The tongue is “the world of evil.” In the ancient way of thinking, this is not a difficult phrase. The body was the microcosm of the universe. In all its complexity, the human being was a small, self-contained universe, thus the term “microcosmos.” There is a double sense of microcosm here: not only the body in relation to the universe of nature but also the tongue in relation to the universe of wickedness. Thus, contained within the tongue or speech are all the representations of wickedness in the world. Is a representation of evil, in words that is, the same as the evil itself? Obviously not, but the power of verbal representation is not slight; this James knew full well. Words have the power to elicit action; indeed, the activity of speech itself interprets every other human action. There is no evil act that the tongue cannot tell, let alone initiate.
Richardson, Kurt A. James. Vol. 36. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1997. Prin…