My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.
Verses 1-13. - WARNING AGAINST RESPECT OF PERSONS. Verse 1. - The translation is doubtful, two renderings being possible.
(1) That of the A.V. and R.V., "Hold not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons."
(2) That of the R.V. margin and Westcott and Hort, "Do ye, in accepting persons, hold the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory?" According to this view, the section commences with a question, as does the following one, ver. 14. According to the former view, which is on the whole preferable, it is parallel to James 3:1. The faith of our Lord. "The faith" here may be either
(1) objective (tides quae creditur), as in the Epistle of St. Jude 1:3, 20; or
(2) subjective (tides qua creditur), "Have the faith which believes in," etc. (cf. Mark 11:22). Our Lord Jesus Christ. Exactly the same title occurs in Acts 15:26, in the letter written from the Apostolic Council to the Syrian Churches - a letter which was probably drawn up by St. James himself. The Lord of glory. The same title is given to our Lord in 1 Corinthians 2:8, and seems to be founded on Psalm 24:7, etc. The genitive, τῆς δόξης, must depend on Κυρίου in spite of the intervening Ἰησοῦ Ξριστοῦ. Similar trajections occur elsewhere; e.g. Hebrews 12:11, where δικαιοσύνης depend, on καρπόν, and, according to a possible view, Luke 2:14 (see Hort's 'Greek Testament,' vol. 2, appendix, p. 56). Bengel's view, that τῆς δόξης is in apposition with Κυρίου Ἰησοῦ Ξριστοῦ can scarcely be maintained, in the absence of any parallel expression elsewhere. Respect of persons (ἐν προσωποληψίαις) literally, reception of faces. The substantive is found here and three times in St. Paul's Epistles - Romans 2:11; Ephesians 6:9; Colossians 3:25; the verb (προσωποληπτεῖν) only here in ver. 9; προσωπολήπτης in Acts 10:31. None of them occur in the LXX., where, however, we find πρόσωπον λαμβάνειν in Leviticus 19:15; Malachi 2:9, etc. (cf. Luke 20:21), for the Hebrew גַשָׂז פָנִים. Bishop Lightfoot has pointed out ('Galatians,' p. 108) that, in the Old Testament, the expression is a neutral one, not necessarily involving any idea of partiality, and more often used in a good than in a bad sense. "When it becomes an independent Greek phrase, however, the bad sense attaches to it, owing to the secondary meaning of πρόσωπον as a mask,' so that πρόσωπον λαμβάνειν signifies 'to regard the external circumstances of a man' - his rank, wealth, etc. - as opposed to his real intrinsic character. Thus in the New Testament it has always a bad sense." It is exactly this regard to external circumstances against which St. James is warning his readers; and the fact that our Lord Jesus Christ had himself been known, when on earth, as no respecter of persons (Luke 20:21), would give point to his warning. The plural (ἐν προσωποληψίαις) is perhaps used to include the different kinds of manifestations of the sin.
For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;
Verses 2-4. - Proof that they were guilty of respect of persons. Observe the insight which this passage gives us into the cha-racier of the assemblies of the early Christians, showing
(1) that the entrance of a rich man was not entirely unknown, but
(2) that it was probably exceptional, because so much was made of him. Notice
(3) συναγωγή used here, and here only in the New Testament, of a Christian assembly for worship (cf. Ignatius, 'Ad Polye.,' c. 4, Πυκνότερον συναγωγαὶ γινέσθωσαν). (On the distinction between συναγωγὴ and ἔκκλησία, and the history of the terms and their use, see an interesting section in Trench's ' Synonyms,' p. 1.) Verse 2. - A man with a gold ring (ἀνὴρ χρυσοδακτύλιος). The word is found here only. The English Versions (both A.V. and R.V.) needlessly limit its meaning. The man was probably bedecked with a number of rings, and had not one only. In goodly apparel. The same phrase is rendering "gay clothing" in ver. 3. The variation is quite unnecessary, the Greek being identical in both places, and rightly rendered by R.V. "fine clothing." It is curious to find a similar needless variation in the Vulgate, which has in veste candida in ver. 2, and veste proeclara in ver. 3.
And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool:
Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?
