From: Stevens, Charles C (
Date: Thu Apr 30 1998 - 15:52:28 EDT

On April 30, 1998 at 11:42AM, commented, after a
query on the meaning of the word PISTEUW:

<<Many today say that the Biblical idea of belief in Christ does not
include any type of
> commitment or submission to Christ's lordship.>>
Comments of a beginner in Greek (I agree with Jim West's previous
comments, by the way; the following is by way of amplification):

"The Biblical idea of belief in Christ" is one thing; the appropriate
interpretation of the word PISTEUW (and, as Jim West points out, the
word PISTIS) as it was used in the first century AD, and as the average
hearer/reader would interpret it in the first century AD, quite another.

I find it highly unlikely that the hearer/reader in the first or second
century, upon encountering the word PISTEUW or PISTIS, would instantly
conclude therefrom that the speaker was intending to include such a
connotation as your comment suggests.

<<They claim that the true meaning of "pisteuo" supports their claims.>>

Yes, I think it would be a misapprehension of the meaning of the word to
presume otherwise. I do not see hUPOTASSEW (the usual verb translated
"submit" in the NT) as being part of the fundamental meaning of PISTEUW.
I am uncomfortable putting more baggage on a word than can be
demonstrated to have been intended by the original author in the context
in which it was used.

<<However, I can hardly believe this, especially in light of Jesus's
commands to take up one's cross and follow him.>>

The meaning of PISTIS/PISTEUW is an issue fundamentally unrelated to
"Jesus' commands to take up one's cross and follow him" in the context
of a discussion of Greek grammar and semantics.

It seems to me that at least one author of scripture has attempted to
provide a definition for this very word, namely, the author of Hebrews
11:1. From the strictest possible *sola scriptura* position, I do not
see any evidence to presume that the *word* means anything significantly
different, more, or less, when used in scripture, than that verse

    -Chuck Stevens [SMTP:]

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