From the Beginning

A STORY OF "TIME" by Trevor Topsfield


Faith in itself is of little value, this can be verified by placing faith in an unreliable object in the form of a shady person offering a dodgy deal.

However, there is a totally reliable source offering a fool proof solution to the problems of life.

The person in question is God himself and his reliability is seen in the things he has made, both his nature and power are built into the creation (Romans1:20) and confirm his character.

The deal he proposes is that he has taken upon himself the sinfulness of every person and judged it so that we might have the righteousness needed to live with him forever.

The proof is that God in the form of Jesus Christ (the love of God personified) took upon himself the sinfulness of us all and was judged for it on the cross by God the Father (the justice of God). So Christ became sinful for us and if God’s judgment had not been 100% effective then Christ would still be sinful; if that had been the case he would be excluded from heaven and any contact with God the Father. But he was taken up to be seated at his right hand until the Father makes Jesus enemies a footstool for his feet.

Through this fact we can be certain the judgment was totally successful and if Jesus is in heaven right now, we will go there when our turn comes.

So we have a perfect God, offering a righteousness that has been proven to work.

This is the foundation on which we can believe and through faith build our lives on it.

The cross is not seen by us today, but it certainly has happened. In fact few have actually had the privilege of seeing the foundation being built, but millions throughout history have taken advantage of it. The Old Testament saints took advantage of the promise of salvation, while The New Testament saints have taken advantage of the reality.

God has always known he would offer this fantastic deal through his own sacrifice and salvation has always been available for anyone. Therefore for those who lived before the Cross he promised it and provided a way they could learn exactly what he was going to do. This was achieved through the celebration of the Passover and the preparations leading up to it, for in these activities were accurately taught how God would go about it.

They celebrated their new life on the 14th of the first month; The Passover.

The Old Testament has many stories of people who have used this foundation and built a remarkable life on it, so it was just as effective as a promise as it is a reality.

Then Jesus told him (Thomas), because you have seen me, you have believed: blessed are those that have not seen and yet have believed. John 20:29

The disciples had a huge advantage over us today because they were with him. They saw him and believed in him, we have to believe in him without seeing him. But don’t worry; God has made the need for faith in Jesus as obvious for us today as it was to his disciples when he was with them.

Just to have an exercise in translating the Greek language, this might give you an idea of the original Greek and how the translation into English comes about.

Hebrews 11:1+2

1101 estin426 430.3 3pers sing pres ind v eimi 1510 to exist by way of distinction from things non existent, To be.
1101 de adversative conjunctive particle c de 1161 indicate contrast
1101 pistis a noun n pistis 4102 conviction or belief, faith, belief.
1101 elpizomenwn gen pl part pres pass t elpizw 1679 to hope, , hopefully to trust, hope in one,
1101 hupostasis a noun n hupostasis 5287 placing under, thing put under, foundation, courage, trust,
1101 pragmatwn gen pl n pragma 4229 that which has been done, a deed, an accomplished fact, business,
1101 elegxos a noun n elegxos 1650 a proof, that by which a thing is proved or tested, a conviction,
1101 ou adverb of negation d ou 3756 no, not, , by no means, joined to words to deny them.
1101 blepomenwn gen pl part pres pass t blepw 0991 to be possessed of sight, to see, look, have the power of seeing,
1102 en preposition taking the dative en 1722 taking the dative after it, in, on, at, with, among, during time,
1102 tauty dat sing fem r houtos 3778 demonstrative pronoun, this one, this appears… that, on that … this
1102 gar a causal particle c gar 1063 a particle of affirmation, truly, as the case stands, namely, verily
1102 emarturycysan 3pers pl aor1 ind pass v marturew 3140 to be a witness, to bear witness, testify, to prove
1102 hoi nom masc pl l hoi Heb. Definite article, The.
1102 presbuteroi nom + voc pl masc r presbuteros 4245 , an elder, a senior, of Jews, member of the Sanhedrin,

(estin 3persons singular present tense indicative mood-a statement it exists)

(de adversative conjunction indicates contrast instead)

(pistis a noun conviction, belief, faith)

(elpizomenwn genitive-indicates possession plural participle-verbal adjective present tense passive voice-subject receives the action of the verb trusting)

(hupostasis noun foundation)

There is an idiom in the Ancient Greek language. Its use of the definite article is so prolific that they lose their emphasis, therefore when emphasis is really needed the definite article is omitted. There is no definite article before “foundation” so it needs to there in the translation to English.

