James 2:18

Yea, a man will say (all erei ti). Future active of eipon. But all here is almost certainly adversative (But some one will say), not confirmatory. James introduces an imaginary objector who speaks one sentence: "Thou hast faith and I have works" (Su pistin ecei kagw erga ecw). Then James answers this objector. The objector can be regarded as asking a short question: "Hast thou faith?" In that case James replies: "I have works also." Show me thy faith apart from thy works (deixon moi thn pistin sou cwri twn ergwn). This is the reply of James to the objector. First aorist active imperative of deiknumi, tense of urgency. The point lies in cwri, which means not "without," but "apart from," as in Hebrews 11:6 (with the ablative case), "the works that properly belong to it and should characterise it" (Hort). James challenges the objector to do this. And I by my works will shew thee my faith (kagw soi deixw ek twn ergwn mou thn pistin). It is not faith or works, but proof of real faith (live faith vs. dead faith). The mere profession of faith with no works or profession of faith shown to be alive by works. This is the alternative clearly stated. Note pistin (faith) in both cases. James is not here discussing "works" (ceremonial works) as a means of salvation as Paul in Galatians 3:1 ; Romans 4:1 ff., but works as proof of faith.