The Correct translation of James 2:24

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Craigbythesea, Mar 17, 2004.

  1. Craigbythesea

    Craigbythesea
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    This is not a thread for the KJO sect, but a serious thread to investigate the most correct translation of the Greek text found in James 2:24, a debate going back to Martin Luther. Please very carefully consider the Greek text of this verse and then post your comments. Thank you!
    [​IMG]
     
  2. gb93433

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    I don't see myself as having any trouble with the typical translation of this verse. I think the verse needs to be taken in the broader context of the book of James though to fully understand its impact. What I see in the book of James is the contrast between a genuine saving faith that produces good works and a faith that is not genuine that coems from dead works. The works that are produced are the proof of our faith. Our faith is proven genuine or false by the works that are produced. The works are the evidence.

    A genuine saving faith produces works that correspond to a genuine faith that saves. Whereas the type of faith that the Jews had and still do today is a statement of faith that produces a faith from dead works and does not save. A faith that saves is written in the hearts of men and women. But a faith that does not save is only written on a piece of paper.
     
  3. Psalm145 3

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    James 2:24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

    Any translation that leaves out the word "then" in James 2:24 is an inferior translation. The Greek word toinun {toy'-noon}- Strong's 5106 - was given by inspiration of God. It directs the Spirit-filled reader back to verse 23 which refers to Genesis 15:6. Abraham was declared righteous through faith only many years before he offered up Isaac.

    The Lord Jesus Christ, the author and finisher of our faith, has given us His promise, "For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled."

    The time has not yet come when all things have been fulfilled. Heaven and earth have not yet passed away. Therefore not one jot nor one tittle has passed, including this Holy Spirit breathed word "toinun" in James 2:24, which is translated "then" in English.

    Sola Scriptura!
    Sola Fide!
    Sola Gratia!
    Solus Christus!
     
  4. Craigbythesea

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    I am not interested in discussing text types here. My concern is primarily with the translation of the Greek word μονον in this sentence and its proper place in the resulting English sentence.

    The NASB reads here,

    James 2:24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.

    In this translation the word “alone” appears to be an adjective modifying the word faith. In the Greek text it appears to me that the Greek word μονον translated alone is really an adverb modifying the Greek word δικαιουται translated “justified.” Perhaps a more accurate translation would be,

    You see that a man is not only justified by faith, but also by works.

    Or, following the Byzantine text type,

    You see then that a man is not only justified by faith, but also by works.


    Do you all agree that μονον is an adverb modifying δικαιουται? What do you think of the proposed translation?
     
  5. KimS

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    My Amplified Bible states:

    You see that a man is justified through what he does and not alone through faith.

    It would seem to agree with what you are proposing. That it isn't through faith alone.

    Kim
     
  6. stevec

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    Notice, it says "justified", not "saved". Big difference. We are saved by grace alone.
     
  7. gb93433

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    I would not have a problem translating monon as only.

    It would seem to make good sense to translate that verse, "You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith only."
     
  8. Craigbythesea

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    Thank you, Kim.
     
  9. Daniel David

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    Don't hijack this thread just because you don't have good theology.
     
  10. Craigbythesea

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    Would you care to elaborate on that?
     
  11. Craigbythesea

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    Don't hijack this thread just because you don't have good theology. </font>[/QUOTE]Daniel David,

    Thank you for your reply and your help in keeping this thread on track. Do you have any thoughts regarding the position of the adverb in translating this sentence?
     
  12. Daniel David

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    If I were to translate the verse, I would follow the NASB. I think that is the best rendering of the verse.
     
  13. Charles Meadows

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    Craig,

    It seems like the monon would have to be an adverb. I've listed part of a thread (I found it rather informative) from B Greek several years ago about this.

    "&gt;hORATE TOINUN hOTI EX ERGWN DIKAIOUTAI ANQRWPOS
    &gt;KAI OUK EK PISTEWS MONON
    &gt;
    &gt;This last phrase is often given the translation:
    &gt;
    &gt;"and not by faith only (alone)"
    &gt;
    &gt;I note that MONON is either an adj. or adv. depending
    &gt;on how it functions in a sentence, right?
    &gt;
    &gt;Well, MONON does not seem to be in the proper form
    &gt;to be an adj. here (MONHS??); rather it appears to be an adv.
    &gt;
    &gt;If an adv., should we not undertand an implied verb?
    &gt;
    &gt;The last phrase would then be:
    &gt;
    &gt;"and not only (justified) by faith."

    Yes; although adverbs are commonly constructed by adding -WS to the
    adjectival stem, the neuter accusative of the adjective is often used
    adverbially--and in that case, if you're distinguishing parts of speech,
    you'd certainly want to call it an adverb. And yes, DIKAIOUTAI is certainly
    understood as carried forward from what preceded.

    &gt;To me, James seems to be contrasting TWO kinds
    &gt;of DIKAIOU... One is works based; the other is faith based.
    &gt;Is this the surface level meaning to this verse?

    I'd be more inclined to say that he's contrasting two CONCEPTIONS of how a
    person DIKAIOUTAI and denying that one of them (EK PISTEWS MONON = OUK EX
    ERGWN) has any validity. He's denying that PISTIS unaccompanied by behavior
    demonstrating it DIKAIOI.


    --

    Carl W. Conrad
    Department of Classics/Washington University
    One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
    Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649
    [email protected]
    WWW: http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~cwconrad/

    ---
     
  14. Craigbythesea

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    Charles,

    Thank you for your reply. I would very much appreciate any further information that you could provide regarding the use of monos in this verse and the theory of two justifications.
     
  15. Charles Meadows

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    Craig,

    There were a number of responses to this thread. Too many to post! I've listed the URL for the B Greek archives. If you search "james 2:24" it will give you a list of all the threads and responses in a Google search.

    B Greek Archives
     
  16. Charles Meadows

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  17. Craigbythesea

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    Charles,

    Thank you so very much! [​IMG] This is exactly what I was looking for!
     

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