Re: James 2:18 WHo is the mysterious Mr. Tis?

From: Mike A Porter (
Date: Fri Apr 18 1997 - 15:54:49 EDT

On Fri, 18 Apr 1997 12:53:26 -0500 "Carl W. Conrad"

>Well, I actually didn't do a computer search, I thought I remembered
>precisely this phrase being used in Paul's eschatological discussion
>in 1
>Cor 15 and hunted it down.

<grin> Well, not all of us here are professors of Greek, either.

>Actually (and again, I haven't done a search; if I didn't have such a
>class schedule today still I'd do a search right now) I don't recall
>offhand if it was ever softened.

I guess I'll have to take a look at TLG.

>>Also, in the pronouns following the formula, which do you identify as
>>James, or do you? In other words, are you saying that TIS is in
>>opposition to James position, and therefore, James is SU, or does
>>pick up
>>a response in verse 20, and 18-19 is Mr. Tis?
>Despite the considerable divergence of the editors and translators
>over the
>proper punctuation and assignment of roles in this passage, I have to
>that the only way it makes sense to me is to make just the opening SU
>PISTIN EXEIS? as the question hypothetically put to James, and then to
>KAGW ERGA EXW his response, followed by the additional imperatives,
>--But someone will say, "Do you have faith?"
>--"Yes, and I also have works. You show ME YOUR faith without works
>I'll show YOU MY faith from my works."

So, then, by arguing for a different puncuation, you have made a one
sentence objection to James line of reasoning. Hence, if we suppose for
a moment, Paul ridiculed the Galatians for trying to be perfected by the
flesh after having begun by the spirit, Yet, Paul is clear to point out
that the will of GOd is our holiness. SO, Paul was reacting to one extreme, and James to the other. Actually, Paul argued the same point that
James did in Romans 3 and 6, but for the sake of the point, James was
arguing against a misunderstanding of Paul. Christ did not abolish the
Law, and grace is not a license to sin.

All this is perfectly consistent. This is where my inexperience with the
Greek language shows itself. My Greek professer often warned us against
getting creative with Puncuation. We were encouraged to go with the
divisions and marks that the respective committeess decided on
(Nestle/Aland and UBS). But, I can see where James is now asking for
proof of this claimed faith pointed back at 14.

>So yes, I do think that the TIS-figure is objecting to James' stance
>that a
>faith commitment requires demonstration in action. I think all of what
>follows is addressed to the SOLA FIDE position of James' hypothetical

In fairness, I think it should be distinguished as Antinomian Sola Fide,
and Reformed Sola FIde. The distinction is that ASF argues that works are not a result of faith, and therefore optional, and RSF argues that true faith will result in good works. Not that works result in salvation,
but that true faith is obedient. (***Sorry to the list for that theological insertion***)

Another thought:

The duplication of DEIXW seems to be demanding proof for the claimed
faith. Hence, the purpose of James here is to say that a claimed faith is useless. True faith results in evidence.

Mike Porter

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