Re: Philemon 6

From: Richard Lindeman (
Date: Thu Mar 12 1998 - 22:32:10 EST

>As mentioned hitherto, I don't have any preconceived ideas about this
verse. I can only offer suggestions. Louw-Nida offer this translation: 'in
>order that our fellowship of faith with you may be effective in
understanding every blessing which is ours in Christ'. Admittedly, this
rendering >puts an entirely different spin on matters. Louw-Nida suggest
"our fellowship of faith" over against "your fellowship" or "your faith."
This >appears to be saying that Paul and Timothy would share their faith
WITH Philemon and others.


Indeed it does put a different spin on things! Yes, this is an interesting
translation and does seem to work grammatically. However, I don't think
that it works contextually. Verses 4, 5, and 7 all have a very strong
emphasis on SOU. I also believe that SOU is intended to be emphatic in
verse 6. In order to make the Louw-Nida translation work you would have to
make a major shift of emphasis to an elipsed HMEIS. In addition to this the
above translation still takes the prepositional phrase as being
supplementary to hOPWS GENHTAI expressing purpose... which I don't buy as of
yet. This translation is an interesting attempt, but I don't think it

>The more I peruse KOINWNIA THS PISTEWS, I find it difficult to understand
PISTEWS as "verbal." PISTEWS seems to be referring to "the faith"
(Christianity or Christian belief) as opposed to active disciple-making
(thus fulfilling the Great Commission). The objective genitive is more
appealing to me in this case. I say this in view of context and other
similar examples in the Bible (2 Cor. 13:14).
>Edgar Foster
>Classical Languages Major
Yes, I agree that stressing the verbal PISTEWS in this particular context
is a stretch. If you take PISTEWS as objective, then the
translation would be "My prayer is that the sharing OF your faith might be
effective". In this case the emphasis of Paul's prayer is
a bit more upon the faith that is being shared and a bit less on Philemon as
the one possessing the faith to share with. This certainly
works. I guess that I prefer subjective because of the fact that Paul is
preparing to ask a rather BIG favor in which Philemon will
need to be exercising his faith in a big way(subjectively).

Rich Lindeman

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