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  • PARALLEL BIBLE - James 2:14

    CHAPTERS: James 1, 2, 3, 4, 5     

    VERSES: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26




    King James Bible - James 2:14

    What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

    World English Bible

    What good is it, my brothers, if a man says he has faith, but has no works? Can faith save him?

    Douay-Rheims - James 2:14

    What shall it profit, my brethren, if a man say he hath faith, but hath not works? Shall faith be able to save him?

    Webster's Bible Translation

    What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man sayeth he hath faith, and hath not works? can faith save him?

    Greek Textus Receptus

    5101 το 3588 οφελος 3786 αδελφοι 80 μου 3450 εαν 1437 πιστιν 4102 λεγη 3004 5725 τις 5100 εχειν 2192 5721 εργα 2041 δε 1161 μη 3361 εχη 2192 5725 μη 3361 δυναται 1410 5736 η 3588 πιστις 4102 σωσαι 4982 5658 αυτον 846

    Treasury of Scriptural Knowledge

    VERSE (14) -
    :16 Jer 7:8 Ro 2:25 1Co 13:3 1Ti 4:8 Heb 13:9

    SEV Biblia, Chapter 2:14

    ¶ Hermanos míos, ¿qu aprovechar si alguno dice que tiene fe, y no tiene las obras? ¿Por ventura esta tal fe le podr salvar?

    Clarke's Bible Commentary - James 2:14

    Verse 14. What doth it profit-though a man say he hath
    faith] We now come to a part of this epistle which has appeared to some eminent men to contradict other portions of the Divine records. In short, it has been thought that James teaches the doctrine of justification by the merit of good works, while Paul asserts this to be insufficient, and that man is justified by faith. Luther, supposing that James did actually teach the doctrine of justification by works, which his good sense showed him to be absolutely insufficient for salvation, was led to condemn the epistle in toto, as a production unauthenticated by the Holy Spirit, and consequently worthy of no regard; he therefore termed it epistola straminea, a chaffy epistle, an epistle of straw, fit only to be burnt.

    Learned men have spent much time in striving to reconcile these two writers, and to show that St. Paul and St. James perfectly accord; one teaching the pure doctrine, the other guarding men against the abuse of it.

    Mr. Wesley sums the whole up in the following words, with his usual accuracy and precision: "From chap. i. 22 the apostle has been enforcing Christian practice. He now applies to those who neglect this under the pretense of faith. St. Paul had taught that a man is justified by faith without the works of the law. This some already began to wrest to their own destruction. Wherefore St. James, purposely repeating, chap. i. 21, 23, 25, the same phrases, testimonies, and examples which St. Paul had used, Rom. iv. 3; Heb. xi. 17, 31, refutes not the doctrine of St. Paul, but the error of those who abused it. There is therefore no contradiction between the apostles; they both delivered the truth of God, but in a different manner, as having to do with different kinds of men. This verse is a summary of what follows: What profiteth it, is enlarged on, ver. 15-17; though a man say, ver. 18, 19; can that faith save him? ver. 20. It is not though he have faith, but though he say, I have faith. Here therefore true living faith is meant. But in other parts of the argument the apostle speaks of a dead imaginary faith. He does not therefore teach that true faith can, but that it cannot, subsist without works. Nor does he oppose faith to works, but that empty name of faith to real faith working by love. Can that faith which is without works save him? No more than it can profit his neighbour." - Explanatory notes.

    That St James quotes the same scriptures, and uses the same phrases, testimonies, and examples which St. Paul has done, is fully evident; but it does not follow that he wrote after St. Paul. It is possible that one had seen the epistle of the other; but if so, it is strange that neither of them should quote the other. That St. Paul might write to correct the abuses of St. James' doctrine is as possible as that James wrote to prevent St. Paul's doctrine from being abused; for there were Antinomians in the Church in the time of St. James, as there were Pharisaic persons in it at the time of St. Paul. I am inclined to think that James is the elder writer, and rather suppose that neither of them had ever seen the other's epistle. Allowing them both to be inspired, God could teach each what was necessary for the benefit of the Church, without their having any knowledge of each other. See the preface to this epistle.

    As the Jews in general were very strenuous in maintaining the necessity of good works or righteousness in order to justification, wholly neglecting the doctrine of faith, it is not to be wondered at that those who were converted, and saw the absolute necessity of faith in order to their justification, should have gone into the contrary extreme.

