Concerning James 1:3

Steven R. Lo Vullo doulos at
Sat Sep 1 23:13:38 EDT 2001

on 9/1/01 6:03 PM, Stephen Fix at sfix at wrote:

> If I understand DOKIMION is to be translated "proof" (ATR) rather than
> proving, it makes more sense to me to take HUMWN to stress the
> relationship/possession of faith.  The faith is something you possess and the
> proof is the end result that works itself out in patience.

Welcome back, Stephen!

I think it is grammatically possible to take hUMWN with either DOKIMION or
PISTIS, so I don't think it's possible to be entirely certain. But its
position seems (at least to me) to make it more probable that it goes with
DIKIMION. If it was meant to modify PISTIS, it seems like, in light of the
position of the nouns, it would follow PISTIS. This would have made it
explicit. Of course, just because the author didn't make it explicit doesn't
mean it can't modify PISTIS.

As for DOKIMION, it has a semantical range that includes "genuineness" and
the "testing" by which genuineness is proved. (Most of the modern versions I
am able to consult right now go with "testing.") If the former, hUMWN would
most likely modify PISTIS; if the latter, it could modify either. The
genitive need not indicate simple possession. If taken with DOKIMION it
could mean "your testing" in the sense of "the testing you may experience"
(cf. v. 2), making a prospective time of testing personal. But it certainly
makes excellent sense to take hUMWN with PISTIS as indicating the faith
possessed/experienced/exercised by the recipients.

Steve Lo Vullo
Madison, WI

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