Verse 4. - The copula (καὶ) of the Received Text is certainly spurious. It is found in K, L, but is wanting in א, A, B, C, Vulgate, Syriac, Coptic. B also omits the negative οὐ (so Westcott and Herr margin). If this manuscript is followed, the sentence must be read as a direct statement, and not as interrogative. But if (with most manuscripts and editions) the interrogative be retained, the translation is still doubtful. Διεκρίθητε ἐν ἑαυτοῖς may mean:
(1) "Are ye not divided in your own mind?" so the Syriac and R.V., which would imply that this respect of persons showed that they were halting between God and the world - in fact, double-minded.
(2) "Do ye not make distinctions among yourselves?" R.V. margin; this gives an excellent sense, but is wanting in authority, as there appears to be no other instance forthcoming of the passive with this meaning.
(3) "Did you not doubt among yourselves?" this (doubt) is the almost invariable meaning of διακρίναομαι in the New Testament, and the word has already been used in this sense by St. James (James 1:6). Hence this rendering is to be preferred. So Huther, Plumptre, and Farrar, the latter of whom explains the passage as follows: "It shows doubt to act as though Christ had never promised his kingdom to the poor, rich in faith; and wicked reasonings to argue mentally that the poor must be less worthy of honor than the rich." Judges of evil thoughts (κριταὶ διαλογισμῶν πονηρῶν); sc. their own (thoughts), which caused them to respect persons. Thus the phrase is equivalent to "evil-thinking judges." (On the genitive, see Winer, 'Gram. of N. T. Greek,' p. 233; and cf. James 1:25, ἀκροάτης ἐπιλησμονής.)
Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?
Verses 5-9. - Proof of the sinfulness of respect of persons. Verse 5. - Hearken (ἀκούσατε). This has been noticed as a coincidence with the speech of St. James in Acts 15:13. It is, however, too slight to be worth much (cf. Acts 7:2; Acts 13:16; Acts 22:1). For τοῦ κόσμου τούτου, read τῷ κόσμῳ (א, A, B, C), "poor as to the world;" perhaps "in the estimation of the world." These God chose (to be) rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom, etc. The kingdom; mentioned here only by St. James (and even here, א, A read ἐπαγγελίας); cf. νόμον βασιλικόν in ver. 8. Which he hath promised. As Dean Plumptre has pointed out, "it is scarcely possible to exclude a direct reference to the words of Christ, as in Luke 6:20; Luke 12:31, 32; and so we get indirect proof of a current knowledge, at the early period at which St. James wrote, of teaching which was afterwards recorded in the written Gospels."
But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats?
Verse 6. - You have dishonored by your treatment the poor man, whom God chose; while those rich men to whom ye pay such honor are just the very persons who
(1) oppress you and
(2) blaspheme God and Christ. Poor... rich. In the Old Testament we occasionally find the term "poor" parallel to "righteous" (Amos 2:6; Amos 5:12); and "rich" to "wicked" (Isaiah 53:9). St. James's use here is somewhat similar (see on James 1:9, etc.). "Christiani multi ex pauperibus erant: pauci ex divitibus" (Bengel). The "rich men" here alluded to are evidently such as was the Apostle Paul before his conversion.
(1) They dragged the poor Christians before the judgment-seat (ἕλκουσιν ὑμᾶς εἰς κριτήρια). So Saul, "haling (σύρων) men and women, committed them to prison" (Acts 8:3).
(2) They blasphemed the honorable Name by which Christians were called. So Saul thought that he ought to do many things contrary to the Name of Jesus of Nazareth, and strove to make them blaspheme (Acts 26:9-11).