Trusting THE foundation

(pragmatwn genitive-indicates possession plural of what has been done)

(elexos a noun of proof)

(ou adverb of negation not)

(blepomenwn genitive plural participle-verbal adjective present tense passive voice-subject receives the action being seen)

(en preposition taking the dative by)

(tauty dative-indirect object singular feminine us)

(gar causal particle rather)

(emarturycysan 3persons plural aorist tense-an action indicative mood- a statement passive voice-subject receives the action  they bore witness)

(hoi nominative-subject  masculine plural definite article the)

(presbuteroi nominative plural masculine elders)

 It exist instead (of the promise), faith trusting THE foundation of what has been done (the reality). Proof not being seen by us; rather they (the elders) bore witness to it.

We are in the same position; we have not seen the foundation laid down by Jesus Christ so we have to learn about it as they did.

Some background into Hebrews is needed to better understand the message.

Hebrews was written just be before 70 AD so the recipients were second generation from Jesus Christ, this means they did not witness personally Jesus Christ or the Cross.

In 70 AD the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and the nation Israel suffered a terrible defeat with horrible consequences. It was vitally important the Jews were saved and escaped, so Hebrews was written some time before 70 AD.

The Jews at this time are no longer functioning as God’s people; the Church has taken over this role. The coming of Jesus has come and gone and the promised salvation is now a reality, so many things have changed and the book of Hebrews is giving them an update.

 Romans 10:17

1017 ara transition point, therefore c ara 0686 under these circumstances it either is or becomes, consequently, so then,
1017 hy nom fem sing l hy Rom. Definite article, The.
1017 pistis a noun n pistis 4102 conviction or belief respecting man’s relationship with God, faith, belief.
1017 ev see ek, of, from, out of, place ek 1537 from out of, out from, forth from, from the midst of a group, from,
1017 akoys gen sing n akoy 0189 hearing, the sense of hearing, by hearing to hear a warning,
1017 hy nom fem sing l hy Rom. Definite article, The.
1017 de a conjunctive particle c de 1161 on the other hand, moreover. but. general contrast, interrupted sentence.
1017 akoy a noun n akoy 0189 hearing, the sense of hearing, by hearing to hear a warning,
1017 dia with acc. because of, sake of p dia 1223 with gen. ‘through’ of space, time, agent, ‘after’ after some days
1017 hrymatos gen sing n hryma 4487 that which has been uttered by the living voice, thing spoken, word,
1017 xristou B gen n xristos 5547 annointed, Jesus as Christ, of the Messiah, of the coming of the King.

(ara transition point therefore )

(hy nominative feminine singular the)

(pistis noun faith)

(ev preposition out of-from)

( akovs genitive-indicates possession singular hearing)

(hy nominative feminine singular the)

(de adversative conjunction indicates contrast contrast)

(akoy noun hearing)

(dia indicates division  through)

(hryatos genitive singular spoken word)

(Xristou genitive-indicates possession of Christ)

 Therefore the faith from hearing (at many times and in different ways {Hebrews 1:1}) this is contrasted  to hearing through the spoken word of Christ.

This passage in Romans is immediately after reference to the time when Isaiah was having trouble getting the message through to the Jews of his day. Isaiah’s message was of the promise of salvation which was taught at different times and in different ways (Hebrews 1:1)

 Therefore the faith (for Isaiah’s generation) is from hearing (in many different ways) contrasted the hearing (for us is) through the spoken word of Christ.

The only way we can learn this is through The Bible.

English/Greek Letter Code

a = α alpha       b = β beta      c = θ theta        d =  δ  delta       e  = ε epsilon          f =  φ phi      g = γ  gamma        h = rough breathing        i =  ι iota         j = ψ psi        k = κ kappa          l = λ lambda          m = μ mu         n = ν nu         o = o omicron       p =  π pi          r =  ρ rho    s =  σ sigma           t =  τ tau    u = υ upsilon          v = ξ  xi       w = ω omega         x = χ chi           y = η eta            z = ζ zeta

A Simple Explanation of Greek Grammar

Nom      –  nominative       –     subject

Acc       –   accusative        –    direct object

Gen       –   genitive           –     indicates possession

Voc       –   vocative           –     calling to something

Dat        –   dative              –     indirect object


Act         –   active             –     the subject does the action of the verb

Pas         –   passive           –     the subject receives the action of the verb

Mid        –   middle           –     the subject does it to himself


Pres        –   present tense

Perf        –   prefect tense  –     an action with results that continue

Aor        –   Aorist tense    –     an action considered as a point in time

Imperf   –    imperfect       –     repeated action in past times

Plup       –   pluperfect       –     a completed action in the past with continuing results

Part        –   participle       –      verbal adjective


Ind         –    indicative     –       makes a statement or asks a question

Imper     –   imperative    –       is a command

Subj       –   subjunctive   –       expresses a wish

Infin      –   infinitive       –       a general action

Person                Gender

1pers                   masc

2pers                   fem

3pers                   neut


Demonstrative pronoun:    Showing ones feelings/explaining  or proving

Most of this information comes from “Wenham’s Elements of N.T. Greek

Trevor Topsfield


Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.




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