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James 3:4-6 New English Translation (NET Bible)

Look at ships too: Though they are so large and driven by harsh winds, they are steered by a tiny rudder wherever the pilot’s inclination directs. So too the tongue is a small part of the body,[a] yet it has great pretensions.[b] Think[c] how small a flame sets a huge forest ablaze. And the tongue is a fire! The tongue represents[d] the world of wrongdoing among the parts of our bodies. It[e] pollutes the entire body and sets fire to the course of human existence—and is set on fire by hell.[f]


  1. James 3:5 tn Grk “a small member.”
  2. James 3:5 tn Grk “boasts of great things.”
  3. James 3:5 tn Grk “Behold.”
  4. James 3:6 tn Grk “makes itself,” “is made.”
  5. James 3:6 tn Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.
  6. James 3:6 sn The word translated hell is “Gehenna” (γέεννα, geenna), a Greek transliteration of the Hebrew words ge hinnom (“Valley of Hinnom”). This was the valley along the south side of Jerusalem. In OT times it was used for human sacrifices to the pagan god Molech (cf. Jer 7:31; 19:5-6; 32:35), and it came to be used as a place where human excrement and rubbish were disposed of and burned. In the intertestamental period, it came to be used symbolically as the place of divine punishment (cf. 1 En. 27:2; 90:26; 4 Ezra 7:36).
New English Translation (NET)

NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2017 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://netbible.com All rights reserved.


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