1 My brothers, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with partiality. 2For if someone#Literally “a man,” but clearly in a generic sense here meaning “someone, a person” enters into your assembly#Literally “synagogue,” but here probably referring to a Christian assembly in fine clothing with a gold ring on his finger, and a poor person in filthy clothing also enters, 3and you look favorably on the one wearing the fine clothing and you say, “Be seated here in a good place,” and to the poor person you say, “You stand or be seated there#Some manuscripts have “you stand there or be seated” by my footstool,” 4have you not made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? 5Listen, my dear brothers! Did not God choose the poor of the world to be rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him? 6But you have dishonored the poor! Are not the rich exploiting you and they themselves dragging you into the courts? 7Do they themselves not blaspheme the good name of the one to whom you belong#Literally “that was called over you”?
8However, if you carry out the royal law according to the scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,”#A quotation from Lev 19:18 you are doing well. 9But if you show partiality, you commit sin, and thus#*Here “and thus” is supplied as a component of the participle (“are convicted”) which is understood as result are convicted by the law as transgressors. 10For whoever keeps the whole law but stumbles in one point only has become guilty of all of it. 11For the one who said “Do not commit adultery”#A quotation from Exod 20:14; Deut 5:18 also said “Do not murder.”#A quotation from Exod 20:13; Deut 5:17 Now if you do not commit adultery but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. 12Thus speak and thus act as those who are going to be judged by the law of liberty. 13For judgment is merciless to the one who has not practiced mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
Faith and Works
14What is the benefit, my brothers, if someone says that he has faith but does not have works? That faith is not able to save him, is it?#*The negative construction in Greek anticipates a negative answer here 15If a brother or a sister is poorly clothed and lacking food for the day, 16and one of you should say to them, “Go in peace, keep warm and eat well#Literally, “be satisfied”,” but does not give them what is necessary for the body, what is the benefit? 17Thus also faith, if it does not have works, is dead by itself.
18But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.”#Some see the quotation by “someone” extending to the end of v. 18, while others see it extending through v. 19 Show me your faith apart from your#*Literally “the”; the Greek article is used here as a possessive pronoun works, and I will show you my#*Literally “the”; the Greek article is used here as a possessive pronoun faith by my works. 19You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe, and shudder! 20But do you want to know, O foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? 21Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he#*Here “when” is supplied as a component of the participle (“offered up”) which is understood as temporal offered up his son Isaac on the altar? 22You see that faith was working together with his works, and by the works the faith was perfected. 23And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “And Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness,”#A quotation from Gen 15:6 and he was called God’s friend. 24You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25And likewise was not Rahab the prostitute also justified by works when she#*Here “when” is supplied as a component of the participle (“welcomed”) which is understood as temporal welcomed the messengers and sent them out by a different route? 26For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.