From: Bob Wilkin (
Date: Mon Mar 06 2000 - 11:32:02 EST

On 03/05/00, "" wrote:
> In a message dated 3/4/2000 4:21:19 PM, writes:
> << Either way there appears to be two kinds of PISTEUW: that which is
> not
> believed in vain, which is held fast, and by which one is saved; and
> that which is believed in vain, which is not held fast, and by which one
> is not saved. >>
> To which Charles Powell says:
> <<I agree, but my point is that in such a case, either noticia, assensia,
> or
> both are defective, and not simply fiducia. The development of PISTEUW
> John
> suggests a development of noticia, assensia, and fiducia, but does not
> suggest it is defective, but simply not yet fully developed. This is true
> of
> both the disciples and those who believe in John 12, even though they
> fear
> the Pharisees. They eventually come out of the closet in John 19,
> ironically
> in the same narrative that Peter denies Christ.>>
> and Paul Dixon responds:
> According to Jn 20:8-9 the first time it is said that a disciple
> EPISTEUSEN is when John saw the empty tomb. I refer to one
> of the original 12 apostles, not to the larger group of disciples,
> some of whom turned away from Christ in Jn 6, but even there,
> I am not sure it says they believed.
> It may be that the two kinds of belief in John's Gospel refers to
> not an immature belief later developed into a mature one, but
> to a belief never associated with regeneration versus a belief
> necessarily associated with it.
> Paul Dixon

The idea that there are two types of faith in the NT is hard to grasp.
Let's take the example cited here, of John 20. It is suggested that the
disciples experienced true, saving, regenerating faith after the

This view doesn't fit the Gospel of John. According to John 13:10, "You are
already clean," applied to all of the disciples except Judas (as noted in
John 13:10). According to John 2:11, "His disciples believed in Him." (And
according to John 3:16, all who do that have eternal life.)

Pisteuw in the NT is like believe in English in that it has an object.
There are myriads of things/people that can be believed. But the act of
believing is one and the same.

So, if by saying there are two types of faith we mean there are two objects
of faith, the number is way too small. If we mean that there are two
different actions called pisteuw, the idea is not borne out by the

In John 20 what the regenerate disciples believed was that Jesus had indeed
risen from the dead. The context makes this clear. After His death, they
were confused and decided that they were wrong in believing He was the
Messiah. They lowered their view and believed then that He had been a
prophet. This is clear in the words of the two disciples on the road to
Emmaus: "Jesus of Nazareth...was a Prophet mighty in deed and word before
God and all the people...The chief priests and our rulers delivered Him to
be condemned to death, and crucified Him. BUT WE WERE HOPING THAT IT WAS HE

Biblical faith is a conviction something is true. If we consult the
context, we can usually determine easily what was (or was not) the object
of faith.

Bob Wilkin

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