Re: Mark 11:22 God's faith or faith in God?

From: Jim Lindemann (
Date: Thu Feb 20 1997 - 08:56:36 EST

>From: Jonathan Robie <>
>Date: Thu, 20 Feb 1997 08:49:32 -0500
>Subject: Re: Mark 11:22 God's faith or faith in God?
> wrote:
>> Mark 11:22 has the phrase, "Have faith in God" -- K21. Other
>> translations read,"Have the faith of God. Those are the two most
>> common renderings. However, I have heard that the Greek should
>> really read, "Have the God kind of faith" or "Have the faith of
>> God".
>This is a frequent question. The Greek says ECETE PISTIN QEOU, and
>it is ambiguous enough to allow all the translations you have
>suggested. Only the context can help here, and I'm afraid that your
>own theological beliefs will probably influence your translation. To
>say that the Greek "should really read" one of these options isn't
>accurate, since the Greek allows all of these interpretations.
>Literally, the Greek is a lot like saying "have faith of God", which
>is pretty ambiguous in English or Greek. And the word PISTIS can
>mean either "faith" or "faithfulness", which gives us even more

Isn't this like "the love of God", where if I receive the love from
God, then I will have love for Him; and if I love Him, it is because
"He first loved us" -- my love is an echo or reflection (as in the
"image of God"?) of "God's love poured into my heart" -- that in the
person who is God's, then both MUST be operating, and to separate
them is more a matter of semantics rather than reality?

I guess here doctrinal position will influence interpretation,
because I understand the Bible as indicating that I cannot believe
unless the faith is given to me -- that He must be the Source of
everything, even my faith. So MY faith is only the product of the
faith poured into me.

Would it best be compared to a multi-faceted diamond which as it is
turned reveals more about itself, yet is the same diamond throughout?
Rather than "choosing THE correct translation" (which I realize
someone who *publishes* a translation must do -- but isn't the Greek
student given the opportunity toward a greater picture of the
text?), would it be more helpful to discover how each interpretation
builds up the passage, recognizing a certain intentionally built-in
flexibility/ambiguity of application?

What I have in mind is that the relationship with the Lord is not
"quantities" of "faith" but a dynamic flow back-and-forth: He trusts
ME (!), through Him I trust Him, He is faithful, in Him I am
faithful, etc. The passage then would be the urging to step inside
(or step further into) this flow: "Look at God's faithfulness, Look
at His faith in you, Hold on to Him,

Jim Lindemann
Box 964 Pincher Creek Alberta CANADA T0K 1W0
Israel had the first Oktoberfest!
Check out history's first Beer-drinking song -- Numbers 21:16-18

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