for the sake of eternity, lest we scatter our lives (Matthew 12:30).

But when we are not fulfilling His commandments, then what? Nothing but that we deprive ourselves of those eternal features that make us fit for the eternal Kingdom of Lord and thus make ourselves most miserable. Does God hate us for that and punish us for that? Stupid to think so, for, first of all He asks us to love even evil people, and not just those evil people who are evil with no reference to us, but even those evil people who do evil to us (Luke 6:35); then how much less is it possible that He Himself may hate those who do not follow His commandments! He does not hate them, on the contrary, loves them and wishes them to repent for their own eternal well-being. But the poor guys, recalcitrant in their unrepenting hearts pronounce the judgment and punishment over their own selves, for being bathed in holy waters of God's love and care, their skins still remain dry through their recalcitrance and unwillingness to repent, through which they themselves, not God, create punishment for themselves.

Both Judas and Peter betrayed Jesus the very same day, but foolish Judas despaired and instead of coming quickly back to Jesus in repentance (for that was the meaning of Jesus' words "go, and do your thing quickly" /John 13:27/, that is to say, "since you are under the spell of this stupidity, unable to stop yourself, then do it, but immediately return to Me and repent") he hanged himself. On the contrary, Peter did not despair, but repented in tears having seen the loving and forgiving eyes of His Teacher (Luke 22:61-62). Thus, punishment is not from God, who only loves and only forgives, but from our own selves, from our own non-repenting, from our own desperate desire to stay dry while bathed in divine waters of love and mercy. In fact, not God condemns us, but on the contrary, we condemn God by not allowing Him to forgive us, by not allowing Him to make us co-citizens of His Kingdom for all eternity.

Therefore, the meaning of Jesus words "I do not judge them, but my words would judge them" is this: "they know those features they are to gather if they want to inherit My and My Father's Kingdom; and they are to gather those features by practicing My Commandments; yet, when they do not do that, they deprive themselves of the features necessary for the Eternal Kingdom, making themselves eternally miserable therefrom; I still can't help loving them and pitying them, and I do not punish them, but they have punished themselves by not hearkening to My words, and thus, it can be said, that my words have punished them. In fact, those who have not heard My life-giving commandments and misbehave, are in a less miserable condition than those who have heard My commandments and still disobeyed, for they have no excuse any more. Now, unfortunately, I cannot create an alternative eternal blessed life for the unrepenting sinners, an alternative sub-culture eternal Kingdom, this is impossible even for Me".


John 12:47 “If anyone hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge that person. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world. 48There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; the very words I have spoken will condemn them at the last day. 49For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken. 50I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.”

The Father uses the Son as his mouthpiece to speak words of judgment. Jesus does not judge the wicked in person Himself but His words will judge the wicked directly. There is a fine semantic line between judgment by Jesus Himself and judgment by the words of Jesus. In the latter, the words of Jesus are activated. The doctrine of Trinity also complicates the answer to this difficult question.

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    ... except that "the Father judges no one", John 5:22.
    – Dottard
    Commented Nov 20, 2020 at 20:55
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    Good point. There is a mystery about this. I'll have to think about it more. Good question +1
    – user35953
    Commented Nov 20, 2020 at 21:04
  • Think about this also: It is Jesus, the Son-of-man KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS (Rev 19 16-20), who brings final judgment upon the beast and false prophet. They are both men--not angels or spirits. HOWEVER, a thousand years after the time that Jesus executes "judgment" upon those two men, after the thousand year reign of Christ has expired, Satan--NOT A MAN--will be loosed out of his prison (Rev 20:7) and will deceive the nations. Notice that it is "God out of heaven" who will devour them and who will excecute final judgment upon Satan, the spirit. Commented Nov 21, 2020 at 22:55
  • Good point. Thanks.
    – user35953
    Commented Nov 22, 2020 at 16:57
  • How is the Trinity related to this at all? Commented Nov 22, 2020 at 17:21

I think an excellent question, but perhaps needs to be more specific. - You need to differentiate is ‘what is being judged’, because this makes a difference, it makes the difference - that is, the answer as to ‘Does Jesus Judge’ .... will differ!

