Robertson's Word Pictures (NT)
Now faith is (estin de pistiv). He has just said that "we are of faith" (Hebrews 10:39), not of apostasy. Now he proceeds in a chapter of great eloquence and passion to illustrate his point by a recital of the heroes of faith whose example should spur them to like loyalty now.
The assurance of things hoped for (elpizomenwn upostasiv).
Hupostasis is a very common word from Aristotle on and comes from ufisthmi (upo, under, isthmi, intransitive), what stands under anything (a building, a contract, a promise). See the philosophical use of it in Hebrews 1:3, the sense of assurance (une assurance certaine, M‚n‚goz) in Hebrews 3:14, that steadiness of mind which holds one firm (II Corinthians 9:4). It is common in the papyri in business documents as the basis or guarantee of transactions. "And as this is the essential meaning in Hebrews 11:1 we venture to suggest the translation 'Faith is the title-deed of things hoped for'" (Moulton and Milligan, Vocabulary, etc.).
The proving of things not seen (pragmatwn elegxov ou blepomenwn). The only N.T. example of elegxov (except Textus Receptus in II Timothy 3:16 for elegmon). Old and common word from elegxw (Matthew 18:15) for "proof" and then for "conviction." Both uses occur in the papyri and either makes sense here, perhaps "conviction" suiting better though not in the older Greek.
Other Robertson's Word Pictures (NT) entries containing Hebrews 11:1:
2 Corinthians 4:18
2 Corinthians 9:4
2 Peter 1:5
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