James 3:5
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.

New Living Translation
In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches. But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire.

English Standard Version
So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!

Berean Study Bible
In the same way, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it boasts of great things. Consider how small a spark sets a great forest on fire.

Berean Literal Bible
Thus also the tongue is a small member, and boasts exceeding things. Behold a small fire, how great a forest it kindles.

New American Standard Bible
So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire!

King James Bible
Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!

Holman Christian Standard Bible
So too, though the tongue is a small part of the body, it boasts great things. Consider how large a forest a small fire ignites.

International Standard Version
In the same way, the tongue is a small part of the body, yet it can boast of great achievements. A huge forest can be set on fire by a little flame.

NET Bible
So too the tongue is a small part of the body, yet it has great pretensions. Think how small a flame sets a huge forest ablaze.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
In this way, also, the tongue is a small member and has dominion; even a small fire kindles a great forest.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
In the same way the tongue is a small part of the body, but it can brag about doing important things. A large forest can be set on fire by a little flame.

New American Standard 1977
So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it boasts of great things. Behold, how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire!

Jubilee Bible 2000
In the same manner, the tongue is a very small member and boasts of great things. Behold, how great a forest a little fire kindles!

King James 2000 Bible
Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasts great things. Behold, how great a forest a little fire kindles!

American King James Version
Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasts great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindles!

American Standard Version
So the tongue also is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how much wood is kindled by how small a fire!

Douay-Rheims Bible
Even so the tongue is indeed a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold how small a fire kindleth a great wood.

Darby Bible Translation
Thus also the tongue is a little member, and boasts great things. See how little a fire, how large a wood it kindles!

English Revised Version
So the tongue also is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how much wood is kindled by how small a fire!

Webster's Bible Translation
Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!

Weymouth New Testament
In the same way the tongue is an insignificant part of the body, but it is immensely boastful. Remember how a mere spark may set a vast forest in flames.

World English Bible
So the tongue is also a little member, and boasts great things. See how a small fire can spread to a large forest!

Young's Literal Translation
so also the tongue is a little member, and doth boast greatly; lo, a little fire how much wood it doth kindle!
Commentary
Matthew Henry Commentary
3:1-12 We are taught to dread an unruly tongue, as one of the greatest evils. The affairs of mankind are thrown into confusion by the tongues of men. Every age of the world, and every condition of life, private or public, affords examples of this. Hell has more to do in promoting the fire of the tongue than men generally think; and whenever men's tongues are employed in sinful ways, they are set on fire of hell. No man can tame the tongue without Divine grace and assistance. The apostle does not represent it as impossible, but as extremely difficult. Other sins decay with age, this many times gets worse; we grow more froward and fretful, as natural strength decays, and the days come on in which we have no pleasure. When other sins are tamed and subdued by the infirmities of age, the spirit often grows more tart, nature being drawn down to the dregs, and the words used become more passionate. That man's tongue confutes itself, which at one time pretends to adore the perfections of God, and to refer all things to him; and at another time condemns even good men, if they do not use the same words and expressions. True religion will not admit of contradictions: how many sins would be prevented, if men would always be consistent! Pious and edifying language is the genuine produce of a sanctified heart; and none who understand Christianity, expect to hear curses, lies, boastings, and revilings from a true believer's mouth, any more than they look for the fruit of one tree from another. But facts prove that more professors succeed in bridling their senses and appetites, than in duly restraining their tongues. Then, depending on Divine grace, let us take heed to bless and curse not; and let us aim to be consistent in our words and actions.
Study Bible
Taming the Tongue
4Consider ships as well. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot is inclined. 5In the same way, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it boasts of great things. Consider how small a spark sets a great forest on fire. 6The tongue also is a fire, a world of wickedness among the parts of the body. It pollutes the whole person, sets the course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.…
Cross References
Psalm 12:3
May the LORD cut off all flattering lips, The tongue that speaks great things;

Psalm 39:1
For the choir director, for Jeduthun. A Psalm of David. I said, "I will guard my ways That I may not sin with my tongue; I will guard my mouth as with a muzzle While the wicked are in my presence."

Psalm 73:8
They mock and wickedly speak of oppression; They speak from on high.

Proverbs 26:20
For lack of wood the fire goes out, And where there is no whisperer, contention quiets down.

James 3:4
Consider ships as well. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot is inclined.
Treasury of Scripture

Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasts great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindles!

so.

Exodus 5:2 And Pharaoh said, Who is the LORD, that I should obey his voice to …

Exodus 15:9 The enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the …

2 Kings 19:22-24 Whom have you reproached and blasphemed? and against whom have you …

Job 21:14,15 Therefore they say to God, Depart from us; for we desire not the …

Job 22:17 Which said to God, Depart from us: and what can the Almighty do for them?

Psalm 10:3 For the wicked boasts of his heart's desire, and blesses the covetous, …

Psalm 12:2-4 They speak vanity every one with his neighbor: with flattering lips …

Psalm 17:10 They are enclosed in their own fat: with their mouth they speak proudly.

Psalm 52:1,2 Why boast you yourself in mischief, O mighty man? the goodness of …

Psalm 73:8,9 They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression: they …

Proverbs 12:18 There is that speaks like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue …

Proverbs 15:2 The tongue of the wise uses knowledge aright: but the mouth of fools …

Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love …

Jeremiah 9:3-8 And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are …

Jeremiah 18:18 Then said they, Come and let us devise devices against Jeremiah; …

Ezekiel 28:2 Son of man, say to the prince of Tyrus, Thus said the Lord GOD; Because …

Ezekiel 29:3 Speak, and say, Thus said the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against you, …

Daniel 3:15 Now if you be ready that at what time you hear the sound of the cornet, …

Daniel 4:30 The king spoke, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have …

2 Peter 2:18 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through …

Jude 1:16 These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; …

Revelation 13:5,6 And there was given to him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; …

matter. or, wood.

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