The Epistle of James says that anyone who considers him- or herself to be religious yet does not tame his tongue is self-deceived. James says that such a person’s religion is worthless. On the other hand, James refers to the person who tames his or her tongue as a “perfect” person. That’s a stark contrast. There’s a big difference between being a self-deceived person engaging in worthless religious practice and being “perfect” or “complete.” If we take these words of the Bible seriously, we need to start taking our own words far more seriously then we normally do.
I began my work on this book by collating and studying the main passages in the Tanach (Old Testament) and New Testament that contain instruction in godly speech. This task proved more challenging than I had first supposed or hoped; I ended up with over two hundred passages requiring scrutiny. As I meditated on them, I became more convinced than ever of the importance of righteous speech in the biblical view of the life of Yeshua-followers.
This book, Taming the Tongue, adds to Judaism’s ongoing conversation about the laws and principles of proper speech from a slightly different angle. This book contributes to the conversation from a Messianic Jewish perspective, bringing to bear the powerful teachings of Yeshua and the apostles.
I pray that this book will be a blessing to the Messianic Jewish movement and that the biblical principles discussed within it will inspire us and guide us, lest, in the final judgment, we discover that we have deceived ourselves with worthless religion. I pray that this book will encourage every disciple of Yeshua to pursue the perfect path of taming the tongue.
— Mark S. Kinzer