Carl W. Conrad cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
Fri Feb 28 17:58:49 EST 2003

At 3:35 PM -0600 2/28/03, Mark H. Bahr wrote:
>Regarding this word PISTEUW, and this is not doctrinal, I was doing some
>study in the Greek text a few months ago, and came across an augmented form
>of PISTEUW, and in a short mental lapse, thought, hmm, that is a combination
>of EPI and ISTIMI, stand upon, then my mind came back and the word I have
>read so many times proved to be just the aorist form of PISTEUW.  Now,
>here's my query, as this incident got me to thinking...
>Would it be a possibility that possibly a primitive form for PISTEUW was
>indeed a combination of EPI and ISTIMI and the epsilon was dropped over time
>(you know the evolving/devolving--whichever you prefer--of language) for
>ease of speech and was only preserved as an augment in the "past" (please
>don't start another aspect thread based on my use of this terminology--I'm
>only using it for convenience sake) tenses?  Again, this is mere speculation
>(and nothing to really fret over), but something that would be enjoyable to
>look into.  Even if it is a possibility, I do know that in Koine usage, it
>probably evolved to mean something different from the original etymology
>(and I really try to avoid that etymological/root fallacy as much as
>possible anyway).

This is an interesting speculation, but, however much I dislike being
dogmatic about anything, it is unquestionably wrong. The etymology of
PISTEUW is well known: it is a denominative verb derived from combination
of root PIQ- and action noun-ending -TIS/SIS: PIQ-TIS --> PISTIS, gen.
PISTEWS with a digamma or U originally present in the stem: PISTEf- or
PISTEU-. The root itself takes several forms in vowel-gradation or "Ablaut"
PEIQ POIQ PIQ; the same root appears in PEIQW/PEIQOMAI; the Indo-European
root is BHEIDH/BHOIDH and the root appears in Latin verbs and nouns FIDO
and FIDES. EPI and hISTAMAI have absolutely nothing to do with it. I'm
sorry to be so negative, but I think that in this case, the facts are
pretty clear.

Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University (Emeritus)
1989 Grindstaff Road/Burnsville, NC 28714/(828) 675-4243
cwconrad at artsci.wustl.edu
WWW: http://www.ioa.com/~cwconrad/

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