I’m trying to stretch my mind toward what Stephen is suggesting here — very tentatively. I certainly agree that πίστις as “faith” in the sense of what we have been led to believe about God, Jesus, etc., etc., including our whole self-understanding as members of a community of believers differs very much from person to person (sometimes to the point of endangering the community’s unity or integrity). I suspect that is true even in congregations in which there is considerable uniformity or homogeneity of what individual members “believe”. That is to say: what one person believes and as a consequence of belief envisions as his or her appropriate “mission” or “opportunity for service” will differ considerably from that which another believes and envisions. Each understand his or her role differently in terms of what the “faith” that she or he holds implies to her or him. Might that be what ἀναλογία τῆς πίστεως is indicating?Stephen Hughes wrote:Well, I'm not going to bring enlightenment - a way out of your puzzlement, but I can keep chatting with you till sombody else does.cwconrad wrote:My puzzlement remains. One idea occurs to me, however. Supposing that different members of the congregation do indeed have different χαρίσματα, two or more members might be teachers: should we suppose that the superior ability of one teacher over another's be in proportion to the relative strength of each other's faith? That still seems a bit troublesome to me.
I think that more or less moves on to the question, "What is (the nature of) faith?". There are a number of categories of meaning listed in the larger Greek dictionaries and in the theological dictionaries. The basic question seems to be is "faith" a homogeneous revelation for all believers - i.e. do all appreciate equally the life of Christ in the same way to the same extent? I'm not sure that Greek alone is the answer to this issue, but I feel sure that discussing it at the level of the Greek is a positive step.
It is thinking along the same lines as you seem to be suggesting that led me to the extension of κατὰ τὴν ἀναλογίαν τῆς to all the ἐν τῇ's that follow. As much as one who teaches has a cheerful disposition, they will minister alms with that disposition etc. As an example of how prepositions are simplified, we could make up something like, "Dress shoes are selling at two hundred and fifty dollars a pair, sneakers for seventy, deck shoes for sixty and thongs for seven dollars fifty." It is a feature of English, so I'm assuming (until I have a reason to discard the idea) that it is a human speech habit, and I'm also assuming that a simpler or more generic preposition would be the most likely candidate for carrying a wide range of meanings. (cf. Eph. 4:14, 15 ἵνα μηκέτι ὦμεν νήπιοι, κλυδωνιζόμενοι καὶ περιφερόμενοι παντὶ ἀνέμῳ τῆς διδασκαλίας, ἐν τῇ κυβείᾳ τῶν ἀνθρώπων, ἐν πανουργίᾳ πρὸς τὴν μεθοδείαν τῆς πλάνης·)
A little bit different from what you appear to be saying, I thought that the ἀναλογία is in proportion to Christ the fullness or perfect man OR the entire faith expressed in the life of the Church, as the mathematical unity (since ἀναλογία is a mathematical term), not relative to each other, though in effect is does mean that one person is better or worse than another at one of the functions (πρᾶξιν) - each has a certain proportion of the faith - in some respects expressing the life of Christ in the congregation - as much as it has been given. I suspect that we will have to find out whether the ἀναλογία is measured against an absolute or relatively - but for all intents and purposes, in the case of two things, the larger of the two is the unity against which the other would be measured..
Let’s say then that μέτρον πίστεως is an allotment, is the way that πίστις affects us and remolds us to be a servant. Paul is trying to explain how faith impacts the self-understanding and sense of mission that each of us has as a participant in the community of believers.
That is guesswork; I don’t know whether it adequately expresses what Paul means by these phrases in this text, but I’m drawing some hints from something in the Greek tradition that might conceivably have shaped Paul’s thinking in the same way that Greek athletic competition shaped the kind of metaphors he employed for evaluating his own and others’ interactive performance. The Greek cultural tradition has a notion of a person’s μέρος or μοῖρα, one’s “portion” — a kind of “slice of the pie” served up to each one of us. Sometimes associated with this is the notion a a personal δαίμων (originally meaning something like “dicer” or “dealer” (e.g., as at the card table), but then taking the sense of a “guardian angel” who assists each one of us in “playing out or performing our part or role”. I’m wondering whether Paul is envisioning something comparable in the “assignment of a role that faith is to express” to the several members of the community of believers. That might, just possibly, link the image of “members” as organic parts of a somatic unity to the earlier admonition to sober consideration of each member’s own strengths and weaknesses and capacities.
You mean, I guess, that τοιουτότης means something like "particularity" or "individuality" -- the uniqueness of each. And yet Greek wants to turn that into an abstract noun: you and I are both endowed with τοιουτότης, although it refers to something different in you from what it refers to in me. The traditional Greek perspective tends to devalue what is not shared with another or others and to value instead what even oddballs have in common. Thus, when Aristotle speaks of τὸ τί ἦν εἶναι -- "being what it is" or "being what it has continued to be", he's talking about an abstract quality, not unique identity possessed by one and only one existing thing.Stephen Hughes wrote:As a curio, and for those who would like to think about this in Greek, these two words might be useful; τοιουτότης , ητος, ἡ, quality - What it is about the person/thing that the τοιοῦτος is bringing attention to. It is a generalisation of a particular example based on one particular quality. For example, οἱ τὰ τοιαῦτα πράσσοντες βασιλείαν θεοῦ οὐ κληρονομήσουσιν. "Those who do thing of the sort that have just been mentioned", conforming to the general quality of what was just mentioned. It is not the right word to translate "quality", in phrases like "high / low quality". ποσότης , ητος, ἡ, quantity - what the πόσος measures, cf. πλῆθος, μέτρον.