The Faith Once Delivered to the Saints...A contest.


I am trying to round up all the references in the dissenter's web pages, blogs, newsletters and the like to the now well overused passage from Jude, namely Jude 3: "the faith once delivered (to) (unto) (of) the Saints." This came up because once again from across the divide came the voice of Bishop Ackerman saying, "
Forward in Faith North America has endeavored to provide a safe place for orthodox Christians, and has sought a variety of measures, such as Alternative Primatial Oversight, as a means of preserving the “Faith once delivered to the saints.”

So, three prizes:

(i) For the greatest number of references to Jude 3 from material available on the web from the dissenter side of the road.
(ii) The greatest number of references to Jude 3 from the progressive side of the road, OTHER THAN references to the dissenter side's use of the phrase.
(iii) The best argument for thinking the use of this phrase is anything but a bit of verbal bible-babble, the purpose of which is to claim virtue.

Now for prizes: For (i) A copy of HOWL, since finding all those reference will drive contestants mad. For (ii) a year's subscription to The Living Church, since that might cleanse the pallet from having read all that progressive stuff in order to find any reference to Jude 3. For (iii) a copy (used) of the Anchor Bible series on the epistles of Peter, James and Jude on the grounds that maybe the winner might like additional ammunition for her or his argument.

So... I look forward to your investigative work!


  1. A request for clarification, Mark. How come nobody uses the verse as it appears in the NRSV? Isn't the NRSV the "preferred" translation for the Episcopal Church?

    For the first time, just earlier today, I had occasion to look it up: "I find it necessary to write and appeal to you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints."

    "Delivered." "Entrusted." They suggest very different things, do they not? Do we receive a nice-tidy-all-wrapped-up package to leave to the next generation? Or are we entrusted with the faith that we are to convey to the next generation? Hmmm ...

  2. Oh, after visiting google and entering the various versions of the phrase along with carious "reasserter" sites all I can say is that they are legion. Who can number them?

  3. dr.primrose22/1/08 2:23 AM

    It's not only the NRSV that uses "entrusted"; so does the NIV, which is the translation probably preferred by the more "conservative" or "evangelical."

    According to to Arndt & Gringrich's Lexicon, the verb (paradidomi) has related but somewhat different meanings depending if what's involved is a thing (hand over, give over, deliver, entrust), a person (hand over, turn over, give up), the oral or written tradition (hand down, pass on, transmit, relate, teach), or in certain other cases (allow, permit).

    The passage from Jude is included as an example of the third type of meaning, connected with the oral or written tradition and they include it in passages where the term seems to mean "handed down," like the traditions of the Pharasees (Mark 7:13), the traditions between husbands and wives -- headship and headcoverings or not, depending on sex (I Cor. 11:2), and the traditions of Moses that the elders feared that Jesus would change in response to hearing Stephen's sermon (Acts 6:14).

    In this sense, it seems that the Jude passage is talking about the faith passed on from the apostles rather than being delivered from
    God, which seems to be how the "reasserter" sites seem to interpret it.

  4. Mark - perhaps what we really need to see is the receipt that the saints got - perhaps it will finally reveal just what was delivered!

  5. The middle of the road group in Florida that says they don't like what is going on but they aren't leaving, has adopted this as the name of the group. The Group is Faith Received. Do I get a prize for identifying the first group to actually use this as their name.

  6. The TLA for "faith once delivered" is of course FOD. On an aircraft carrier, FOD stands for Foreign Object Debris: otherwise-useful stuff (tools, nuts, bolts, etc.) that if carelessly handled can be sucked into jet-engine intakes and cause major damage. It’s not hard to imagine the parallels ....

  7. The whole thing reeks of much squirrelly thinking about the concept of "faith". When St. Paul talks about "faith", he does not mean doctrine or teaching. He means something more akin to "trust". Having "faith" means trusting in the salvation offered by Jesus.

    This has somehow gotten twisted into "the faith" which purports to be the doctrines that the apostles believed were true. Anyone who uses the phrase means this non-biblical idea of "faith".

  8. Nom de Plume23/1/08 1:43 PM

    All of this calls to mind a lovely quote from Jaroslav Pelikan:

    "Tradition is the living faith of the dead; traditionalism is the dead faith of the living."


OK... Comments, gripes, etc welcomed, but with comment moderation but with some cautions and one rule:
Cautions: Calling people fools, idiots, etc, will be reason to bounce your comment. Keeping in mind that in the struggles it is difficult enough to try to respect opponents, we should at least try.