Friday, February 01, 2013

Faith is the substance of hope?


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The unknown writer of the Letter to the Hebrews wrote (11:1):
“Now, faith is the substance of things hoped for, the proof of things not having been seen.”
Nowhere does the Bible say that “faith is the substance of hope.” So, what are these “things hoped for?” And, what exactly are their relationship to faith?
To be accurate, it is not “faith” that is referred to in Hebrews 11:1, but faithfulness, fidelity, or fealty. In other words, “loyalty to God.”
(Heb 11:1) estin de pistis elpizomenon upostasis, pragmaton elegxos ou blepomenon.
Upostasis (or hupostasis) is Greek for “to stand underneath” and is often translated as “substance” or “essence” or “basis.” Here, however, the writer refers to a more proper use of the word. A hupostasis is a document that confers a right, much like a title deed. Its use, like that of a deed or automobile title today, was to prove ownership. Think about a title deed used to prove the ownership of property, which cannot be physically brought forward to show ownership (for instance in a court of law). The title deed (or hupostasis) is produced as evidence of ownership (and existence) of the immobile property (the unseen thing).
According to the writer; ‘loyalty [to God]’ is, a title deed to "hoped for things" and also loyalty is evidence (not proof) of "things unseen." But, what are these "hoped for things" and "things unseen?"

If we look at Acts 23:6

But knowing that the one part consisted of Sadducees, and the other of Pharisees, Paul cried out in the sanhedrin, Men, brothers, I am a Pharisee, a son of Pharisees; I am being judged concerning hope even resurrection of the dead!
And Acts 24:14-15

But I confess this to you that according to the Way, which they say is a sect, so I worship the ancestral God believing all things according to that having been written in the Law and the Prophets, having hope toward God, which these themselves also admit, of a resurrection being about to be of the dead, both of just and unjust ones.

And Acts 26:6-8:

And now for the hope of the promise having been made by God to the fathers, I stand being judged; to which our twelve tribes hope to arrive, worshiping in earnestness night and day, concerning which hope I am accused by the Jews, king Agrippa. Why is it judged unbelievable by you if God awakens the dead?
Now, it is clear that the “things hoped for” refer to the awakening (or arousal) of the dead to a new life.
A better translation:

Now, loyalty [to God] is a title deed to the resurrection of the dead; evidence of an unseen thing.


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