The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Universal Epistle of the Blessed Apostle James
Do not be too eager, brethren, to impart instruction to others; be sure that, if we do, we shall be called to account all the more strictly.
We are betrayed, all of us, into many faults; and a man who is not betrayed into faults of the tongue must be a man perfect at every point, who knows how to curb his whole body.
Just so we can make horses obey us, and turn their whole bodies this way and that, by putting a curb in their mouths.
Or look at ships; how huge they are, how boisterous are the winds that drive them along! And yet a tiny rudder will turn them this way and that, as the captain’s purpose will have it.
Just so, the tongue is a tiny part of our body, and yet what power it can boast! How small a spark it takes to set fire to a vast forest!
And that is what the tongue is, a fire. Among the organs of our nature, the tongue has its place as the proper element in which all that is harmful lives. It infects the whole body, and sets fire to this mortal sphere of ours, catching fire itself from hell.✻
Mankind can tame, and has long since learned to tame, every kind of beast and bird, of creeping things and all else;✻
but no human being has ever found out how to tame the tongue; a pest that is never allayed, all deadly poison.
We use it to bless God who is our Father; we use it to curse our fellow men, that were made in God’s image;
blessing and cursing come from the same mouth. My brethren, there is no reason in this.
Does the fountain gush out fresh and salt water from the same outlet?
What, my brethren, can a fig-tree yield olives, or a vine figs? No more easily will brackish water yield fresh.
Does any of you lay claim to wisdom or learning? Then let him give proof of his quality by setting a good example, living peaceably as a wise man should.
As long as you find bitter jealousy and thoughts of rivalry in your hearts, let us have none of this boasting that perverts the truth;
such wisdom as yours does not come from above, it belongs to earth and to nature, and is fit only for devils.
Where there is jealousy, where there is rivalry, there you will find disorder and every kind of defect.
Whereas the wisdom which does come from above is marked chiefly indeed by its purity, but also by its peacefulness; it is courteous and ready to be convinced, always taking the better part; it carries mercy with it, and a harvest of all that is good; it is uncensorious, and without affectation.
Peace is the seed-ground of holiness, and those who make peace will win its harvest.
The Holy Bible