James 2:21
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar?

New Living Translation
Don't you remember that our ancestor Abraham was shown to be right with God by his actions when he offered his son Isaac on the altar?

English Standard Version
Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar?

Berean Study Bible
Was not our father Abraham justified by what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar?

Berean Literal Bible
Was not Abraham our father justified by works, having offered his son Isaac upon the altar?

New American Standard Bible
Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar?

King James Bible
Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Wasn't Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar?

International Standard Version
Our ancestor Abraham was justified by his actions when he offered his son Isaac on the altar, wasn't he?

NET Bible
Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar?

New Heart English Bible
Wasn't Abraham our father justified by works, in that he offered up Isaac his son on the altar?

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Was not our father Abraham justified by works when he offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Didn't our ancestor Abraham receive God's approval as a result of what he did when he offered his son Isaac as a sacrifice on the altar?

New American Standard 1977
Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar?

Jubilee Bible 2000
Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered his son Isaac upon the altar?

King James 2000 Bible
Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

American King James Version
Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son on the altar?

American Standard Version
Was not Abraham our father justified by works, in that he offered up Isaac his son upon the altar?

Douay-Rheims Bible
Was not Abraham our father justified by works, offering up Isaac his son upon the altar?

Darby Bible Translation
Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

English Revised Version
Was not Abraham our father justified by works, in that he offered up Isaac his son upon the altar?

Webster's Bible Translation
Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

Weymouth New Testament
Was it, or was it not, because of his actions that he was declared to be righteous as the result of his having offered up his son Isaac upon the altar?

World English Bible
Wasn't Abraham our father justified by works, in that he offered up Isaac his son on the altar?

Young's Literal Translation
Abraham our father -- was not he declared righteous out of works, having brought up Isaac his son upon the altar?
Study Bible
Faith and Works
20O foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is worthless? 21Was not our father Abraham justified by what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22You see that his faith was working with his actions, and his faith was perfected by what he did.…
Cross References
Genesis 22:9
Then they came to the place of which God had told him; and Abraham built the altar there and arranged the wood, and bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood.

Genesis 22:10
Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.

Genesis 22:12
He said, "Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me."

Hebrews 11:17
By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac on the altar. He who had received the promises was ready to offer his one and only son,
Treasury of Scripture

Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son on the altar?

Abraham.

Joshua 24:3 And I took your father Abraham from the other side of the flood, …

Isaiah 51:2 Look to Abraham your father, and to Sarah that bore you: for I called …

Matthew 3:9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: …

Luke 1:73 The oath which he swore to our father Abraham,

Luke 16:24,30 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send …

John 8:39,53 They answered and said to him, Abraham is our father. Jesus said …

Acts 7:2 And he said, Men, brothers, and fathers, listen; The God of glory …

Romans 4:1,12,16 What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to …

justified.

James 2:18,24 Yes, a man may say, You have faith, and I have works: show me your …

Psalm 143:2 And enter not into judgment with your servant: for in your sight …

Matthew 12:37 For by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall …

Matthew 25:31-40 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels …

Romans 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified …

when.

Genesis 22:9-12,16-18 And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham …

(21) Was not Abraham our father justified by works . . .?--St. James now addresses his two examples from familiar history in force of his plea for active faith. The first is the marvellous devotion and trust of Abraham (Genesis 22) when he offered Isaac his son upon the altar; that boy himself the type of God's dear Son, who bore, like His meek ancestor, the sacrificial wood up the long weary road of death. Happily, the story is as well known to Christian readers as to the Jewish of old time, and may safely be left here without further comment.

Was not Abraham our father justified by works,.... Not as the causes of his justification, that is denied, Romans 4:2 but as effects of it, showing the truth of his faith, and the reality of his justification: he had both faith and works, and the former were known by the latter; and even the faith which he had expressed years ago was manifested, demonstrated, and confirmed to be true and genuine, by the instance of his obedience to God, here produced; by which it appeared he was a true believer, a justified person, approved of God, and loved by him. Now if this was the case of Abraham, the father of the Jewish nation, yea, the father of the faithful, of all that believe, he is, and must be a vain man, that talks of faith without works; and his faith must be a dead one, and he be very unlike the father of them that believe: the good work instanced in is the offering up of Isaac;

