From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Tue Aug 25 1998 - 09:31:52 EDT

At 11:35 PM -0500 8/24/98, wrote:
>Jeffrey B. Gibson wrote:
>> wrote:
>> > When I first read this, I simply translated it as "Be having God's
>> > faith." And I'm sticking with it because of the context of this
>> > passage, which is a paean to the utter power of faith/belief, and is
>> > showing us the quality of faith that is requisite for moving mountains
>> > etc. Ordinary human faith is just inadequate. God's faith is not,
>> > and is available to us...
>> I wonder, then, in the light of this, whether PISTIS should not here be
>> given its sense of "faithfulness" - and that what is being stressed by
>> Jesus is that one should continually remind oneself (especially in
>> contexts where "unbelief" begins to hold sway) of how faithful God is?
>Well, it sure is in the present tense, so it requires maintenance,
>yes? And it really does have an enigmatic flavor that can trigger a
>lot of different 'takes'. One question that arises on this approach
>is: How can a person 'be having' that which is not his, but God's?
>God's faith is not really a faith that I can 'have' ~ Or is it? And
>if I can have it, does that mean it can be appropriated by me? It
>gets tricky quick! I like not understanding all the outworkings... By
>way of honoring the mystery...

Yep, it leaves lots of room for eisegesis! Actually there's mystery enough
there; I wonder, however, if anybody has been looking at the context of
this imperative: it follows immediately upon the prayer in which Jesus
curses the fig tree that is in leaf but bears no fruit ... and soon after
the fig tree is shown to be blasted! Personally, I would understand the
fig-tree elements as symbolic of the destruction of Jerusalem, but the
pericope on efficacious prayer is pretty clearly positioned by the
evangelist to follow upon the curse upon the fig tree, and that makes it
the more enigmatic, as George, with somewhat different intent, I think,
says. I also still think that QEOU has to be understood as an objective
genitive and that ECETE here means "continue to grasp firmly, keep holding
tight (your faith in God)."

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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