From: Davis Phillips (
Date: Tue Jun 11 1996 - 10:07:32 EDT

>Byron <> wrote:
While reading Ephesians this morning, I discovered that the Greek text
>(3:12) does not seem to be accurately represented in the NIV, ASV, RSV, NASV.
>At issue is the phrase DIA THS PISTEWS AUTOU. I keep coming up with "through
>his faith (or faithfulness)" The above translations all indicate "faith in
>him." The exception is the KJV which, I think, more accurately says, "by the
>faith [faithfulness] of him." What is going on here?
Some brief contributions to this discussion:

(1) Richmond Lattimore, a Classics scholar & translator, rendered this
translation: "All this is according to the eternal plan which he brought
about in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have our confidence and access
in trust because of our faith in him."

(2) I recall in Xenophon (and I think elsewhere) seeing 'PISTEIS' (plural)
used by two armies as "tokens of a truce" -- that is, indicators of
faithfulness to abide by the truce, hence 'FAITHFULNESS'. (Therefore,
PISTIS has the sense both of 'trust' and of 'trustworthiness'.

(3) Though dia + gen. is generally translated 'thru' (e.g. dia toutou),
while dia + acc is 'because' (dia tauta); the two meanings are closely
related. ('thru the instrumentality of' and 'because of'; 'owing to')

(4) so, one might amend the translation in (1) to 'because of his
faithfulness'. In the context, surely our confidence is based on both his
being faithful and trustworthy, and also on our trusting the one who is

 Davis Phillips, Senior Systems Analyst, College of Liberal Arts
 University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78712 USA
 Phone: (512) 471-4141 FAX: (512) 471-4518

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