From: mail.access1.net (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Date: Tue Aug 25 1998 - 12:19:42 EDT
To avoid confusion between usages of cases I think it is important to do
two things when you decide upon case usage:
1 - examine the meaning of the main verb very closesly
2 - examine other words int he same which may relate to the case in question
In the case of pistin theou we have a very unusual situation, there are no
definite articles which generally accompany both. In addition we have a
command given by the LOrd to the APostles commanding them to possess this
pistin theou, themselves. And so the object of echo is pistis. And pistis is
a verbal noun (noun derived from a verb) hence the APOSTLES are to possess
a capacity of soul , faith, that ALWAYS takes an object in so far as pisteuw
is a TRANSITIVE verb. In our context, theou is the candidate.
But theou is without an article, so the LOrd is not speaking of the person
of God - he does not say have faith in the person of GOd. He is instead
saying "have faith in the quality of God, God's nature/essence"
And because pistis is anathrous he is also saying, possess this quality in
yourself - actually it is quite a command for the Apostles who are viewed to
be able to move mountains and possess such a prayer life that whatever the
apostles request, they receive as the result of this faith in God's essence.
Actually all this is really commanding is to obey the first commandment of
the Decalogue: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and all
thy soul and all thy might and thy neighbor as thy self".
But in our passage, the Lord addresses the apostles directly. And tells
them to pray without the doublemindedness of cynacism and doubt-but to
simply KNOW God's word and take him at his word - really nothing wierd or
confusing, bu something very down to earth commonly found in any human
I prefer the genitive of description "possess faith in God's (essence)" or
"possess a divine faith". Actually they are one and the same from a
practical point of view, according to our passage :
"...but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted
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