meanings of pistis

Tim Gaden writes:
>I've been struck by the division a number of scholars make in their
>discussions of *pistis* (e.g. Gerhard Barth, D. Lindsay) between the
>'religious' and 'secular' uses of the term.

>The basis of this division seems puzzling.  Sometimes, it seems to be 
>simply a question of whether God is also mentioned in the sentence (!), 
>sometimes it seems that 'ethical, moral' uses of the word count as
>'secular'(e.g. Tit 2.9-10, 1 Tim 5.11-12), whilst those more ameniable to 
>faith as understood in modern liberal protestantism (e.g. Bultmann, Ebeling)
>as automatically declared 'religious'.  Is it more about how the particular
>scholar conceives our response to God, than about historical linguistics?
>Are there any linguistics on these lists who might be able to tell me
>what basis there is for this distinction, and what worth it has as a 
>serious heuristic tool?  (please!),

The meaning of most words is of course affeccted by the words accompanying it,
and frequently the "object" of an action word affects greatly the type of
action implied.  Thus paradidomi with thing (hand over) as opposed to person
(betray).  Thus too, pistis/pisteuw with God as the object has a different
focus than when some other object is in view.  

But I suspect that the scholar's conception of our response to God has a great
deal to do with the application of the distinction in the examples you
mentioned.  How could it be otherwise?  Our understanding of a sentence is
always going to affect the way we understand the words in that sentence.

**  Dan G. McCartney                  |      I'net: DMCCARTNEY@HSLC.ORG  **
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