[b-greek] Re: What OU negates in James 2:24.

From: Alan B. Thomas (a_b_thomas@yahoo.com)
Date: Mon Feb 12 2001 - 23:34:31 EST


Concerning your translation...

> It is by works, not by faith alone that man is
> justified.

I still think that this is awkward since it does not
bring out the contrast being highlighted by James
between TWO justifications. Or as I understood you to
say: two MEANS OF justification.

For example, as James points out, Abraham was
justified BY WORKS (Genesis 22) when he offered up
Isaac. But he was ALSO justified by faith, a
justification that was evident in Genesis 15 (where
there was NO WORKS).

James shows these two justifications, and I think you
are zeroing in on just the justification by works...
to the exclusion and lack of recognition of a
justification by faith, which immediately preceeds
this verse in question.

So, to me, to capture the sense of James here, I would
understand OUK to negate the implied verb and give a
translation something like:

You see! A man is justified by works, and not only
(justified) by faith. [BOTH are true, not just one or
the other]

This recognizes that James has just highlighted TWO
situations in Abraham's life, one that supports a
justification by works (Isaac), and another that
supports a justification by faith (Gen. 15).

I hope this has not drifted too far into theological
discussion, but I was trying to explain my translation
in a context.


Alan B. Thomas

"Actually, there was no final "s" on "toward," but
now it's acceptable. Languages just change."

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