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Hebrews 11:1 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Now faith is assurance of [things] hoped for, a conviction of things not seen.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Now faith is the assurance of [things] hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— Now faith is [the] substantiating of things hoped for, [the] conviction of things not seen.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— But faith is, of things hoped for, a confidence, of facts, a conviction, when they are not seen;
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— And faith is of things hoped for a confidence, of matters not seen a conviction,
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Now, faith is the substance of things to be hoped for, the evidence of things that appear not.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the euidence of things not seen.
John Etheridge Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1849)
— Now FAITH is the persuasion concerning things which are in hope, as if they were in reality, and a revelation of those which are not seen.
James Murdock Peshitta-Aramaic NT (1852)
— Now faith is the persuasion of the things that are in hope, as if they were in act; and [it is] the manifestness of the things not seen.

Strong's Numbers & Red-LettersGreek New TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Now 1161
{1161} Prime
δέ
de
{deh}
A primary particle (adversative or continuative); but, and, etc.
faith 4102
{4102} Prime
πίστις
pistis
{pis'-tis}
From G3982; persuasion, that is, credence; moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), especially reliance upon Christ for salvation; abstractly constancy in such profession; by extension the system of religious (Gospel) truth itself.
is 2076
{2076} Prime
ἐστί
esti
{es-tee'}
Third person singular present indicative of G1510; he (she or it) is; also (with neuter plural) they are.
z5748
<5748> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - No Voice Stated (See G5799)
Mood - Indicative (See G5791)
Count - 1612
the substance 5287
{5287} Prime
ὑπόστασις
hupostasis
{hoop-os'-tas-is}
From a compound of G5259 and G2476; a setting under (support), that is, (figuratively) concretely essence, or abstractly assurance (objectively or subjectively).
of things hoped for, 1679
{1679} Prime
ἐλπίζω
elpizo
{el-pid'-zo}
From G1680; to expect or confide.
z5746
<5746> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Passive (See G5786)
Mood - Participle (See G5796)
Count - 360
the evidence 1650
{1650} Prime
ἔλεγχος
elegchos
{el'-eng-khos}
From G1651; proof, conviction.
of things 4229
{4229} Prime
πρᾶγμα
pragma
{prag'-mah}
From G4238; a deed; by implication an affair; by extension an object (material).
not 3756
{3756} Prime
οὐ
ou
{oo}
A primary word; the absolutely negative (compare G3361) adverb; no or not.
seen. 991
{0991} Prime
βλέπω
blepo
{blep'-o}
A primary verb; to look at (literally or figuratively).
z5746
<5746> Grammar
Tense - Present (See G5774)
Voice - Passive (See G5786)
Mood - Participle (See G5796)
Count - 360
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Hebrews 11:1

_ _ Hebrews 11:1-40. Definition of the faith just spoken of (Hebrews 10:39): Examples from the Old Covenant for our perseverance in faith.

_ _ Description of the great things which faith (in its widest sense: not here restricted to faith in the Gospel sense) does for us. Not a full definition of faith in its whole nature, but a description of its great characteristics in relation to the subject of Paul’s exhortation here, namely, to perseverance.

_ _ substance, etc. — It substantiates promises of God which we hope for, as future in fulfillment, making them present realities to us. However, the Greek is translated in Hebrews 3:14, “confidence”; and it also here may mean “sure confidence.” So Alford translates. Thomas Magister supports English Version, “The whole thing that follows is virtually contained in the first principle; now the first commencement of the things hoped for is in us through the assent of faith, which virtually contains all the things hoped for.” Compare Note, see on Hebrews 6:5, “tasted ... powers of the world to come.” Through faith, the future object of Christian hope, in its beginning, is already present. True faith infers the reality of the objects believed in and honed for (Hebrews 11:6). Hugo De St. Victor distinguished faith from hope. By faith alone we are sure of eternal things that they ARE: but by hope we are confident that WE SHALL HAVE them. All hope presupposes faith (Romans 8:25).

_ _ evidence — “demonstration”: convincing proof to the believer: the soul thereby seeing what the eye cannot see.

