Re: James 2.1

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Sat Sep 06 1997 - 16:48:23 EDT

At 11:26 AM -0500 9/6/97, Dale M. Wheeler wrote:
>Carl W. Conrad wrote:
>>At 1:02 PM -0500 9/5/97, A. Brent Hudson wrote:
>>>James 2.1
>>>Is it possible for this to mean "it is not due to partiality [that] you
>>>faith ..."? In other words, is James grounding his following exhortation
>>>in the belief that there is no favoritism with God?
>>No, because this is itself a negative exhortation, or (pace Edward) better:
>>a command, an imperative. Note the negative particle is MH. So it's, "Don't
>>exercise with partiality your faith ..."
>But isn't is possible (not likely) that this is a question expecting a
>negative response, in which case EXETE is an indicative not an imperative ?
>I.e., "You didn't become a Christian because of partiality, did you ?"
>(expected answer is "No!")
>Certainly the editors don't think so; I also find it unlikely in light of
>the following discussion in Jas 2:2ff., and the use of EXETE PISTIN
>rather than PISTEUW, but it is "possible".

Hmm, I suppose that "all things are possible for him that believeth [that
they are possible]," but I'm not so sure that another may be convinced that
anything whatsoever can have any meaning whatsoever.

And since this is all theoretical anyhow, ;-) ...
Not only would PISTEUEIN be a better verb for "have faith" or "come to
faith," but I rather think that "have faith" as a phrase is very good
English and very bad Greek (if ECEIN PISTIN is supposed to be an

Interesting theory ...

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics/Washington University
One Brookings Drive/St. Louis, MO, USA 63130/(314) 935-4018
Home: 7222 Colgate Ave./St. Louis, MO 63130/(314) 726-5649 OR

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