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). a world of iniquity; that is, as the world is full of things, and full of sin, for it lies in wickedness, so is the tongue full of iniquity; there is a world of it in it; it abounds with it; it cannot well be said how much sin is in it, and done, or occasioned by it; as blasphemy against God, Father, Son, and Spirit; cursing of men, imprecations on themselves, their souls, and bodies, and on others, with a multitude of profane and dreadful oaths; obscene, filthy, and unchaste words; angry, wrathful, and passionate ones; lies, flatteries, reproaches, backbitings, whisperings, tale bearings And the Jews say, that he that uses an evil tongue multiplies transgression, and that it is equal to idolatry, adultery, and murder F8, and the cause of all sin; and which they express by way of fable, in this manner F9: So is the tongue amongst our members, that it defileth the whole body: the body politic, a whole nation, filling it with contention, strife, division, and confusion; and the ecclesiastical body, the church, by sowing discord, fomenting animosities, making parties, and spreading errors and heresies, whereby the temple of God is defiled; and the natural body, and the several members of it, even the whole person of a man, soul and body, bringing upon him a blot of infamy and reproach never to be wiped off; as for instance, the vice of the tongue, lying, does; and oftentimes through the tongue, the actions done in the body, which seem good, are quite spoiled: and setteth on fire the course of nature, or "wheel of nature": the natural body, as before, in which there is a continual rotation or circulation of the blood, by which it is supported; this is the wheel broken at the cistern at death, in ( Ecclesiastes 12:6 ) or the course of a man's life and actions, yea, of all generations, and the vicissitudes and changes which have happened in them, on which the tongue has a great influence; and so the Syriac version renders it, "and sets on fire the series of our genealogies, or our generations, which run like wheels": or it may intend the frame of nature, the whole fabric of the universe, and the general conflagration of it, which will be owing to the tongue; or because men's tongues are against the Lord, to provoke the eyes of his glory, because of the hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against Christ and his people, of which they will be convinced by flames of fire about them: and it is set on fire of hell; that is, by the devil; for as heaven sometimes is put for God, who dwells in heaven, ( Matthew 21:25 ) ( Luke 15:18 ) so hell is put for the devil, whose habitation it is; see ( Matthew 16:18 ) , and the sense is, that the tongue is influenced, instigated, and stirred up by Satan, to speak many evil things, and it will be hereafter set on fire in hell, as the tongue of the rich man in ( Luke 16:24 ) . The tongue is so set among our member… The man who has a slandering tongue, cannot … Then it means the course run by a wheel; a circular course or circuit. While a man inflames others, he passes out of his own power, being consumed in the flame himself. Gospel. 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. A man of pure conversation is understood and felt to be pure in every respect; but who has any confidence in the virtue of the blasphemer, or the man of obscene lips, or the calumniator and slanderer? These verses are crucial for understanding the Gospel according to Mark as a whole and for fathoming what it means to be Christian. Anyone who enters into the ministry lightly probably shouldn't be in the ministry; especially the teaching of God's word. There is nothing else pertaining to us as moral and intellectual beings, which exerts such an influence over ourselves as the tongue. 4 And let steadfastness have … We have also seen that it is not good to … many--The office is a noble one; but few are fit for it.Few govern the tongue well ( James … Sermon Brainwave. To which purpose are those words of the Talmud (k); "whoever uses an evil tongue, the holy blessed God says to hell, I concerning him above, and thou concerning him below, will judge him, as it is said, Psalm 120:3. A very obscure passage. James has indeed been talking about the tongue, and he is going to take the matter even farther in chapter 3. The meaning is, that a great collection of iniquity proceeds from the tongue. The verb means to appoint, establish, institute, and is used of the tongue as having an appointed and definite place in a system (among our members). Brainwave 075: Lectionary Texts for 13 September 2009. James is the writer of the letter. Yalkut, par. Look also at ships: although they are so large and are driven by fierce winds, they are turned by a very small rudder wherever the pilot desires. James 3:6. When James invites people who are (supposedly) wise and understanding to step forward and identify themselves, he is returning more explicitly