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Faith Exegesis Preface

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02.5.0

Orientation to the Exegeses

 

Our overall plan for the Exegeses you will find in these sections can be summarized briefly.  For each of the key terms we will, first, survey a broad range of commentators.  Then, we will focus particular attention on the appropriate entries from Kittle's Theological Dictionary of the New Testament.  We are giving priority attention to Kittle because his text has been recognized as among the most authoritative available.  Some particular attention may also be given to Vine's Expository Dictionary.  Finally, we will seek to integrate the best insights from them all to produce a useful understanding of the given term.

 

As a general pattern, we are hoping to include an 'abstract' of the finished Exegesis for each term in these Prefaces, thus providing you, the reader, with an option for quickly surveying the (otherwise) quite extensive entries.

 

 

Faith Exegesis Abstract

 

The Scriptural text our theory is based on begins in 2 Pet 1:5b with the clause ". . . in your faith supply . . ."

 

The Greek word that is translated in 2 Pet 1:5b as 'faith' is πίστις/pistis.  This is the common New Testament word for faith.  Bultmann (Kittle, Vol. VI, page 176, line 19) describes pistis as:  "πίστις [faith] means a. (abstr.) 'confidence,' 'trust,'".  This definition was derived from an analysis of Classical Greek usage.  The common man-on-the-street in ancient Greece would have understood pistis in this way.

 

Weiser (p. 186, l. 22), analyzing Faith from an OT viewpoint, comes to a different, more complex understanding.  Key to the Hebrew understanding is seeing Faith as appearing within one's relationship with God.  Within that relationship Faith is seen to be composed of three elements:  1) one becomes aware of what is being said, 2) one confirms that what was said was true or real, and 3) one is totally involved in relationship with what was being said.  Thus, in the Hebrew understanding, within our relationship with God, Faith is composed of the union of one's Recognition, Acknowledgment, and lived Relationship with God.  Faith "denotes a relation to God which embraces the whole man in the totality of his external conduct and inner life."  (188, 30)

 

This author saw the Apostles confronted by a linguistic dilemma.  Having been raised as Hebrews, having lived in Hebrew communities, and thinking religiously using Hebrew concepts, the Apostles were trying to communicate Hebrew ways of understanding the world.  Yet, these ideas were cast into Greek for a largely Greek-speaking church, made up of mostly Gentile converts.  It is this author's impression that the Apostles used the Greek word pistis, knowing it would carry a restricted understanding of faith for most Hebrews, and joined that word to other descriptors of Hebrew faith, so that the combined impact would approximate a Hebrew understanding of what Faith would be.  An extensive analysis of Bultmann's list of 'other descriptors' was seen to produce combinations with Faith that would result in just such an understanding, and more.

 

 

 

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This page revised and Copyrighted: Theon Doxazo

14 December, 2023