RE > Romans 4-1-6

From: Karen Pitts (
Date: Sat Oct 07 1995 - 09:35:40 EDT


I'm not a scholar of the caliber of Carlton Winberry or Carl Conrad, but
here's my read on your questions.

1. epi with the accusative. My inclination is to avoid translating epi as
in, especially since the case is accusative. One of my tutors claims that the
case is more important than the specific preposition in koine Greek. I agree
that "in" makes more sense in how we think of belief, so I feel like that's
all the more reason to resist it.

I checked Bauer on epi with acc. (III, b, e, p. 289). He suggests in, on,
for, toward of feelings, actions, and so on directed toward a person or thing,
after words that express belief, trust, which seem to describe this situation,
so he finds little difference between in and on. I would go with on, however.

Belief "on" is difficult for me to understand, but what I know of the ancient
mind, one believed not only in a power or God, but on, indicating the name or
being has some substance and you have some commitment in your belief, as in
standing on the rock of Jesus Christ. Theology is not my strong point, so
feel free to shoot me down.

2. EPISTEUSEN DE ABRAAM TW THEW This can mean Abraham believed God or
Abraham believed in God. That's the fun of learning Greek, realizing that it
can mean either or even both. You can also check this out in Bauer, pisteuw,
1 (believe) b, with dative, with the person to whom one give credence or whom
one believes, and 2 (believe in) with dative. When I see dative by itself, I
always try out to/for, with, in - at - by, to see which makes the most sense.

3. LOGIZOMAI is absolutely deponent. Again, Bauer lists the all the
principle parts, which are ALL deponent. I've always been taught to translate
deponents as active.

If you don't already have Bauer, you really should get it. CBD lists it for
$46 and it is really worth it to have a reference where you can look this
stuff up for yourself and not wait for someone like me to look it up for you.
I saw your message at 1:00 this afternoon, but had to wait until I got all my
monsters in bed to respond.

xaris kai eipnvn

Karen Pitts
Hopewell Presbyterian Church, Hopewell, N.J., teacher of NT Greek
David Sarnoff Research Center, Princeton, N.J., statistician

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