July 14, 2020 – Tuesday
Genesis 15:5-7 NIV
5 He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then He said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”
6 Abram believed the Lord, and He credited it to him as righteousness.
7 He also said to him, “I am the Lord, who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to take possession of it.”
The key verse above is verse six Abram believed the Lord, and He credited it to him as righteousness. The key word in this verse, in my opinion, is believed. What I want to do is look at the Old Testament use of the word believe or belief as well as the New Testament use of them as well.
If you go to BibleGateway.com here you will see the search for the occurrences of both. There you will find in the NIV they occur 27 times in the Old Testament and 270 times in the New Testament. I am fascinated that it occurs ten times more frequently in the New Testament than in the Old Testament. Quite a change, especially when you consider the OT has approximately 3.3 times the number of words that are in the NT.
The Hebrew word used for believe or belief in the OT is ‘aman (H539 in Strong’s Dictionary). The problem is that it is also translated as a number of other words as shown here with these as the most common additional translations: faithful (20x), sure (11x), established (7x), and trust (5x). The Greek word used for believe or belief in the NT is pisteuo (G4100 in Strong’s Dictionary). However, unlike the OT word ‘aman, pisteuo is almost exclusively translated as believe or belief as shown here more than 26 times all the other translated uses combined.
How did I end up so interested in the subject of belief or believing? Recently I was reintroduced to the Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him. The two most important words in this verse, to me, are faith and believe and they seem to be intrinsically linked. Turns out they are for while believe in Greek is pisteuo (G4100), faith is pistis (G4102) which is the root word for pisteuo! Still, the more I read and reread Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him it was the word believe that kept jumping out to me, drawing my attention. Thus began my search.
Thus tomorrow I will take an in-depth look at top for the verses of the day, especially verse six. Then a trip through the OT use of ‘aman as believe or belief, then through the NT pisteuo. Of course I reserve the right to deviate whenever a Bible study, Sunday message, or prayer leads me to a different subject for a day or two.
I will leave you with the thought and prayer that your belief in God and His Son will lead you to greater and greater faith in all of His promises.