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"To work" in the Old Testament is usually the translation of `asah, or of pa`al (of the works both of God and of man), and "work" (noun) is most frequently the translation of ma`aseh, or mela’khah; in the New Testament of energeo, ergazomai (and compound), with ergon (noun). The word "works" (erga) is a favorite designation in John for the wondrous works of Jesus (5:36; 10:38; 15:24, etc.; "miracles" to us, "works" to Him).
When James speaks of being justified by "works" as well as by "faith" (2:14-26), he is referring to works which show faith to be real and vital. "Dead works" avail nothing (compare