Is the E-book of James Attacking the Teachings of Paul? – The Bart Ehrman Weblog


Yesterday I started answering a query concerning the New Testomony e-book of James.  Probably the most fascinating factor concerning the e-book, for many readers, is that it *appears* no less than to be attacking a view vigorously espoused by the apostle Paul.  Are these authors at odds with one another?  Right here is the place I decide up on that dialogue in my e-book Solid.  My sense is that quite a lot of readers of the weblog won’t anticipate the place I stand on the difficulty.


There may be one problem that the writer is especially involved with, nonetheless.  It is a matter that displays a bone of competition with different Christians.  There are some Christians who’re evidently saying that to be proper with God, all one wants is religion; for them, doing “good works” is irrelevant to salvation, as long as you consider.  James thinks that is exactly improper, that if you don’t do good deeds, then you definitely clearly don’t have religion.

What use is it, my brothers, if an individual says he has religion however has no works?  Is religion in a position to save him?  If a brother or sister is bare and has no each day meals, and one among you says to them, “Go in peace; maintain heat and be crammed,” with out giving them what their our bodies want, what use is that?  So additionally religion, if it doesn’t have works, is useless, being by itself.  (James 2:14-17)

The writer goes on to argue that having religion aside from works can not carry salvation, and actually is nugatory.  That is proven above all by the instance of Abraham, father of the Jews, who was saved by what he did, not simply by what he believed.

However somebody will say, “You may have religion and I’ve works.”  Present me your religion aside from works and I’ll present you my religion by my works.  You consider that God is one?  You do effectively: even the demons consider, and so they shudder.  However do you want to know, O shallow man, that religion aside from works is barren?  Wasn’t Abraham our father justified by works when he provided Isaac his son on the altar?  You see that religion was working along with his works and religion was accomplished by the works.  And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.”  And he was referred to as a pal of God.  You see that an individual is justified by works, and never by religion alone. (James 2:18-24)

Right here then is a pointy invective towards anybody who maintains that it’s religion alone that may put an individual right into a proper standing earlier than God (in James’s phrases, that may “justify” an individual).  His proof is Abraham, and the Scripture he quotes in assist is Genesis 15:6: “And Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.”

One of many causes this passage is critical is that it sounds virtually like a parody of one thing that Paul himself wrote, earlier, in his letter to the Galatians, when he …

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One in all My Favourite Letters within the New Testomony: The E-book of James





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