Take the 2-minute tour ×
Biblical Hermeneutics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professors, theologians, and those interested in exegetical analysis of biblical texts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I recently noticed that in the KJV, the word "faith" only appears twice in the OT: Deuteronomy 32:20 and Habakkuk 2:4. I thought maybe those anomalies were due translation so I looked up the same passages in the ESV and NIV. All three disagree:

What is the correct translation?

I'm assuming there is a difference between faith and faithfulness. Let me know if I'm wrong.

share|improve this question
add comment

1 Answer

up vote 7 down vote accepted

Deut. 32:20 and Hab 2:4 both contain the Hebrew word emun (Heb: אמון), translated in the KJV as "faith." Emun is H529 in Strong's where it's defined as "faithfulness, trusting."

However, the word emun derives from the root word aman (Heb: אמן), which is a very common word in the Bible. Aman is strong's H539 where it's defined as: "to support, confirm, be faithful." Emun may only appear twice, but the root aman "occurs 108 times in 102 verses" in Tanakh.

In translation, "belief," "support," "sturdy" and "faith" are read as being different words, but in the original Hebrew they all derive from the same root.

"Faith" usually implies commitment and trust in a way that isn't implied by "belief." From the context in Deuteronomy and Habakkuk, "faith" seems to be a more accurate translation for emun than "belief."

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.