Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1 KJV). The word translated as “substance” here is the Greek word hupostasis. When the New Testament was first translated into English from Greek, the translators were puzzled by this word hupostasis. It seemed to be some kind of business terminology not found in classical Greek literature, and all they could determine was that it meant something fairly substantial, so they translated it as “substance.”
Hundreds of years later, archaeologists uncovered the charred ruins of an old inn in Palestine. There they found a small iron chest apparently containing the legal papers of some Roman noblewoman who had owned real estate in the area. Most of the papers in the chest had written in large Greek letters across the top: hupostasis. They were all title deeds to her properties! Before her apparent visit, this Roman woman had perhaps never seen her properties, but she knew they were hers and could prove her ownership because she had the title deeds.
So what is faith?—It’s the title deed! Had those translators known what we know now, that verse might instead read, “Now faith is the title deed to things hoped for.”
(Daily Devotional App)