Every Christian is responsible to teach others what God has revealed in His Word. However, James was evidently speaking of becoming teachers as the rabbis in his day were, namely, “professional” teachers. The Jews regarded teachers with great awe and gave them much honor in James’ day. The synagogue service allowed opportunity for men in the congregation to rise and address the rest of the assembly. The Christians carried this opportunity over into the meetings of the early church. Consequently, there were many in James’ audience who, though not qualified with ability, aspired to teach others publicly for the sake of prestige. James warned that God will judge a teacher more strictly than a non–teacher because he presumably knows the truth and claims to live by it.

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