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PISTIS

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The apostle Paul wrote at Hebrews 11.1 "Estin de pistis elpizomenôn hupostasis pragmatôn elenchos ou blepomenôn: en tautêi gar emarturêthêsan hoi presbuteroi"



Pistis means to trust or a trust, often meaning position of trust such as a trustee, a pledge or act of good faith, a guarantee given, an entrustment, often used in the Greek commercial world to account one credit [e.g., tosouton chrematon esti tini para tisi - eis pistin didonai - he has credit for so much money with them] - the Hebrew noun corresponding to emunah, rendered pistis, in the Septuagint - from the root aman means firm, something that is supported or secure - as used in Isaiah 22:23 for a nail that is fastened to a "secure" place - the Hebrew emunah is a firm action - hence the specific examples given in Hebrews 11 of what faith "is". This idea of support for the word emunah can be seen in Exodus 17:12, "But Moses' hands grew weary; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat upon it, and Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side; so his hands were steady (emunah) until the going down of the sun." It is the support/emunah of Aaron and Hur that held up Moses' arms, not the support/emunah of Moses - "I have faith in God", should be more accurately saying according to Hebrew application, "I will do what I can to support God".



Elpizomenôn [form of elpizô] which refers to one's expectations, looking forward to something, even to look for in wait for that which you know exists.



Hupostasis refers to that which settles at the bottom, the sediment [even the lower part of a crenellated wall], the substantial nature of a thing, its true foundation, its true support upon immovable confidence can be placed, its true purpose, its underlying plan - used quite often in antiquities in specific reference to what we would call today, a title deed - which is the underlying and foundational official document for property ownership.



Pragmatôn [from pragma] meaning that which has been done, an act, or a deed.



Eenchos - a cross examining, or testing.



Bepomenôn [from blepô] meaning to see, to have the power of sight.



Earturêthêsan [aortist passive form of martureo] meaning to be a witness, the bear witness, give evidence, or bear testimony.



Pesbuteroi [from presbus], lierally, an old man, or elderly one.



Faith is the assured expectation of things hoped for, the evident demonstration of realities [foundational] though not beheld - for by means of this the men of old times had witness borne to them.



In other words, as stated in 11:3, by faith we perceive that the systems of things were put in order by God’s word, so that what is beheld has come to be out of things that do not appear. 



Hebrews 11:4-40 then proceeds to provide many examples of pistis.



"Certain of what we do not see" - no, certain of the foundational things not now seen on the immediate surface for the reality of them must be observed through examination and testing of the true foundation underlying them.




A person invoking “faith” could be compared to a person who steps from the shore of a murky lake onto a lily pad but his weight does not collapse the pad and so he does not fall into the water – he performed this act not in a blind belief [a trust with no underlying basis] that a “miracle” would be the cause for his weight not collapsing the lily pad – but because he was able to observe that the pad rested upon a column of concrete lying under the waters surface – and he long ago tested the reality of that observation and was provided comprehension through examination that what he observed was real – and so he knew, or “came to know” that when he left the solid ground to step on the lily pad, that it would hold his weight, and he would not fall into the water. He had an assured expectation of that which he longed or hoped for because of the evident demonstration of realities [foundational] though not beheld from simply the surface of the murky water which appeared to present only a lily pad which floated upon water – he therefore, had witness borne to him.

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