Paul Zellmer zellmer at cag.pworld.net.ph
Sat Oct 31 01:33:57 EST 1998

The phrase OUK EC ERGWN in most cases is used to speak of the
insufficiency of works to save or make righteous (see Rom 9:11, Gal
2:16, Eph 2:9, Tit 3:5).  Yet James 2:21 and 2:25 use that same
phrase to argue that faith and works go hand in hand.

I am NOT looking for a theological argument here.  I can see clearly
that James agrees with salvation through faith and that works are
the result of such faith.  However, I am having problems working
through the grammar that results in James' arguments in these two

What, other than the editorial markings, are the indicators that OUK
EC ERGWN in James 2:21 is a question in a logical argument that
result in a translation like, "Was he not justified by works?"  (I
would assume similar indicators are found in 2:25.)  When I look at
the clause, it looks almost like a *statement* like, "It was not by
works that he was justified," or "He was not justified by works."
Obviously, I'm missing something basic here!

Hope you can help,


Paul and Dee Zellmer, Jimmy Guingab, Geoffrey Beltran
Ibanag Translation Project
Cabagan, Philippines

zellmer at faith.edu.ph

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