James 3:6
New International Version
The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one's life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

New Living Translation
And the tongue is a flame of fire. It is a whole world of wickedness, corrupting your entire body. It can set your whole life on fire, for it is set on fire by hell itself.

English Standard Version
And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell.

Berean Study Bible
The tongue also is a fire, a world of wickedness among the parts of the body. It pollutes the whole person, sets the course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

Berean Literal Bible
The tongue also is a fire, the world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, defiling all the body, and setting on fire the course of nature, and itself being set on fire by Gehenna.

New American Standard Bible
And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell.

King James Bible
And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.

Christian Standard Bible
And the tongue is a fire. The tongue, a world of unrighteousness, is placed among our members. It stains the whole body, sets the course of life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

Contemporary English Version
The tongue is like a spark. It is an evil power that dirties the rest of the body and sets a person's entire life on fire with flames that come from hell itself.

Good News Translation
And the tongue is like a fire. It is a world of wrong, occupying its place in our bodies and spreading evil through our whole being. It sets on fire the entire course of our existence with the fire that comes to it from hell itself.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
And the tongue is a fire. The tongue, a world of unrighteousness, is placed among the parts of our bodies. It pollutes the whole body, sets the course of life on fire, and is set on fire by hell.

International Standard Version
The tongue is a fire, a world of evil. Placed among the parts of our bodies, the tongue contaminates the whole body and sets on fire the course of life, and is itself set on fire by hell.

NET Bible
And the tongue is a fire! The tongue represents the world of wrongdoing among the parts of our bodies. It pollutes the entire body and sets fire to the course of human existence--and is set on fire by hell.

New Heart English Bible
And the tongue is a fire. The world of iniquity among our members is the tongue, which defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature, and is set on fire by hell.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
And the tongue is a fire and a world of sin; it is like a jungle. And that tongue by itself, while it is among our members, defiles our whole body and sets on fire the successions of generations, which roll on like wheels; it also burns with fire.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
The tongue is that kind of flame. It is a world of evil among the parts of our bodies, and it completely contaminates our bodies. The tongue sets our lives on fire, and is itself set on fire from hell.

New American Standard 1977
And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell.

Jubilee Bible 2000
And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defiles the whole body and sets on fire the course of our nature; and it is set on fire of hell.

King James 2000 Bible
And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire by hell.

American King James Version
And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.

American Standard Version
And the tongue is a fire: the world of iniquity among our members is the tongue, which defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the wheel of nature, and is set on fire by hell.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. The tongue is placed among our members, which defileth the whole body, and inflameth the wheel of our nativity, being set on fire by hell.

Darby Bible Translation
and the tongue [is] fire, the world of unrighteousness; the tongue is set in our members, the defiler of the whole body, and which sets fire to the course of nature, and is set on fire of hell.

English Revised Version
And the tongue is a fire: the world of iniquity among our members is the tongue, which defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the wheel of nature, and is set on fire by hell.

Webster's Bible Translation
And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire from hell.

Weymouth New Testament
And the tongue is a fire. That world of iniquity, the tongue, is placed within us spotting and soiling our whole nature, and setting the whole round of our lives on fire, being itself set on fire by Gehenna.

World English Bible
And the tongue is a fire. The world of iniquity among our members is the tongue, which defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature, and is set on fire by Gehenna.

Young's Literal Translation
and the tongue is a fire, the world of the unrighteousness, so the tongue is set in our members, which is spotting our whole body, and is setting on fire the course of nature, and is set on fire by the gehenna.
Study Bible
Taming the Tongue
5In the same way, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it boasts of great things. Consider how small a spark sets a great forest ablaze. 6The tongue also is a fire, a world of wickedness among the parts of the body. It pollutes the whole person, sets the course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. 7All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man,…
Cross References
Psalm 120:2
Deliver my soul, O LORD, from lying lips and a deceitful tongue.

Psalm 120:3
What will He do to you, and what will be added to you, O deceitful tongue?

Proverbs 16:27
A worthless man digs up evil, and his speech is like a scorching fire.

