Why did the 1611 Authorized Version translators choose to translate ἐλπίδος as "faith" in Heb. 10:23 when the majority of old and modern translations chose "hope"?

1 Answer 1


In Heb 10:23, all GNT's have ἐλπίδος including TR, NA28, UBS5, Byzantine text, etc. According to UBS5 there is no significant variation in the Greek text at the point.

Why the KJV translators rendered ἐλπίδος "faith" rather than "hope" is a complete mystery. Both Tyndale 91526) and Geneva (1560) Bibles correctly have "hope". The Latin Vulgate has "hope" as well.

This unjustified translation of the KJV translators has been noticed by others such as Ellicott:

Of our faith.—This rendering, apparently found in no earlier English version, is supposed to be due to oversight on the part of our translators. The true reading is “of the hope” (Hebrews 6:11; Hebrews 6:18-19).

  • According to Mickelson's Greek Dictionary, " (note) the modern English use of the word “hope” is a weakened context (a mere whisper) of what is meant by this biblical Greek word." That suggests to me that no adequate translation was found. "Strong hope" or "confident hope" is almost faith. Because it is not saving faith, hope is probably a better translator choice.
    – Bit Chaser
    Commented Jul 4, 2019 at 18:13
  • Perhaps, but everywhere else they translated the same word, "hope".
    – user25930
    Commented Jul 4, 2019 at 21:31
  • Given Hebrews 11:1 in the next chapter, I should hardly call the translation 'unjustified'.
    – user21676
    Commented Jul 5, 2019 at 23:43
  • 1
    Heb 11:1 uses the Greek word πίστις (pistis) which is properly translated "faith".
    – user25930
    Commented Jul 6, 2019 at 6:45

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