James 3

Controlling the Tongue

1 Not many should become teachers, my
brother(s): The Greek word adelphoi can be used as a reference to males only or to groups that include males and females. It is the context of each usage that determines the proper meaning.
brothers, knowing that we will receive a stricter judgment, b
2 for we all stumble in many ways. c If anyone does not stumble in what he says,
Lit in word
he is a mature man who is also able to control his whole body.
Lit to bridle the whole body

3 Now when we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, g we also guide the whole animal.
Lit whole body
4 And consider ships: Though very large and driven by fierce winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. 5 So too, though the tongue is a small part of the body, it boasts great things. i Consider how large a forest a small fire ignites. 6 And the tongue is a fire. The tongue, a world of unrighteousness, is placed among the parts of our bodies. It pollutes the whole body, j sets the course of life on fire, and is set on fire by
hell/hellfire: Greek Gehenna; Aramaic for Valley of Hinnom on the south side of Jerusalem; it was formerly a place of human sacrifice and in NT times a place for the burning of garbage; the place of final judgment for those rejecting Christ.

7 Every sea creature, reptile, bird, or animal is tamed and has been tamed by man, 8 but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. l 9We praise our
Or praise the
Lord and Father with it, and we curse men who are made in God’s likeness with it. n
10 Praising and cursing come out of the same mouth. My brothers, these things should not be this way. 11Does a spring pour out sweet and bitter water from the same opening? 12 Can a fig tree produce olives, my brothers, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a saltwater spring yield fresh water.

The Wisdom from Above

13 Who is wise and has understanding among you? He should show his works by good conduct with wisdom’s gentleness. o 14 But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your heart, don’t brag and deny the truth. p 15 Such wisdom does not come from above but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. q 16 For where envy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every kind of evil. 17 But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, without favoritism and hypocrisy. r 18 And the fruit of righteousness s is sown in peace by those who cultivate peace.
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