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James 3 Wycliffe Bible (WYC)

My brethren, do not ye be made many masters, witting that ye take the more doom.

For all we offend in many things. If any man offendeth not in word, this is a perfect man; for also he may lead about all the body with a bridle [forsooth he may with a bridle lead about all the body].

For if we put bridles into horses' mouths, for to consent to us, and we lead about all the body of them.

And lo! ships, when they be great, and be driven of strong winds, yet they be borne about of a little rudder, where the moving of the governor will.

So also the tongue is but a little member, and raiseth great things. Lo! how little fire burneth a full great wood [Lo! how much fire kindleth how great a wood].

And our tongue is fire, the university of wickedness. The tongue is ordained in our members, which defouleth all the body; and it is inflamed of hell [and it is inflamed, or set afire, of hell], and inflameth the wheel of our birth.

And all the kind of beasts, and of fowls, and of serpents, and of others is chastised, and those be made tame of man's kind; [Soothly all kind of beasts, and fowls, and serpents, and of others, be overcome, or under-yoked, and be made tame, of mankind];

but no man may chastise the tongue, for it is an unpeaceable evil [soothly it is an unquiet, or unpeaceable, evil thing], and full of deadly venom.

In it we bless God, the Father, and in it we curse men, that be made to the likeness of God.

10 Of the same mouth passeth forth blessing and cursing [Of the same mouth cometh forth blessing and cursing]. My brethren, it behooveth not that these things be done so.

11 Whether a well of the same hole bringeth forth [bring forth] sweet and salt water?

12 My brethren, whether a fig tree may make grapes, either a vine figs [or a vine figs]? So neither salt water may make sweet water.

13 Who is wise, and taught among you? show he of good living his working, in mildness of his wisdom [show he of good living his work, in mildness of wisdom].

14 That if ye have bitter envy, and strivings be in your hearts, do not ye have glory [That if ye have bitter zeal, or envy, and strives be in your hearts, do not ye glory], and be liars against the truth.

15 For this wisdom is not from above coming down, but earthly, and beastly, and fiendly [but earthly, beastly, fiendly].

16 For where is envy and strife, there is unsteadfastness and all depraved work [and all shrewd work].

17 But wisdom that is from above, first it is chaste, afterward peaceable, mild, able to be counseled [persuadable, that is, easy to treat, and to be treated], consenting to good things, full of mercy and of good fruits, deeming without feigning.

18 And the fruit of rightwiseness is sown in peace, to men that make peace.

James 3 New Matthew Bible (NMB)

What good and evil comes through the tongue. The duty of the learned. The difference between the wisdom of the gospel and the wisdom of the world.

My brethren, be not every man a counsellor, remembering that we will receive the stricter judgment. For in many things, we all sin.

If a person does not sin in word, he is a perfect man, and able to tame all the body. Behold, we put bits into the horses’ mouths so that they will obey us, and we turn about all their body. Behold also the ships, which, though they be so large, and are driven by fierce winds, yet are turned about with a very small helm, wherever the helmsman chooses to steer. Even so the tongue is a little member, yet boasts great things.

Behold how great a thing a little fire kindles. And the tongue is fire, and a world of wickedness. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets afire all the course of our life, and is itself set afire even by hell.

All kinds of beasts, and of birds and of serpents and things of the sea, are meeked and tamed by the powers of man. But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless God the Father, and with it we curse men, who are made in the likeness of God. 10 Out of one mouth proceeds blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. 11 Does a spring send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter also? 12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries, or a vine bear figs? Likewise can no spring give both salt water and fresh also.

13 If any be wise and learned among you, let him show the works of his good living in humility that is coupled with wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, do not be pleased, neither be liars against the truth. 15 This wisdom descends not from above, but is earthly, and natural, and devilish. 16 For where envying and strife are, there is instability and all manner of evil works.

17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated – full of mercy and good fruits, without judging and without dissimulation. 18 Yea and the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who maintain peace.

New Matthew Bible (NMB)

Copyright © 2016 by Ruth Magnusson (Davis). All rights reserved.

James 3 1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)

2 To show that a Christian man must govern his tongue with the bridle of faith and charity, 6 he declareth the commodities and mischiefs that ensue thereof: 15 and how much man’s wisdom 17 differeth from heavenly.

