The biblical concept of faith can be seen in its earliest form in the Old Testament
where a variety of Hebrew terms provide a rich and complex definition.
Two root words form the basis of the concept of faith.
1. ‘Ᾱman conveys the sense of "reliability, stability" and "firmness."
The hiphil verb from of ’āman means "to be certain, sure" or "to be assured. This perspective
indicates that "faith" has a basis on fact; it is founded on truth certain of a real God and the absolute reality
of His words.
The niphal verb form means "to be true, reliable or faithful" and can be applied to both
God and men. This perspective indicates that "faith" acquires a meaning of "to be entrusted with."
2. Bāṭaḥ means "’to trust, rely upon" or "to put confidence in".
"Bāṭaḥ" as a verb, in its qal or hiphil verb form, expresses the sense of well-being and
security which results from having something or someone in whom to place confidence. It is the action of
believing in something so strongly that a confidence is generated from that trust.
In its various contexts, the Old Testament introduces the idea that "faith" is based on
historical and factual events and leads to the conclusion that all truth comes from God, and is truth because
it is related to God. The concept of "faith" is a human response to historical fact that entails the
subjective nature of trust.
For deeper study:
What is the concept of "faith" in the Old Testament?
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