to the topic of "teachers" addressed in 3:1... View the entire commentary The image is justified by the fact. Yet James writes that wisdom and understanding are to be shown by one's conduct, done in meekness. But his emphasis on consistently speaking blessings rather than mixing blessings and cursings grows … These letters were sent out as circular epistles to be passed around and read in several … sub voce γένεσεως geneseōs. The affairs of mankind are thrown into confusion by the tongues of men. The Book of James – A Detailed Commentary Basic Training Bible Ministries Page 2 Introduction to James Background of the Book The Epistle of James is one of the general epistles, including 1 and 2 Peter, 1, 2 and 3 John, and Jude. (h) T. Bab. he exposes the hypocrisy of speaking a word of blessing without doing anything to be a blessing. The same thing is true of a ship’s rudder. Greetings.. Next, James anticipates a problem universal among teachers. We mean by it that it is an epitome of the world; that all that there is in the world is represented there on a small scale. In the various situations of life, we are often both receiving instruction and giving instruction, so he warns that we need … By Rev Charles Seet. That is a lot of talking! The need for control over the tongue (James 3:3–6) 1. 2. fol. I. 3 Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. 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. So is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body - It stains or pollutes the whole body. (2) For we all stumble in many things. James was a common name and there are several men called James inthe *New Testament. Preached at Life BPC 1045am Service, 2013-03-10. Brent Kercheville July 4, 2010 Click here to listen to this lesson. Compiled & Edited by BST & Crosswalk Staff, California - Do Not Sell My Personal Information. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one's life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell." If all men were dumb, what a portion of the crimes of the world would soon cease! James A WATCH ON THE DOOR OF THE LIPS Jam 3:1-15‘THERE is a recurrence to earlier teaching in Jam 1:19; Jam 1:26, which latter verse suggests the figure of the bridle.James has drunk deep into Old Testament teaching as to the solemn worth of speech, and into Christ’s declaration that by their words men will be justified or … The problem is this: teachers have a tendency to be self-satisfied. In the New Testament it occurs but twice outside of this epistle, viz., at Matthew 1:1, "the book of the generation of Jesus Christ," where the meaning is origin or birth; the birth-book of Jesus Christ. And setteth on fire the course of nature; Also the tongue is a fire, the world of unrighteousness; the tongue sets itself among our members, as that which defileth the whole body and kindleth the wheel. The voice of Thy thunder teas in the heaven, Thy lightnings lightened the world: Ἡ ΓΛῶΣΣΑ ΚΑΘΊΣΤΑΤΑΙ ἘΝ ΤΟῖς ΜΈΛΕΣΙΝ ἩΜῶΝ Ἡ ΣΠΙΛΟῦΣΑ ὍΛΟΝ ΤῸ ΣῶΜΑ, the tongue is that which defiles the whole body, inasmuch as being that which both inflames and is itself inflamed, being that which both inflames and is inflamed, Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers. It occupies a position and relation so important in respect to every part of our moral frame, that there is no portion which is not affected by it. Lex. To which purpose are those words of the Talmud F11; Proud member So Anacreon: "The chariot-wheel, like life, runs rolling round,". The tongue works the chief mischief, kindles the most baleful fires in the course of life. Erachin, fol. James 3:3 Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn … James 3:6 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓] James 3:6, NIV: "The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. is—literally, "is constituted." revolving from birth, and is kindled of hell. But he does not tell us whichJames he is. Ordinarily, in a single day enough words are used to fill a 50-page book. They a… Who can measure the evils which arise from scandal, and slander, and profaneness, and perjury, and falsehood, and blasphemy, and obscenity, and the inculcation of error, by the tongue? James 3:1. Related Content. And as the whole body is the Lord’s to be sanctified to Him (1Corinthians 6:19 et seq. 2. See on 2 Peter 2:13. Just as the tiniest of sparks can ignite a great forest fire, the smallest of words, unwisely spoken, can cause immeasurable harm. A bit is a relatively small instrument, but when you put it into a horse’s mouth, you can control the entire horse. World is used in the same sense as in the latter part of Proverbs 17:6 (Sept.), which is not given in the A. V. "The trusty hath the whole world of things, but the faithless not a groat.". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. A world of iniquity - A little world of evil in itself. The idea here is, that that which causes the tongue to do so much evil derives its origin from hell. From the radical sense, to run, comes the meaning course, as the course of the sun; and from this a place for running, a race-course.  