- James 2:20
- (KJV) But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is
- (1611 KJV) But wilt thou knowe, O vaine man, that faith without
workes is dead?
- (1568 Bishop’s Bible) But wylt thou knowe, O thou vayne man, that
that fayth which is without workes, is dead?
- (1526 Tyndale) Wilt thou vnderstonde o thou vayne man that fayth
with out dedes is deed?
- Counterfeit Versions
(CSB) Senseless person! Are you willing to learn that faith without works
- (NIV) You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is
- (NASB) But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith
without works is useless?
- (NLT) Fool! When will you ever learn that faith that does not result in
good deeds is useless?
- (ESV) Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from
works is useless?
- (CEV) Does some stupid person want proof that faith without deeds is
- (1901 ASV) But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith apart from works
- (NLV) You foolish man! Do I have to prove to you that faith without
doing things is of no use?
- (HCSB) Foolish man! Are you willing to learn that faith without works is
- (NCV) You foolish person! Must you be shown that faith that does nothing
is worth nothing?
- (RSV) Do you want to be shown, you shallow man, that faith apart from
works is barren?
- (NAB-Roman Catholic) Do you want proof, you ignoramus, that faith
without works is useless?
- (NWT-Jehovah’s Witnesses) But do you care to know, O empty man, that
faith apart from works is inactive?
- Textus Receptus - Traditional Text
- qeleiV de gnwnai w anqrwpe kene oti h pistiV cwriV twn ergwn nekra
- Hort-Westcott - Critical Text
- qeleiV de gnwnai w anqrwpe kene oti h pistiV cwriV twn ergwn argh estin
- Corrupted Manuscripts
- This verse is corrupted in the following manuscripts:
- B 03 - Vaticanus - Fourth century
- C 04 - Ephraemi Rescriptus - Fifth century (original)
- Manuscripts which agree with the Textus Receptus for this verse
- Byzantine Text (450-1450 A.D.)
- Aleph 01 - Sinaiticus -
Nineteenth Century Counterfeit
A 02 - Alexandrinus - Fifth century
- C 04 - Ephraemi Rescriptus - Fifth century (corrected)
- K 018 - Ninth century
- L 020 - Ninth century
- P 025 - Ninth century
- 33 (Minuscule) - Ninth Century
- Published Critical Greek Texts with Corruptions
- Reads “useless” instead of “dead”
- Lachmann, Karl - 1842
- Tischendorf, Constantine - 1869
- Tregelles, Samuel - 1857
- Alford, Henry - 1849 revised in 1871
- Westcott and Hort - 1881
- Weiss, Bernhard - 1894
- Nestle - 1927 as revised in seventeenth edition in 1941
- Nestle-Aland - 1979 - Twenty Sixth Edition
- Nestle-Aland - 1993 - Twenty Seventh Edition
- United Bible Societies - 1983 - Fourth Edition
- Affected Teaching
- The word vain here is "Empty or Worthless." The word in the Greek for
dead is "nekros." James is driving home the reality that a life of verbal
faith is not evidence of salvation. Faith without works is like a light bulb
that is off. If the light bulb is off in the dark, it does not light the way
and is as lifeless as a bulb that is bad, but if that light bulb claims it
is a light bulb and then lights the way, the light bulb has proven that it
is a light bulb by being lit. A Christian proves they are a Christian by
working for the Kingdom of God. The difference between true and false works
is that false works are tied to this world and the glory of the doer. The
true works are tied to the Kingdom of God and the glory of God.
- The modern versions remove the word “nekros” which definitely means
“dead” and replace it with “argê ” which severely lessens the reality of the
verse. Faith without works is dead and something that is dead, is dead.
“Argê ” means “inactive, idle, or lazy” and does not speak of being dead.
Something which is inactive can be made active, something that is idle may
be employed, and something which is lazy can be made to be industrious.
However, something that is dead, is dead and lifeless. Once again the King
James Bible brings the truth while the modern versions side step it.