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

From: Alan B. Thomas (a_b_thomas@yahoo.com)
Date: Tue Feb 13 2001 - 10:54:08 EST

If I recall, Mark's original question centered in on
MONON as either an adjective or adverb, and if
adverbial, did it modify an implied verb.

I do believe that MONON modifies the implied verb (not
the prepositional phrase) and OUC negates this clause,
giving roughly...

"and NOT ONLY JUSTIFIED by faith."

I wondered if this is different than the standard
translations that have...

"and not by faith ONLY/ALONE."

I think I said that placing the MONON after faith is
potentially materially different than placing it
before justified, but perhaps either place could yield
the same interpretation.

Theological note below to Moon...

To me, the issue is, how is one justified. One is NOT
ONLY JUSTIFIED by faith, one is ALSO justified by
works. That is why I suggested two justifications, and
by so doing, betrayed my theological understanding of
this passage.

I think that it is quite possible, given the possible
early date of this letter, that James was countering a
corruption of justification by faith ONLY that Paul
was preaching. James acknowledges a justification by
faith ONLY (Abraham had that at one time), but such a
justification cannot be SHOWN or do others good unless
you ALSO demonstrate a justification by works. Abraham
was both justified by faith (as Paul preaches), but
that did not stop him from demonstrating his character
in what James calls a justification by works.

I think your understanding is certainly acceptable, I
just think that it is better to separate the events
that James does. One event is Gen. 15, where there was
no works involved, but a faith only. I think it
noteworthy that James avoids a justification by faith
AND works. He seems to keep these separate.


Alan B. Thomas

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

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