Faith of God or faith in God
Mark 11:22 AV
And Jesus answering¹ saith² unto them³,
Have⁴ faith in God.
¹) To give an answer to a question proposed, to answer; to begin to speak, but always where something has preceded (either said or done) to which the remarks refer.
²) To say, to speak, to teach.
³) Himself, herself, themselves, itself; he, she, it; the same. (Most of the time translated with ‘him’.
⁴) Have, i.e. own, possess.
And Jesus, replying, said to them, Have faith in God [constantly]. [AMP] And Jesus answered them, "Have faith in God. [ESV] And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. [KJV] "Have faith in God," Jesus answered. [NIV] Then Jesus said to the disciples, "Have faith in God. [NLT] So Jesus answered and said to them, "Have faith in God. [NKJV]
Jesus said this to all the disciples; for what Peter said, he said in the name of them all. According to Matthew, the disciples said, “how soon is the fig tree withered away?” To which this is an answer.
Though the Arabic version renders it, “to him”; as if the words were directed to Peter only.
Have faith in God
▪︎ The Vulgate, Syriac, Persic, and Ethiopic versions read “the faith of God”; which is explained by some as, exercise, and make use of that faith which is the work of God, and of His operation, a free grace gift of Him; and which God is willing to give to us (Cf. 1 Corinthians 12:9; Ephesians 2:8); and which is supported by His power, and encouraged by His goodness, truth, and faithfulness.
▪︎ The Arabic version renders it, “believe in God”; not only that such things may be done, as the drying up a fig tree, but also those that are even much greater.
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Jesus does not explain how He was able to perform the miracle Himself (but this is of course included in His answer), but indicates how the disciples can also share in that power of attorney: ‘Have faith in God’.
The genitive ‘theou’ (lit. of God) expresses to whom the faith is directed and must therefore be translated as ‘Have faith in God’ (cf. ‘pistis lēsou Christou’ – ‘faith of Jesus Christ’, ie ‘faith in Jesus Christ’ (Romans 3:22; Galatians 2:16; 3:22; Ephesians 3:12; Philippians 3: 9).
This is sometimes wrongly interpreted as ‘faith that God gives’ or ‘have the same kind of faith as God’.
The belief in God that Jesus is talking about here is a firm trust in God’s supernatural activity (1 Corinthians 12: 9; James 1: 6). It enables people to do supernatural things (like Jesus with His word made the fig tree wither).
The disciples will need it in their later ministry (remember the signs and wonders in the book of Acts). Although the concrete trigger was an answer to a curse, Jesus now makes an application to prayer and belief in general (Mark 11:24-26).
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