when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar: for when he was bid to take his son, his only and beloved son, Isaac, and offer him up on one of the mountains, that should be shown him, he made haste to do it; he provided everything for it; he split the wood, and carried it with him, and fire in his hand; he built an altar, laid the wood on it, bound his son, laid the wood on the altar, and his son on the wood, and stretched out his hand, with his knife in it, to slay him; so that it was all one, with respect to his intention and will, as if he had actually offered him, and was a full trial and proof of his obedience to God. This was not the only act of obedience, or good work, which he performed; but this being a very eminent one, the apostle instances in it, as a very considerable evidence of his faith in God, and love to him; and which showed him to be a justified person, as he was long before he performed this action, even before Isaac was born; see Genesis 15:6 and therefore it can never be the apostle's meaning, that he was justified before God by this, or any other good work or works, as cause or causes of it; but only that he was declared to be so; or, in other words, that his faith was attended with good works, and evidenced by them. 21. Abraham … justified by works—evidentially, and before men (see on [2605]Jas 2:18). In Jas 2:23, James, like Paul, recognizes the Scripture truth, that it was his faith that was counted to Abraham for righteousness in his justification before God.

when he had offered—rather, "when he offered" [Alford], that is, brought as an offering at the altar; not implying that he actually offered him.2:14-26 Those are wrong who put a mere notional belief of the gospel for the whole of evangelical religion, as many now do. No doubt, true faith alone, whereby men have part in Christ's righteousness, atonement, and grace, saves their souls; but it produces holy fruits, and is shown to be real by its effect on their works; while mere assent to any form of doctrine, or mere historical belief of any facts, wholly differs from this saving faith. A bare profession may gain the good opinion of pious people; and it may procure, in some cases, worldly good things; but what profit will it be, for any to gain the whole world, and to lose their souls? Can this faith save him? All things should be accounted profitable or unprofitable to us, as they tend to forward or hinder the salvation of our souls. This place of Scripture plainly shows that an opinion, or assent to the gospel, without works, is not faith. There is no way to show we really believe in Christ, but by being diligent in good works, from gospel motives, and for gospel purposes. Men may boast to others, and be conceited of that which they really have not. There is not only to be assent in faith, but consent; not only an assent to the truth of the word, but a consent to take Christ. True believing is not an act of the understanding only, but a work of the whole heart. That a justifying faith cannot be without works, is shown from two examples, Abraham and Rahab. Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned unto him for righteousness. Faith, producing such works, advanced him to peculiar favours. We see then, ver. 24, how that by works a man is justified, not by a bare opinion or profession, or believing without obeying; but by having such faith as produces good works. And to have to deny his own reason, affections, and interests, is an action fit to try a believer. Observe here, the wonderful power of faith in changing sinners. Rahab's conduct proved her faith to be living, or having power; it showed that she believed with her heart, not merely by an assent of the understanding. Let us then take heed, for the best works, without faith, are dead; they want root and principle. By faith any thing we do is really good; as done in obedience to God, and aiming at his acceptance: the root is as though it were dead, when there is no fruit. Faith is the root, good works are the fruits; and we must see to it that we have both. This is the grace of God wherein we stand, and we should stand to it. There is no middle state. Every one must either live God's friend, or God's enemy. Living to God, as it is the consequence of faith, which justifies and will save, obliges us to do nothing against him, but every thing for him and to him.
Jump to Previous
Abraham Actions Altar Ancestor Considered Declared Isaac Judged Justified Offered Offering Result Righteous Righteousness Wasn't Works
Jump to Next
Abraham Actions Altar Ancestor Considered Declared Isaac Judged Justified Offered Offering Result Righteous Righteousness Wasn't Works
Links
James 2:21 NIV
James 2:21 NLT
James 2:21 ESV
James 2:21 NASB
James 2:21 KJV

James 2:21 Biblia Paralela
James 2:21 Chinese Bible
James 2:21 French Bible
James 2:21 German Bible

Alphabetical: Abraham altar ancestor by considered did father for he his Isaac justified not offered on our righteous son the up Was what when works

NT Letters: James 2:21 Wasn't Abraham our father justified by works (Ja Jas. Jam) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
James 2:20
Top of Page
Top of Page