Old Testament

James 3
Control Your Tongue
31Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. 2To be sure, we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a fully mature man, able to bridle his whole body as well.
3If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they will obey us, we also guide the whole animal. 4And consider ships: Although they are very big and are driven by fierce winds, yet they are guided by a very small rudder, wherever the pilot wants to go. 5So also the tongue is a small part of the body, yet it also boasts great things.
Consider how a little flame can set a large forest on fire! 6And the tongue is a fire. It is set among the parts of our body as a world of unrighteousness that stains the whole body, sets the whole course of life on fire, and is set on fire by hell.[] 7Indeed, every kind of animal, bird, reptile, and sea creature is being tamed and has been tamed by mankind. 8But no one is able to tame the human tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9With it we bless our Lord[] and Father, and with it we curse people, who are made in the likeness of God. 10Blessing and cursing come out of the same mouth. My brothers, these things should not be this way. 11A spring does not pour out both fresh and bitter water from the same opening, does it? 12Can a fig tree bear olives, my brothers, or can a grapevine produce figs? A salt spring cannot produce fresh water either.[]
Wisdom From Above
13Who among you is wise and intelligent? Let him by his good way of living show that he does things in wise humility. 14But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your heart, do not boast and lie, contrary to the truth. 15This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but it is worldly, unspiritual, and demonic. 16In fact, where there is envy and selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and every bad practice. 17But the wisdom that comes from above is first pure, then also peaceful, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial, and sincere. 18And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who practice peace.


  • 3:6 Gehenna
  • 3:9 Some witnesses to the text read God.
  • 3:12 Some witnesses to the text read In the same way, no spring can produce both salty and fresh water.