[b-greek] Re: EDIKAIWQH (James 2:21)

From: Carl W. Conrad (cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu)
Date: Tue Jul 18 2000 - 07:36:06 EDT

At 5:02 AM +0000 7/18/00, Mark Wilson wrote:
>James 2:21
>My question concerns EDIKAIWQH ANENEGKAS.
>If the participle ANENEGKAS is “Means,” then Abraham outwardly exhibited
>(demonstrated) his faith by this overt act (work). I seem to recall hearing
>once that the idea of EDIKAIWQH, as it is used here, denotes the
>“demonstration of one’s righteousness.”
>This question that expects an affirmative answer then would read something
>”Did not Abraham, our father, have his righteousness demonstrated by means
>of offering…”
>“Was not the righteousness of Abraham our father seen by his offering..”
>Can EDIKAIWQH be understood in this sense?

I think that DIKAIOW here in James must bear the same weight as it does in
Paul's standard usage in his arguments for "justification by faith" or
"rightwising by faith" (or however you prefer to put it into your own group
vernacular): it means two things essentially: (1) to declare that the
person indicated by accusative object of the verb (or nom. subject of a
passive verb, as in this instance) is righteous and therefore has already
been granted life in the age to come; and (2) to begin the process of
transforming the person from what he/she now is (anything BUt righteous)
into a righteous person. So I'd say here that the first line of the
above-cited text should be understood as, "Abraham our father was not
accounted righteous as a result of works ..."

However, I'm not sure whether you're understanding ANENEGKAS ISAAK quite
rightly. I'd make this "by offering-up Isaac [his son on the altar]." or
"Wasn't our father Abraham acclaimed righteous as a result of his actions
when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar?" This is part of James'
argument (presumably directed not against Pauline doctrine but against one
interpretation of Paul's doctrine) that faith and action must be mutually


Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
Summer: 1647 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad@artsci.wustl.edu OR cwconrad@ioa.com
WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/

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