1 My brethren, make not unto yourselves many teachers, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation. 2 For we all offend in many things. If any man offends not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to govern the whole body with restraint.
3 Behold, we put bits (or restraint) in the horses' mouths to persuade them, and we govern their whole body. 4 Behold also the ships, which though they are so great are driven of fierce winds, yet they are governed with a very small rudder, wherever the governor desires. 5 In the same manner, the tongue is a very small member and boasts of great things. Behold, how great a forest a little fire kindles! 6 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.
7 For every nature of beasts and of birds and of serpents and of beings in the sea may be tamed and is tamed by mankind, 8 but no man can tame the tongue, which is an evil that cannot be restrained and 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 image of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceeds blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. 11 Does a fountain send forth at the same place both sweet and bitter water? 12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, produce olive berries? or the vine, figs? In the same manner no fountain can yield both salt water and fresh.
13 Who is wise and ready among you? let him show out of a good conversation his works in meekness of wisdom. 14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, boast not and do not be liars against the truth. 15 This wisdom is not that which descends from above, but is earthly, natural, diabolical. 16 For where there is envy and contention, there is confusion and every perverse work. 17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, modest, benevolent, full of mercy and of good fruits, not judgmental, unfeigned. 18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace unto those that make peace.