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James 3:4–5

Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet hit boasts of great things.

How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire!

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James 3:4–5 — The New International Version (NIV)

Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.

James 3:4–5 — King James Version (KJV 1900)

Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!

James 3:4–5 — New Living Translation (NLT)

And a small rudder makes a huge ship turn wherever the pilot chooses to go, even though the winds are strong. In the same way, the tongue is a small thing that makes grand speeches.

But a tiny spark can set a great forest on fire.

James 3:4–5 — The New King James Version (NKJV)

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. Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things.

See how great a forest a little fire kindles!

James 3:4–5 — New Century Version (NCV)

Also a ship is very big, and it is pushed by strong winds. But a very small rudder controls that big ship, making it go wherever the pilot wants. It is the same with the tongue. It is a small part of the body, but it brags about great things.

A big forest fire can be started with only a little flame.

James 3:4–5 — American Standard Version (ASV 1901)

Behold, the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by rough winds, are yet turned about by a very small rudder, whither the impulse of the steersman willeth. So the tongue also is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how much wood is kindled by how small a fire!

James 3:4–5 — 1890 Darby Bible (DARBY)

Behold also the ships, which are so great, and driven by violent winds, are turned about by a very small rudder, wherever the pleasure of the helmsman will. Thus also the tongue is a little member, and boasts great things. See how little a fire, how large a wood it kindles!

James 3:4–5 — GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

The same thing is true for ships. They are very big and are driven by strong winds. Yet, by using small rudders, pilots steer ships wherever they want them to go. In the same way the tongue is a small part of the body, but it can brag about doing important things.

A large forest can be set on fire by a little flame.

James 3:4–5 — The Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

And consider ships: Though very large and driven by fierce winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So too, though the tongue is a small part of the body, it boasts great things. Consider how large a forest a small fire ignites.

James 3:4–5 — The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Or look at ships: though they are so large that it takes strong winds to drive them, yet they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great exploits.

How great a forest is set ablaze by a small fire!

James 3:4–5 — The Lexham English Bible (LEB)

Behold also ships: although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the inclination of the pilot wishes. So also the tongue is a small member of the body and boasts great things. Behold how small a fire sets ablaze how great a forest!

James 3:4–5 — New International Reader’s Version, 1998 ed. (NIrV) (NIrV)

And how about ships? They are very big. They are driven along by strong winds. But they are steered by a very small rudder. It makes them go where the captain wants to go.

In the same way, the tongue is a small part of the body. But it brags a lot. Think about how a small spark can set a big forest on fire.

James 3:4–5 — New American Standard Bible: 1995 Update (NASB95)

Look at the ships also, though they are so great and are driven by strong winds, are still directed by a very small rudder wherever the inclination of the pilot desires.

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!