    Can faith save him?] That is, his profession of faith; for it is not said that he has faith, but that he says, I have faith. St. James probably refers to that faith which simply took in the being and unity of God. See on ver. 19, 24, 25.

    John Gill's Bible Commentary

    Ver. 14. What doth it profit, my brethren , etc.] The apostle having finished his discourse on respect of persons, and the arguments he used to dissuade from it, by an easy transition passes to treat upon faith and works, showing that faith without works, particularly without works of mercy, is of no profit and advantage: though a man say he hath faith, and have not works ? it is clear that the apostle is not speaking of true faith, for that, in persons capable of performing them, is not without works; it is an operative grace; it works by love and kindness, both to Christ, and to his members; but of a profession of faith, a mere historical one, by which a man, at most, assents to the truth of things, as even devils do, ( James 2:19) and only says he has faith, but has it not; as Simon Magus, who said he believed, but did not. Can faith save him ? such a faith as this, a faith without works, an historical one, a mere profession of faith, which lies only in words, and has no deeds, to show the truth and genuineness of it. True faith indeed has no causal influence on salvation, or has any virtue and efficacy in itself to save; Christ, object of faith, is the only cause and author of salvation; faith is only that grace which receives a justifying righteousness, the pardon of sin, adoption, and a right to the heavenly inheritance; but it does not justify, nor pardon, nor adopt, nor give the right to the inheritance, but lays hold on, and claims these, by virtue of the gift of grace; and it has spiritual and eternal salvation inseparably connected with it; but as for the other faith, a man may have it, and be in the gall of bitterness, and bond of iniquity; he may have all faith in that sense, and be nothing; it is no other than the devils themselves have; and so he may have it, and be damned.

    Matthew Henry Commentary

    Verses 14-26 - Those are wrong who put a mere notional belief of the
    gospel for the whole of evangelical religion, as many now do. No doubt, true fait alone, whereby men have part in Christ's righteousness, atonement, an grace, saves their souls; but it produces holy fruits, and is shown to be real by its effect on their works; while mere assent to any form of doctrine, or mere historical belief of any facts, wholly differs from this saving faith. A bare profession may gain the good opinion of piou people; and it may procure, in some cases, worldly good things; but what profit will it be, for any to gain the whole world, and to los their souls? Can this faith save him? All things should be accounte profitable or unprofitable to us, as they tend to forward or hinder the salvation of our souls. This place of Scripture plainly shows that a opinion, or assent to the gospel, without works, is not faith. There is no way to show we really believe in Christ, but by being diligent in good works, from gospel motives, and for gospel purposes. Men may boas to others, and be conceited of that which they really have not. Ther is not only to be assent in faith, but consent; not only an assent to the truth of the word, but a consent to take Christ. True believing is not an act of the understanding only, but a work of the whole heart That a justifying faith cannot be without works, is shown from tw examples, Abraham and Rahab. Abraham believed God, and it was reckone unto him for righteousness. Faith, producing such works, advanced his to peculiar favours. We see then, ver. #(24), how that by works a ma is justified, not by a bare opinion or profession, or believing withou obeying; but by having such faith as produces good works. And to have to deny his own reason, affections, and interests, is an action fit to try a believer. Observe here, the wonderful power of faith in changin sinners. Rahab's conduct proved her faith to be living, or havin power; it showed that she believed with her heart, not merely by a assent of the understanding. Let us then take heed, for the best works without faith, are dead; they want root and principle. By faith an thing we do is really good; as done in obedience to God, and aiming a his acceptance: the root is as though it were dead, when there is n fruit. Faith is the root, good works are the fruits; and we must see to it that we have both. This is the grace of God wherein we stand, and we should stand to it. There is no middle state. Every one must eithe live God's friend, or God's enemy. Living to God, as it is the consequence of faith, which justifies and will save, obliges us to d nothing against him, but every thing for him and to him __________________________________________________________________

    Greek Textus Receptus

    5101 το 3588 οφελος 3786 αδελφοι 80 μου 3450 εαν 1437 πιστιν 4102 λεγη 3004 5725 τις 5100 εχειν 2192 5721 εργα 2041 δε 1161 μη 3361 εχη 2192 5725 μη 3361 δυναται 1410 5736 η 3588 πιστις 4102 σωσαι 4982 5658 αυτον 846

    Vincent's NT Word Studies

    14. What doth it
    profit? (ti to ofelov). Lit., what is the profit? Ofelov, profit, only here, ver. 16, and 1 Cor. xv. 32.

    CHAPTERS: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
    VERSES: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26


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