1 Corinthians 5:12

12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?

1 Corinthians 5:12 in Other Translations

12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?
12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge?
12 It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning.
12 I'm not responsible for what the outsiders do, but don't we have some responsibility for those within our community of believers?
12 For what is it to me to judge outsiders? Do you not judge those who are inside?

1 Corinthians 5:12 Meaning and Commentary

1 Corinthians 5:12

For what have I to do to judge
To admonish, reprove, censure, and condemn:

them also that are without?
without the church, who never were in it, or members of it; to whom ecclesiastical jurisdiction does not reach; and with whom the apostle had no more concern, than the magistrates of one city, or the heads of one family have with another:

do not ye judge them that are within?
and them only? The apostle appeals to their own conduct, that they only reproved, censured, and punished with excommunication, such as were within the pale of the church, were members of it, and belonged unto it; nor did they pretend to exercise a power over others; and it would have been well if they had made use of the power they had over their own members, by admonishing and reproving such as had sinned; by censuring delinquents, and removing from their communion scandalous and impenitent offenders; and therefore they need not wonder that the apostle only meant fornicators among them, and not those that were in the world, by his forbidding to company with such: reference seems to be had to ways of speaking among the Jews, who used not only to call themselves the church, and the Gentiles the world, and so them that were without, both their land and church; but even those among themselves that were profane, in distinction from their wise and good men. They say F17,

``if a man puts his phylacteries on his forehead, or upon the palm of his hand, this is the way of heresy (or, as in the Talmud F18, the way of the Karaites); if he covered them with gold, and put them upon his glove (or on his garments without, so Bartenora, or, as Maimonides interprets it, his arm, shoulder, or breast), lo, this is (Mynwuyxh Krd) , "the way of them that are without":''

on which the commentators F19 say, "these are the children of men, who walk after their own judgment, and not the judgment of the wise men": and Maimonides F20 says, they are such who deny the whole law, and neither believe anything, either of the written or the oral law.


F17 Misn. Megilla, c. 4. sect. 8.
F18 T. Bab. Megilla, fol. 24. 2.
F19 Jarchi, Bartenora, & Yom Tob, in Misn. Megilla, c. 4. sect. 8.
F20 In. ib.

1 Corinthians 5:12 In-Context

10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world.
11 But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.
12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside?
13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.”

Cross References 2

  • 1. S Mark 4:11
  • 2. ver 3-5; 1 Corinthians 6:1-4
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