James is concerned about whether they will produce perseverance in us. View the entire commentary, With his now familiar and kind address my brothers, James begins with a specific instruction that not many should become teachers... ix, speaking of the death of the eldest, it is said: But is it not possible that by the wheel of life St. James may have the circulation of the blood in view? Nor is this enough: I have built two walls about thee; the one bone, the other flesh: What shall be given unto thee, and what shall be done unto thee, O thou false tongue?". A man may have this mastery according to the law of the land, and yet not have it according to the Gospel; another may affect to have it according to the Gospel, because he dissents from the religion of the state, and not have it according to Christ. The tongue is so set among our members that it defiles the whole body, and sets on fire the course of [ d]nature; and it is set on fire by [ e]hell. Let me say to all such, My brethren, these things ought not so to be. The Syriac gives a curious turn to the expression: And the tongue is a fire; and the world of iniquity is like a wood. Want more information about Bible Gateway Plus? They are exhorted not to be many masters, James 3:1. I question much whether this verse be in general well understood. There are three different interpretations of it: Every kind of beasts - That is, every species of wild beasts, πασα φυσις θηριων, is tamed, i.e. Mr. Wakefield translates the clause thus: The tongue is the varnisher of injustice. Is first pure - Ἁγνη· Chaste, holy, and clean. Indeed, we put bits in horses’ mouths that they may obey us, and we turn their whole body. No description can be more natural than this: but it may be objected that this intimates that the circulation of the blood was known to St. James. That learning is not only little worth, but despicable, that does not teach a man to govern his own spirit, and to be humble in his conduct towards others. See Schoettgen. Perhaps sowing in peace signifies sowing prosperously - being very successful. We find a caution against such persons, and of the same nature with that of St. James, in Pirkey Aboth, c. i. Some think that the word is thus used, 2 Peter 2:5; : And brought the flood, κοσμῳ ασεβων, on the multitude of the ungodly. Doth a fountain send forth - sweet water and bitter? This is a very bad and dangerous doctrine; and, pushed to its consequences, would greatly affect the credibility of the whole Gospel system. The word οὑτως, so, which makes this a continuation of the comparison in James 3:11, is wanting in ABC, one other, with the Armenian and ancient Syriac; the later Syriac has it in the margin with an asterisk. Their case is awful; they shall receive greater condemnation than common sinners; they have not only sinned in thrusting themselves into that office to which God has never called them, but through their insufficiency the flocks over whom they have assumed the mastery perish for lack of knowledge, and their blood will God require at the watchman's hand. 11 Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening? No man possessing common sense could imagine that James, or any man of even tolerable morals, could be guilty of those things. If ye have bitter envying and strife - If ye be under the influence of an unkind, fierce, and contemptuous spirit, even while attempting or pretending to defend true religion, do not boast either of your exertions or success in silencing an adversary; ye have no religion, and no true wisdom, and to profess either is to lie against the truth. 8 But no man can tame the tongue. View the entire commentary, However, James's predominant emphasis in the passage is more negative: warning that judgment is real and that we all stumble, intending that we should humbly repent of our impure speech... These are found among all descriptions of Christians, and have been the means of bringing the ministerial office into contempt. 2 For we all stumble in many things. Begin reading God's Word ad-free with instant access to your new online study library. "Rabbi Eleazar said, Man has one hundred and forty-eight members, some confined, others free. No fountain, at the same opening, sends forth sweet water and bitter; no fig tree can bear olive berries; no vine can bear figs; nor can the sea produce salt water and fresh from the same place. See how great a forest a little fire kindles! Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. Besides, were the doctrine as true as it is dangerous and false, it is foolish to ground it upon such a text; because St. James, after the common mode of all teachers, includes himself in his addresses to his hearers. Were this unavoidable, it would be useless to make it a subject of regret; but as every man may receive grace from his God to enable him to walk in every respect uprightly, it is to be deplored that so few live up to their privileges. The tongue is placed between the jaws; and from under it proceeds a fountain of water, (the great sublingual salivary gland), and it is folded with various foldings. To manage your subscription, visit your Bible Gateway account settings. Enter your credit card information to ensure uninterrupted service following your free trial. But it is objected "that χαλιναγωγεω  signifies to check, turn, or rule with a bridle; and is never applied to the government of the Church of Christ." 2 For we all stumble in many things. They are like the blind man who carried a lantern in daylight to keep others from jostling him in the street. And endued with knowledge - Και επιστημων· And qualified to teach others. We live in that period when iniquity abounds, and we are admonished by Jesus that we will need endurance during this time (Matthew 24:12-13). 33: "Rabbi Simeon, the son of Gamaliel, said to his servant Tobias, Go and bring me some good food from the market: the servant went, and he bought tongues. And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity. Don't have an account?

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