Belief, Believe, Believers - Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words

Belief, Believe, Believers

[ A-1,Verb,G4100, pisteuo ]
to believe," also "to be persuaded of," and hence, "to place confidence in, to trust," signifies, in this sense of the word, reliance upon, not mere credence. It is most frequent in the writings of the Apostle John, especially the Gospel. He does not use the noun (See below). For the Lord's first use of the verb, See John 1:50. Of the writers of the Gospels, Matthew uses the verb ten times, Mark ten, Luke nine, John ninety-nine. In Acts 5:14 the present participle of the verb is translated "believers." See COMMIT, INTRUST, TRUST.

[ A-2,Verb,G3982, peitho ]
"to persuade," in the Middle and Passive Voices signifies "to suffer oneself to be persuaded," e.g., Luke 16:31; Hebrews 13:18; it is sometimes translated "believe" in the RV, but not in Acts 17:4, RV, "were persuaded," and Acts 27:11, "gave (more) heed;" in Acts 28:24, "believed." See AGREE, ASSURE, OBEY, PERSUADE, TRUST, YIELD.

Note: For apisteo, the negative of No. 1, and apeitheo, the negative of No. 2, See DISBELIEVE, DISOBEDIENT.

[ B-1,Noun,G4102, pistis ]
"faith," is translated "belief" in Romans 10:17; 2 Thessalonians 2:13. Its chief significance is a conviction respecting God and His Word and the believer's relationship to Him. See ASSURANCE, FAITH, FIDELITY.

Note: In 1 Corinthians 9:5 the word translated "believer" (RV), is adelphe, "a sister," so 1 Corinthians 7:15; Romans 16:1; James 2:15, used, in the spiritual sense, of one connected by the tie of the Christian faith.

[ C-1,Adjective,G4103, pistos ]

(a) in the Active sense means "believing, trusting;"
(b) in the Passive sense, "trusty, faithful, trustworthy." It is translated "believer" in 2 Corinthians 6:15; "them that believe" in 1 Timothy 4:12, RV (AV, "believers"); in 1 Timothy 5:16, "if any woman that believeth," lit., "if any believing woman." So in 1 Timothy 6:2, "believing masters." In 1 Peter 1:21 the RV, following the most authentic mss., gives the noun form, "are believers in God" (AV, "do believe in God"). In John 20:27 it is translated "believing." It is best understood with significance
(a), above, e.g., in Galatians 3:9; Acts 16:1; 2 Corinthians 6:15; Titus 1:6; it has significance
(b), e.g., in 1 Thessalonians 5:24; 2 Thessalonians 3:3 (See Notes on Thess. p. 211, and Gal. p. 126, by Hogg and Vine). See FAITHFUL, SURE.


(1) The corresponding negative verb is apisteo, 2 Timothy 2:13, AV, "believe not" RV, "are faithless," in contrast to the statement "He abideth faithful."

(2) The negative noun apistia, "unbelief," is used twice in Matthew (Matthew 13:58; Matthew 17:20), three times in Mark (Mark 6:6; Mark 9:24; Mark 16:14), four times in Romans (Romans 3:3; Romans 4:20; Romans 11:20, Romans 11:23); elsewhere in 1 Timothy 1:13; Hebrews 3:12, Hebrews 3:19.

(3) The adjective apistos is translated "unbelievers" in 1 Corinthians 6:6; 2 Corinthians 6:14; in 2 Corinthians 6:15, RV, "unbeliever" (AV, "infidel"); so in 1 Timothy 5:8; "unbelieving" in 1 Corinthians 7:12-15; 1 Corinthians 14:22-24; 2 Corinthians 4:4; Titus 1:15; Revelation 21:8; "that believe not" in 1 Corinthians 10:27. In the Gospels it is translated "faithless" in Matthew 17:17; Mark 9:19; Luke 9:41; John 20:27, but in Luke 12:46, RV, "unfaithful," AV, "unbelievers." Once it is translated "incredible," Acts 26:8. See FAITHLESS, INCREDIBLE, UNBELIEVER.

(4) Plerophoreo, in Luke 1:1 (AV, "are most surely believed," lit., "have had full course"), the RV renders "have been fulfilled." See FULFILL, KNOW, PERSUADE, PROOF.

Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words