Isaiah 50:11
Behold, all you who kindle a fire, who array yourselves with firebrands, walk in the light of your fire and in the firebrands you have lit! This is what you will receive from My hand: You will lie down in a place of torment.

Matthew 5:22
But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother, 'Raca,' will be subject to the Sanhedrin. But anyone who says, 'You fool!' will be subject to the fire of hell.

Matthew 12:36
But I tell you that men will give an account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken.

Matthew 15:11
A man is not defiled by what enters his mouth, but by what comes out of it."

Matthew 15:18
But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these things defile a man.

James 3:7
All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man,

Treasury of Scripture

And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.

the tongue.

Judges 12:4-6
Then Jephthah gathered together all the men of Gilead, and fought with Ephraim: and the men of Gilead smote Ephraim, because they said, Ye Gileadites are fugitives of Ephraim among the Ephraimites, and among the Manassites…

2 Samuel 19:43
And the men of Israel answered the men of Judah, and said, We have ten parts in the king, and we have also more right in David than ye: why then did ye despise us, that our advice should not be first had in bringing back our king? And the words of the men of Judah were fiercer than the words of the men of Israel.

2 Samuel 20:1
And there happened to be there a man of Belial, whose name was Sheba, the son of Bichri, a Benjamite: and he blew a trumpet, and said, We have no part in David, neither have we inheritance in the son of Jesse: every man to his tents, O Israel.

a world.

James 2:7
Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?

Genesis 3:4-6
And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: …

Leviticus 24:11
And the Israelitish woman's son blasphemed the name of the LORD, and cursed. And they brought him unto Moses: (and his mother's name was Shelomith, the daughter of Dibri, of the tribe of Dan:)

it is.

Luke 16:24
And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.

Acts 5:3
But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?

2 Corinthians 11:13-15
For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ…







Lexicon
The
(hē)
Article - Nominative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

tongue
γλῶσσα (glōssa)
Noun - Nominative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 1100: The tongue; by implication, a language.

also
καὶ (kai)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 2532: And, even, also, namely.

[is] a fire,
πῦρ (pyr)
Noun - Nominative Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 4442: Fire; the heat of the sun, lightning; fig: strife, trials; the eternal fire. A primary word; 'fire'.

a
(ho)
Article - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

world
κόσμος (kosmos)
Noun - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 2889: Probably from the base of komizo; orderly arrangement, i.e. Decoration; by implication, the world (morally).

of wickedness
ἀδικίας (adikias)
Noun - Genitive Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 93: Injustice, unrighteousness, hurt. From adikos; injustice; morally, wrongfulness.

among
ἐν (en)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 1722: In, on, among. A primary preposition denoting position, and instrumentality, i.e. A relation of rest; 'in, ' at, on, by, etc.

the
τοῖς (tois)
Article - Dative Neuter Plural
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

parts
μέλεσιν (melesin)
Noun - Dative Neuter Plural
Strong's Greek 3196: A bodily organ, limb, member. Of uncertain affinity; a limb or part of the body.

of the [body].
ἡμῶν (hēmōn)
Personal / Possessive Pronoun - Genitive 1st Person Plural
Strong's Greek 1473: I, the first-person pronoun. A primary pronoun of the first person I.

It pollutes
σπιλοῦσα (spilousa)
Verb - Present Participle Active - Nominative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 4695: To defile, spot, stain, soil. From spilos; to stain or soil.

the
τὸ (to)
Article - Accusative Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

whole
ὅλον (holon)
Adjective - Accusative Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 3650: All, the whole, entire, complete. A primary word; 'whole' or 'all', i.e. Complete, especially as noun or adverb.

person,
σῶμα (sōma)
Noun - Accusative Neuter Singular
Strong's Greek 4983: Body, flesh; the body of the Church. From sozo; the body, used in a very wide application, literally or figuratively.

sets
φλογίζουσα (phlogizousa)
Verb - Present Participle Active - Nominative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 5394: To inflame, fire with passion, set on fire, burn up. From phlox; to cause a blaze, i.e. Ignite.

the
τὸν (ton)
Article - Accusative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 3588: The, the definite article. Including the feminine he, and the neuter to in all their inflections; the definite article; the.

