1 Be not many teachers, my brethren, knowing that we shall receive greater judgment.
2 For we all often offend. If any one offend not in word, *he* [is] a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body too.
3 Behold, we put the bits in the mouths of the horses, that they may obey us, and we turn round their whole bodies.
4 Behold also the ships, which are so great, and driven by violent winds, are turned about by a very small rudder, wherever the pleasure of the helmsman will.
5 Thus also the tongue is a little member, and boasts great things. See how little a fire, how large a wood it kindles!
References for James 3:5
    • a 3:5 - i.e. a forest. But some regard the expression as meaning 'materials.'
      6 and the tongue [is] fire, the world of unrighteousness; the tongue is set in our members, the defiler of the whole body, and which sets fire to the course of nature, and is set on fire of hell.
      References for James 3:6
        • b 3:6 - Gehenna.
          7 For every species both of beasts and of birds, both of creeping things and of sea animals, is tamed and has been tamed by the human species;
          8 but the tongue can no one among men tame; [it is] an unsettled evil, full of death-bringing poison.
          9 Therewith bless we the Lord and Father, and therewith curse we men made after [the] likeness of God.
          References for James 3:9
            • c 3:9 - Or, perhaps, 'the Lord and [the] Father.' The form of the phrase must be noted: it is one article with two nouns, and so they are in some respect one, perhaps here only in respect of the blessing.
              10 Out of the same mouth goes forth blessing and cursing. It is not right, my brethren, that these things should be thus.
              11 Does the fountain, out of the same opening, pour forth sweet and bitter?
              12 Can, my brethren, a fig produce olives, or a vine figs? Neither [can] salt [water] make sweet water.
              13 Who [is] wise and understanding among you; let him shew out of a good conversation his works in meekness of wisdom;
              References for James 3:13
                • d 3:13 - Or 'conduct,' 'manner of life,' as 1Tim. 4.12.
                  14 but if ye have bitter emulation and strife in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth.
                  References for James 3:14
                    • e 3:14 - 'Against truth' is connected with 'boast,' as with 'lie.'
                      15 This is not the wisdom which comes down from above, but earthly, natural, devilish.
                      16 For where emulation and strife [are], there [is] disorder and every evil thing.
                      17 But the wisdom from above first is pure, then peaceful, gentle, yielding, full of mercy and good fruits, unquestioning, unfeigned.
                      References for James 3:17
                        • f 3:17 - Or 'uncontentious,' that is, in contrast with contentious pretension to wisdom: practical righteousness bears the fruit of peace for those who make peace.
                          18 But [the] fruit of righteousness in peace is sown for them that make peace.