From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Mon Aug 24 1998 - 12:24:51 EDT

At 4:32 AM -0500 8/24/98, Steve Long wrote:
>B-greekers all,
>I'm having a little trouble reading EXETE as an imperative here, and I
>would appreciate a lttle feedback. My main difficulty is an imperative
>would seem to start the flow of the sentence toward a dative QEW, whereas
>the genetive QEOU seems to push the flow of the sentence back toward an
>indicative. "You have faith concerning/from God". I know I don't have the
>technical language to properly describe the difficulty, but I hope you get
>the idea.
>---> <---- -------------->
>Have faith of God! shouldn't it be EXETE PISTIN QEW
>You have faith of God
>or perhaps as an inquiry,
>Have you faith of God?
>Maybe I'm reading too much into the directional qualities of the genitive
>and dative cases, but it seems the genitive wants a more passive verb than
>an imperative. If I'm making some obvious error, please be gentle (remember
>I'm self-taught).

Two points I'd make:

(1) QEOU probably should be understood as an "objective" genitive,
indicating the complement of PISTIN considered as a verbal notion. When a
noun modifies another noun, the only case it can go into is the genitive;
we'd translate this as "faith IN God." I should add that structurally
there's no difference between a "subjective" and an "objective"
genitive--these are simply convenient terms to put a handle on what a
genitive-case form is doing when attached to a noun that has a verbal
notion. Here however, the phrase can hardly mean the faith that God has; it
can only mean faith directed to/at God.

(2) QEWi could not be used with ECETE because ECETE is a transitive verb
that must take an object; you might have PISTEUETE QEWi, where PISTEUW is
intransitive; and, as noted above, you cannot attach a dative form (QEWi)
to a noun.

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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