My [a]brethren, be not many masters, [b]knowing that we [c]shall receive the greater condemnation.

For in many things we [d]sin all. [e]If any man sin not in word, he is a perfect man, and able to bridle all the body.

[f]Behold, we put bits into the horses’ mouths, that they should obey us, and we turn about all their body.

Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small rudder, whithersoever the governor listeth.

Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth of great things: [g]behold, how great a thing a little fire kindleth.

And the tongue is fire, yea, a [h]world of wickedness: so is the tongue set among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and [i]setteth on fire the course of nature, and it is set on fire of hell.

For the whole nature of beasts, and of birds, and of creeping things, and things of the sea is tamed, and hath been tamed of the nature of man.

But the tongue can no man tame. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.

[j]Therewith bless we God even the Father, and therewith curse we men, which are made after the [k]similitude of God.

10 [l]Out of one mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing: my brethren, these things ought not so to be.

11 Doth a fountain send forth at one place sweet water and bitter?

12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bring forth olives, either a vine figs? so can no fountain make both salt water and sweet.

13 [m]Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him show by good conversation his works in meekness of wisdom.

14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, rejoice not, neither be liars against the truth.

15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, and devilish.

16 For where envying and strife is, there is sedition, and all manner of evil works.

17 But the wisdom that is from above, is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of [n]mercy and good fruits, without judging, and without hypocrisy.

18 [o]And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace, of them that make peace.

Footnotes:

  1. James 3:1 The sixth part or place: Let no man usurp (as most men ambitiously do) authority to judge and censure others righteously.
  2. James 3:1 A reason: Because they provoke God’s severity against themselves, which do so curiously and rigorously condemn others, being themselves guilty and faulty.
  3. James 3:1 Unless we surcease from this masterlike and proud finding fault with others.
  4. James 3:2 Or, stumble.
  5. James 3:2 The seventh place, touching the bridling of the tongue, joined with the former, so that it is manifest that there is no man which may not justly be found fault withal, seeing it is a rare virtue to bridle the tongue.
  6. James 3:3 He showeth by two similitudes the one taken from the bridles of horses, the other from the rudders of ships, how great matters may be brought to pass by the good moderation of the tongue.
  7. James 3:5 On the contrary part he showeth how great discommodities arise by the intemperance of the tongue, throughout the whole world, to the end that men may so much the more diligently give themselves to moderate it.
  8. James 3:6 An heap of all mischiefs.
  9. James 3:6 It is able to set the whole world on fire.
  10. James 3:9 Amongst other faults of the tongue, the Apostle chiefly reproveth backbiting and speaking evil of our neighbors, even in them especially which otherwise will seem godly and religious.
  11. James 3:9 He denieth by two reasons, that God can be praised by that man, that useth cursed speaking, or to backbite: first because man is the image of God, which whosoever reverenceth not doth not honor God himself.
  12. James 3:10 Secondly, because the order of nature which God hath set in things, will not suffer things that are so contrary the one to the other, to stand the one with the other.
  13. James 3:13 The eighth part which hangeth with the former, touching meekness of mind, against which he setteth envy and a contentious mind. And in the beginning he stoppeth the mouth of the chief fountain of all these mischiefs, to wit, a false persuasion of wisdom, whereas notwithstanding there is no true wisdom, but that is heavenly, and frameth our minds to all kinds of true moderation and simplicity.
  14. James 3:17 He setteth mercy against the fierce and cruel nature of man, and showeth that heavenly wisdom bringeth forth good fruits, for he that is heavenly wise, referreth all things to God’s glory, and the profit of his neighbor.
  15. James 3:18 Because the world persuadeth itself that they are miserable which live peaceably and simply, on the contrary side the Apostle pronounceth that they shall at the length reap the harvest of peaceable righteousness.
1599 Geneva Bible (GNV)

Geneva Bible, 1599 Edition. Published by Tolle Lege Press. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, without written permission from the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations in articles, reviews, and broadcasts.

James 3 Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)

My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind: but the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. 11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? 12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.

13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. 14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. 15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. 16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. 18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)

KJV reproduced by permission of Cambridge University Press, the Crown’s patentee in the UK.

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