What is faith?
A definition is in order. What is faith? If faith means to believe something without proof, as many claim, then how is it different from blind faith? What I find funny is that those who dislike faith because it believes without proof, believe in this definition of faith – without proof!
The word faith appears many times in the Bible in the New Testament, which was written in Greek. If we turn to a Greek scholar’s work, Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words and look up faith, we find it is the word pistis, which means “primarily, firm persuasion (akin to peitho, to persuade), a conviction based upon hearing, is used in the N.T. always of faith in God or Christ, or things spiritual.”
To have faith means to have a firm conviction about something. How one comes to faith is not in the meaning of the word. One may have faith based on a wide variety of evidence, or not; the proof is not part of the semantic meaning of the word. The meaning of faith is centered on the persuasion you have, not on how you arrived by that persuasion, or even what you believe in.
Those who say that (true) faith is blind or that it means to believe something against all reason are wrong. Religious faith is based on a Greek word with a real definition found in a Greek dictionary which derives its meaning from the N.T. context in which it appears. Faith means to be persuaded of something. (The only biblically sound reason for faith to mean something different is when it’s said to be “the faith,” in which case it is talking about the Christian life and doctrine in general.)
If you strongly insist (have a firm conviction, have faith) that faith means to believe something in spite of the facts, then your personal faith is real, but based on false information.
A wrong meaning of faith will result in wrong practices and a wrong understanding of the Scriptures in which the word appears. Continue reading