James 1:3

Steven R. Lo Vullo doulos at appleisp.net
Sun Sep 2 01:14:23 EDT 2001

on 9/1/01 8:59 PM, Mark Wilson at emory2oo2 at hotmail.com wrote:

> -----
> Even if it were plural, the only sense I know of for PISTIS in the plural is
> something like "pledges" (although the plural is not used in the NT).
> -----

Hi again Mark:

Thought I would mention that the plural of PISTIS is used 6 times in the LXX
(1 time in 3 Macc, 5 times in Prov). In 3 Maccabees 3.10 it means "pledges,"
as I mentioned above. In the instances in Proverbs (3.3; 12.22; 14.22;
15.27, 28) it means something like "righteous deeds" or "righteous
dealings." In three of the instances in Proverbs (3.3; 14.22; 15.27) it is
used in conjunction with the plural of ELEHMOSUNH ("pity," "mercy"), which
is an abstract noun that is also used in the plural in the NT for "acts of
mercy" (Acts 9.36; 10.2, 4, 31; 24.17). So apparently an abstract noun may
be used to decribe acts that make "concrete" the abstract idea of the noun.
Another NT example of this is ANOMIA ("lawlessness"), which is used in the
sense "lawless deeds" a couple of times in the NT, interestingly in
quotations of the OT (Rom 4.7; Heb 10.17;). Under ELEHMOSUNH L-S says the NT
sense of "alms" is a corruption of the word. I wonder if this sort of
"concretization" was common in Classical Greek or in Hellenistic literature
outside of the LXX, NT, and other Jewish/Christian literature.

Steve Lo Vullo
Madison, WI

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