Hebrews 11:1
New International Version
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

New Living Translation
Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.

English Standard Version
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Berean Study Bible
Now faith is the assurance of what we hope for and the certainty of what we do not see.

Berean Literal Bible
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not being seen.

King James Bible
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

New King James Version
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

New American Standard Bible
Now faith is the certainty of things hoped for, a proof of things not seen.

NASB 1995
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

NASB 1977
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Amplified Bible
Now faith is the assurance (title deed, confirmation) of things hoped for (divinely guaranteed), and the evidence of things not seen [the conviction of their reality—faith comprehends as fact what cannot be experienced by the physical senses].

Christian Standard Bible
Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.

American Standard Version
Now faith is assurance of things hoped for, a conviction of things not seen.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Now faith is the conviction concerning those things that are in hope, as if it were these things in action, and the revelation of those things that are unseen;

Contemporary English Version
Faith makes us sure of what we hope for and gives us proof of what we cannot see.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Now faith is the substance of things to be hoped for, the evidence of things that appear not.

English Revised Version
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the proving of things not seen.

Good News Translation
To have faith is to be sure of the things we hope for, to be certain of the things we cannot see.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Faith assures us of things we expect and convinces us of the existence of things we cannot see.

International Standard Version
Now faith is the assurance that what we hope for will come about and the certainty that what we cannot see exists.

Literal Standard Version
Now faith is [the] substance of things hoped for, [the] proof of matters not being seen,

NET Bible
Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, being convinced of what we do not see.

New Heart English Bible
Now faith is being confident of what we hope for, convinced about things we do not see.

Weymouth New Testament
Now faith is a well-grounded assurance of that for which we hope, and a conviction of the reality of things which we do not see.

World English Bible
Now faith is assurance of things hoped for, proof of things not seen.

Young's Literal Translation
And faith is of things hoped for a confidence, of matters not seen a conviction,

Additional Translations ...
Faith and Assurance
1Now faith is the assurance of what we hope for and the certainty of what we do not see. 2This is why the ancients were commended.…

Cross References
Romans 8:24
For in this hope we were saved; but hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he can already see?

2 Corinthians 4:18
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

2 Corinthians 5:7
For we walk by faith, not by sight.

Hebrews 3:6
But Christ is faithful as the Son over God's house. And we are His house, if we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope of which we boast.

Hebrews 3:14
We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly to the end the assurance we had at first.

Hebrews 10:39
But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.

Hebrews 11:7
By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in godly fear built an ark to save his family. By faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.

Hebrews 11:27
By faith Moses left Egypt, not fearing the king's anger; he persevered because he saw Him who is invisible.

Treasury of Scripture

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


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 10:22,39
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…

Acts 20:21
Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

is the.

Psalm 27:13
I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.

Psalm 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.


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.


Hebrews 6:12,18,19
That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises…

the evidence.

Hebrews 11:7,27
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…

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? …

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.

(1) We have seen how the writer approached the subject which is the chief theme of this last division of this Epistle. The coming of the Lord, for judgment upon His adversaries, for salvation to His people, draws nigh. In the midst of dangers and judgments God's righteous servant shall live, and the ground, of his life is his steadfast faith--if he shrink back, destruction will overtake him. "Our principle of action" (the writer says to his Hebrew readers) "is not shrinking back, but faith. And faith is this. . . ." It has been debated whether that which follows is a definition of what faith is, or in reality a description of what faith does. It is not a complete definition, in the sense of including all the moments of thought which are present in the word as used in the last chapter (Hebrews 11:38) or in this. The "things hoped for" are not mere figments of the imagination; their basis is the word of God. If we keep this in mind, the words, still remaining general in their form, agree with all that has led up to them and with all that follows; and whether they be called definition or description will be of little consequence.