course
τροχὸν (trochon)
Noun - Accusative Masculine Singular
Strong's Greek 5164: A wheel, course. From trecho; a wheel, i.e. a circuit of physical effects.

of his life {on fire},
γενέσεως (geneseōs)
Noun - Genitive Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 1078: Birth, lineage, descent. From the same as genea; nativity; figuratively, nature.

and
καὶ (kai)
Conjunction
Strong's Greek 2532: And, even, also, namely.

is itself set on fire
φλογιζομένη (phlogizomenē)
Verb - Present Participle Middle or Passive - Nominative Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 5394: To inflame, fire with passion, set on fire, burn up. From phlox; to cause a blaze, i.e. Ignite.

by
ὑπὸ (hypo)
Preposition
Strong's Greek 5259: A primary preposition; under, i.e. of place, or with verbs; of place (underneath) or where (below) or time (when).

hell.
γεέννης (geennēs)
Noun - Genitive Feminine Singular
Strong's Greek 1067: Of Hebrew origin; valley of Hinnom; ge-henna, a valley of Jerusalem, used as a name for the place of everlasting punishment.
(6) And the tongue is a fire.--Better thus, The tongue--that world of iniquity--is a fire, to burn and destroy the fairest works of peace. The tongue is in our members that which defileth the whole body, and setteth the world aflame, and is set on fire itself of Gehenna. "The course of Nature" is literally the "wheel," the "orb of creation." The Jewish word for the place of torment, the accursed side of Hades, should be thus preserved: whence it was that the rich man of the parable prayed for water to cool his tongue (Luke 16:24).

"Speech is silver; silence, gold." But even the Christian world will not endure overmuch the godly discipline of silence. Three temptations "to smite with the tongue" are specially powerful of evil: viz., as a relief from passion, as a gratification of spite, as revenge for wrong. The first is experienced by hot tempered folk; the second yielded to by the malicious; the third welcomed by the otherwise weak and defenceless; and all of us at times are in each of these divisions. Then, again, there are the "foolish talkings" (Ephesians 5:4), and worse, the jestings at holy things, and misquotations of Scripture: all to be avoided as not becoming saints. If then we would "walk in love" we must curb the tongue; but, better still, strive to cleanse the heart, and so be quite determined that nothing shall go forth but words of meekness and affection. Nay, if we be truly Christ's, though "reviled" by the unruly tongues of others, we shall, like Him, "revile not again" (1Peter 2:23). And as the whole body is the Lord's to be sanctified to Him (1Corinthians 6:19 et seq.), so particularly must the tongue be kept from "evil-speaking, lying, and slandering," and used rightly for the service of God. Thus may we truly offer "the calves of our lips" (Hosea 14:2), more acceptable than the blood of victims slain on a thousand altars, "than all whole burnt-offerings and sacrifices" (Mark 12:23).

Verse 6. - Application of illustration The translation is doubtful, οὕτως of the Received Text must certainly be deleted. It is wanting in א, A, B, C, K, Latt., Syriac. Three renderings are then possible.

(1) "And the tongue is a fire: the world of iniquity among our members is the tongue, which defileth the whole body and setteth on fire the wheel of nature."

(2) "And the tongue is a fire, that world of iniquity: the tongue is among our members that which defileth the whole body," etc.: so Vulgate.

(3) "And the tongue is a fire: that world of iniquity, the tongue, is among our members that which defileth the whole body," etc. Of these, the first, which is that of the Revisers, appears to be preferable. A fourth rendering, which is wholly untenable, deserves notice for its antiquity, viz. that of the Syriac, "The tongue is a fire: the world of iniquity (is the forest)." The world of iniquity (ὁ κόσμος τῆς ἀδικίας). The tongue is thus characterized, because it leads to and embraces all kinds of wickednesses. As Bishop Wordsworth points out, it contains within itself the elements of all mischief. A somewhat similar use of κόσμος is found in the LXX. of Proverbs 17:6, Τοῦ πιστοῦ ὅλος ὁ κόσμος τῶν χρημάτων τοῦ δὲ ἀπιστου οὐδὲ ὀβελός, "The whole world of wealth is for the faithful: for the faithless not a penny." Καθίσταται: "is set" or "has its place," and so simply "is." The tongue

