Faith -- Action or Belief?
Page 2

I will now use a standard Greek dictionary, Langenscheidt Pocket Greek Dictionary.

trust, faith, belief; faithfulness, honesty; credit, trust, security, assurance, pledge of faith, warrant, oath; treaty; hostage; argument, proof.

Our English understanding of the word "faith" is very similar to those of the Greek word -- "trust, belief, confidence."  The one thing they all share is that they are "mental processes," something that is done with the mind.  Therefore, the most common understanding of the word "faith" is "to mentally trust, believe in, or have confidence in" someone or something.

Returning to the Bible's Hebrew Roots

Do you remember the definition for the word "Source?"  The Source is "the person using the word, the author or speaker."  Most of the Sources who appear in our Bibles were members of the Hebrew culture.  Therefore, their "bundles of associations" were products of their culture.  So, our study of the word "faith" would not be complete without viewing it from the Hebrew culture's point of view.

The Hebrew root word that is usually translated as "faith" is
 

Its meanings are:

faithfulness; faithful, trusting; firmness, fidelity, steadiness; faith, support, sure, certain, established; firmness, truth.

A Comparison of the Top Two Meanings

English Greek Hebrew

loyalty
belief

confidence
trust

faithfulness
faithful

Which meaning should a translator use?  As the old saying goes -- "translators are people too."  People have Belief Systems and so do translators.  Therefore, it should not be too surprising to discover that the choice of which meaning a translator selects may be governed by his or her Religious Belief System.  

Let's see how six translators or groups of translators handled the translation in the Hebrew Bible.  The abbreviations for the English translations are listed below:

(1) KJV - King James Version 1769 (Protestant) 
(2) WEB - The Webster Bible 1832 (Protestant)
(3) DRA - Douay-Rheims Version 1899 (Roman Catholic)
(4) ASV - American Standard Version 1901 (Protestant)
(5) NIV - New International Version 1984 (Protestant)
(6) NJB - New Jerusalem Bible (Roman Catholic)

Deuteronomy 32:20

KJV WEB DRA ASV NIV NJB
And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: for they are a very froward generation, children in whom is no faith. And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end {will be}: for they {are} a very froward generation, children in whom {is} no faith. And he said: I will hide my face from them, and will consider what their last end shall be: for it is a perverse generation, and unfaithful children. And he said, I will hide my face from them, I will see what their end shall be: For they are a very perverse generation, Children in whom is no faithfulness. "I will hide my face from them," he said, "and see what their end will be; for they are a perverse generation, children who are unfaithful. 'I shall hide my face from them,' he said, 'and see what will become of them. For they are a deceitful brood, children with no loyalty in them.

In this verse the most accurate translations are the Douay-Rheims Version, American Standard Version, New International Version, and New Jerusalem Bible. 

1 Samuel 26:23

KJV WEB DRA ASV NIV NJB
The LORD render to every man his righteousness and his faithfulness: for the LORD delivered thee into my hand to day, but I would not stretch forth mine hand against the LORD'S anointed. The LORD render to every man his righteousness and his faithfulness: for the LORD delivered thee into {my} hand to-day, but I would not stretch forth my hand against the LORD'S anointed. And the Lord will reward every one according to his justice, and his faithfulness: for the Lord hath delivered thee this day into my hand, and I would not put forth my hand against the Lord's anointed. And Jehovah will render to every man his righteousness and his faithfulness; forasmuch as Jehovah delivered thee into my hand to-day, and I would not put forth my hand against Jehovah's anointed. The LORD rewards every man for his righteousness and faithfulness. The LORD delivered you into my hands today, but I would not lay a hand on the LORD's anointed. May Yahweh reward each as each has been upright and loyal. Today Yahweh put you in my power but I would not raise my hand against Yahweh's anointed.

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