Be not many teachers (mh polloi didaskaloi ginesqe). Prohibition with mh and present middle imperative of ginomai. "Stop becoming many teachers" (so many of you). There is thus a clear complaint that too many of the Jewish Christians were attempting to teach what they did not clearly comprehend. There was a call for wise teachers (verses Revelation 13 ), not for foolish ones. This soon became an acute question, as one can see in I Cor. 12 to 14. They were not all teachers ( 1 Corinthians 12:28 ; 1 Corinthians 14:26 ). The teacher is here treated as the wise man ( James 3:13-18 ) as he ought to be. The rabbi was the teacher ( Matthew 23:7 ; John 1:38 ; John 3:10 ; John 20:16 ). Teachers occupied an honourable position among the Christians ( Ephesians 4:11 ; Acts 13:1 ). James counts himself a teacher (we shall receive, James 3:1 ) and this discussion is linked on with James 1:19-27 . Teachers are necessary, but incompetent and unworthy ones do much harm. Heavier judgment (meizon krima). "Greater sentence." See Mark 12:40 ; Luke 20:47 for perrisoteron krima (the sentence from the judge, Romans 13:2 ). The reason is obvious. The pretence of knowledge adds to the teacher's responsibility and condemnation.