From: Mike A Porter (nikeo@juno.com)
Date: Fri Apr 11 1997 - 18:52:28 EDT

What is the sense of Episteusen (aorist) in Rom 4:3 and James 2:23? I am
trying to answer the question of when Abraham believed. Here's why:

We hold to justification by faith. Hence, Abraham believed and was
justified. But, the writer of Hebrews tells us that

 8 By faith Abraham, when he was called,
obeyed by going out to a place which he
was to receive for an inheritance; and he
went out, not knowing where he was going.

and again,

 17 By faith Abraham, when he was
tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had
received the promises was offering up his
only begotten son;

The question is when did Abraham believe. Most commonly, we will argue
that he believed in Gen 15:6 based on the covenant.

Not knowing Hebrew, I can't really comment on the grammar of 15:6. I was
hoping that the greek might offer a clue. Are we mandated, especially in
light of Romans 4, to suppose that Abraham believed in God only when God
made the covenant with him? Or, is there an alternative explanation?

Also, is there any comment on the hebrew from anyone?

Mike Porter

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