English Standard Version
Taming the Tongue
3 (A)Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. 2 For (B)we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, (C)he is a perfect man, (D)able also to bridle his whole body. 3 If we put (E)bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. 4 Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. 5 So also the tongue is a small member, yet (F)it boasts of great things.
How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! 6 And (G)the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, (H)staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life,[a] and set on fire by hell.[b] 7 For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, (I)full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people (J)who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers,[c] these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.
Wisdom from Above
13 Who is wise and understanding among you? (K)By his good conduct let him show his works (L)in the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter (M)jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. 15 This is not (N)the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, (O)demonic. 16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. 17 But (P)the wisdom from above is first pure, then (Q)peaceable, gentle, open to reason, (R)full of mercy and good fruits, (S)impartial and (T)sincere. 18 And (U)a harvest of righteousness (V)is sown in peace by those who make peace.
- James 3:6 Or wheel of birth
- James 3:6 Greek Gehenna
- James 3:10 Or brothers and sisters; also verse 12
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.