The exact meaning of the special terms here used it is not easy to ascertain. The word rendered "substance" has already occurred twice in the Epistle. In Hebrews 1:3 this was its true meaning--the essence which, so to speak, underlies, "stands under," the qualities possessed. In Hebrews 3:14 the same metaphor of standing under is applied to steadfastness, confidence (see the Note). The former of these renderings the Authorised version.--in this instance deserting the earlier translations (which for the most part have "sure confidence" or "ground") to follow the Rhemish in its rendering of the Latin. substantia--has made familiar in the present passage. The sense which it presents, however, is not very clean; and the symmetry of the verse almost compels us here to make choice of some word which denotes an act, or at all events an attitude, of the mind. Most commentators of our own day accept the second meaning explained above, "confidence" or "assurance in regard to things hoped for." To adopt Dr. Vaughan's clear explanation, "Faith is that principle, that exercise of mind and soul, which has for its object things not seen but hoped for, and which, instead of sinking under them as too ponderous, whether from their difficulty or from their uncertainty, stands firm under them--supports and sustains their pressure--in other words, is assured of, confides in and relies on them." This interpretation yields an excellent sense, and has the advantage of assigning to the Greek word a meaning which it certainly bears in an earlier chapter, and in two places of St. Paul's Epistles. On the other hand, the analogy of the second member of the verse, and a peculiarity in the Greek construction which we cannot here discuss, seem to be in favour of a third rendering of the words: "Faith is the giving substance to things hoped for." It has indeed been said that by such a translation the things hoped for are represented as being without substance. But this difficulty is only apparent; for in regard to ourselves these objects of our hope do not yet exist, since they still belong to the future (Romans 8:24-25). In the second clause the word "evidence" is likely to mislead; very probably, indeed, it now fails to convey the sense intended by our translators, who hero followed the rendering of the Genevan Bible (suggested by Calvin's "evidentia"). The Greek word denotes putting to the test, examining for the purpose of proof, bringing to conviction. Under this aspect faith appears as neither blindly rejecting nor blindly accepting whatever may be said about things unseen, but boldly dealing with them as if with things seen, and then unflinchingly accepting that which has stood the proof. One peculiarity of the Greek yet remains to be noticed. In the second clause the word "things" is expressed in the Greek (as in Hebrews 6:18), but not in the first; we are by this means reminded of the reality of that which is thus spoken of as unseen. The whole verse, then, may be rendered "Now faith is the giving substance to what is hoped for, the testing of things not seen." And now passing away from the general aspect of the words to that in which they are presented by the context, we have as the meaning: Faith, holding to God's word, gives substance to what that word promises, investing the future blessings with a present existence, treating them as if already objects of sight rather than of hope. Through faith, guided by the same word, the things unseen are brought to the proof; what that word teaches, though future, or though belonging to a world beyond human sight, is received with full conviction. Thus "every genuine act of faith is the act of the whole man, not of his understanding alone, not of his affections alone, not of his will alone, but of all three in their central, aboriginal unity." And thus faith becomes "the faculty in man through which the spiritual world exercises its sway over him, and thereby enables him to overcome the world of sin and death." (Hare, Victory of Faith.)

Verse 1. - Now faith is the substance (so A.V., with marginal readings, "or ground, or, confidence") of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. On the senses in which the word ὑπόστασις (translated "substance") may be used, see under Hebrews 1:2. As to the sense intended here, views differ. There are three possible ones, expressed in the text and margin of the A.V., substance, ground, and confidence. The first is understood by the Fathers generally, the idea being supposed to be that, inasmuch as things not yet experienced, but only hoped for, become real to us by faith, faith is metaphysically their substance, as substantiating them to us. So Theophilus: Οὐσίωσις τῶν μήπω ὄντων ὑπόστασις τῶν μὴ ὑφεστηκότων: and Chrysostom, who illustrates thus: "The resurrection has not yet taken place, but faith substantiates (ὑφίστησιν) it in our souls." So also Dante, following St. Thomas Aquinas, in a striking passage quoted by Delitzsch ('Paradise,' 24:70-75) -

"Le profonde cose
Che mi largiscon qui la lor parvenza
Agli occhi di laggiu son si nascose,
Che l'esser lore ve in sola credenza,
Sovra la qual si fondu Palta spene:
E pero di sustanza prende Fintenza."

"The things profound
That here vouch safe to me their apparition
From all eyes here below are so concealed
That all their being is in faith alone,
Upon the which high hope doth base itself:
And therefore faith assumes the place of substance."
The rendering ground, which involves only the simpler idea of faith being the foundation on which hope is built, has not much support from the use of the word elsewhere, nor does it seem suitable here. For it is not the things hoped for, but rather our hopes of them that are grounded on our faith. The subjective sense, confidence, or assurance, is most in favor with modern commentators, principally as being the most usual one (cf. Hebrews 3:14; 2 Corinthians 9:4; 2 Corinthians 11:17; also Psalm 38:11, Ἡ ὑπόστασις μου παρὰ σοῦ ἔστιν: Ezekiel 19:5, Ἀπώλετο ἡ ὑπόστασις αὐτῆς: Ruth 1:12, Ἔστι μοι ὑπόστασις τοῦ γενεθῆναι με ἀνδρί). One objection to this sense of the word here is that it is usually followed, when so intended, by a genitive of rite person, not of the thing; though Ruth 1:12 is an instance to the contrary. But apart from this consideration, the consensus of the Greek Fathers is a weighty argument for the retention of the rendering of the A.V. Either rendering, be it observed, gives the same essential meaning, though under different mental conceptions. Faith is further said to be the evidence of things not seen; ἔλεγχος meaning, not as some take it, inward conviction of their existence, but in itself a demonstration, serving the purpose of argument to induce conviction. So Dante, in continuation of the passage quoted above -

"E da questa credenza ci conviene
Sillogizar senza avere ultra visa;
E pero intenza d'argomento tiene."

