What does judge mean in Matthew 7

What is the basic definition of the word “judge” in Matthew 7: 1?

The exact word you are asking for is κρίνω, which is rarely used in the New Testament, only three times outside of the Gospels. However, many other derivatives of the same word translated as "judge", "judge", "judgment", all of which have the same root meanings. I will therefore respond to the broader root meaning of all.

According to Kittel's TDNT, the basic meaning in Greek literature is "separate", "seven", which leads to the meaning "share", "choose", "evaluate", the most common meaning being "to" decide '. From this root also means "to judge", "to judge", "to go to court, to argue". Also "to seek justice" or "to be accused".

In the LXX (Greek Old Testament) it is mainly used for "legal" words. It is used for Hebrew, which has the double meaning of "rule" and "judge".

From these roots we can understand that the word, when used, basically serves to judge and resolve, with the implication of being understood by the idea of ​​"domination". Hence this basic meaning, which can slip into the context of both official and personal judgments that have a legal tone. Here the pursuit of justice can easily become a personal door to bitterness, arrogance, a higher position of ourselves towards others, etc.

A verse outside of the Gospels that uses that exact word shows the use of all of these senses as a whole:

But for me it is a very small thing to be judged by you or a human court. In fact, I don't even judge myself. Because I don't know anything about myself, but I am not acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. So speak that Judgment (κρίνω) not before the time before the Lord comes, who brings to light the things now hidden in the darkness and reveals the intentions of the heart. Then everyone will receive their commendation from God. (1 Co 4: 3-5, ESV).