New American Standard Bible
What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him?
King James Bible
What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
Darby Bible Translation
What is the profit, my brethren, if any one say he have faith, but 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?
Young's Literal Translation
What is the profit, my brethren, if faith, any one may speak of having, and works he may not have? is that faith able to save him?
James 2:14 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith? - The apostle here returns to the subject adverted to in James 1:22-27, the importance of a practical attention to the duties of religion, and the assurance that men cannot be saved by a mere speculative opinion, or merely by holding correct sentiments. He doubtless had in his eye those who abused the doctrine of justification by faith, by holding that good works are unnecessary to salvation, provided they maintain an orthodox belief. As this abuse probably existed in the time of the apostles, and as the Holy Ghost saw that there would be danger that in later times the great and glorious doctrine of justification by faith would be thus abused, it was important that the error should be rebuked, and that the doctrine should be distinctly laid down that good works are necessary to salvation. The apostle, therefore, in the question before us, implicitly asserts that faith would not "profit" at all unless accompanied with a holy life, and this doctrine he proceeds to illustrate in the following verses, See the analysis of this chapter; and Introduction, Section 5, (2). In order to a proper interpretation of this passage, it should be observed that the stand-point from which the apostle views this subject is not before a man is converted, inquiring in what way he may be justified before God, or on what ground his sins may be forgiven; but it is after a man is converted, showing that that faith can have no value which is not followed by good works; that is, that it is not real faith, and that good works are necessary if a man would have evidence that he is justified. Thus understood, all that James says is in entire accordance with what is taught elsewhere in the New Testament.
Can faith save him? - It is implied in this question that faith cannot save him, for very often the most emphatic way of making an affirmation is by asking a question. The meaning here is, that that faith which does not produce good works, or which would not produce holy living if fairly acted out, will save no man, for it is not genuine faith.
1. Is Jesus Christ altogether lovely? Then I beseech you set your souls upon this lovely Jesus. I am sure such an object as has been here represented, would compel love from the coldest breast and hardest heart. Away with those empty nothings, away with this vain deceitful world, which deserves not the thousandth part of the love you give it. Let all stand aside and give way to Christ. O if only you knew his worth and excellency, what he is in himself, what he has done for you, and deserved from …
John Flavel—Christ Altogether Lovely
Progress of Calvinism
The King James Version --Its Influence on English and American History
Whether all Sins are Connected with one Another?
And he would answer and say to them, "The man who has two tunics is to share with him who has none; and he who has food is to do likewise."
Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.
But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.
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