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Matthew 18:17

    Matthew 18:17 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it to the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be to you as an heathen man and a publican.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    And if he refuse to hear them, tell it unto the church: and if he refuse to hear the church also, let him be unto thee as the Gentile and the publican.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And if he will not give ear to them, let it come to the hearing of the church: and if he will not give ear to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax-farmer.

    Webster's Revision

    And if he refuse to hear them, tell it unto the church: and if he refuse to hear the church also, let him be unto thee as the Gentile and the publican.

    World English Bible

    If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the assembly. If he refuses to hear the assembly also, let him be to you as a Gentile or a tax collector.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    And if he refuse to hear them, tell it unto the church: and if he refuse to hear the church also, let him be unto thee as the Gentile and the publican.

    Definitions for Matthew 18:17

    Church - Assembly of "called out" ones.
    Heathen - People; nations; non-Jews.
    Let - To hinder or obstruct.
    Publican - A tax collector.
    Tell - To number; count.

    Clarke's Commentary on Matthew 18:17

    3. Tell it unto the Church - Lay the whole matter before the congregation of Christian believers, in that place of which he is a member, or before the minister and elders, as the representatives of the Church or assembly. If all this avail not, then,

    Let him be unto thee as a heathen man and a publican - To whom thou art, as a Christian, to owe earnest and persevering good will, and acts of kindness; but have no religious communion with him, till, if he have been convicted, he acknowledge his fault. Whosoever follows this threefold rule will seldom offend others, and never be offended himself. - Rev. J. Wesley.

    Reproving a brother who had sinned was a positive command under the law. See Leviticus 19:17. And the Jews have a saying, that one of the causes of the ruin of their nation was, "No man reproved another." On the word Church, see Clarke at Matthew 16:28 (note).

    Barnes' Notes on Matthew 18:17

    Tell it to the church - See the notes at Matthew 16:18. The church may here mean the whole assembly of believers, or it may mean those who are authorized to try such cases - the representatives of the church, or these who act for the church. In the Jewish synagogue there was a bench of elders before whom trials of this kind were brought. It was to be brought to the church in order that he might be admonished, entreated, and, if possible, reformed. This was, and is always to be, the first business in disciplining an offending brother.

    But if he neglect to hear the church, let him be ... - The Jews gave the name "heathen" or "Gentile" to all other nations but themselves. With them they had no religious contact or communion.

    Publican - See the notes at Matthew 5:47. Publicans were people of abandoned character, and the Jews would have no contact with them. The meaning of this is, cease to have religious contact with him, or to acknowledge him as a Christian brother. It does not mean that we should cease to show kindness to him and aid him in affliction or trial, for that is required toward all people; but it means that we should disown him as a Christian brother, and treat him as we do other people not connected with the church. This should not be done until all these steps are taken. This is the only way of kindness. This is the only way to preserve peace and purity in the church.