O Ye, of Little Faith

Previous Page

O Ye, of Little Faith : Phrases


This is the rebuke levelled at the disciples of Christ, when seeming to doubt his divinity. The phrase is also more widely used to describe any Christian doubter. In a secular setting it may be intended as a humorous jibe when doubting someone's abilities.



There are several places in the Bible in which this phrase is used with reference to those who demonstrate their lack of faith in Jesus' power to perform miracles. Here are a few examples, all from the King James Version:

Luke 12:27 Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Luke 12:28 If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?

Matthew 8:25 And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish.

Matthew 8:26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.

Matthew 14:30 But when he [Peter] saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.

Matthew 14:31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

In the 17th century the state of insufficient faith was of common enough interest to be given a name - petty fidianism. John Trapp, in his Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew (1647), recorded the term:

"O ye of little faith. Ye petty fidians; He calleth them not nullifidians."

Phrases Index

From Little Faith to HOME PAGE