Complete quote?

by the pharmer 5 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • the pharmer
    the pharmer

    I found a quote at this site:

    Can someone give me the missing parts so I can see what the original author said in its complete form? If you look at that site, you can see that the quote given says:

    According to Paul Kaufman, An Introductory Grammar of New Testament Greek

      “ [A] construction which is common in the New Testament (especially in John’s Gospel) is πιστε?ω [pi·steu′o] with ε?ς [eis] and the accusative case . . . The whole construction of ε?ς plus the accusative must be translated rather than attempting to translate the preposition ε?ς as an isolated word. Faith is thought of as an activity, as something men do, i.e. putting faith into someone .”
  • the pharmer
    the pharmer

    So, to get an answer, I purchased the book myself.

    Even without considering the context with which the author (Paul L. Kaufman) was presenting his material (the context was presenting and discussing the various cases with verbs), it is quite telling to see what was left out of the quote.

    From pg 46 of his book, the author first makes a statement followed by 5 points/examples. The quote that the WTBTS leaves incomplete is from the author’s 4 th point/example. (Note, I don’t know how to put Greek letters in this excerpt).

    The first statement is, “Some verbs in Greek may take more than one case or they may take a case different from what the corresponding verbs in English would take, thus: …” and then he goes on to the 5 points.

    The author’s 4 th point being:

    Pisteuo takes the dative, thus: I believe the apostle. Another construction which is common in the New Testament (especially John’s Gospel) is pisteuo with eis and the accusative case which is to be translated I believe in or I believe on , thus: I know the Lord and I am believing on Him. The whole construction of eis plus the accusative must be translated rather than attempting to translate the preposition eis as an isolated word. Faith is thought of as an activity, as something men do, i.e. putting faith intosomeone . John uses this construction thirty-six (36) times.”

    The underlining and highlights are mine. I’ve highlighted the missing parts yellow. Also, notice where I highlighted in green, there is only one word that the original author italicized – into – whereas the WTBTS italicizes “putting faith into someone. By italicizing the other words surrounding the word “into”, the WTBTS have effectively taken away the author’s object of emphasis.

    Any comments?

  • the pharmer
    the pharmer

    My underlining was just to show the points I thought were especially significant.

  • the pharmer
    the pharmer

    I know I can get a bit wordy, but I wonder if anyone has any additional thoughts/comments on my find. Maybe it's old news.

  • Leolaia

    Yeah "put faith in" is something more of a dictionary gloss than something more idiomatic like "believe in" or "trust in" or "rely on" or "have confidence in" or "be faithful to". The main thing with this construction is that it emphasizes the relational aspect of belief -- it is not an intellectual understanding of facts internal to the directs the believer externally toward (eis) the person (auton, accusative) as the object or destination of faith. It is more emphatic than the more typical dative (pisteuein autò vs. pisteuein eis auton), which expresses the sense of direction more weakly. An example of the dative: "This is a trustworthy saying (pistos logos). And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God (pepisteukotes tò theò) may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good" (Titus 3:8). The relational aspect is apparent for instance in John 3:36 where the verb opposite to pisteuein (+ eis + N.acc) is not apisteuein but apeithein "reject, disobey, refuse" which most often was used to refer to disobedience to authority (e.g. apeithein tò beltioni kai theò kai anthròpò "to disobey one's superior whether god or man" in Plato, Apologia 29b). "Putting faith in" or "placing faith in" expresses that directional movement, but doesn't convey the relational consequences of that act as well as the other more idiomatic options. "I believe in you!" "I trust in you!" "I have confidence in you!" vs. "I put faith in you!" It just isn't the most natural expression in English for conveying this meaning. So the nuance is a little different.

    What is interesting about this is that the Society in general deemphasizes this kind of relatedness between believers and Christ, as it regards the organization, or the F&DS class, as mediating between JWs and Christ. The other interesting aspect to this is the use of the word "put"; it emphasizes more the work involved which would have to be ongoing indefinitely for the believer who will always need to keep putting the faith in. The more relational "trust in", "have confidence in", and "believe in" has a slightly different focus (e.g. trust and confidence are maintained rather than repeatedly established). The NWT rendering fits well with the JW emphasis on works, and the expression "put faith in" is thus appropriated for this purpose, e.g. "they put faith in Jehovah, identify themselves with the members of spiritual Israel, closely follow the directions given through this channel and earnestly endeavor to help close family members and other relatives to see the wisom of doing the same" (Survival Into a New Earth, 1984, p. 19), "some men and women put faith in God's promise and backed up that faith by works" (1 December 1985 Watchtower, p. 14).

  • the pharmer
    the pharmer

    Great points Leolaia! I agree with what you said; well put! ;)

    They use this source, Paul L. Kaufman (deceptively it appears), to support their rendering pisteuo eis as "exercising faith".

    John apparently uses pisteuo as a verb along with the preposition eis 36 times (according to Paul Kaufman). Verbs have direct objects, and the direct object of pisteuo in these constructs is whatever follows the preposition eis. So, for example, in Jn 3:16, ...whoever believes (pisteuo) in him..., "him" (Jesus) is the direct object.

    The WT in their NWT add the verb "exercising" to this verse. However, by adding the verb "excercising" to this verse (...everyone exercising faith (pisteuo) in him...), the verb is now exercising and it has effectively changed pisteuo from being a verb to being a noun; pisteuo is now the direct object of the verb exercising!, and Jesus is now reduced grammatically to an indirect object! It completely shifts the focus.

    John uses pisteuo as a verb with an internal action directed on or into Jesus -- the direct object. Mr. Kaufman emphasized this point and said, "i.e. putting faith into someone." When the WT quotes him, this emphasis is lost.

    WT uses pisteuo as a noun (exercising pisteuo), making pisteuo the direct object of the verb exercising, and they use Paul Kaufman to support their reasoning. But Paul Kaufman in the actual quote says, "...pisteuo with eis...which should be translated I believe in or I believe on..." and he is actually emphasizing how eis ought to be translated, but the WT hides these facts.

    I believe they have quoted Paul L. Kaufman in a horribly dishonest way.

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