“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” ‭‭James‬ ‭5:16‬ ‭KJV‬‬

This seems to be the only version that translates αμαρτιας as faults rather than sins.

What’s seems to be the reason? Was it merely trying to differentiate itself from the Roman Catholic Church or was there some other reason?

  • In the light of Prov 17:9, "faults" is the more logical version. Mar 6 '19 at 9:46

This is highly contentious and, historically, has been the pretext for much abuse, trauma, and overbearing control of the vulnerable. In some circles it was used as the basis for the confessional (although officially, that is no longer said.) So what is actually being said in James 5:16?

First, there is a difference in the underlying Greek of NA28/UBS4 vs TR of the KJV. The two versions can be translated as follows:

TR/KJV: Confess your faults [Greek: paraptomata] to one another and pray for one another …

NA28/UBS5: Therefore, confess your sins [Greek hamartias] to one another and pray for one another …

Thus, we are discussing two Greek textual variants: (a) the inclusion of "therefore" in NA28 and (b) "sin" rather than "fault" in NA28 compared to TR. The evidence for the NA28/UBS5 readings over the TR reading is so overwhelming that the variation is not even listed by UBS5. The data in NA28 suggests that the TR text arose about the 8th century or later.

Therefore, I will briefly discuss the text as found in NA28/UBS5. The inclusion of "οὖν" = "therefore" is important as it ties v16 to the previous discussion. The entire thrust of this passage in v14-17 is an encouragement by James that the Christian congregations share concerns for one another and support each other. This includes care for the sick and a readiness to confess sins that have occurred between members. There is no suggestion here that ALL sins be confessed to one another - only those where a person has wronged (sinned against) another person. In this case, the procedure outline in Matt 18:15-20 and Matt 18:21-35 should be followed.

  • Thank you for your response. Certainly clears it up for me. I take fault for rushing to ask the question but maybe it will benefit not only me but someone else. The answer was staring me in the face and I wasn’t seeing it. Now I’m starting to understand why Nigel J is such a TR advocate. Mar 5 '19 at 22:14

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