Re: PISTIS in Josephus

From: Maurice A. O'Sullivan (
Date: Thu Mar 18 1999 - 18:18:34 EST

At 05:02 18/03/99 -0600, "Carl W. Conrad" <> wrote:
>Inasmuch as Josephus writes in Rome and under a good deal of Roman
>(Flavian?) influence, it would hardly surprise me if Latin FIDES and its
>political associations has a good deal to do with the way he's using
>PISTIS. I hasten to add, however, that I haven't looked directly at how
>Josephus in fact DOES use PISTIS--I just would suspect that Roman thinking
>might have some bearing on his usage.

I have just been looking at:
Spicq, Ceslas. Theological Lexicon of the New Testament. 3 vols. Peabody,
Mass: Hendrickson, 1996.

where there are some references to PISTIS and Josephus

He notes that:
" Faith is also "plighted faith," respect for a commitment, the carrying
out of obligations ( PMert 32.2 ) . as with the young widows who " have
rejected their first faith", This pistis, which encompasses good faith,
loyalty. and fidelity. is described as "ingens vinculum fidei'. ('the great
bond of faith' Livy 8.28 ) and is the basis of all contracts. This is
probably the sense of 2 Tim 4:7 "I have kept the faith.', This refers not
to the conservation of the (theological) faith, but to fidelity (cf,
Josephlls, War 6,345: PISTEIS ETHRhSA = "I kept my word": Ant, 15,134), and
nore exactly to the fidelity shown by those who serve a superior, such as
mercenaries, royal and imperial officials, those who have a duty "

He footnotes his reference to "the young widows " of 1 Tim. 5:12 thus:
" AQETEW PISTIN" = "fidem irritam facere" (Polybius 8.35.6 etc ) The
Essenes were persuaded that no woman kept faith with one man THREIN THN
PROS hENA PISTIN ( Josephus _War_ 2.121 ) "

Maurice :

Maurice A. O'Sullivan [ Bray, Ireland ]

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