3:2 For we all stumble 1 in many ways. If someone does not stumble 2 in what he says, 3 he is a perfect individual, 4 able to control the entire body as well. 3:3 And if we put bits into the mouths of horses to get them to obey us, then we guide their entire bodies. 5 3:4 Look at ships too: Though they are so large and driven by harsh winds, they are steered by a tiny rudder wherever the pilot’s inclination directs. 3:5 So too the tongue is a small part of the body, 6 yet it has great pretensions. 7 Think 8 how small a flame sets a huge forest ablaze. 3:6 And the tongue is a fire! The tongue represents 9 the world of wrongdoing among the parts of our bodies. It 10 pollutes the entire body and sets fire to the course of human existence – and is set on fire by hell. 11
3:7 For every kind of animal, bird, reptile, and sea creature 12 is subdued and has been subdued by humankind. 13 3:8 But no human being can subdue the tongue; it is a restless 14 evil, full of deadly poison. 3:9 With it we bless the Lord 15 and Father, and with it we curse people 16 made in God’s image. 3:10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. These things should not be so, my brothers and sisters. 17
1 tn Or “fail.”
2 tn Or “fail.”
3 tn Grk “in speech.”
4 tn The word for “man” or “individual” is ἀνήρ (anhr), which often means “male” or “man (as opposed to woman).” But it sometimes is used generically to mean “anyone,” “a person,” as here (cf. BDAG 79 s.v. 2).
5 tn Grk “their entire body.”
6 tn Grk “a small member.”
7 tn Grk “boasts of great things.”
8 tn Grk “Behold.”
9 tn Grk “makes itself,” “is made.”
10 tn Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation.
11 sn The word translated hell is “Gehenna” (γέεννα, geenna), a Greek transliteration of the Hebrew words ge hinnom (“Valley of Hinnom”). This was the valley along the south side of Jerusalem. In OT times it was used for human sacrifices to the pagan god Molech (cf. Jer 7:31; 19:5-6; 32:35), and it came to be used as a place where human excrement and rubbish were disposed of and burned. In the intertestamental period, it came to be used symbolically as the place of divine punishment (cf. 1 En. 27:2, 90:26; 4 Ezra 7:36).
12 tn Grk (plurals), “every kind of animals and birds, of reptiles and sea creatures.”
13 tn Grk “the human species.”
14 tc Most
15 tc Most later
16 tn Grk “men”; but here ἀνθρώπους (anqrwpous) has generic force, referring to both men and women.