In Hebrews 11:11, five English translations, one Spanish, one Dutch, and one modern Greek (ESV, NIV, NASB, KJV, NLT, NVI, HTB, FPB) credit Sarah with faith.  But an Italian and a Portuguese give the credit to Abraham:

Per fede, Abramo diventò capace di essere padre, anche se ormai era troppo vecchio e sua moglie Sara non poteva avere figli.  Ma egli fu sicuro che Dio avrebbe mantenuto la sua promessa.  (ICL)

Foi pela fé que Abraão se tornou pai, embora fosse velho demais e a própria Sara não pudesse ter filhos.  Ele creu que Deus ia cumprir a sua promessa. (NTLH)

Are there NT Greek manuscripts that support this version?  Are there any English versions that express it this way?

  • I've written to Sociedade Bíblica do Brasil (NTLH) and United Bible Societies (ICL) requesting the rationale for this peculiar decision. (Also to the providers of GNT and GWT.) It doesn't seem to be a very important change, but it makes me suspicious of the rest of the translation.
    – WGroleau
    Commented Dec 15, 2023 at 8:32
  • As to the Textual Critical/Exegetical issues with that verse, this other post might be of some help to you (it lists the manuscripts and the directions they take): hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/20139/…
    – Epimanes
    Commented Dec 15, 2023 at 18:56

1 Answer 1


There are numerous textual variants between Greek MSS at Heb 11:11 (none of them are significant), but not one ever involves the difference between "Sarah" and "Abraham". All MSS say something very similar to the standard text as translated by BLB:

By faith also Sarah, herself barren, received power for the conception of seed, even beyond the opportune age, since she considered the One having promised faithful.

The only English versions that I could find that mention Abraham in Heb 11:11 are GNT and GWT. Why they do this is a mystery to me.

Further, the Aramaic has "Sarah", as does the Latin Vulgate. Here are some other non-English versions for completeness:

  • Italian: Riveduta Bible (1927) - Per fede Sara anch’ella, benché fuori d’età, ricevette forza di concepire, perché reputò fedele Colui che avea fatto la promessa.
  • Italian: Giovanni Diodati Bible (1649) - Per fede ancora Sara stessa, essendo sterile, ricevette forza da concepir seme, e partorì fuor d’età; perciocchè reputò fedele colui che avea fatta la promessa.
  • Portugese Bible - Pela fé, até a própria Sara recebeu a virtude de conceber um filho, mesmo fora da idade, porquanto teve por fiel aquele que lho havia prometido.
  • Bíblia King James Atualizada Português - Por meio da fé, da mesma forma, a própria Sara recebeu poder para gerar filhos, ainda que estéril e avançada em idade, porque considerou fidedigno Aquele que lhe havia feito a promessa.

I am at a loss to explain the appearance of "Abraham" in the translations of those nominated by the OP.

  • The reason I mentioned those specifically, is that they are the ones I selected for language practice due solely to (1) quality of available audio; (2) having matching text; (3) being reasonably close to current dialect.
    – WGroleau
    Commented Dec 14, 2023 at 15:26
  • The difference has little theological implication, if any, but as far as I can see, neither does it affect one's ability to understand the text. So it seems to me a VERY strange translation decision.
    – WGroleau
    Commented Dec 14, 2023 at 16:10

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