Re: Titus 1:6 PISTA

From: Kevin Smith (
Date: Sun Feb 27 2000 - 07:46:24 EST

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<DIV><FONT size=2>Mark</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2>I am a complete novice in the context of this forum. However,
I am currently working on a doctoral thesis entitled <EM>Bible Translation and
Relevance Theory: The Translation of Titus</EM>. Here are my thoughts about
TEKNA ECWN PISTA as they currently stand. </FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2>The commentator you cite is correct that the NT never uses
PISTOS (faithful) to describe anyone whom the context clearly designates as an
unbeliever. But I'm not sure this is the real issue in Titus 1:6. The author
might well be working on the assumption that the children of potential elders
will be believers. Thus PISTOS would mean 'faithful' since 'believing' is taken
for granted. I have yet to verify this completely (perhaps someone on the list
can confirm or refute it), but it seems that (a) most of the early church's
elders were household patrons [see <EM>Anchor Bible Dictionary</EM>, "Family:
New Testament"], and&nbsp;(b) the head of a household determined the household's
religion [see Derek Tidball, <EM>The Social Context of the New Testament</EM>,
81]. </FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2>Grammatically, either 'believing children' or 'faithful
children' are possible. PISTOS is used in the Pastoral Epistles (PE) in both
active and passive senses. Knight (1992:289-90) says this:</FONT></DIV>
  <DIV><FONT size=2>The context here and the parallel passage in 1 Tim 3:4-5,
  however, provide some important indicators: The qualifying statement here,
  "not accused of dissipation or rebellion," emphasizes behavior and seems to
  explain what it means for TEKNA to be PISTA. Likewise, 1 Tim 3:4 speaks of an
  overseer "keeping his children under control with all dignity." In both cases
  the overseer is evaluated on the basis of his control of his children and
  their conduct. It is likely, therefore, that TEKNA ECWN PISTA here is
  virtually equivalent to TEKNA ECONTA EN hUPOTAGHi in 1 Tim 3:4. If that is so,
  then PISTA here means "faithful" in the sense of "submissive" or
<DIV><FONT size=2>Since elders' children would have been believers anyway (at
least nominally so), there would be little point in specifying that they
<EM>must be believers</EM>. Conversely, there is merit in requiring that they be
faithful as believers.</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2>In Christ</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2>Kevin Smith</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2>South Africa</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2><A
<DIV><FONT size=2>----- Original Message ----- </FONT>
<DIV><FONT size=2>From: Mark Markham &lt;<A
<DIV><FONT size=2>To: Biblical Greek &lt;<A
<DIV><FONT size=2>Cc: b-greek &lt;<A
<DIV><FONT size=2>Sent: Saturday, February 26, 2000 10:56 PM</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=2>Subject: Re: Titus 1:6 PISTA</FONT></DIV></DIV>
<DIV><BR></DIV><FONT size=2>&gt; Clay:<BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; I agree with your
observations:<BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; &gt; There is a kind of circularity of argument
that crops up all the time in<BR>&gt; &gt; discussions of lexical semantics. The
argument runs, signifier X never<BR>&gt; &gt; points to signified Y in corpus Z,
therefor this instance of signifier X<BR>&gt; &gt; which is in corpus Z cannot
point to signified Y.<BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; I guess my question is one of
preponderance of evidence. Do the NT writers<BR>&gt; (esp. Paul) seem to limit
the use of this word to believers only? Would this<BR>&gt; be the linguistic
exception?<BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; Secondly, the use of PISTA in a verbal fashion seems
to mean believing as<BR>&gt; the more modern translations bear out. Are there
any clues in the context<BR>&gt; that I have missed? Also what would the object
of the belief be? Or are no<BR>&gt; answers to be found?<BR>&gt; <BR>&gt;
Grace,<BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; Mark Markham<BR>&gt; Heidelberg, Germany<BR>&gt;
<BR>&gt; <BR>&gt; ---<BR>&gt; B-Greek home page: <A
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