New International Version
If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about--but not before God.
King James Bible
For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.
Darby Bible Translation
For if Abraham has been justified on the principle of works, he has whereof to boast: but not before God;
World English Bible
For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not toward God.
Young's Literal Translation
for if Abraham by works was declared righteous, he hath to boast -- but not before God;
Romans 4:2 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
For if Abraham were justified by works - The Jew proceeds: - I conclude, therefore, that Abraham was justified by works, or by his obedience to this law of circumcision; and, consequently, he has cause for glorying, καυχημα, to exult in something which he has done to entitle him to these blessings. Now, it is evident that he has this glorying, and consequently that he was justified by works.
Apostle. But not before God - These seem to be the apostle's words, and contain the beginning of his answer to the arguments of the Jew, as if he had said: - Allowing that Abraham might glory in being called from heathenish darkness into such marvellous light, and exult in the privileges which God had granted to him; yet this glorying was not before God as a reason why those privileges should be granted; the glorying itself being a consequence of these very privileges.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
Abraham. See on
LibrarySeptember 24. "He Calleth Things that are not as Though they Were" (Rom. Iv. 17).
"He calleth things that are not as though they were" (Rom. iv. 17). The Word of God creates what it commands. When Christ says to any of us "Now are ye clean through the word which I have spoken unto you," We are clean. When He says "no condemnation" there is none, though there has been a lifetime of sin before. And when He says, "mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds," then the weak are strong. This is the part of faith, to take God at His Word, and then expect Him to make it real. …
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth
Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. Because of what law? The law that requires works? No, because of the law that requires faith.
1 Corinthians 1:31
Therefore, as it is written: "Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord."
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