Exegetical Paper of James 2 18 26

2817 words 12 pages
Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary

An Exegetical Paper of James 2:18-26

Submitted to Professor Dr. Steve Waechter
In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Course “Greek Language Tools” – NGRK505

Steven B. Darden

Burleson, TX
March 8, 2015

Introduction 4
Context 5
Historical-Cultural Context 5
Literary Context 6
Analysis of Text 7
James 2:18-19: Objections to False Faith 7
James 2:20-24: Examples of Faith 9
Verses 2:25-26: Rahab 11
Conclusion 11
Appendix A: Block Diagram of James 2:18-26 Using the ESV Bible 13

Introduction Throughout the history of the Bible, few words have had more controversy than the words, faith, works, and justification. James’ uses a powerful interrogative to pose the
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Analysis of Text
James 2:18-19: Objections to False Faith
In these verses James makes a change in course by bringing an interlocutor to pose the critical question, “someone will say….” This “someone”, James is quoting is likely James himself. Answering the questions of passage is one of the more difficult tasks in James, according to Martin Dibelius. He believes that vs. 18-19 “is one of the most difficult New Testament passages in general.”9
There are three positions concerning who the interlocutor is and for what he is advocating in this passage. The first approach views that the interlocutor is an ally of James and for his position on faith and works. One of the main strengths of this interpretation is it’s consistency of the pronoun usage. The pronoun “you” is always the person with the faith, and “I” is always the ally or the writer James. One problem with this view is the obvious usage of the Greek word Ἀλλʼ (ally) as a strong adversative. This indicates that the “someone” is other than James. The second view interprets the words as those of the objector, however, this would require an adjustment to the understanding and usage of the term “works”.10 This someone may not be raising an objection could very well be on his side and merely wanting to add weight for the “someone”. The third view prefers the ancient interpretation that when biblical literature encounters such phrasing that an ancient diatribe style such as the one used in the case of


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