Can Anyone Teach Scripture?

Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment. – James 3:1

From Robertson’s Word Pictures:

James 3:1

Be not many teachers (mē polloi didaskaloi ginesthe). Prohibition with mē 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 (James 2:13.), not for foolish ones. This soon became an acute question, as one can see in 1 Cor. 12 to chapter 14. They were not all teachers (1 Cor. 12:28.; 1 Cor. 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 (Matt. 23:7.; John 1:38; John 3:10; John 20:16).

Teachers occupied an honourable position among the Christians (Eph. 4:11; Act 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.

Then long after James 3:1 was written, and long after Robertson describes the meaning of these words, came the internet, and blogs, and everyone who desired – and felt qualified -  to teach….