Survey of the New Testament
Summer Semester 2010
Bible Summary Paper
Controlling the Tongue
Between 40 and 49 A.D. Jesus’ brother James wrote the book of James which is believed to be one of the first if not the very first book in the New Testament to be written. James wrote the book to address the twelve scattered Jewish tribes and “to encourage them to continue to grow in the new Christian faith (got questions.org)”. There is a particular form or genre to this book it is called “encyclical or circular letter” (Just). The book of James is written with a very specific theme in mind and that is “not merely faith and works, but faith that works” (Nelson, p.1936). Having faith in God is great but believing that with faith come miraculous things is just amazing. The book of James is broken down into several lessons one of which is controlling the tongue which we find in James 3:1-12.
There are two very important words in the first twelve verses of the third chapter of James; one of which is the word tongue. This word can bring up several different ideas in a person’s mind depending on the context in which it is used. Webster’s dictionary defines tongue as a “muscular organ attached to the floor of the mouth, used in tasting, chewing, and speaking” and according to Definitions. Net it is a human written or spoken language used by a community; a manner of speaking. In the Bible it is referred to as a much more powerful object than just a muscle or dialect. In Proverbs 18:21it says “death and life are in the power of the tongue” and then in Proverbs 31:26 it says that “she openeth her mouth with wisdom: and in her tongue is the law of kindness”. The word tongue appears over twenty times in the Bible and is compared to a flame and a sword, these comparisons show that although it may be a small muscle it could possible be the strongest.
The other word that shows great importance in this passage is fire. Fore...
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