Mistakes (Jas 3:2)

“All of us

Make many mistakes.

Anyone who makes

No mistakes

In speaking

Is a perfect person,

Able to keep

The whole body

In check

With a bridle.”

πολλὰ γὰρ πταίομεν ἅπαντες· εἴ τις ἐν λόγῳ οὐ πταίει, οὗτος τέλειος ἀνήρ, δυνατὸς χαλιναγωγῆσαι καὶ ὅλον τὸ σῶμα.

James said, “All of us (ἅπαντες) make many mistakes (πολλὰ γὰρ πταίομεν).  Anyone who makes no mistakes (οὐ πταίει) in speaking (εἴ τις ἐν λόγῳ) is a perfect person (οὗτος τέλειος ἀνήρ), able (δυνατὸς) to keep the whole body (καὶ ὅλον τὸ σῶμα) in check with a bridle (χαλιναγωγῆσαι).”  This is the only time that this word appears in the NT writings, here in the Letter of James, χαλιναγωγῆσαι, that means to lead with a bridle, bridle, curb, restrain, oar sway.  James pointed out that everybody stumbles or makes mistakes.  Anyone who didn’t make any mistakes would be a perfect person.  They were able to control their whole body with a bridle.  James liked this idea of using a bridle to keep the tongue and the whole body in control, since he seemed accustomed to handling horses.  Have you ever bridled a horse?

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