The Letter of James 3:1-18

3  Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, knowing that we will receive heavier* judgment.+  For we all stumble* many times.+ If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able to bridle also his whole body.  If we put bridles in the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we guide also their whole body.  Look also at ships: Although they are so big and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the man at the helm is inclined to go.  So, too, the tongue is a small part of the body, and yet it makes great brags. See how small a fire it takes to set a great forest ablaze!  The tongue is also a fire.+ The tongue represents a world of unrighteousness among our body members, for it defiles all the body+ and sets the whole course of life* on fire, and it is set on fire by Ge·henʹna.*  For every kind of wild animal and bird and reptile* and sea creature is to be tamed and has been tamed by humans.  But no human can tame the tongue. It is unruly and injurious, full of deadly poison.+  With it we praise Jehovah,* the Father, and yet with it we curse men who have come into existence “in the likeness of God.”+ 10  Out of the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, it is not right for things to happen this way.+ 11  A spring does not cause the fresh* water and the bitter water to bubble out of the same opening, does it? 12  My brothers, a fig tree cannot produce olives, or a grapevine figs, can it?+ Neither can salt water produce fresh water. 13  Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him by his fine conduct demonstrate works performed with a mildness that comes from wisdom. 14  But if you have bitter jealousy+ and contentiousness*+ in your hearts, do not be bragging+ and lying against the truth. 15  This is not the wisdom that comes down from above; it is earthly,+ animalistic, demonic. 16  For wherever there are jealousy and contentiousness,* there will also be disorder and every vile thing.+ 17  But the wisdom from above is first of all pure,+ then peaceable,+ reasonable,+ ready to obey, full of mercy and good fruits,+ impartial,+ not hypocritical.+ 18  Moreover, the fruit of righteousness is sown in peaceful conditions+ for* those who are making peace.+


Or “stricter.”
Or “make mistakes.”
Lit., “the wheel of the birth (origin).”
Or “creeping thing.”
Lit., “sweet.”
Or possibly, “selfish ambition.”
Or possibly, “selfish ambition.”
Or possibly, “by.”

Study Notes