From: Carl W. Conrad (
Date: Mon Mar 15 1999 - 09:29:04 EST

At 7:19 AM -0600 3/15/99, wrote:
>Denny Diehl here with a question on APEIQW
>In Jn 3:36 the KJV translates:
>"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life:
>and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life;
>but the wrath of God abideth on him."
>But NASB translates:
>"He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he
>who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the
>wrath of God abides on him."
>Why would APEIQW be variously translated as "unbelieving"
>and "not obey"?

An interesting enough question, and one that a little bit of etymology may
(as occasionally) contribute some insight: the Greek root seen in nouns and
verbs for faith, belief and obedience is PEIQ/POIQ/PIQ: this shows in the
active verb PEIQW: "persuade," the middle of which, PEIQOMAI, may mean
"allow oneself to be won over" but quite commonly is used in the sense
"give heed to," "obey." The zero-grade form of the root (PIQ) appears in
the noun PISTIS (<PIQ-TIS with assimilation of -Q- to an -S- before -T),
"faith," and the verb PISTEUW "believe," "have faith," "come to faith."

The verb you're referring to is a denominative: uncontracted it is APEIQEW,
derived from the adjective A-PEIQHS which normally has a sense derived from
the middle form of the verb PEIQW/PEIQOMAI: "untrusting," "unbelieving" or
"not obedient."

Another verb from an altogether different root found in the NT for this
idea is hUPAKOUW, which means something like "listen to as to an
authority," which carries over into the sense "give heed to" = "obey."
There's a cognate noun hUPAKOH for "obedience" that is used commonly
enough, I think, in company with the noun PISTIS. Particularly in the
Hebraic tradition, there's a close linkage between the notions of faith and
obedience, but that linkage is also present in the earlier classical Greek
verb PEIQOMAI, which quite regular does, in fact, mean "obey."

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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