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James 3:4-6 The Passion Translation (TPT)

And the same with mighty ships, though they are massive and driven by fierce winds, yet they are steered by a tiny rudder at the direction of the person at the helm.

And so the tongue is a small part of the body yet it carries great power![a] Just think of how a small flame can set a huge forest ablaze. And the tongue is a fire! It can be compared to the sum total of wickedness[b] and is the most dangerous part of our human body. It corrupts the entire body[c] and is a hellish flame![d] It releases a fire that can burn throughout the course of human existence.[e]


  1. James 3:5 Or “boasts of great things.” The Aramaic can be translated “the tongue has dominion.”
  2. James 3:6 As translated from the Latin Vulgate. The Greek is “a world of wrongdoing.”
  3. James 3:6 It is possible that the body James refers to here is the body of believers (a local church).
  4. James 3:6 Or “is set ablaze by gehenna [hell].” The Aramaic does not mention gehenna but is simply “burns with fire.” Gehenna is taken from the concept of “The Valley of Hinnom” where rubbish was burned outside the city of Jerusalem, becoming a Hebrew metaphor for the fires of hell.
  5. James 3:6 The Aramaic can be translated “a fire that passes through successive generations, rolling on like wheels.”
The Passion Translation (TPT)

The Passion Translation®. Copyright © 2017 by BroadStreet Publishing® Group, LLC.
Used by permission. All rights reserved. thePassionTranslation.com


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