Walter W. Wessell, op. And it is set on fire of hell - Hell, or Gehenna, is represented as a place where the fires continually burn. James 3:1-12. James 3:1-2a of In James 3:1-18 we see that the tongue has power; that it is by nature hypocritical; and that it can only be transformed from above. among our members, that it defileth the whole body. 2. Please enter your email address associated with your Salem All-Pass account, then click Continue. If all men would speak only that which ought to be spoken, what a change would come over the face of human affairs! It is relatively small compared to the size of the ship, but with his hand on the wheel or tiller, the pilot can steer a mammoth ship, even in a strong wind.James’ poi… People who teach the bible need to have a healthy fear of God because they will stand before God not just to give an account of the things that they have done, but also for the things that they have … (3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them … What else is there that might, with so much propriety, be represented as a little world of iniquity? I take the author of this little book to have been James, the half-brother of our Lord Jesus. James 3:2 For in many things we offend all. We must know the power of the tongue (3:1-8) Most people want to be heard. Commentary on James 3:1-12. cit., p. 946. In James 1:23, as we have seen, πρόσωπον τῆς γενέσεως, is the face of his birth.  E. M. Zerr, Bible Commentary, James (Marion, Indiana: The Cogdill Foundation, 1954), p. 241. The effects of a controlled tongue (James … If James had been directed to the Diaspora, it most certainly would have included a section hailing Jesus Christ as the Messiah; but the addressees of this epistle were already Christians. A world of iniquity is an organism containing within itself all evil essence, which from it permeates the entire man. Listening, Taking Action, and Avoiding Anger (James 1:19–21) Doers of the Word: Working for Those in Need (James 1:22–27) Discriminating Against the Poor and Currying Favor with the Rich (James 2:1–13) Faith and Work(s) (James 2:14–26) Taming the Tongue (James 3:1–12) Selfish Ambition and Submission to God (James … "The tongue is (constituted), among the members, the one which defileth," &c. (namely, as fire defiles with its smoke). The other passage is Matthew 1:18, according to the best texts, also meaning birth. 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. James has much in common with the Sermon on the Mount (Pr 16:27). Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. Γενέσεως rendered nature, means origin, beginning, birth, manner of birth, production, and is used by Plato for the creation, or the sum of created things. - Rob. course of nature—"the orb (cycle) of creation.". The tongue is a fire — Which often produces a great conflagration; a world of iniquity — This is a metaphor of the same kind with a sea of troubles, a deluge of wickedness. We may then safely translate τροχός by wheel; and as birth is the meaning of γένεσις in every New-Testament passage where it occurs, we may give it the preference here and render the wheel of birth - i.e., the wheel which is set in motion at birth and runs on to the close of life. Κόσμος, primarily, means order, and is applied to the world or universe as an orderly system. James 3:1-18.DANGER OF EAGERNESS TO TEACH, AND OF AN UNBRIDLED TONGUE: TRUE WISDOM SHOWN BY UNCONTENTIOUS MEEKNESS. See the notes at Matthew 5:22. James Greeting. Nothing could better characterize much of that which the tongues does, than to say that it has its origin in hell, and has the spirit which reigns there. Indeed “there is no iniquity which an unbridled tongue is not … James 3:5-6. “Speech is silver; silence, gold.” But even the Christian world will not endure overmuch the godly discipline of silence. The very spirit of that world of fire and wickedness - a spirit of falsehood, and slander, and blasphemy, and pollution - seems to inspire the tongue. Only in this verse in New Testament. 15. Good quotes and illustrations - See example of an outline below To c the twelve tribes in d the Dispersion:. (3) Indeed, we put bits in horses' mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their … A Word of Warning to Would-Be Teachers. Of the truth of this, no one can have any doubt. 4. 12. Tertullian says: "The whole revolving wheel of existence bears witness to the resurrection of the dead." VIII. It might be rendered hath its place. Used of the circuit of fortifications and of circles or zones of land or sea. The Greek word also (τροχός trochos) means "a wheel," or any thing made for revolving and running. James 3:6, ESV: "And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. setteth on fire … is set on fire—habitually and continually. James 3:1-12 - Victory over an Unruly Tongue. God holds us all accountable for what we have learned as well as how we instruct others. The image which seems to have been before the mind of the apostle was that of a torch which enkindles and burns everything as it goes along - a torch itself lighted at the fires of hell. And the tongue, &c.