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James 2:18

    James 2:18 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Yes, a man may say, You have faith, and I have works: show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    Yea, a man will say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith apart from thy works, and I by my works will show thee my faith.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    But a man may say, You have faith and I have works; let me see your faith without your works, and I will make my faith clear to you by my works.

    Webster's Revision

    Yea, a man will say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith apart from thy works, and I by my works will show thee my faith.

    World English Bible

    Yes, a man will say, "You have faith, and I have works." Show me your faith without works, and I by my works will show you my faith.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    Yea, a man will say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith apart from thy works, and I by my works will shew thee my faith.

    Definitions for James 2:18

    Without - Outside.
    Yea - Yes; certainly.

    Clarke's Commentary on James 2:18

    Show me thy faith without thy works - Your pretending to have faith, while you have no works of charity or mercy, is utterly vain: for as faith, which is a principle in the mind, cannot be discerned but by the effects, that is, good works; he who has no good works has, presumptively, no faith.

    I will show thee my faith by my works - My works of charity and mercy will show that I have faith; and that it is the living tree, whose root is love to God and man, and whose fruit is the good works here contended for.

    Barnes' Notes on James 2:18

    Yea, a man may say ... - The word which is rendered "yea" (ἀλλὰ alla) would be better rendered by "but." The apostle designs to introduce an objection, not to make an affirmation. The sense is, "some one might say," or, "to this it might be urged in reply." That is, it might perhaps be said that religion is not always manifested in the same way, or we should not suppose that, because it is not always exhibited in the same form, it does not exist. One man may manifest it in one way, and another in another, and still both have true piety. One may be distinguished for his faith, and another for his works, and both may have real religion. This objection would certainly have some plausibility, and it was important to meet it. It would seem that all religion was not to be manifested in the same way, as all virtue is not; and that it might occur that one man might be particularly eminent for one form of religion, and another for another; as one man may be distinguished for zeal, and another for meekness, and another for integrity, and another for truth, and another for his gifts in prayer, and another for his large-hearted benevolence. To this the apostle replies, that the two things referred to, faith and works, were not independent things, which could exist separately, without the one materially influencing another - as, for example, charity and chastity, zeal and meekness; but that the one was the germ or source of the other, and that the existence of the one was to be known only by its developing itself in the form of the other. A man could not show that he possessed the one unless it developed itself in the form of the other. In proof of this, he could boldly appeal to anyone to show a case where faith existed without works. He was himself willing to submit to this just trial in regard to this point, and to demonstrate the existence of his own faith by his works.

    Thou hast faith, and I have works - You have one form or manifestation of religion in an eminent or prominent degree, and I have another. You are characterized particularly for one of the virtues of religion, and I am for another; as one man may be particularly eminent for meekness, and another for zeal, and another for benevolence, and each be a virtuous man. The expression here is equivalent to saying, "One may have faith, and another works."

    Show me thy faith without thy works - That is, you who maintain that faith is enough to prove the existence of religion; that a man may be justified and saved by that alone, or where it does not develop itself in holy living; or that all that is necessary in order to be saved is merely to believe. Let the reality of any such faith as that be shown, if it can be; let any real faith be shown to exist without a life of good works, and the point will be settled. I, says the apostle, will undertake to exhibit the evidence of my faith in a different way - in a way about which there can be no doubt, and which is the appropriate method. It is clear, if the common reading here is correct, that the apostle meant to deny that true faith could be evinced without appropriate works. It should be said, however, that there is a difference of reading here of considerable importance. Many manuscripts and printed editions of the New Testament, instead of "without" (works - χωρίς chōris), read "from" or "by" (ἐκ ek), as in the other part of the verse, "show me thy faith by thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works."

    This reading is found in Walton, Wetstein, Mill, and in the received text generally; the other (without) is found in many manuscripts, and in the Vulgate, Syriac, Coptic, English, and Armenian versions; and is adopted by Beza, Castalio, Grotius, Bengel, Hammond, Whitby, Drusius, Griesbach, Tittman, and Hahn, and is now commonly received as the correct reading. It may be added that this reading seems to be demanded by the similar reading in James 2:20, "But wilt thou know that faith "without works" (χωρὶς τὼν ἔργων chōris tōn ergōn) is dead," evidently implying that something had been said before about "faith without works." This reading also is so natural, and makes so good sense in the connection, that it would seem to be demanded. Doddridge felt the difficulty in the other reading, and has given a version of the passage which showed his great perplexity, and which is one of the most unhappy that he ever made.

    And I will show thee my faith by my works - I will furnish in this way the best and most certain proof of the existence of faith. It is implied here that true faith is adapted to lead to a holy life, and that such a life would be the appropriate evidence of the existence of faith. By their fruits the principles held by men are known. See the notes at Matthew 7:16.

    Wesley's Notes on James 2:18

    2:18 But one - Who judges better. Will say - To such a vain talker. Show me, if thou canst, thy faith without thy works.