Let’s look a little closer ...

The first point to note is seen here.

JOHN 5:22 Furthermore, the Father judges no one, but has assigned all judgment to the Son

The point being that ALL (any) judgement has been handed over to Jesus. A key point! God does not judge man. (This may provoke hermeneutic scrutiny?)

But now we have a issue (for some), because...

JOHN 8:15 You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one.

Now we need precision. This quote from Jesus in context was over an issue over the Law. More about this later ...

Let’s look closer ...

2 COR 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive compensation for his deeds done through the body, in accordance with what he has done, whether good or bad.

This is what theologians call the Bema seat judgement. What is being judged? Works. That is, what you ‘did’ in/with your ‘body’. It’s for ‘reward’, and the standard used in the judgement is righteousness - doing the ‘right thing’. However, the important distinction to make here is that this is not about salvation, nor ‘sin’. The following verses make this abundantly clear.

1 COR 3:13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.

14 If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward.

15 If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

So here, Jesus does judge. No argument. BUT we need to see that Jesus is judging Works, not ‘man’. This is crucial to note. So, we have this - Jesus judges mans ‘work’, the measure used to assess this the work is ‘righteousness’ - but he does not judge ‘man’.

Now this distinction becomes important when we look at Jesus judging ‘evil’, as in the bowl judgements in Revelation. Obviously judging ‘evil’ is a foundation for much theology, and is outside of what is being answered here, but if you study this, you really need to look at the meaning of ‘evil’ from a Hebraic perspective - very revealing! Nevertheless, let’s move onto what may be the heart of this discussion, or at the least in the back of many minds.

Judging sin. What ‘role’ does Jesus take here. Now this is actually simple, but also very difficult, due to foundational doctrinal views. To judge ‘sin’, you need (the) Law. So, who needs the Law, the judge. And, the judge will condemn the guilty party.

But, does Jesus judge?

JOHN 5:45 Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you—Moses, in whom you trust.

Here Jesus is saying that Moses judges. Now, we need to appreciate that the reference to ‘Moses’ here means ‘the Law’. It’s a term used for ‘Torah’. So the judge here is the Law. Now, back to our previous verse. ...

JOHN 8:15 You judge according to the flesh; I judge no one.

The context here was the lady caught in Adultery. And, the Law was being used. But, who was judging? Who was using the Law?

Back to your query, does Jesus judge. Yes, Jesus judges righteousness, as part of his reigning righteously. And through this righteous reign, he [will] judges evil. But, Jesus does not judge man..

‘Judging’ is required in or for differing situations - and, it’s the situation that determines whether Jesus ‘judges’. Sometimes the answer is ‘yes’, and sometimes ‘no’ - and only a loose reading or understanding will see contraction.

  • This appears OK until one recalls that Rev 20:12 is specifically about judging people: And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne. And there were open books, and one of them was the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their deeds. Indeed, that is the only basis on which anyone can be judged - according to what they have done Rev 22:12. In this passage, will only the deeds be rewarded or the people? I think you make a distinction that in not there.
    – Dottard
    Commented Nov 20, 2020 at 20:43
  • @Dottard This judgement in Revelation is only for unbelievers. What is being judged is righteousness, which is evidenced by their ‘work’, what they ‘did’. And that will ‘miss the mark’. (Definition of ‘sin’.) It’s all about righteousness. Believers have Gods, through Christ. Unbelievers, by default, only have their own. Without Gods righteousness, we can not be ‘one’ with God. Therefore unrighteousness results in separation. (Death) Because, the biblical definition of ‘death’ is separation.
    – Dave
    Commented Nov 21, 2020 at 18:30

Does Jesus Judge or Not?

Yes, Jesus judges. In 2 Corinthians 5:10

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive compensation for his deeds done through the body, in accordance with what he has done, whether good or bad.

