Luke 6:41-42 ~ Mt 7:3-5
The Speck and the Beam
This part of Matthew resumes following the Lukan Sermon on the Plain, after a long digression into other topics in Mt 6. The resumption is in Mt 7:1, "Judge not, that ye be not judged" (Lk 6:37).
IQP. And why do you see the speck in your brother's eye, but the beam in your own eye you overlook?  How <can you> say to your brother, Let me throw out the speck [from] your eye, and just look at the beam in your own eye? Hypocrite, first throw out from your own eye the beam, and then you will see clearly to throw out the speck <in> your brother's eye.
- Mt 7:3 (ASV): And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?  Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me cast out the mote out of thine eye, and lo, the beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.
- Lk 6:41 (ASV): And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?  Or how canst thou say to thy brother, Brother, let me cast out the mote that is in thine eye, when thou thyself beholdest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote that is in thy brother's eye.
Comment. The differences are minor, and do not afford grounds for a directionality determination.
Authenticity. The meaning is against judging, but the basic words for judging are not found in Mk, whether or not in association with the Markan Jesus. On the other hand, the command seems to be aimed at fault-finding within the community, implying a community of some standing; the theme of not judging others is prominent in James (see previous commentary), which was addressed to just such post-Crucifixion communities). The saying is thus probably not authentic, but (as in James) was first given as a direction to the churches, and then (as in Mt/Lk) ascribed to Jesus himself. This ascription is not itself unreasonable; all certified Apostles were assumed to be speaking with the authority, and even in the voice, of Jesus.
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