The Letter from James

Chapter 3

We are not rashly or arrogantly to reprove others, 1-4; but rather to bridle the tongue, a little member, but a powerful instrument of much good and great harm, 5-12. Those who are truly wise are mild and peaceable without envying and strife, 13-18.

1 My brothers, do not become many teachers, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. 2 For in many things we all offend. If any man does not offend in word, the same is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body. 3 Behold, we put bits in the mouths of horses so that they may obey us, and we direct their whole body. 4 Behold also the ships: though they are so great and are driven by fierce winds, yet they are directed with a very small helm, wherever the helmsman wills. 5 Likewise, the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindles! 6 And the tongue, that world of iniquity, is a fire. The tongue is set in our members as that which defiles the whole body and sets on fire the course of nature, and it is set on fire from hell. 7 For every kind, both of beasts and of birds, both of creeping things and of animals in the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by mankind. 8 But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. 9 With this we bless God, even the Father, and with this we curse men, who are made after the similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceeds blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a fountain send forth at the same place sweet and bitter water? 12 Can the fig-tree, my brothers, bear olive-berries, or a vine, figs? In the same manner no fountain can yield both salt and fresh water.

13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? Let him show by a good deportment his works with meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, do not glory and do not lie against the truth. 15 This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, and demoniacal. 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, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. 18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.


Matthew Henry Commentary - James, Chapter 3[➚]