Does James Disagree with Paul on Justification? An Exegetical Comparison of Romans 3:27-4:3 and James 2:14-26
Does James disagree with Paul on justification? This question has plagued Christians for centuries as they have tried to make sense of the words, "You see that a man is justified by what he does and not by faith alone" (Jas 2:24), for these words seem the exact antithesis to Paul's "We maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law" (Ro 3:28). Over the years many scholars have addressed this question, but few have reached a consensus on what James means by justification in his book. However, with the importance of justification in the life of a Christian, the answer to this question could not be more important. In an attempt to answer this question, this thesis will compare James 2:14-26 and Romans 3:27–4:3 exegetically and give careful treatment to the different contexts in which these two authors wrote. In conclusion, this thesis will find that Paul and James are likeminded writers who use the word "justification" in different ways, with a different meaning, to defend the same faith that alone saves.