About Jesus     Steve Sweetman

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What Is Faith?

Based on the definition of the Greek word "pistis" that is translated as "faith, believe, or trust" in the New Testament, and also based on its Biblical context, I give you the following definition of faith.

"Faith is a trusting commitment of one person to another,. based on one being persuaded that the other person can be trusted".

Inherent in the word "pistis" is the idea of "being persuaded". The New Testament context of "pistis" tells us that faith is more than mental ascent to the truth. It is much more than agreeing to what we think is true. It is in fact "a giving of ones self to the truth", and in the case of the New Testament, that truth is Jesus.

Our English word "believe" does not convey the New Testament concept of "faith in Jesus", or "belief in Jesus", or "trust in Jesus" . Our modern understanding of "believing" is simply giving mental ascent to something that is true, or we think is true.

Holman’s Bible Dictionary – faith and believe

FAITH Trusting commitment of one person to another, particularly of a person to God. Faith is the central concept of Christianity. One may be called a Christian only if one has faith.

Our English word "faith" comes from the Latin fides, as developed through the Old French words fei and feid. In Middle English (1150-1475) "faith" replaced a word that eventually evolved into "belief." "Faith" came to mean "loyalty to a person to whom one is bound by promise or duty." Faith was fidelity. "Belief" came to be distinguished from faith as an intellectual process having to do with the acceptance of a proposition. The verb form of "faith" dropped out of English usage toward the end of the sixteen hundreds. 

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