(3) All this they did in person (αὐτοί); "themselves," just as Saul did. No difficulty need be felt about the presence of these rich men in the synagogues of the Christians (see Introduction, p. 8.). It will be noticed that St. James never calls them "brethren." Further, it must be remembered that, at this early date, the Church had not yet learnt by bitter experience the need for that secrecy with which in later days she shrouded her worship. At this time the Christian assemblies were open to any who chose to find their way in. All were welcome, as we see from 1 Corinthians 14:23, etc., where the chance entry of "men unlearned or unbelieving" is contemplated as likely to happen. Hence there is no sort of difficulty in the presence of the "rich man" here, who might be eagerly welcomed, and repay his welcome by dragging them to the judgment-seat. Draw you before the judgment-seats. The account given by Josephus of the death of St, James himself affords a good illustration of the manner in which Christians were liable to this (see Introduction, p. 6.). But the tribunals need not be confined to Jewish ones. Other instances of similar treatment, illustrating the thoughts and language of the passage before us, may be found in Acts 16:19; Acts 17:6; Acts 18:12. Litigation of an entirely different character between Christians themselves is alluded to and condemned by St. Paul in 1 Corinthians 6.
Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?
Verse 7. - That worthy Name (τὸ καλὸν ὄνομα); the honorable Name; probably the Name of Christ, by which the disciples were known (Acts 11:26), and for which they suffered (Acts 5:41; 1 Peter 5:14-16). By the which ye are called; literally, which was called upon you (τὸ ἐπικληθὲν ἐφ ὑμᾶς). A similar expression is found in St. James's speech in Acts 15:17, in a quotation from Amos 9:12.
If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:
Verse 8 - What is the connection with the foregoing? Μέντοι is ignored altogether by the A.V. Translate, with R.V., howbeit if ye fulfill, etc.; Vulgate, tamen. According to Huther, St. James here meets the attempt which his readers might, perhaps, make to justify their conduct towards the rich with the law of love; whilst he grants to them that the fulfillment of that law is something excellent, he designates προσωποληπτεῖν directly as a transgression of the law. Alford thinks that the apostle is simply guarding his own argument from misconstruction - a view which is simpler and perhaps more natural. The royal law. Why is the law of love thus styled? (The Syriac has simply "the law of God.")
(1) As being the most excellent of all laws; as we might call it the sovereign principle of our conduct (cf. Plato 'Min.,' p. 317, c, Τὸ ὀρθὸν νόμος ἐστὶ βασιλικός). Such an expression is natural enough in a Greek writer; but it is strange in a Jew like St. James (in the LXX. βασιλικός is always used in its literal meaning); and as the "kingdom" has been spoken of just before (ver. 5), it is better
(2) to take the expression as literal here - "the law of the kingdom" (cf. Plumptre, in loc.). Thou shalt love, etc. (Leviticus 19:18). The law had received the sanction of the King himself (Matthew 22:39; Luke 10:26-28).
But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.
Verse 9. - And are convinced, etc.; better, with R.V., being convicted by the law (ἐλεγχόμενοι ὑπὸ τοῦ νόμου). The Law of Moses directly forbade all respect of persons; see Leviticus 19:15 (three verses above the passage just quoted by St. James), Οὐ λήψῃ πρόσωπον πτωχοῦ οὐδὲ μὴ θαυμάσῃς πρόσωπον δυνάστον.
For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
Verse 10. - In this verse the subjunctives τηρήσῃ πταίσῃ, are rightly read by the Revisors, with א, B, C. The Law was express on the need of keeping all the commandments; see Leviticus 19:37 (the same chapter to which St. James has already referred), Καὶ φυλάξωσθε πάντα τὸν νόμον μου καὶ πάντα τὰ προστάγματά μου καὶ ποιήσετε αὐτά). He is guilty of all. The very same thought is found in rabbinical writers (Talmud, 'Schabbath,' fol. 70); a saying of R. Johanan: "Quodsi racist omnia unum vero omitter omnium est singulorum reus." Other passages to the same effect may be seen in Schottgen, 'Horae Hebraicae,' vol. 1. p. 1017, etc.; and cf., 'Pirqe Aboth,' 4:15. Was it a false inference from St. James's teaching in this verso that led the Judaizers of Acts 15. to lay down the law "Except ye be circumcised after the customs of Moses ye cannot be saved"? "Whosoever shall keep the whole Law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all," might seem to suggest such an inference: "To whom," says St. James himself, "we gave no commandment" (Acts 15:24). (On the teaching of this tenth verse there is an interesting letter of Augustine's to Jerome, which well repays study: 'Ep.' 167.)
For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.
