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Bible Encyclopedias

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

Work; Works

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wûrk , wûrks : "To work" in the Old Testament is usually the translation of עשׂה , ‛āsāh , or of פּעל , pā‛al (of the works both of God and of man), and "work" (noun) is most frequently the translation of מעשׂה , ma‛ăseh , or מלאאכה , melā'khāh ; in the New Testament of ἐνεργέω , energéō , ἐργάζομαι , ergázomai (and compound), with ἔργον , érgon (noun). The word "works" ( érga ) is a favorite designation in John for the wonderful works of Jesus ( John 5:36 ; John 10:38 ; John 15:24 , etc.; "miracles" to us, "works" to Him). "Works" is used by Paul and James, in a special sense, as denoting (with Paul) those legal performances by means of which men sought to be accepted of God, in contradistinction to that faith in Christ through which the sinner is justified apart from all legal works (Romans 3:27 ; Romans 4:2 , Romans 4:6 , etc.; Galatians 2:16 ; Galatians 3:2 , Galatians 3:5 , Galatians 3:10 ), "working through love" (Galatians 5:6 ; 1 Thessalonians 1:3 ), and is fruitful in all truly "good works," in which Christian believers are expected to abound (2 Corinthians 9:8 ; Ephesians 2:10 ; Colossians 1:10 ; 2 Thessalonians 2:17 , etc.). When James speaks of being justified by "works" as well as by "faith" (James 2:14-26 ), he has in view those works which show faith to be real and vital. "Dead works" avail nothing (compare Hebrews 9:14 ; Hebrews 10:24 ). Judgment is according to "works" (Matthew 16:27 , the Revised Version (British and American) "deeds," margin "Greek: 'doing' "práxis ; Romans 2:6 ; 1 Peter 1:17 , etc.), the new life being therein evidenced. A contrast between "faith" and "good works" is never drawn in the New Testament. See, further, JUSTIFICATION .


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Bibliography Information
Orr, James, M.A., D.D. General Editor. Entry for 'Work; Works'. International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/isb/w/work-works.html. 1915.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, September 18th, 2019
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24
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Worker; Workfellow; Workman
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