"And from this credence it is fit and right
To syllogize, though other sight be none:
Therefore faith holds the place of argument."
Is this meant as a definition of faith, or only a description of its effect and operation, with especial regard to the subject in hand? Virtually a definition, though not in the strict logical form of one. At any rate, "the constituents and essential characteristics of faith are here laid down" (Delitzsch); i.e. of faith in its most general sense - that of belief in such things, whether past, present, or future, as are not known by experience, and cannot be logically demonstrated. "Licet quidam dicant praedicta apostoli verba non esse fidei definitionem, quia definitio indicat rei quidditatem et essentiam, tamen si quis recte consideret, omnia ex quibus fides potest definiri in praedicta descriptione tanguntur, licet verba non ordinentur sub forma definitionis" (St. Thomas Aquinas, 'Secunda Secundae,' qu. 4, art. 1). Faith, in the general sense indicated, is and has ever been, as the chapter goes on to show, the very root and inspiring principle of all true religion. And be it observed that, if well grounded, it is not irrational; it would rather be irrational to disregard it, or suppose it opposed to reason. Even in ordinary affairs of life, and in science too, men act, and must act, to a great extent on faith; it is essential for success, and certainly for all great achievements - faith in the testimony and authority of others whom we can trust, faith in views and principles not yet verified by our own experience, faith in the expected outcome of right proceeding, faith with respect to a thousand things which we take on trust, and so make ventures, on the ground, not of positive proof, but of more or less assured conviction. Religious faith is the same principle, though exercised in a higher sphere; and it may be as well grounded as any on which irreligious men are acting daily. Various feelings and considerations may conspire to induce it: the very phenomena of the visible universe, which, though themselves objects of sense, speak to the soul of a Divinity beyond them; still more, conscience, recognized as a Divine voice within us, and implying a Power above us to whom we are responsible; then all our strange yearnings after ideals not yet realized, our innate sense that righteousness ought to triumph over iniquity, as in our disordered world it does not yet; - which things are in themselves prophetic; and, in addition to all this, the general human belief in Deity. And when, further, a revelation has been given, its answering to our already felt needs and aspirations, together with the usual considerations on which we give credence to testimony, induces faith in it also, and in the things by it revealed; natural faith is thus confirmed, and faith in other verities is borne in upon the soul; which is further itself confirmed by experience of the effects of entertaining it. In some minds, as is well known, and these of the highest order, such faith may amount to certitude, rendering the "things unseen" more real to them than "the things that do appear." It cannot be said that to accept such faith as evidence is contrary to reason; our not doing so would be to put aside as meaning nothing the deepest, the most spiritual, the most elevating faculties of our mysterious nature, by means of which, no less than by our other faculties, we are constituted so as to apprehend the truth. And we may observe, lastly, that even to those who have not themselves this "fullness of faith," its very existence in others, including so many of the great and good, may surely be rationally accepted as evidence of realities corresponding to it.

Parallel Commentaries ...

δὲ (de)
Strong's 1161: A primary particle; but, and, etc.

πίστις (pistis)
Noun - Nominative Feminine Singular
Strong's 4102: Faith, belief, trust, confidence; fidelity, faithfulness.

Ἔστιν (Estin)
Verb - Present Indicative Active - 3rd Person Singular
Strong's 1510: I am, exist. The first person singular present indicative; a prolonged form of a primary and defective verb; I exist.

[the] assurance
ὑπόστασις (hypostasis)
Noun - Nominative Feminine Singular
Strong's 5287: From a compound of hupo and histemi; a setting under, i.e. concretely, essence, or abstractly, assurance.

of what [we] hope for
ἐλπιζομένων (elpizomenōn)
Verb - Present Participle Middle or Passive - Genitive Neuter Plural
Strong's 1679: To hope, hope for, expect, trust. From elpis; to expect or confide.

[and the] certainty
ἔλεγχος (elenchos)
Noun - Nominative Masculine Singular
Strong's 1650: A proof, possibly: a persuasion; reproof. From elegcho; proof, conviction.

of what
πραγμάτων (pragmatōn)
Noun - Genitive Neuter Plural
Strong's 4229: A thing done, a deed, action; a matter, an affair. From prasso; a deed; by implication, an affair; by extension, an object.

we do not see.
βλεπομένων (blepomenōn)
Verb - Present Participle Middle or Passive - Genitive Neuter Plural
Strong's 991: (primarily physical), I look, see, perceive, discern. A primary verb; to look at.

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NT Letters: Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is assurance of things hoped (Heb. He. Hb)
Hebrews 10:39
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