English blog

Little faith?

17-07-2015 - Posted by Andre Piet

image3 In the so-called ‘Gospels’, we read several times that Jesus reproached His disciples of having ‘little faith’. At least, this  concept is expressed that way in most translations. What is it about? Let us examine it more closely. The Greek word OLIGO-pistos (StrongCode: 3640) is composed of the words “few” = “scant” {CLV} (3641) and “believe” (4102). It occurs 6x in the NT, of which 5x in the ‘Gospel’ of Matthew. “Scant-believers” are worried (Mat.6:30), are fearful (Mat.8:26) and have doubts (Mat.14:31). A scant-believer acknowledges God and his Word, but … only in part. The faith of a scant-believer “is not too small or little, for that would not be a problem. Even if one would only have faith as a mustard seed, one would already be able to move mountains (Mat.17:20, cp Mat.13:31,32). Therefore, the expression ‘little faith’ is not a correct translation. No, a scant-believer “does not have little faith, but believes God only selectively. Precisely in matters of practical, of here-and-now-importance, the scant-believer shows to have no faith. You can, for example, believe that God, eventually, will raise us out from among the dead, but at the same time, not trust that today He will provide what we need. Or you profoundly believe that the Lord will make all things well, but at the same time, you are afraid of tomorrow. Then you are a ‘scant-believer’: you believe some promises and other promises you do not believe. A ‘scant-faith’ is a partial faith or faith in only parts of God’s promises. The “Emmaus-goers” are reproached for not believing all what the prophets had spoken (Luke 24:25). That the Messiah would, eventually, come in glory, they believed. But that He would come first to suffer, they did not believe. And because they believed only a portion of the Scriptures, they were sad, when walking to Emmaus on this third day…