_ _ things not seen — the whole invisible and spiritual world: not things future and things pleasant, as the “things hoped for,” but also the past and present, and those the reverse of pleasant. “Eternal life is promised to us, but it is when we are dead: we are told of a blessed resurrection, but meanwhile we molder in the dust; we are declared to be justified, and sin dwells in us; we hear that we are blessed, meantime we are overwhelmed in endless miseries: we are promised abundance of all goods, but we still endure hunger and thirst; God declares He will immediately come to our help, but He seems deaf to our cries. What should we do if we had not faith and hope to lean on, and if our mind did not emerge amidst the darkness above the world by the shining of the Word and Spirit of God?” [Calvin]. Faith is an assent unto truths credible upon the testimony of God (not on the reasonableness of the thing revealed, though by this we may judge as to whether it be what it professes, a genuine revelation), delivered unto us in the writings of the apostles and prophets. Thus Christ’s ascension is the cause, and His absence the crown, of our faith: because He ascended, we the more believe, and because we believe in Him who hath ascended, our faith is the more accepted [Bishop Pearson]. Faith believes what it sees not; for if thou seest there is no faith; the Lord has gone away so as not to be seen: He is hidden that He may be believed; the yearning desire by faith after Him who is unseen is the preparation of a heavenly mansion for us; when He shall be seen it shall be given to us as the reward of faith [Augustine]. As Revelation deals with spiritual and invisible things exclusively, faith is the faculty needed by us, since it is the evidence of things not seen. By faith we venture our eternal interests on the bare word of God, and this is altogether reasonable.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Hebrews 11:1-3

_ _ Here we have, I. A definition or description of the grace of faith in two parts. 1. It is the substance of things hoped for. Faith and hope go together; and the same things that are the object of our hope are the object of our faith. It is a firm persuasion and expectation that God will perform all that he has promised to us in Christ; and this persuasion is so strong that it gives the soul a kind of possession and present fruition of those things, gives them a subsistence in the soul, by the first-fruits and foretastes of them: so that believers in the exercise of faith are filled with joy unspeakable and full of glory. Christ dwells in the soul by faith, and the soul is filled with the fullness of God, as far as his present measure will admit; he experiences a substantial reality in the objects of faith. 2. It is the evidence of things not seen. Faith demonstrates to the eye of the mind the reality of those things that cannot be discerned by the eye of the body. Faith is the firm assent of the soul to the divine revelation and every part of it, and sets to its seal that God is true. It is a full approbation of all that God has revealed as holy, just, and good; it helps the soul to make application of all to itself with suitable affections and endeavours; and so it is designed to serve the believer instead of sight, and to be to the soul all that the senses are to the body. That faith is but opinion or fancy which does not realize invisible things to the soul, and excite the soul to act agreeably to the nature and importance of them.

_ _ II. An account of the honour it reflects upon all those who have lived in the exercise of it (Hebrews 11:2): By it the elders obtained a good report — the ancient believers, who lived in the first ages of the world. Observe, 1. True faith is an old grace, and has the best plea to antiquity: it is not a new invention, a modern fancy; it is a grace that has been planted in the soul of man ever since the covenant of grace was published in the world; and it has been practiced from the beginning of the revelation; the eldest and best men that ever were in the world were believers. 2. Their faith was their honour; it reflected honour upon them. They were an honour to their faith, and their faith was an honour to them. It put them upon doing the things that were of good report, and God has taken care that a record shall be kept and report made of the excellent things they did in the strength of this grace. The genuine actings of faith will bear to be reported, deserve to be reported, and will, when reported, redound to the honour of true believers.

