From: Jim West (jwest@Highland.Net)
Date: Tue May 04 1999 - 12:31:45 EDT
At 12:04 PM 5/4/99 +0000, you wrote:
>I have several questions regarding Hebrews 11:1, which reads as follows:
>ESTIN DE PISTIS ELPIZOMENWN HUPOSTASIS PRAGMATWN ELEGXOS OU BLEPOMENWN.
>1. One generally sees HUPOSTASIS and ELEGXOS translated with a definite
>article in English, but they lack such in Greek. I realize that Greek and
>English sometimes use the article in different ways. But wouldn't it be
>possible to render these words without the article, as in "Now faith is of
>things hoped for a confident assurance, a conviction of things not seen"?
Or perhaps, "Faith is substantive hopefulness and conviction without aid of
I agree with your assesment that the definite article is not necessary here
in English either.
>2. Does PRAGMATWN belong with ELPIZOMENWN, BLEPOMENWN, or both? Could it
>possibly have a stronger force than "things" here; maybe something like
Or perhaps "deeds", "actions".
>3. My main question is whether HUPOSTASIS should be taken as "substance"
>or "assurance" here. (I looked in the archives and couldn't find a
>discussion of this.) [snipped]
I think "substantive" or some such meaning is most likely- though the range
is fairly broad. Still, I take it in almost a philosophical way, and
believe that that is how the word is intended.
>Any thoughts on this? Am I missing any evidence that is relevant to the
>question? And if the translation should be "substance," what is that
>supposed to mean? Thanks in advance for whatever light you can shine on
Well, faith is substantive- it is not mere "pie in the sky in the sweet bye
and bye". I think the author here is intimating that faith is as real as
material reality. In fact, I might go so far as to say that he is almost
using the idea of substance and reality in a Platonic sense. I.e., it is
the heavenly that is real and the earthly is merely shadow of that reality.
Faith then grasps the really real while discounting the apperance of
>Kevin L. Barney
Jim West, ThD
Petros Baptist Church- Pastor
Quartz Hill School of Theology- Adjunct Prof. of Bible
web page- http://web.infoave.net/~jwest
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