James 3
Holman Christian Standard Bible

Controlling the Tongue

1Not many should become teachers, my brothers, knowing that we will receive a stricter judgment,a 2for we all stumble in many ways.b If anyone does not stumble in what he says,c he is a mature man who is also able to control his whole body.d, e

3Now when we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us,f we also guide the whole animal.g 4And 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. 5So too, though the tongue is a small part of the body, it boasts great things.h Consider how large a forest a small fire ignites. 6And the tongue is a fire. The tongue, a world of unrighteousness, is placed among the parts of our bodies. It pollutes the whole body,i sets the course of life on fire, and is set on fire by hell.

7Every sea creature, reptile, bird, or animal is tamed and has been tamed by man, 8but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.j 9We praise ourk Lord and Father with it, and we curse men who are made in God’s likeness with it.l 10Praising 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? 12Can a fig tree produce olives, my brothers, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a saltwater spring yield fresh water.

The Wisdom from Above

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


Footnotes:
a. 3:1 Mt 23:8; Rm 2:20-21; 1Tm 1:7
b. 3:2 1Kg 8:46; Pr 20:9; Jms 2:10
c. 3:2 Lit in word
d. 3:2 Lit to bridle the whole body
e. 3:2 Mt 12:37; Jms 1:26; 1Pt 3:10
f. 3:3 Ps 32:9; 39:1
g. 3:3 Lit whole body
h. 3:5 Ps 12:3-4; 73:8-9
i. 3:6 Ps 120:2-3; Pr 16:27; Mt 15:11,18
j. 3:8 Ps 140:3; Ec 10:11; Rm 3:13
k. 3:9 Or praise the
l. 3:9 Gn 1:26; 1Co 11:7
m. 3:13 Jms 1:21; 2:18
n. 3:14 Rm 2:8; 13:13; 2Co 12:20
o. 3:15 2Th 2:9; 1Tm 4:1; Jms 1:17; Rv 2:24
p. 3:17 Lk 6:36; Rm 12:9; 1Co 2:6; Heb 12:11; Jms 2:4
q. 3:18 Pr 11:18; Is 32:17; Hs 10:12; Am 6:12; Gl 6:8; Php 1:11
James 2
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