Mr. Tiny Trust, do you doubt as much as this?
Mat 14:31 O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
Interesting and Hidden Aspects:
This is Christ's statement when Peter begins to sink after walking on water. This is the only verse in which Christ uses this verb for "doubt," which is interesting considering that his topic is often trust and belief. The statement seem much lighter in Greek. There is also a hidden reference to distance here.
"O thou of little faith" is a single word in Greek that means literally, "little faith", "small confidence," or "minimal trust." It an adjective, but it is in a form that make is a masculine form of address. this is very must like we add "Mr." to the beginning of an adjective to make it a name. It is a phrase Christ uses when challenging how people feel (see Mat 8:26).
The word "whereof" is actually from two words. The first means "into" a place, "towards" as a direction, and "as far as" limits in time and measure. Here, the sense seems to be of measure that Peter's trust on reached as far as his walk on water.The second word means as "what", "why," or "how," but it has a lot of uses including in singular meaning "anyone", "someone," and "anything." In the plural, it means "some", "they," and "those." This phrase makes
"Did you doubt" is from distazô , which means "to doubt" and "to hesitate." It means literally, "to drop twice."
Greek philosophy balances the risks and rewards of trust. Among their sayings are: "Trust and disbelief [both] destroy a man." and "Trust and destroy; doubt but preserve. Christ, on the other hand, taught that trust makes all things possible. "What Christ is asking here is pretty significant. When we believe, we recognize that we believe for a reason, that is, because we get something out of our belief. Christ is saying the the opposite is also true. When we doubt, we must do it for a reason, but what can we get out of it? We do it to protect ourselves. In this case, Peter started to doubt (which means something like "rethinking," see below) because he wanted to save his life, but none of us can save our lives except temporarily. In the end, we are all dead. If we are to gain something beyond death, we have to learn to have faith. Since water is Christ's symbol for the physical, the statement is simply that by trusting in God, we can overcome our physical limitations.
The phrase is reference to how far Peter walked before he doubted. In English, we might say this as "you trust as far as this" but it is said
Ὀλιγόπιστε, (adj sg masc voc) "Oh thou of little faith" is from oligopistos, which means literally, "small trust." It is a word built of two words. From oligos, which means "little", "small", "slight", "few," and "weak." As an adverb it means "a little", "slightly," and "little. ""Faith" is from pistis, which means "confidence", "assurance", "trustworthiness", "credit", "a trust, ""that which give confidence," and, as a character trait, "faithfulness."
εἰς "Whereof" is from eis, (with tis below) which means "into (of place), ""up to (of time)", "until (of time)", "as much as (of measure or limit)", "as far as (of measure or limit)", "towards (to express relation)", "in regard to (to express relation)", "of an end or limit," and "for (of purpose or object)."
τί (pron sg neut acc) "Whereof" is from tis (with eis above) which can mean "someone", "any one", "everyone", "they [indefinite]", "many a one", "whoever", "anyone", "anything", "some sort", "some sort of", "each", "any", "the individual", "such," and so on. In a question, it can mean "who", "why," or "what."