James 3:8
Parallel Verses
New International Version
but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

New Living Translation
but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison.

English Standard Version
but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

New American Standard Bible
But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison.

King James Bible
But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

International Standard Version
but no one can tame the tongue. It is an uncontrollable evil filled with deadly poison.

NET Bible
But no human being can subdue the tongue; it is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
But the tongue no man is able to tame, this evil which is uncontrolled; It is full of deadly poison.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Yet, no one can tame the tongue. It is an uncontrollable evil filled with deadly poison.

Jubilee Bible 2000
but no man can tame the tongue, which is an evil that cannot be restrained and is full of deadly poison.

King James 2000 Bible
But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.

American King James Version
But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.

American Standard Version
But the tongue can no man tame; it is a restless evil, it is full of deadly poison.

Douay-Rheims Bible
But the tongue no man can tame, an unquiet evil, full of deadly poison.

Darby Bible Translation
but the tongue can no one among men tame; [it is] an unsettled evil, full of death-bringing poison.

English Revised Version
but the tongue can no man tame; it is a restless evil, it is full of deadly poison.

Webster's Bible Translation
But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.

Weymouth New Testament
But the tongue no man or woman is able to tame. It is an ever-busy mischief, and is full of deadly poison.

World English Bible
But nobody can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

Young's Literal Translation
and the tongue no one of men is able to subdue, it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison,
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise 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.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 8. - It is an unruly evil; rather restless, reading ἀκατάστατον (א, A, B) for ἀκατάσχετον of Textus Receptus (C, K, L); Vulgate, inquietum malum (cf. James 1:8). The nominatives in this verse should be noticed: "The last words are to be regarded as a kind of exclamation, and are therefore appended in an independent construction" (Winer, p. 668). A restless evil! Full of deadly poison! Compare the abrupt nominative in Philippians 3:19 with Bishop Light-feet's note. Deadly (θανατηφόρος); here only in the New Testament. In the LXX. it is found in Numbers 18:22; Job 33:23; 4 Macc. 8:17, 24; 15:23. For the figure, cf. Psalm 140:3, "They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders' poison is under their lips."

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

But the tongue can no man tame,.... Either his own, or others; not his own, for the man that has the greatest guard upon himself, his words and actions; yet, what through pride or passion, or one lust or another in his heart, at one time or another, bolts out vain, idle, angry, and sinful words: and he that does not may be set down for a perfect man indeed: nor can he tame or restrain the tongues of others from detraction, calumnies, backbitings, and whisperings; who say, their lips are their own, and who is Lord over us? no man can, by his own power and strength, tame or subdue his tongue, or restrain it from evils it is habituated to, be it lying, cursing, swearing, or what else: God, by his Spirit, power, and grace, can, and often does, change the note of the curser, swearer, liar, and blasphemer; but no man can do this, though he can tame beasts, birds, serpents, and fishes; which shows the tongue to be worse than anything to be found in the whole compass of nature:

it is an unruly evil: an evil it is, for it is a world of iniquity; and an unruly one, being more so than the horse and mule, which are without understanding, who are kept in and governed, and turned any way by the bit and bridle: but though in nature the tongue is fenced by a double fence of the lips and teeth, this is not sufficient to restrain it; it breaks all bounds, and is not to be kept in by nature, art, or argument: nothing but the grace of God can in any measure govern it, or lay an embargo on it:

full of deadly poison, which, privately, secretly, and gradually, destroys the characters, credit, and reputation of men; and is of fatal consequence in families, neighbourhoods, churches, and states.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

8. no man—literally, "no one of men": neither can a man control his neighbor's, nor even his own tongue. Hence the truth of Jas 3:2 appears.

unruly evil—The Greek, implies that it is at once restless and incapable of restraint. Nay, though nature has hedged it in with a double barrier of the lips and teeth, it bursts from its barriers to assail and ruin men [Estius].

deadly—literally, "death-bearing."

James 3:8 Additional Commentaries
Context
Taming the Tongue
7For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by the human race. 8But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. 9With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God;…
Cross References
Psalm 140:3
They make their tongues as sharp as a serpent's; the poison of vipers is on their lips.

Proverbs 17:20
One whose heart is corrupt does not prosper; one whose tongue is perverse falls into trouble.

Ecclesiastes 10:11
If a snake bites before it is charmed, the charmer receives no fee.

Romans 3:13
"Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit." "The poison of vipers is on their lips."

James 3:7
All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind,
Treasury of Scripture

But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.

an unruly.

James 3:6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among …

Psalm 55:21 The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in …

Psalm 57:4 My soul is among lions: and I lie even among them that are set on …

Psalm 59:7 Behold, they belch out with their mouth: swords are in their lips: …

Psalm 64:3,4 Who whet their tongue like a sword, and bend their bows to shoot …

full.

Deuteronomy 32:33 Their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps.

Psalm 58:4 Their poison is like the poison of a serpent: they are like the deaf …

Psalm 140:3 They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders' poison …

Ecclesiastes 10:11 Surely the serpent will bite without enchantment; and a babbler is no better.

Romans 3:13 Their throat is an open sepulcher; with their tongues they have used …

Revelation 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, …

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