the meaning of "faith" in Hebrews 11
Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.I sometimes hear people use this verse to support the view that faith does not involve works. They focus on the beginning and end of the verse: Faith is ... not seen. But they misinterpret the meaning of the verse by overlooking a key part of it: Faith is the substance ..., the evidence ...
By the way, there are hundreds of doublets in the New Testament, in which two or more words express the same or similar meaning. The phrases the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen constitute a synonymous doublet.
Throughout chapter 11 the author of Hebrews illustrates James’ assertion (James 2:20-24) that works are an integral component of faith:
By faith ...
... Abel offered a more excellent sacrifice than CainIn this context, faith conveys the idea of following God’s advice, so I’ve clarified verses 1-3 for my target audience as follows:
... Noah prepared an ark
... Abraham obeyed & went out, not knowing where he was going
... Sarah bore a child
... Abraham offered Isaac
... Moses chose to suffer affliction with the people of God
... the people of God passed through the Red Sea on dry land
Our ancestors demonstrated long ago that following God’s advice is the only way the world can be restored to the way it was when God originally created it.
Categories: exegesis, Bible translation, Better Life Bible