Verse 11. - Do not commit adultery... do not kill. The order of the commandments is remarkable; what is now the seventh is placed bolero the sixth. This appears to have been the usual order at that time. In this order our Lord quotes them in Luke 18:20, and St. Paul in Romans 13:9. Philo also has the same order, and expressly comments on it, drawing from it an argument for the heinousness of adultery ('Dec.,' 12:24). In the Vatican Manuscript of the LXX. in Exodus 20:13-15 the order is, "Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not kill." But the Alexandrian Manuscript has the usual order, which is also found in Matthew 19:18 and Mark 10:19 (according to the correct reading).
So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.
Verses 12, 13. - Conclusion of the subject: νόμος ἐλευθερίας (cf. James 1:25).
For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.
Verse 13. - A clear reminiscence of our Lord's teaching in the sermon on the mount (Matthew 7:1, etc.; Matthew 5:7): Μακάριοι οἱ ἐλεήμονες ὅτι αὐτοὶ ἐλεηθήσονται. Ἀνέλεος is certainly the right form of the word (א, A, B, C, K), not ἀνιλέως (Receptus with L), and the καὶ of the Textus Receptus is entirely wanting in manuscript authority, and should be deleted. The subject is ended by the abrupt declaration, almost like a cry of triumph, "Mercy glorieth against judgment."
What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?
Verses 14-26. - WARNING AGAINST RESTING CONTENT WITH A MERE BARREN ORTHODOXY. Preliminary note: This is the famous passage which led to Luther's depreciation of the whole Epistle, which he termed a "right strawy" one. At first sight it appears, indeed, diametrically opposed to the teaching of St. Paul; for:
(1) St. Paul says (Romans 3:28)," We conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from (χωρίς) works of Law," whereas St. James asserts (ver. 26) that "faith without (χωρίς) works is dead," and that man is "justified by works and not by faith only" (ver. 24).
(2) St. Paul speaks of Abraham as justified by faith (Romans 4; cf. Galatians 3:6, etc.); St. James says that he was justified by works (ver. 21).
(3) St. Paul, or the Pauline author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, appeals to the case of Rahab as an instance of faith (Hebrews 11:31); St. James refers to her as an example of justification by works (ver. 25). The opposition, however, is only apparent; for:
(1) The two apostles use the word ἔργα different senses. In St. Paul it always has a depreciatory sense, unless qualified by the adjective καλὰ or ἄγαθα. The works which he denies to have any share in justification are "legal works," not those which he elsewhere denominates the "fruit of the Spirit" (Galatians 5:22), which are the "works" of which St. James speaks.
(2) The word πίστις is also used in different senses. In St. Paul it is πίστις δἰ ἀγαπῆς ἐνεργουμένη (Galatians 5:6); in St. James it is simply an orthodox creed, "Even the devils πιστεύουσι (ver. 19): it may, therefore, be barren of works of charity.
(3) The apostles are writing against different errors and tendencies: St. Paul against that of those who would impose the Jewish Law and the rite of circumcision upon Gentile believers; St. James against "the self-complacent orthodoxy of the Pharisaic Christian, who, satisfied with the possession of a pure monotheism and vaunting his descent from Abraham, needed to be reminded not to neglect the still weightier matters of a self-denying love" (Lightfoot on 'Galatians,' p. 370). [The tendency of the Jews to rely on their claim as "Abraham's children" is rebuked by the Baptist (Matthew 3:9) and by our Lord (John 8:39). So Justin Martyr speaks of the Jews of his day: Οἱ λέγουσιν ὅτι κα}ν ἁμαρτωλοὶ ῶσι θεὸν δέ γινώσκωσιν οὐ μὴ λογίσηται αὐτοῖς ἁμαρτίαν ('Dial.,' § 141).]