(1) defiles the whole body, and

(2) sets on fire τὸν τροχὸν τῆς γενέσεως, "the wheel of birth" or "of nature" - a very strange expression, and one almost without parallel. (Τροχός only here in the New Testament. There is, however, no doubt about its meaning "wheel." The A.V., which took it as τρόχος, equivalent to "course," is universally given up (see Winer, 'Gram. of N. T.,' p. 62). For γένεσις, comp. James 1:23. The Vulgate has retain nativitatis nostrae.) Alford translates the phrase, "the orb of the creation," and in favor of this the use of the word τροχός in Psalm 77. (76.) 19 may be appealed to. But more natural is the interpretation of Dean Plumptre, who takes it as "a figure for the whole of life from birth, the wheel which then begins to roll on its course and continues rolling until death." So Huther and Dean Scott in the ' Speaker's Commentary.' This view has the support of the Syriac Version: "The course of our generations which run as a wheel;" and is implied in the (false) reading of א, τῆς γενέσεως ἡμῶν, (compare the Vulgate). It should also be noticed that life is compared to a wheel in Ecclesiastes 12:6 (LXX., τροχός). And is set on fire. The tongue has already been called a fire. It is now shown how that fire is kindled - kern beneath, kern Gehenna. A similar expression is found in the Targum on Psalm 120:2, "Lingua dolosa ... cum carbonibus juniperi, qui incensi sunt in Gehenna interne." Gehenna, here personified, is mentioned also in Matthew 5:22, 29, 30; Matthew 10:28; Matthew 18:9; Matthew 23:15, 33; Mark 9:43, 45, 47; Luke 12:5. Thus the passage before us is the only one in the New Testament where the word is used except, by our Lord himself. The word itself is simply a Graecised form of גֵּי הִנּום, "valley of Hinnom," or fully, "valley of the sons of Hinnom" (variously rendered by the LXX. φάραγξ Ανννόμ or υἱοῦ Αννόμ or Γαιέννα, Joshua 18:16). This valley, from its associations, became a type of hell; and hence its name was taken by the Jews to denote the place of torment. In this sense it occurs in the New Testament, and frequently in Jewish writings (see Buxtorf, 'Lexicon,' sub verb. גְהִנָּם), and it is said that the later rabbis actually fixed upon this valley as the mouth of hell. 3:1-12 We are taught to dread an unruly tongue, as one of the greatest evils. The affairs of mankind are thrown into confusion by the tongues of men. Every age of the world, and every condition of life, private or public, affords examples of this. Hell has more to do in promoting the fire of the tongue than men generally think; and whenever men's tongues are employed in sinful ways, they are set on fire of hell. No man can tame the tongue without Divine grace and assistance. The apostle does not represent it as impossible, but as extremely difficult. Other sins decay with age, this many times gets worse; we grow more froward and fretful, as natural strength decays, and the days come on in which we have no pleasure. When other sins are tamed and subdued by the infirmities of age, the spirit often grows more tart, nature being drawn down to the dregs, and the words used become more passionate. That man's tongue confutes itself, which at one time pretends to adore the perfections of God, and to refer all things to him; and at another time condemns even good men, if they do not use the same words and expressions. True religion will not admit of contradictions: how many sins would be prevented, if men would always be consistent! Pious and edifying language is the genuine produce of a sanctified heart; and none who understand Christianity, expect to hear curses, lies, boastings, and revilings from a true believer's mouth, any more than they look for the fruit of one tree from another. But facts prove that more professors succeed in bridling their senses and appetites, than in duly restraining their tongues. Then, depending on Divine grace, let us take heed to bless and curse not; and let us aim to be consistent in our words and actions.
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Alphabetical: a also among and as body by corrupts course defiles entire evil fire hell his iniquity is It itself life members of on our parts person set sets that The tongue very which whole world

NT Letters: James 3:6 And the tongue is a fire (Ja Jas. Jam) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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