James 3:4
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs.

King James Bible
Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.

American Standard Version
Behold, the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by rough winds, are yet turned about by a very small rudder, whither the impulse of the steersman willeth.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Behold also ships, whereas they are great, and are driven by strong winds, yet are they turned about with a small helm, whithersoever the force of the governor willeth.

English Revised Version
Behold, the ships also, though they are so great, and are driven by rough winds, are yet turned about by a very small rudder, whither the impulse of the steersman willeth.

Webster's Bible Translation
Behold also the ships, which though they are so great, and are driven by fierce winds, yet they are turned about with a very small helm, withersoever the governor willeth.

Weymouth New Testament
So too with ships, great as they are, and often driven along by strong gales, yet they can be steered with a very small rudder in whichever direction the caprice of the man at the helm chooses.

James 3:4 Parallel
Commentary
Vincent's Word Studies

The ships

See Introduction, on James' local allusions. Dean Howson observes that "there is more imagery drawn from mere natural phenomena in the one short epistle of James than in all St. Paul's epistles put together."

So great

As the ship which conveyed Paul to Malta, which contained two hundred and seventy-six persons (Acts 27:37).

Fierce (σκληρῶν)

More literally, and better, as Rev., rough. The word primarily means hard, harsh

Helm (πηδαλίου)

Better, rudder, as Rev. The rudder was an oar worked by a handle. Helm and rudder were thus one. The word occurs only here and Acts 27:40.

The governor listeth (ἡ ὁρμὴ τοῦ εὐθύνοντες βούλεται)

Lit., the impulse or desire of the steersman wisheth. Ὁρμὴ, impulse, only here and Acts 14:5, of an assault, onset.

The governor (τοῦ εὐθύνοντος)

Rev., steersman. Lit., of him who is guiding. Only here and John 1:23. From εὐθύς straight.

James 3:4 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

are driven.

Psalm 107:25-27 For he commands, and raises the stormy wind, which lifts up the waves thereof...

Jonah 1:4 But the LORD sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea, so that the ship was like to be broken.

Matthew 8:24 And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, so that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep.

Acts 27:14 But not long after there arose against it a tempestuous wind, called Euroclydon.

*etc:

Cross References
Matthew 11:27
All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

Acts 27:11
But the centurion paid more attention to the pilot and to the owner of the ship than to what Paul said.

James 3:3
If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well.

James 3:5
So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!

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Although Big Caprice Chooses Desires Direction Directs Driven Example Fierce Governor Great Guided Impulse Moved Often Pilot Rough Rudder Ships Small Strong Turned Violent Wants Wherever Whichever Whither Whithersoever Willeth Winds
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Although Big Caprice Chooses Desires Direction Directs Driven Example Fierce Governor Great Guided Impulse Moved Often Pilot Rough Rudder Ships Small Strong Turned Violent Wants Wherever Whichever Whither Whithersoever Willeth Winds
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ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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