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James 2:14-26 The Passion Translation (TPT)

Faith Works

14 My dear brothers and sisters, what good is it if someone claims to have faith but demonstrates no good works to prove it? How could this kind of faith save anyone? 15 For example, if a brother or sister in the faith is poorly clothed and hungry 16 and you leave them saying, “Good-bye. I hope you stay warm and have plenty to eat,” but you don’t provide them with a coat or even a cup of soup, what good is your faith? 17 So then faith that doesn’t involve action is phony.[a]

18 But someone might object and say, “One person has faith and another person has works.”[b] Go ahead then and prove to me that you have faith without works and I will show you faith by my works as proof that I believe. 19 You can believe all you want that there is one true God,[c] that’s wonderful! But even the demons know this and tremble with fear before him,[d] yet they’re unchanged—they remain demons.

20 O feeble sons of Adam,[e] do you need further evidence that faith divorced from good works is phony? 21 Wasn’t our ancestor Abraham found righteous before God because of his works when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 Can’t you see how his action cooperated with his faith and by his action faith found its full expression? 23 So in this way the Scripture was fulfilled:

Because Abraham believed God, his faith was exchanged for God’s righteousness.[f]

So he became known as the lover of God![g] 24 So now it’s clear that a person is seen as righteous in God’s eyes not merely by faith alone, but by his works.

25 And the same is true of the prostitute named Rahab who was found righteous in God’s eyes by her works, for she received the spies into her home and helped them escape from the city by another route.[h] 26 For just as a human body without the spirit is a dead corpse, so faith without the expression of good works is dead!


  1. James 2:17 Or “dead (fruitless).” See also v. 20.
  2. James 2:18 Many scholars conclude that the ambiguity of the Greek text makes this the most difficult verse in all of James and perhaps in all of the New Testament to translate.
  3. James 2:19 Or “that God is one,” which is the Jewish Shemaʿ (see Deut. 6:4).
  4. James 2:19 The Aramaic can be translated “they writhe on their bellies in the dirt!”
  5. James 2:20 As translated from the Aramaic. The Greek is “O empty man.”
  6. James 2:23 Or “Abraham’s faith was credited to his account for righteousness.” See Gen. 15:6.
  7. James 2:23 As translated from the Aramaic. Although the Greek text is most often translated “friend of God,” the Greek word philos can also be used as the love that bonds friends together. See also 2 Chron. 20:7; Isa. 41:18; Dan. 3:35 (LXX).
  8. James 2:25 See Josh. 2.
The Passion Translation (TPT)

The Passion Translation®. Copyright © 2017 by BroadStreet Publishing® Group, LLC.
Used by permission. All rights reserved. thePassionTranslation.com


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