Notes from Faith in Jesus and Paul, by Maureen W. Yeung (1)

~ Maureen Yeung suggests something about the nature of faith in some of the faith incidents recorded in the Bible, that has made my head spin. The following are my notes on the matter as I skim through the book.

pg. 34.
Yeung suggests that mountain-moving faith in the Jewish tradition has a “salvific as well as a miraculous reference.”

~ Quoi?

Based on her study of Zechariah, she comments:
“A faith that looks to God to work miracles and to remove mountains is also a faith that looks to God for the Messiah and his peace and salvation (cf. Zech. 9:9-13). In other words, miracle faith is closely intertwined with salvation faith. This is understandable, because both miracle faith and salvation faith rest on the promise of God and have God as their object of trust.”

~ No – It is not understandable. Not to me.

Following her examination of Zechariah, she moves on to Josephus. She says that Josephus is onto the same idea. In both cases, we find a miracle-salvation faith with God being the object of faith. Next up is Jesus, starting with the book of Matthew.

Here Yeung finds that the mountain-removing faith not only refers to a faith that can work miracles, but also to a faith that is related to salvation and judgment.

In the Marcan and Q traditions, the mountains referred to are not just any mountains, but holy mountains (e.g. the temple mount, Mount of Olives and Mount Hermon/Mount Tabor).

In the Jewish tradition, the mountain apparently is a symbol with theological significance. It figures four ways as a symbol: 1) covenant mountain, 2) cosmic mountain, 3) mountain of revelation, and 4) eschatological mountain.

*Note – (2) refers to mountains (esp. Mount Zion) which were entry points into Heaven.

– Mountain removal refers to a mighty act of salvation on the part of God. It also has eschatological significance.

– Mountain can possibly refer to the temple.

She mentions kerygma faith. I am not sure what this is.

Pg. 49
“there is indeed a link between Jesus and Paul with regard to faith.”

Pg. 50
“Mountain-removing faith in the Jewish tradition has God as the object of faith. It is a salvation/kerygma faith as well as a miracle faith.”

More importantly, she states,
“Its power does not reside in the believer, neither in his intensity of faith nor in his conviction of certain things to come. It is powerful in so far as it appropriates God’s heavenly will (God’s word of promise) on earth.”

*This certainly is something to think about. Moving on…

– Yeung states that it is dangerous to separate faith into miracle faith and salvation faith.

Apparently Bultmann had two categories: Jesus’ miracle faith and Paul’s salvation faith.