RE: PISTEUW and works

From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Thu Apr 30 1998 - 19:19:16 EDT

At 5:40 PM -0500 4/30/98, Stevens, Charles C wrote:
>On 30 April 1998 at 9:44AM, JPDOW comments:
><<Just a quick thought on the PISTEUW subject. While it's true that one
>> can not derive the meaning of submission from the word PISTEUW alone,
>> we should remember that scripture does describe faith as being
>> directly productive of works, so that faith does indeed produce
>> submission. See James 2:14-26.>>
>However, that is a theological rather than a linguistic perspective, and
>for that reason I can't defend further exploration on my part of that
>perspective in this particular forum, given its charter.

Yes, from the very outset in the opening question on this thread it was
pretty clear that the issue was a theological one for which support was
being sought in Greek usage in the NT--RATHER than an issue of what a
phrase means in a particular GNT passage. This is really quite a different
matter from the recurrent discussion about PISTEUW with EIS and PISTIS with
a genitive. I can readily imagine a full study of all instances of PISTEUW
in the GNT and a cataloging of them into groups according to perceived
implications; I think that sort of study might be productive (if it hasn't
already been done, and more than once)--and yet I'm inclined to think that
interpretation of that data is not likely to be carried out without resort
to theological presuppositions.

In sum, I really think that Chuck Stevens is quite right; this discussion
is more clearly theological than linguistic and did indeed take its onset
from the endeavor to use linguistic information to answer a theological
question. I think we ought to steer clear of it altogether.

Carl W. Conrad
Co-Chair, B-Greek List

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