— St. James seems to have called the tongue of man a world of iniquity, in the same sense that we say "a world of riches,"—"a sea of trouble,"—"an ocean of delights." Greek, "Gehenna"; found here only and in Mt 5:22. sharp arrows of the mighty, with coals of juniper", there is no arrow but the tongue, according to Jeremiah 9:8 and there is no mighty one but God, Isaiah 42:13 "coals of juniper", , these are hell.''. September 13, 2009. It is thus a figurative description of human life. Commentary on Isaiah 50:4-9a If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. Salem Media Group. This Sunday’s passage involves one of the more peculiar passages in the New Testament. And the tongue is a fire It is like to fire, very useful in its place, to warm and comfort; so is the tongue in Christian conversation, and in the ministry of the word; the hearts of God's children burn within them, while they are talking together, and while the Scriptures of truth are opening to them; but as fire should be carefully watched, and kept, so should men take heed to their ways, that they sin not with their tongue, and keep their tongue from evil, and their lips from speaking guile; for as fire kindles and rises up into a flame, so unchaste, angry, and passionate words, stir up the flame of lust, anger, envy, and revenge; and as fire is of a spreading nature, so are lies, scandal, and evil reports vented by the tongue; and as fire devours all that comes in its way, such are the words of an evil tongue; and therefore are called devouring words, ( Psalms 52:4 ) they devour the good names of men, and corrupt their good manners, and destroy those who make use of them; and what wood is to fire, and coals to burning coals, that are whisperers, tale bearers, backbiters, and contentious persons to strife, ( Proverbs 26:20 Proverbs 26:21 ). "What shall be done to thee, thou false tongue? Every age of the world, and every condition of life, private or public, affords examples of this. Commentary on Mark 8:27-38. “. James 3:1-12, The Power of the Tongue. So when the tongue is spoken of as being "a world of iniquity," it is meant that all kinds of evil that are in the world are exhibited there in miniature; it seems to concentrate all sorts of iniquity that exist on the earth. Perhaps some sought to be teachers so as to appear wise. (k) T. Bab. In James 2:14ff. James warns that the size of the tongue is no measure of the power it wields. … 2. James 3:1-12 My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. Thus far in our study of James we have seen that it is not good to just keep hearing God’s Word. To counter this common failure to practice self-criticism, James reminds us that we all fall short of what we should … It is clear that he is steeped in the wisdom literature of the Old Testament Scriptures and also in the teaching of the Lord … James begins with a piece of general advice that leads to his main discussion of the use of the tongue. One naturally thinks, when this expression is used, of a chariot driven on with so much speed that its wheels by their rapid motion become self-ignited, and the chariot moves on amidst flames. ), so particularly must the tongue be kept from “evil-speaking, lying, and slandering,” and used rightly for the service of God. One of the most striking descriptions of the woes and curses which there may be in hell, would be to portray the sorrows caused on the earth by the tongue. In one year's time the average person's words would fill 132 books, each containing 400 pages! Taming the Tongue. What better way to be heard as a believer than to be a teacher of the gospel? 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. Erachin, fol. Commentary on James 1:26,27 (Read James 1:26,27) When men take more pains to seem religious than really to be so, it is a sign their religion is in vain. The tongue is set … The key Greek words in James 4:5 that the NIV translates "envies intensely" are phthonon epipothei. James 3:6. Who can number the evils produced by the "honeyed" words of the seducer; or by the tongue of the eloquent in the maintenance of error, and the defense of wrong? Biblical Commentary (Bible Study) James 3:1-12 EXEGESIS: THE CONTEXT: James seems to be moving in a very different direction after his discourse on works, which concluded, "faith apart from works is dead" (2:14-26). 15. James then provides a series of illustrations to demonstrate the power and danger of the tongue, and how we can easily be inconsistent in our use of it (1-12). Hence, often a wheel. And setteth on fire the course of nature - The margin is "the wheel of nature."
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