Re: [Theology_list] 1 Cor 15:2 (was 2 kinds of faith)

Date: Sat Mar 04 2000 - 18:58:20 EST

On Sat, 04 Mar 2000 11:22:54 -0800 George Goolde <>
> From: George Goolde <>

> >In 1 Cor 15:2 he says, DI' OU KAI SWZESQE, TINI LOGWi
> >EIKHi EPISTEUSATE (by which also you are saved, if you
> >hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you
> >believed in vain).
> >
> >(unless you believed in vain) suggests rather strongly that is it
> >possible to believe in vain. If not,
> >then Paul's words here mean nothing.
> >
> >At this point, we might want to be asking, what is the
> >difference between believing in vain and believing not
> >in vain.
> The common English translation of verse two reads "If you hold
> fast that word which I preached to you." I submit that the force
> of the first class condition of EI KATEKETE is virtually lost by this
> translation. By use of the first class condition the authors assume,
> for the purpose of this argument, that the condition is true. "Since
> you hold fast" would be an appropriate translation that would more
> accurately reflect the force of the first class condition.

No, you simply cannot argue from the first class conditional to the
translation, "since you hold fast." This translation suggests reality
or fact. But, as you already stated almost contradictorily, the first
class conditional assumes for the sake of argument only. It says
nothing about whether or not the assumption being made is, in fact,
true. You wouldn't argue from 1 Cor 15:13, EI DE ANASTASIS
NEKRWN OUK ESTIN (if the dead are not raised), for example,
that it is true that the dead are not raised, would you?

> This error is commonly repeated in the clause which follows:
> EKTOS EI MH EIKH. What we have here grammatically is a negative
> first class condition (EI MH) in a pleonastic (redundant) construction
> (EKTOS), The redundancy is referenced by A.T. Robertson on page
> 640 of his grammar with appropriate cross references to 1 Cor 14:5
> and 1 Tim 5:19, where similar constructions occur.
> I would therefore suggest "since you did not believe in vain" as a
> translation.

No again. This, also, is a first class conditional. You make a
serious error in translation by rendering it as you have. It simply
is not called for and introduces an element uncalled for by the

Paul Dixon

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