If we put (A)bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. 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. So also the tongue is a small member, yet (B)it boasts of great things.

How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And (C)the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, (D)staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life,[a] and set on fire by hell.[b] For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, (E)full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people (F)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.

Read full chapter

Footnotes

  1. James 3:6 Or wheel of birth
  2. James 3:6 Greek Gehenna
  3. James 3:10 Or brothers and sisters; also verse 12

Bible Gateway Recommends

ESV Student Study Bible, TruTone, Sky Blue with Ivy Design
ESV Student Study Bible, TruTone, Sky Blue with Ivy Design
Retail: $39.99
Our Price: $17.99
Save: $22.00 (55%)
4.5 of 5.0 stars
ESV Thompson Chain-Reference Bible--bonded leather, black
ESV Thompson Chain-Reference Bible--bonded leather, black
Retail: $74.99
Our Price: $47.49
Save: $27.50 (37%)
ESV The Psalms (Press-grain Paperback)
ESV The Psalms (Press-grain Paperback)
Retail: $12.99
Our Price: $3.49
Save: $9.50 (73%)
4.5 of 5.0 stars
ESV Large Print Compact Bible (Black with Strap)
ESV Large Print Compact Bible (Black with Strap)
Retail: $27.99
Our Price: $6.99
Save: $21.00 (75%)
4.5 of 5.0 stars