Restraining the Tongue
1 Not many should become teachers, my brothers, because you#*Here “because” is supplied as a component of the participle (“know”) which is understood as causal know that we will receive a greater judgment.#Or “greater condemnation” 2For we all stumble in many ways. If anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect individual,#Literally “man,” but clearly in a generic sense here meaning “someone, a person” able to hold in check his whole body also. 3And if we put bits in the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we also guide their whole bodies. 4Behold also ships: although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the inclination of the pilot wishes. 5So also the tongue is a small member of the body#*The words “of the body” are not in the Greek text but are supplied for clarity and boasts great things. Behold how small a fire sets ablaze how great a forest! 6And the tongue is a fire! The world of unrighteousness,#Or “a fire, the world of unrighteousness! The tongue is set among our members” the tongue, is set among our members, defiling the whole body and setting on fire the course of human existence#Literally “the wheel of origin”, being set on fire by hell.
7For every species of animals and birds, of reptiles and sea creatures, is being tamed and has been tamed by the human species, 8but no human being is able to tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9With it we bless the#*Or possibly “our,” if the Greek article is understood as a possessive pronoun Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so! 11A spring does not pour forth from the same opening fresh and bitter water, does it?#*The negative construction in Greek anticipates a negative answer here 12A fig tree is not able, my brothers, to produce olives, or a grapevine figs. Neither can a saltwater spring produce fresh water.
The Wisdom That Comes Down from Above
13Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by his#*Literally “the”; the Greek article is used here as a possessive pronoun good behavior his works, with the humility of wisdom. 14But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and tell lies against the truth. 15This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. 16For where there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there is disorder and every evil practice. 17But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceful, gentle, obedient, full of mercy and good fruits, nonjudgmental, without hypocrisy, 18And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace among#Or “for”; or possibly “by” those who make peace.