Exegetical Paper on James 2:18-26

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Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary

An Exegetical Paper of James 2:18-26

Submitted to Professor Dr. Steve Waechter
In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Course “Greek Language Tools” – NGRK505

Steven B. Darden

Burleson, TX
March 8, 2015

Contents Introduction 4 Context 5 Historical-Cultural Context 5 Literary Context 6 Analysis of Text 7 James 2:18-19: Objections to False Faith 7 James 2:20-24: Examples of Faith 9 Verses 2:25-26: Rahab 11 Conclusion 11 Appendix A: Block Diagram of James 2:18-26 Using the ESV Bible 13

Introduction Throughout the history of the Bible, few words have had more controversy than the words, faith, works, and justification. James’ uses a powerful
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Even early church writers contested the validity of what Luther referred to as an “epistle of straw”, even denigrating it as a leftover from Judaic writers. Even recent commentary writer Sophie Laws referred to “the epistle of James is an oddity. It lacks almost all of what might be thought to be the distinctive marks of Christian faith and practice.” The Luther casts further doubt on the authenticity of this epistle. The target audience for the book of James is the early practitioners of Christianity or the early church, in particular, those persecuted for their faith and scattered in the Diaspora are of particular importance in James. Non-believers are not addressed in this passage. James forcefully corrects what he perceives to be a misunderstanding concerning the cooperative relationship between faith and works. The Gospels and other epistles are directed at informing those who have not yet heard the message of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast (Eph. 2:8-9).” Commentator Kent Hughes helpfully points out that “Paul’s teaching about faith and works focuses on the time before conversion, and James’s focus is after conversion” Some critics believe that there is a conflict between Paul’s views in

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