1 My brethren, be not many teachers, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. 2 For in many things we all offend. If any one offends not in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.
3 Behold, we put bits into horses mouths that they may obey us, and we turn about their whole body. 4 Behold also the ships, which are very great, and are driven by violent winds; yet they are turned about by a very small helm, to whatever point the will of him that directs it may determine. 5 So, also, the tongue is a little member, and boasts great things. Behold, how great a forest does a little fire set in a blaze. 6 And the tongue is a fire, the world of iniquity. So is the tongue placed among our members, defiling the whole body, setting on fire the course of life, and being set on fire by hell.
7 For every kind of beasts and of birds, of creeping things and of things in the sea, is tamed, and has been tamed by man: 8 but the tongue no man can tame; it is an unruly evil; it is full of deadly poison. 9 With it we bless God, even the Father: and with it we curse men, who are made in the likeness of God. 10 Out of the same mouth come forth blessing and cursing. These things, my brethren, ought not so to be. 11 Does a fountain send forth from the same cavern sweet water and bitter? 12 Can the fig-tree, my brethren, bear olives, or the vine, figs? So no fountain can produce salt water and fresh.
13 Who is wise and discreet among you? Let him show, by a good behavior, his works, with the meekness of wisdom. 14 But if you have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. 15 This wisdom comes not from above, but is earthly, animal, demoniac. 16 For where envy and strife are, there is commotion, 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 those who cultivate peace, sow for themselves a harvest of righteousness in peace.