James 2 NIV wrote:Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness," and he was called God's friend. You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.
In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction?
Where I have emphasized, the NIV is translating the same verb (same voice, mood, person and number, different tense) differently in a single paragraph. I've been able to conceive of several justifications the NIV translators may have used for this decision:
- Theological interpolation (perhaps in favor of works-based salvation)
- Conformity to the King James Version in "popular" verses
- Varying word choice for good English literary style
- Grammatical reasons (not sure what those would be)
- Contextual reasons (again, not sure what those would be)
It seems most likely to me that the NIV was hearkening back to the KJV (see Proverbs 3:5 for another example). Did I miss any other possibilities? What do you think is going on here?
Does anyone care to venture their own translation?