_ _ III. We have here one of the first acts and articles of faith, which has a great influence on all the rest, and which is common to all believers in every age and part of the world, namely, the creation of the worlds by the word of God, not out of pre-existent matter, but out of nothing, Hebrews 11:3. The grace of faith has a retrospect as well as prospect; it looks not only forward to the end of the world, but back to the beginning of the world. By faith we understand much more of the formation of the world than ever could be understood by the naked eye of natural reason. Faith is not a force upon the understanding, but a friend and a help to it. Now what does faith give us to understand concerning the worlds, that is, the upper, middle, and lower regions of the universe? 1. That these worlds were not eternal, nor did they produce themselves, but they were made by another. 2. That the maker of the worlds is god; he is the maker of all things; and whoever is so must be God. 3. That he made the world with great exactness; it was a framed work, in every thing duly adapted and disposed to answer its end, and to express the perfections of the Creator. 4. That God made the world by his word, that is, by his essential wisdom and eternal Son, and by his active will, saying, Let it be done, and it was done, Psalms 33:9. 5. That the world was thus framed out of nothing, out of no pre-existent matter, contrary to the received maxim, that “out of nothing nothing can be made,” which, though true of created power, can have no place with God, who can call things that are not as if they were, and command them into being. These things we understand by faith. The Bible gives us the truest and most exact account of the origin of all things, and we are to believe it, and not to wrest or run down the scripture-account of the creation, because it does not suit with some fantastic hypotheses of our own, which has been in some learned but conceited men the first remarkable step towards infidelity, and has led them into many more.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Hebrews 11:1

The definition of faith given in this verse, and exemplified in the various instances following, undoubtedly includes justifying faith, but not directly as justifying. For faith justifies only as it refers to, and depends on, Christ. But here is no mention of him as the object of faith; and in several of the instances that follow, no notice is taken of him or his salvation, but only of temporal blessings obtained by faith. And yet they may all be considered as evidences of the power of justifying faith in Christ, and of its extensive exercise in a course of steady obedience amidst difficulties and dangers of every kind. Now faith is the subsistence of things hoped for, the evidence or conviction of things not seen — Things hoped for are not so extensive as things not seen. The former are only things future and joyful to us ; the latter are either future, past, or present, and those either good or evil, whether to us or others. The subsistence of things hoped for — Giving a kind of present subsistence to the good things which God has promised: the divine supernatural evidence exhibited to, the conviction hereby produced in, a believer of things not seen, whether past, future, or spiritual; particularly of God and the things of God.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Hebrews 11:1

Now (1) faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

(1) An excellent description of faith by the effects, because it represents things which are but yet in hope, and sets as it were before our eyes things that are invisible.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
faith:

Hebrews 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of [them], and embraced [them], and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
Hebrews 10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
Hebrews 10:39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.
Acts 20:21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 13:13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity.
Galatians 5:6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
Titus 1:1 Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;
1 Peter 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
2 Peter 1:1 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:

is the:

Psalms 27:13 [I had fainted], unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.
Psalms 42:11 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, [who is] the health of my countenance, and my God.

substance:
or, ground, or, confidence,
Hebrews 2:3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard [him];
Hebrews 3:14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;
2 Corinthians 9:4 Lest haply if they of Macedonia come with me, and find you unprepared, we (that we say not, ye) should be ashamed in this same confident boasting.
2 Corinthians 11:17 That which I speak, I speak [it] not after the Lord, but as it were foolishly, in this confidence of boasting.
*Gr.

hoped:

Hebrews 6:12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
Hebrews 6:18-19 That by two immutable things, in which [it was] impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: ... Which [hope] we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;

the evidence:

Hebrews 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
Hebrews 11:27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.
Romans 8:24-25 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? ... But if we hope for that we see not, [then] do we with patience wait for [it].
2 Corinthians 4:18 While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen [are] temporal; but the things which are not seen [are] eternal.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
1 Peter 1:8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see [him] not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
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Ps 27:13; 42:11. Ac 20:21. Ro 8:24. 1Co 13:13. 2Co 4:18; 5:17; 9:4; 11:17. Ga 5:6. Tit 1:1. He 2:3; 3:14; 6:12, 18; 10:22, 39; 11:7, 13, 27. 1P 1:7, 8. 2P 1:1.

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1)Hebrews 11 is the "faith chapter"The word faith occurs not less than 24 times in this chapter.(2)The phrase"by faith" occurs 16 times& the phrase "through faith" occurs 5 times in this chapter.(3)Faith is the foundation of christian life.Our faith has to be based on the Word of God.(4)Faith is something practical.The just live by faith.
Hab.2:4;Gal.2:11;Heb.10:28.(5)Faith comes by hearing & hearing by the Word of God.Rom.
10:17.(6)Without faith,it is impossible to please God.Heb.10:5.(7)Faith is far more precious than gold.Faith will be tested by trials.1 Pet.1:7.
- Alexander (11/2/2008 8:25:19 AM) [qBible.com]
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