From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Mon Aug 24 1998 - 16:11:14 EDT

At 7:45 AM -0500 8/24/98, Steve Long wrote:
>>(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.
>Is there a reason Mark decided to use a transitive verb rather than
>intransitive? Is this a usual type of greek form to say "Have faith in God"
>rather than "Believe in God"? Or would this be a Hebrew or Latin style of

Now that you've brought me to reflect on it, it does seem a somewhat
strange expression--at least if it's no more than an equivalent to
PISTEUETE QEWi, but there are a couple other possibilities here that occur
to me:

(1) It may be that ECETE PISTIN QEOU represents an original Aramaic
expression that is here translated literally into Greek. I have no notion
whether or not this might be the case;

(2) It may be, since we have the PRESENT Imperative ECETE here, that
there's a special emphasis to that verb and it doesn't mean simply "have
faith ... " but "HOLD ON TO faith"--i.e. keep your grip upon it;

(3) In view of the fact that PISTIS itself is a recurrent motif in the
gospels, and indeed in the NT as a whole, it may be that this phrase
emphasizes PISTIS QEOU, "faith in God" or "trust of God" (would you like
that better for the genitive? Not that it really makes any big
difference!); if this is combined with (2) then we might have a
particularly forceful instruction: "Keep a grip on your trust in God (when
you pray) ..."

These are no more than tentative suggestions, but since you raised the
question and others may have something to contribute on the plausibility of
these suggestions of mine, I'm sending this back to the list.

Regards, c

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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