Jim Humphrey Consulting

Vol 3, No 20 Vol 3, No 22

Recap of the "Faith" Words in the NT

Volume 3, Number 21
Created Date: September 15, 2009
Posted Date: September 15, 2009

Greek words translated faith, faithful, believe, of little faith, unbelief, etc. in the New Testament:

We began studying the subject of faith in the New Testament over a year ago. Our methodology in doing so is to examine how different words having to do with faith are used in their various Scriptural contexts and from that attempt to derive what our Lord has for our understanding. For the purpose of this study I am using the King James version of the Bible and as with any version it should be noted that some Greek words in the original manuscripts are translated with a variety of different English words, depending on what the translators believed was required to convey the meaning within each respective context. The various Greek words with which we are involved, the number of times they are found in the New Testament and generally how they are translated into English are listed as follows:

1. Pistis is used 244 times, usually translated “faith” but sometimes with other words such as assurance, belief, etc. (Smith's Greek-English Concordance # 4002.)

2. Pistos is used 66 times, usually translated “faithful” but sometimes translated with other words such as believe, believing, faithfully, etc. (Smith's # 4003.)

3. Pisteuo is used 248 times, unusually translated “believe” but sometimes translated with other words such as “commit unto,” “commit to (one's) trust,” etc. (Smith's # 4000.)

4. Oligopistos is used only 5 times in Matthew and Luke where it is always translated “of little faith.” (Smith's # 3540)

5. Apisteo is used 7 times where it is always translated “believe not.” (Smith's # 569.)

6. Apistia is used 12 times where it is always translated “unbelief.” (Smith's # 570.)

7. Apistos is used 23 times, unusually translated “that believe not” but sometimes, unbelieving, faithless, etc. (Smith's # 571.)

We began our studies in the Gospels, i.e., Matthew, Mark, Luke and John over a year ago with the Greek word “Pistis,” usually translated “faith.” We have completed our examination of each of the 24 passages where it is found in the Gospels and reached some conclusions, as stated in our recent studies. The plan from here forward is to do the same with the other six words listed above before we move on to the book of Acts and the epistles that follow.

I attempt to keep each of these studies as short and to the point as possible but it is sometimes difficult to deal with a particular subject in one short session. With this thought in mind, this particular study is presented as an introduction to what will follow. In our next study we will focus on how the Greek word “pistos” translated “faithful” is used in the Gospels.

Jim Humphrey
Vol 3, No 20 Vol 3, No 22