Until recently, I hadn't heard that substance could have a legal meaning in this verse.
First a side note: I'm concerned that there is a growing movement among christians to shy away from the original texts of Greek and Hebrew. I've heard many say that it's uninviting or scares new people. I'll be honest, part of me finds that a bit shallow...but I truly desire to point out that a follower of Jesus Christ will not be "scared away" by big words, Greek or otherwise. However, my bigger point is that unless God changes the heart...everything in the Bible will be "foolishness" to them anyway.
"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." 1 Cor. 1:18
I just want to encourage believers to open their minds...and be brave. Maybe step out of your comfort zone a little. There comes a time to feed upon meat and not just milk. (1 Cor. 3) So, yeah...I'm preparing you for Greek words ahead...turn back now if they scare you!
The Greek word for substance is hupostasis and refers to the underlying (hupo) state (stasis) of a thing. Similarly break down the English word “substance” and we find: sub (under) and stance (stand).
Substance is that which stands under a thing.
In Greek, the word hupostasis had a legal meaning which signified a foundational document, such as a title-deed. That is why Greek scholars Moulton and Milligan give this translation:
“Faith is the title-deed of things hoped for.”
If I have the title-deed to my car or house...I don't need to see them to know that they are mine... I have the title-deed that tells me so. SO, written another way we can say that faith is the title-deed of things we are expecting. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God...and faith believes all God's promises!
In a funny sense, you have the title-deed to a place in heaven!
Join WFW over at Critty Joy!