(4) The apostles regarded the new dispensation from different standpoints. With St. Paul' it is the negation of law: "Ye are not under Law, but under grace" (Romans 6:14). With St. James it is the perfection of Law. But, as Bishop Lightfoot has pointed out, "the ideas underlying these contradictory forms of expression need not be essentially different." The mere ritual has no value for St. James. Apart from anything higher it is sternly denounced by him (James 1:20, etc.). The gospel is in his view a Law, but it is no mere system of rules, "Touch not, taste not, handle not;" it is no hard bondage, for it is a law of liberty, which is in exact accordance with the teaching of St. Paul, that "where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty" (2 Corinthians 3:17). But:
(5) The question now arises. Granting that St. James does not contradict the doctrine of St. Paul, is he not opposing Antinomian perversions of it, and writing with conscious reference to the teaching of the apostle of the Gentiles, and the misuse which some had made of it? To this question different answers have been returned. "So long as our range of view is confined to the apostolic writings, it seems scarcely possible to resist the impression that St. James is attacking the teaching, if not of St. Paul himself, at least of those who exaggerated and perverted it. But when we realize the fact that the passage in Genesis was a common thesis in the schools of the day, that the meaning of faith was variously explained by the disputants, that diverse lessons were drawn from it - then the case is altered. The Gentile apostle and the Pharisaic rabbi might both maintain the supremacy of faith as the means of salvation; but faith with St. Paul was a very different thing kern faith with Maimonides, for instance. With the one its prominent idea is a spiritual life, with the other an orthodox creed; with the one the guiding principle is the individual conscience, with the other an external rule of ordinances; with the one faith is allied to liberty, with the other to bondage. Thus it becomes a question whether St. James's protest against reliance on faith alone has any reference direct or indirect to St. Paul's language and teaching. Whether, in fact, it is not aimed against an entirely different type of religious feeling, against the Pharisaic spirit which rested satisfied with a barren orthodoxy fruitless in works of charity" (Lightfoot on 'Galatians,' p. 164; the whole essay should be carefully studied). In favor of this view of the entire independence of the two writers, to which he inclines, Bishop Lightfoot urges:
(a) That the object of the much-vaunted faith of those against whom St. James writes is "the fundamental maxim of the Law," "Thou believest that God is one" (Deuteronomy 6:4); not "the fundamental fact of the gospel," "Thou believest that God raised Christ from the dead" (Romans 10:9).
(b) That the whole tone of the Epistle recalls our Lord's denunciations of the scribes and Pharisees, and seems directed against a kindred spirit. To these we may add:
(c) That the teaching of St. Paul and St. James is combined by St. Clement of Rome ('Ep. ad Corinthians,' c. 12.) in a manner which is conclusive as to the fact that he was unaware of any divergence of view between them, whether real or apparent. We conclude, then, that the teaching of St. James has no direct relation to that of St. Paul, and may well have been anterior in time to his Epistles to the Romans and Galatians. (For the opposite view, see Farrar's 'Early Days of Christianity,' vol. 2. p. 79, where an able discussion of the subject may be found.) Verses 14-17. -
(1) First point: Faith without works is equivalent to profession without practice, and is therefore dead. Verse 14. - Omit the article (with B, C1), and read τί ὀφελος: so also in ver. 16. Can faith save him! rather, with R.V., that faith (ἡ πίστις); the faith in question.
If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,
Verses 15, 16. - Observe the practical character of the illustration chosen, from works of mercy (cf. James 1:27). Ωσι in ver. 15 should be deleted (omitted by B, C, K); also the disjunctive particle δὲ at the commencement of the verse (with א, B).
And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
Verse 16. - Depart in peace (ὑπάγετε ἐν εἰρήνῃ); cf. Acts 16:36. This is something quite different from the fullness of our Lord's benediction, "Go into peace (ὕπαγε εἰς εἰρήνην)" (Mark 5:34; cf. Luke 7:50; Luke 8:48).
Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
Verse 17. - Being alone (καθ ἑαυτήν); R.V., in itself. But the rendering of the A.V. appears to be justified by the LXX. in Genesis 43:31, Παρέθηκαν αὐτῷ μόνῳ καὶ αὐτοῖς καθ ἑαυτούς κ.τ.λ..
Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
Verses 18, 19. -
(2) Second point: Even the devils believe (πιστεύουσι). How worthless, then, must be faith (πίστις) alone! Verse 18. - Yea, a man may say (ἀλλ ἐρεῖτις). The objection in 1 Corinthians 15:35 is introduced by precisely the same words. It is somewhat difficult to see their drift here, as what follows cannot be an objection, for it is just the position which St. James himself adopts. The formula must, therefore, be taken as introducing the perfectly fair retort to which the man who gives utterance to the sentiments of ver. 16 lays himself open. Without thy works. Instead of χώρις (א, A, B, C, Latt., Syriac, Coptic), the Received Text has the manifestly erroneous reading ἐκ (K, L), in which it is happily not followed by the A.V.
Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.
Verse 19. -
(1) "Thou believest that God is one," R.V., reading Ὅτι εῖς ὁ Θεός ἐστιν: or
(2) "Thou believest that there is one God," A.V. and R.V. margin, reading Ὅτι εῖς Θεὸς ἐστὶν. The reading, and by consequence the translation, must be considered somewhat doubtful, as scarcely any two uncials read the words in precisely the same order. The illustration is taken from the central command of the Old Testament (Deuteronomy 6:4), indicating that the case of Jews is under consideration. The following quotations from the Talmud will show the importance attached by the Jews to this command (Farrar, 'Early Days,' etc., p. 83). It is said ('Berachoth,' fol. 13, 6) that whoever in repeating it "prolongs the utterance of the word 'One,' shall have his days and years prolonged to him." Again we are told that when Rabbi Akibah was martyred he died uttering this word "One;" and then came a Bath Kol, which said, "Blessed art thou, Rabbi Akibah, for thy soul and the word 'One' left thy body together."
But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
Verses 20-24. -
(3) Third point: Proof from the example of Abraham that a man is justified by works and not by faith only. In Genesis 15:6 we read of Abraham that "he believed in the Lord; and he accounted it to him for righteousness" (LXX., Ἐπίστευσεν Αβραμ τῷ Θεῷ καὶ ἐλογίσθη αὐτῷ εἰς δικαιοσύνην, quoted by St. Paul in Romans 4:3; Galatians 3:6). But years after this we find that God "tested Abraham" (Genesis 22:1). To this trial St. James refers as that by which Abraham's faith was "perfected" (ἐτελειώθη), and by which the saying of earlier years found a more complete realization (cf. Ecclus. 44:20, 21, "Abraham... kept the Law of the Most High, and was in covenant with him... and when he was proved, he was found faithful. Therefore he assured him by an oath, that he would bless the nations in his seed," etc.). Verse 20. - Faith without works is dead. The Received Text, followed by the A.V., reads νεκρά, with א, A, C3, K, L, Syriac, Vulgate (Clementine). The Revisers, following B, C1, if, read ἀργή, "barren" (so Vulgate Amiat. by a correction, otiosa).
Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.
Verse 23. - And he was called the Friend of God. The expression comes from Isaiah 41:8; 2 Chronicles 20:7 (in the Hebrew, א; LXX., ὅν ἠγάπησα τῷ ἠγαπημένῳ σου). The same title, φίλος Θεοῦ, is given to Abraham by Clement of Rome ('Ad Corinthians,' 10; 17.), and was evidently a standing one among the Jews. Philo actually in one instance quotas Genesis 18:17 as Ἀβραὰμ τοῦ φίλου μου instead of ποῦ παιδός μου. Illustrations from later rabbinical writers may be found in Wetstein, and cf. Bishop Lightfoot on 'Clement of Rome,' p. 61. To this day it is said that Abraham is known among the Arabs as El Khalil, equivalent to "the Friend."
Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way?
Verse 25. -
(4) Fourth point: Proof from the case of Rahab the harlot of justification by works (cf. Joshua 2; Joshua 6:25). Rahab is mentioned elsewhere in the New Testament in Hebrews 11:31, where she also appears as Ῥαὰβ ἡ πόρνη, and is spoken of as having "received the spies," δεξαμένη τοὺς κατασκόπους cf. ὑποδεξαμένη τοὺς ἀγγέλους here. There, however, she is regarded as an instance of faith (see above in preliminary note). The only other place where her name occurs is in the genealogy of our Lord, in Matthew 1:5, "Salmon begat Booz of Rachab (ἐκ τῆς Ραχάβ)."
For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
Verse 26. - Conclusion of the whole matter: "As the body apart from the spirit is dead, even so faith apart from works is dead."