Text: James 3:1-18
Key Verse: “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” (James 3:17).
- Digging Deeper: Key Verse
- Do you have a favorite Bible translation you like to use? How does the wording compare with the ESV (quoted above)? Here are a couple examples:
- “But the wisdom from above is first of all pure (undefiled); then it is peace-loving, courteous (considerate, gentle). [It is willing to] yield to reason, full of compassion and good fruits; it is wholehearted and straightforward, impartial and unfeigned (free from doubts, wavering, and insincerity).” AMP
- “But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere.” NLT
- Go to http://biblehub.com/ and follow these steps to learn more:
- Type “James 3:17” in the box next to the word Bible; then, click enter.
- Several different translations and pieces of information will come up for that verse. Above the scripture reference in bold, click on “Greek.”
- This gives you a breakdown of the entire verse in its original language. We are going to focus on these: wisdom, pure, peaceable, gentle, reasonable, mercy, impartial and sincere. Click on the highlighted word for wisdom (“sophia”) to begin.
- It will take you to a page that lists the various locations you can find this word in the New Testament. On the right hand side, click on “Strong’s Greek 4678.” This is where you will find the word meaning summary.
- Repeat steps 1-3 to examine the key words listed (you can always use your device’s back feature to go back to the list of Greek words as well).
- Personal Application: Replace the word “wisdom” in this verse with your name. Is this a good description of you? How does it relate to how we handle conflict?
- Digging Deeper: Main Text
- Go to http://biblehub.com/ again. This time, type in “James 3” in the Bible box and click enter. As you read through the text, focus on any verses that jump out at you, By clicking on the highlighted blue number, it will take you to another page for a single verse in the passage. In the right hand column is a list of cross references. Write down any that bring you clarification, added understanding or provide you an “aha” moment. Here’s a few examples:
- Verse: James 3:2 / Context: James 3:1-3 / Cross References: Psalm 39:1; Proverbs 10:19; Proverbs 13:3 /My Thoughts: I should use wisdom when I speak, even if that means offering my opinion less often.
- Verse: James 3:9 / Context: James 3:8-10 / Cross Reference: Genesis 1:26 / My Thoughts: How can I praise God one minute and curse the very work of His hands the next? Lord, help me, in those frustrating moments, to see those I love as the work (masterpieces) You created. Help me to honor You by honoring them with my words and responses.
- In verses 3-12, there are six metaphors that I noticed. Four describe the tongue and its power, and two describe the mouth (speech) and its potential. List the six metaphors below.
- The mouth is compared to . . .
- The tongue is compared to . . .
- What does Proverbs say about the tongue and its power?
- Proverbs 12:18 compares the tongue to sword thrusts or a tool to be used for healing.
- “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits” (Proverbs 18:21).
- Proverbs 25:15 says that a “soft tongue” is strong enough to break bone. Wow! Think on that a minute!
- “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue” (Proverbs 31:26).
- Bonus Study
- Read/Study James 4:1-3, 7-10. What does this passage tell us about conflicts and conflict resolution?