Thus arguments or authorities for and against a truth may be either wanting or evenly balanced, in this case the intellect does not give in its adherence to the truth, but remains in a state of doubt or absolute suspension of judgment; or the arguments on one side may predominate; though not to the exclusion of those on the other side; in this case we have not complete adhesion of the intellect to the truth in question but only opinion.Lastly, the arguments or authorities brought forward may be so convincing that the mind gives its unqualified assent to the statement proposed and has no fear whatever lest it should not be true ; this state of mind is termed certitude, and is the perfection of knowledge.If the authority upon which we base our assent is human and therefore fallible, we have human and fallible faith; if the authority is Divine, we have Divine and infallible faith.
The witness of the Septuagint is decisive; they render the verb by pisteuo , and the noun by pistis ; and here again the two factors, faith and trust, are connoted by the same term. "How and by what influence", asks Harnack, "was the living faith transformed into the creed to be believed, the surrender to Christ into a philosophical Christology ? It is with this subjective aspect of faith that we are here primarily concerned.
But that even in classical Greek pisteuo was used to signify believe , is clear from Euripides (Helene, 710), logois d'emoisi pisteuson tade , and that pistis could mean " belief " is shown by the same dramatist's theon d'ouketi pistis arage (Medea, 414; cf. In the New Testament the meanings "to believe " and " belief ", for pisteon and pistis , come to the fore; in Christ's speech, pistis frequently means "trust", but also " belief " (cf. In Acts it is used objectively of the tenets of the Christians, but is often to be rendered " belief " (cf. In Romans, xiv, 23, it has the meaning of "conscience" -- "all that is not of faith is sin " -- but the Apostle repeatedly uses it in the sense of " belief " (cf. How necessary it is to point this out will be evident to all who are familiar with modern theological literature; thus, when a writer in the "Hibbert Journal", Oct., 1907, says, "From one end of the Scripture to the other, faith is trust and only trust ", it is hard to see how he would explain 1 Cor. The truth is that many theological writers of the present day are given to very loose thinking, and in nothing is this so evident as in their treatment of faith. Before we proceed to analyze the term faith, certain preliminary notions must be made clear. -- "The Catholic Church ", says the Vatican Council, III, iv, "has always held that there is a twofold order of knowledge, and that these two orders are distinguished from one another not only in their principle but in their object; in one we know by natural reason, in the other by Divine faith; the object of the one is truth attainable by natural reason, the object of the other is mysteries hidden in God, but which we have to believe and which can only be known to us by Divine revelation ." (b) Now intellectual knowledge may be defined in a general way as the union between the intellect and an intelligible object.
In the article just referred to we read: "Trust in God is faith, faith is belief, belief may mean creed, but creed is not equivalent to trust in God." A similar vagueness was especially noticeable in the "Do we believe ? But a truth is intelligible to us only in so far as it is evident to us, and evidence is of different kinds; hence, according to the varying character of the evidence, we shall have varying kinds of knowledge. the whole is greater than its part -- in which case we are said to have intuitive knowledge of it; or the truth may not be self-evident, but deducible from premises in which it is contained -- such knowledge is termed reasoned knowledge ; or again a truth may be neither self-evident nor deducible from premises in which it is contained, yet the intellect may be obliged to assent to it because It would else have to reject some other universally accepted truth ; lastly, the intellect may be induced to assent to a truth for none of the foregoing reasons, but solely because, though not evident in itself, this truth rests on grave authority -- for example, we accept the statement that the sun is 90,000,000 miles distant from the earth because competent, veracious authorities vouch for the fact.
" controversy- one correspondent says- "We unbelievers, if we have lost faith, cling more closely to hope and -- the greatest of these -- charity" ("Do we believe ? This last kind of knowledge is termed faith, and is clearly necessary in daily life.
Divine faith, then, is that form of knowledge which is derived from Divine authority, and which consequently begets absolute certitude in the mind of the recipient (d) That such Divine faith is necessary, follows from the fact of Divine revelation.
For revelation means that the Supreme Truth has spoken to man and revealed to him truths which are not in themselves evident to the human mind.
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It would, however, be illogical to conclude that the word cannot, and does not, mean belief or faith in the Old Testament for it is clear that we cannot put trust in a person's promises without previously assenting to or believing in that person's claim to such confidence.