James 3:5

“Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!”

King James Version (KJV)

Other Translations

Euen so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things: behold, how great a matter a litle fire kindleth.
- King James Version (1611) - View 1611 Bible Scan

So also the tongue is a small part of the body, and {yet} it boasts of great things. See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire!
- New American Standard Version (1995)

So the tongue also is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how much wood is kindled by how small a fire!
- American Standard Version (1901)

Even so the tongue is a small part of the body, but it takes credit for great things. How much wood may be lighted by a very little fire!
- Basic English Bible

Thus also the tongue is a little member, and boasts great things. See how little a fire, how large a wood it kindles!
- Darby Bible

Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!
- Webster's Bible

In the same way the tongue is an insignificant part of the body, but it is immensely boastful. Remember how a mere spark may set a vast forest in flames.
- Weymouth Bible

So the tongue is also a little member, and boasts great things. See how a small fire can spread to a large forest!
- World English Bible

So also the tunge is but a litil membre, and reisith grete thingis. Lo! hou litil fier brenneth a ful greet wode.
- Wycliffe Bible

so also the tongue is a little member, and doth boast greatly; lo, a little fire how much wood it doth kindle!
- Youngs Literal Bible

Bible commentary

Wesley's Notes for James 3:5


3:5 Boasteth great things - Hath great influence.


People's Bible Notes for James 3:5


Jas 3:5 Even so the tongue is a little member. Though so small it can control the body like a bridle, or the helm of a ship. It is a power. And boasteth great things. Claims great powers. Behold how great a matter a little fire kindleth! As a spark may burn a house, a little thing like the tongue may stir up great trouble.

Discussion for James 3

  • Pam Davidson
    And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity
  • A disciple
    Charles; I appreciate reading your post. Humility is always honest, and for us to wait on the Lord for His direction as to our service; this is great understanding. In Hebrews 11, the part where Paul talks about Moses; its interesting how Moses apparently had already some idea that God was going to use him to deliver Israel from Egypt; and he was called by God, the meekest of men: and he waited!
  • Wayne
    Abandon the laws of what?
  • Maria Sanabria
    I believed that James the Justice books are clear how we need to follow the laws. I really don't think that Jesus told us to abandon the laws.
  • Irene123
    Because the "wise as serpents" quote ISN'T a word for word EXACT quote - I pray someone doesn't jump all over me ............
  • Irene123
    Jas. 3:17 - " ... wisdom ..... is ... pure, peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." Wisdom; we all desire to be wise; "be ye therefore wise as serpents but harmless as doves; wise in our speaking, thinking; but harmless in the same.

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