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

From: Micheal Palmer (
Date: Sun Feb 23 1997 - 00:33:02 EST

>>> Micheal Palmer ( wrote:
>I DO think, however, that a reading which takes QEOU as an objective
>genitive is on dubious footing. That does not mean that it is
>but that it is much more natural to read this construction as expressing
>subjective genitive since the verb which lies behind PISTIS (PISTEUW)
>not take an accusative case object. When a verb DOES take an accusative
>case object, the equivalent deverbal noun can almost always take an
>objective genitive modifier, but if the verb does not take an accusative
>case object, the related deverbal noun (in this case PISTIS) does not
>to take objective genitive modifiers. <<

At 11:01 PM -0600 2/20/97, Eric Weiss responded:
>Maybe I'm missing or misunderstanding something here, but BAGD for
>PISTEUW gives several examples of PISTEUW taking an object in the
>accusative case beginning with I Cor. 13:7 (PANTA PISTEUEI) and I John
>4:16 (PEPISTEUKAMEN THN AGAPHN); Abbott-Smith says PISTEUW is used in
>classical literature with the accusative, cites accusative of the thing
>(rei) for Acts 13:41 and I Cor. 13:7, cites accusative and dative Luke
>16:11, John 2:24, passive usages with the accusative Romans 3:2, I Cor.
>9:17, Gal. 2:7, I Thess. 2:4, I Tim. 1:11, Titus 1:3. So an objective
>genitive is clearly possible.

Thank you, Eric, for the correction. I should have been more precise in my
original statement. PISTEUW does not take an accusative case object IN THE
examples you give from BAG you will notice that the accusative case noun
always states the content of what is believed, not the object of ones
trust. In other words, If IHSOUN (accusative) were to appear as the object
of PISTEUW (and a quick check with Accordance did not reveal any matches),
it would mean something like "I believe Jesus," not "I believe IN Jesus."
That is, it would indicate that I believe what Jesus said, not that I have
faith in him. They are not the same thing. My comments about PISTIS were
about cases in which faith IN Jesus is communicated. These parallel uses of
PISTEUW which do NOT have the object in the accusative case, therefore, it
is unlikely that they would use an objective genitive. It is more likely
that they would use a prepositional phrase to communicate the "IN Jesus"
relationship to the noun PISTIS.

I don't have a copy of BAG handy, so I can't double check what I've said
here, but I believe my memory is serving me well. It would be a good idea
the check out the references for yourself, though.

I hope I've done more than muddy the water here. If not, I'm sure someone
will point it out!

Micheal W. Palmer
Religion & Philosophy
Meredith College

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