I came across an interesting Greek conundrum in small group tonight. James is talking about the tongue and its power to destroy.
He writes, “For every kind (πᾶσα φύσις) of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed (δαμάζεται) and has been tamed (δεδάμασται) by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue” (3:7-8a, ESV).
Part of the issue is that there is no Greek word or grammatical construction meaning “can” (contrary to the ESV, NRSV).
The NLT simply skips the entire construction; “People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue.” In my opinion, that is not translation. A point is being made, and it should be reflected in the translation.