"Faith Only" according to the Holy Bible.

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James 2:24-26

-- Lane Core Jr. (elcore@sgi.net), July 06, 1999


While teaching a group of 14 year old once beng prepares for confirmation I ask this question whe the course came to a close.

Three men in different parts of the world arise at sunrise - one goes to the largest tree in the forest and asks " please give me good health-food for my family-and trust in you. The second upon rising asks "Give me strength for the day-sufficient knowledge to help my friends-food to feed my family and friends. Third gets up shaves puts on working clothes and kneels asking "Bless my family-bless my work- thank you for this day." Ques: Who is praying tho God The Father?

-- jean bouchard (jeanb@cwk.imag.net), July 06, 1999.

The word "only" was added to the Bible by Martin Luther in his translation. When asked by the Pope of the time why he did so, he replied, "Tell his holiness that it is becuase Dr. Luther says so."

-- Paul T. O'Brien (paulobrien@i.am), July 29, 1999.


Where did Luther insert this extra word?? Is it in all protestant bibles today? Would this indicate not scripture alone, but scripture plus or minus whatever Luther wanted??? Thanks

-- Pamela (Rosylace@aol.com), July 29, 1999.

I came across the whole Faith versus Works question whilst writing my final year essay on Milton. I never got round to understanding it. Surely it is obvious to anyone that a combination of Faith *and* Works is best pleasing to God? Having one without the other renders the one meaningless. The only conclusion I came to during my brief study was that, like many things, the whole issue of Works had become corrupt and that those who advocated justification by Faith were merely asserting their civil and spiritual liberty against an institution that had become rotten to the core. Never mind.

Faith without action has no value. It doesn't take a genius to figure that out. How did such an obvious commandment develop into a such a schism?


-- Matthew (mdpope@hotmail.com), July 29, 1999.

It wasn't schism it was heresy. I believe that it was inserted in a line from Romans.

-- Br. Rich S.F.O. (repsfo@prodigy.net), July 29, 1999.

Luther did not insert the term "only" in any Biblical translation. The term came from Luther's theological position that faith alone was sufficient for salvation based on Romans 10:9.

-- David Bowerman (dbowerman@blazenet.net), July 29, 1999.

I saw a film put out by the Lutheran church on the life of Luther. It said that he did add the word "alone" to his translation of the Scriptures. It was added to a passage that goes like this "We are saved by Faith and not by the works of the [Jewish] Law" He aded "Alone" after the word "Faith"

Br. Rich S.F.O.

-- Br. Rich S.F.O. (repsfo@prodigy.net), July 30, 1999.

The German word for "only" was inserted in Romans 3:28. The Greek text does not have this word.

I will see if there's a copy of Luther's translation anywhere on the Web but I have never heard anybody contest the fact that he did add this word to his translation.

-- David Palm (djpalm64@yahoo.com), July 30, 1999.

Luther's translation of Romans 3:28 runs as follows:

3.28] So halten wir nun daf|r, da_ der Mensch gerecht wird ohne des Gesetzes Werke, allein durch den Glauben.

He added the word "allein", alone, to justify (pun intended) his new doctrine of justification by faith alone. Of course he felt that the addition was justified (ha!) by the context, but it's still a bad translation practice. It's especially bad from a guy who complained that the Catholic Church had violated the Word of God by adding to it.

-- David Palm (djpalm64@yahoo.com), July 30, 1999.

I stand corrected!!

Do you know if Luther's insertion still exists in any modern-day translation? I mistook the first statement to imply that Protestant Bibles contain the word "alone " or "only".

-- David Bowerman (dbowerman@blazenet.net), July 30, 1999.

No modern translation has that addition. As I mentioned, the argument for justification by faith alone has always been from context, not because that specific phrase every appears in the Bible. On the contrary, the one time the words "faith" and "alone" appear together is James 2:24 in which it is stated that:

"a man is justified by works and not by faith alone."

Ironic, to say the least.

-- David Palm (djpalm64@yahoo.com), July 31, 1999.

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