James 3 Jubilee Bible 2000 (JUB)
3 ¶ My brethren, make not unto yourselves many teachers, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.
2 For we all offend in many things. If any man offends not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to govern the whole body with restraint.
3 Behold, we put bits (or restraint) in the horses’ mouths to persuade them, and we govern their whole body.
4 Behold also the ships, which though they are so great are driven of fierce winds, yet they are governed with a very small rudder, wherever the governor desires.
5 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!
6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defiles the whole body and sets on fire the course of our nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
7 For every nature of beasts and of birds and of serpents and of beings in the sea may be tamed and is tamed by mankind,
8 but no man can tame the tongue, which is an evil that cannot be restrained and is full of deadly poison.
9 With it we bless God, even the Father; and with it we curse men, who are made in the image of God.
10 Out of the same mouth proceeds blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.
11 Does a fountain send forth at the same place both sweet and bitter water?
12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, produce olive berries? or the vine, figs? In the same manner no fountain can yield both salt water and fresh.
13 ¶ Who is wise and ready among you? let him show out of a good conversation his works in meekness of wisdom.
14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, boast not and do not be liars against the truth.
15 This wisdom is not that which descends from above, but is earthly, natural, diabolical.
16 For where there is envy and contention, there is confusion and every perverse work.
17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, modest, benevolent, full of mercy and of good fruits, not judgmental, unfeigned.
18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace unto those that make peace.
James 3 New International Version (NIV)
Taming the Tongue
3 Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. 2 We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.
3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4 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. 5 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. 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and sea creatures are being tamed and have been tamed by mankind, 8 but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. 11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.
Two Kinds of Wisdom
13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.
17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.