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Look at the ships also; though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So the tongue is a little member and boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire!

And the tongue is a fire. The tongue is an unrighteous world among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the cycle of nature,[a] and set on fire by hell.[b]

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Footnotes

  1. James 3:6 Or wheel of birth
  2. James 3:6 Greek Gehenna

Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts.(A) Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire,(B) a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body,(C) sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.(D)

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