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James, Chapter 3 (General Epistles)

Controlling the Tongue

1Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers,{1} knowing that we will receive greater[1] judgment. 2For we all stumble in many ways.{2} If anyone stumbles not in word, this is a mature man,{3} able also to bridle the whole body.

3Behold, we put bits in the mouths of the horses, for them to obey us, and we turn about their whole body.{4} 4Behold also the ships, being so great,[2] and being driven by hard[3] winds, are directed by a very little rudder, to where the impulse of the person steering purposes.[4] 5So also the tongue is a little part of the body,[5] and yet it boasts of great things.{5} Behold how a little fire[6] kindles[7] a great wood;[8]{6} 6and the tongue is a fire,{7} the world of iniquity; so the tongue is set among our parts,[9] corrupting[10] all the body,{8} and inflaming the course of nature,[11] and being inflamed by hell.{9}[12]

7For every creature,[13] both of beasts and of birds, both of reptiles and of sea animals, is tamed and has been tamed by the human creature;[14] 8but the tongue no man[15] is able to tame; it is an unrestrainable evil, full of poison, death-dealing.{10} 9By this we bless our God and Father, and by this we curse men having come into being according to the image of God.{11} 10Out of the same mouth comes forth blessing and cursing; it is not fitting, my brothers, for these things to be so. 11Can the fountain out of the same hole send forth the sweet[16] and the bitter? 12Is it not impossible,[17] my brothers, for a fig-tree to produce olives or a vine figs?{12} So neither can a fountain produce salt and sweet[18] water.

Wisdom from Above

13Who is wise and knowing among you? Let him show it{13} by good behavior, his works[19]{14} in meekness of wisdom. 14But if you have bitter jealousy[20] and contention{15} in your heart, do not exult over[21] it and lie against the truth.{16} 15This is not the wisdom that comes down from above,{17} but is earthly,{18} beastly,[22]{19} devilish.{20} 16For where there is jealousy and contention,{21} there is confusion and every foul deed.

17But the wisdom from above{22} is first of all[23] truly pure,{23} then peacable,{24} forebearing, yielding,{25} full of mercy{26} and good fruits, not partial and not pretended.{27} 18And the fruit of righteousness{28} in peace is sown for those making peace.{29}


There are footnotes and crossreferences for this chapter.