1 Maccabees 2:52


50 Now, my children, show zeal for the law, and give your lives for the covenant of our ancestors. 51 "Remember the deeds of the ancestors, which they did in their generations; and you will receive great honor and an everlasting name. 52 Was not Abraham found faithful when tested, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness? 53 Joseph in the time of his distress kept the commandment, and became lord of Egypt. 54 Phinehas our ancestor, because he was deeply zealous, received the covenant of everlasting priesthood. 55 Joshua, because he fulfilled the command, became a judge in Israel.

James 2:21

New Testament

19 You believe that God is one; well and good. Even the demons believe that—and tremble with fear. 20 But would you like evidence, you empty fellow, that faith without works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 You see that his faith was working together with his works and his faith was perfected by works. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Now Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.

 Notes and References

"... As to the meaning of Genesis 15:6 presupposed in the Epistle, Abraham's faith in trial, modern scholars have noted the parallels for this notion in early sources, which indicate that this interpretation of the verse had been established centuries before the author of James, and was, in all probability, widely accepted in his day. Thus the author of I Maccabees, writing a century before the current era, paraphrased Genesis 15:6, 'Was not Abraham found faithful in trial, and it was accounted unto him for righteousness?' (2:52). Virtually the same phrase, 'and in trial he was found faithful', was employed by Ben Sira in a context worthy of note. In the following passage, Ben Sira links Abraham's faith in trial with a poetic paraphrase of Genesis 22:16-17, God's oath to Abraham following the Akedah, which suggests that he already associated Genesis 15:6 with the sacrificing of Isaac over two centuries before the author of James ..."

Jacobs, Irving The Midrashic background for James II. 21–3 (pp. 457-464) New Testament Studies, 22, 1976

 User Comments

Why is the fact, that 1 Maccabees 2 and James' use of it (plagiarizing of it as he does not reference 1 MAC 2? It matters Not when this interpretation was accepted, IT IS FACTUALLY INCORRECT, as the truth is told ONCE in Genesis 15, where God Declares Abram justified in a contract that did not imply any future performance.! . James" use of this wrong interpretation of WHEN Abram was "declared righteous in God's Eyes" HAS SPAWNED THE BASIS OF THE THEOLOGY OF SALVATION IN THE RCC and I presume the ...

Robert Duff Gordon, November 15, 2023, 9:20 am

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