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 Main Index : Commentaries : Geneva Study Bible : James Index : Chapter 3

James, Chapter 3
Chapter 2 | Chapter 4
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3:1 My 1 brethren, be not many masters, 2 knowing that we a shall receive the greater condemnation. 1 The sixth part or place: Let no man usurp (as most men ambitiously do) authority to judge and censure others harshly.
(2) A reason: Because they provoke God's anger against themselves, who do so eagerly and harshly condemn others, being themselves guilty and faulty.
(a) Unless we cease from this imperious and proud finding of fault with others. 3:2 For in many things we offend all. 3 If any man offend not in word, the same [is] a perfect man, [and] able also to bridle the whole body.

    (3) The seventh place, concerning the bridling of the tongue, joined with the former, so that it is revealed that there is no man in who can not justly be found fault as well, seeing as it is a rare virtue to bridle the tongue.
3:3 4 Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.
    (4) He shows by two comparisons, the one taken from the bridles of horses, the other from the rudder of ships, how great matters may be brought to pass by the good control of the tongue.
3:5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. 5 Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!
    (5) On the contrary part he shows how great inconveniences arise by the excesses of the tongue, throughout the whole world, to the end that men may so much the more diligently give themselves to control it.
3:6 And the tongue [is] a fire, a b world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and c setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
    (b) A heap of all mischiefs.
    (c) It is able to set the whole world on fire.
3:9 6 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the 7 similitude of God.
    (6) Among other faults of the tongue, the apostle chiefly reproves slandering and speaking evil of our neighbours, even in those especially who otherwise will seem godly and religious.
    (7) He denies by two reasons, that God can be praised by the man who uses cursed speaking, or slandering: first because man is the image of God and whoever does not reverence him, does not honour God.

3:10 8 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.

    (8) Secondly, because the order of nature which God has set in things, will not allow things that are so contrary to one another, to stand with one another.
3:13 9 Who [is] a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
    (9) The eighth part, which goes with the former concerning meekness of mind, against which he sets envy and a contentious mind: in the beginning he shuts the mouth of the main fountain of all these mischiefs, that is, a false persuasion of wisdom, whereas nonetheless there is no true wisdom, but that which is heavenly, and shapes our minds to all types of true discipline and modesty.
3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, [and] easy to be intreated, full of d mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
    (d) He sets mercy against the fierce and cruel nature of man, and shows that heavenly wisdom brings forth good fruits, for he that is heavenly wise, refers all things to God's glory, and the profit of his neighbours.
3:18 10 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.
    (10) Because the world persuades itself that they are miserable who live peaceably and simply: on the contrary, the apostle states that they shall eventually reap the harvest of peaceable righteousness.

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