This judgement seat comes from the word bēma and, combined with Matt. 16:27, 2 Tim. 4:8, Rev 22:12 points to a place in heaven previous to the second advent. So, this wouldn't be a judgement of one's sins but rather the consideration of every child of God's service in order to stablish certain rewards.

I believe there's more to say about judgement here and that's something not being considered in the question. According to The New Unger's Bible Dictionary

Theologians have often maintained that there is one general judgement. This is a tenet strongly entrenched in Christian theology. But a careful inductive study of all the Scriptures involved demonstrates that there are at least eight distinct judgements described in the Bible ((1) The Judgement of the Cross, (2) The Judgement of the Believers, (3) The Believer's Works, (4) The Judgement of Self, (5) The Judgement of Nations, (6) The Judgement of Israel, (7) The Judgement of Angels and (8) The White Throne Judgement).

The author goes even further as to say that

For theologians who object to these various judgements, a simple choice must be made between following traditional theology or the plain teachings of the Scripture inductively formulated. The author considers that the doctrine of a general judgement is incompatible with inductive logic in handling the Scriptures.

and this question, as it is, would match what the author addresses in this last quote.

  • Can you provide a link for this words Commented Nov 21, 2020 at 13:05
  • @FaithMendel i couldn't find any link but it's in that bible dictionary from Merrill F. Unger Commented Nov 21, 2020 at 13:22
  • Add to that, the "judgment of the earth" by the "waters",described in Genesis chapters seven and eight. Notice especially that nowhere in scripture does it say that the liquid water creatures (fish, etc.) were judged, only the earth creatures and the fowl that was on the earth (Gen 7:21-22). Commented Nov 22, 2020 at 20:07

Unlike human court, a defendant is given a trial to receive a verdict. In God judgement, the verdict is already given before we have done anything. Therefore we were judged by our own deeds, according to the verdict God already given.

  • John 3:18 (NIV) Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
  • John 12:48 (NIV) There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; the very words I have spoken will condemn them at the last day.

God gave the verdict by sending Jesus to the world, as in John 12:49-50 (NIV) For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken. I know that his command leads to eternal life. So whatever I say is just what the Father has told me to say.”

In Jesus 1st coming, his mission was to gave the verdict and save people by following his words, and believe in him and the Father. In his 2nd coming, he is the witness to people who are in the Book of Life. Though we often read in Revelation called it the Final Judgement, but we see nothing other than the Book of Life was opened. As it says in Revelation 20:12 (NIV) "And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books."

We were judged by our own deeds. The Final Judgement took no time, for both the living and the dead were recorded before they came forward. Jesus need not to judge, but to witness the ending.

  • Many thanks for this interesting perspective. +1.
    – Dottard
    Commented Jun 12, 2022 at 4:42

To answer this question one needs to first ask what the reason for the judgement would be and what the desired outcome of the the judgement should be.

Jesus uses "aionion kolasin" in this verse: “And these (wicked) will go away into age-during punishment while the righteous into age-during life.” ( Matthew 25:46)

"punishment" above, is a bit of a misnomer, since "kolasin" means "chastisement for the benefit of the recipient" (if Jesus has used "timoria", it would have been a different matter altogether). Kolasin comes from kolos (dwarf) and literally means to reduce someone's size (or as the English idiom says: cutting someone down to size. It was used in horticulture for pruning a tree or vine to become fruitful.

So therefore it is quite clear that the process should lead to reform and is corrective, not destructive.

So, yes, Jesus judges, but with the reason to correct those that failed the test of life. One can say that judgement and love are two sides of the same coin. You cannot have the one without the other and both are good, constructive and beneficial.

Other scriptures should be read with this in mind, otherwise it may create a wrong picture of who Christ is and what his purposes are with his children, his creation which he loves dearly.


If you judge, then Christ judges. That is, your Christ consciousness does it and you will feel it. A good demonstration of this in life is that you no longer feel judged when you stop judging others.

  • «If you judge, then Christ judges» is that extracted from Matthew 7:2? Commented Nov 22, 2020 at 19:53

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