Faith and Works

Essay by jbizzoCollege, UndergraduateA, April 2005

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II Titus 3:16 states "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine..." yet on the surface of the writings of the authors James and Paul there lays an obviously seeming contradiction between the two authors writings. Paul expresses statements in his epistle to the Romans that "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law"(Romans 3:28); and in Galatians: "Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified" (Galatians 2:16) Coming from the opposite end of the spectrum James states "Ye see how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only."

(James 2:24). In believing that God is infallible, and scripture inspired by God, we must therefore conclude that his word is infallible -without error, without contradiction. Seeing that there is a topical contradiction between the statements of Paul and James, and knowing that there are no contradictions in God's word we must reconciliate the two opposing views. In order to harmonize the writings we should grasp the idea of who the audiences were that James and Paul wrote their epistles towards. Not only were James and Paul's epistles directed to different audiences they were directed in a different time period. James wrote to the early church, while Paul wrote to a church with little more precise questions, a church older then that of James era. To add to the understanding of how the authors complement each other we must recognize that the two authors use...