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5.8 KiB

believe, believer, belief, unbeliever, unbelief


The terms “believe” and “believe in” are closely related, but have slightly different meanings:

1. believe

  • To believe something is to accept or trust that it is true.
  • To believe someone is to acknowledge that what that person has said is true.

2. believe in

  • To “believe in” someone means to “trust in” that person. It means to trust that the person is who he says he is, that he always speaks the truth, and that he will do what he has promised to do.
  • When a person truly believes in something, he will act in such a way that shows that belief.
  • The phrase “have faith in” usually has the same meaning as “believe in.”
  • To “believe in Jesus” means to believe that he is the Son of God, that he is God himself who also became human and who died as a sacrifice to pay for our sins. It means to trust him as Savior and live in a way that honors him.

3. believer

In the Bible, the term “believer” refers to someone who believes in and relies on Jesus Christ as Savior.

  • The term “believer” literally means “person who believes.”
  • The term “Christian” eventually came to be the main title for believers because it indicates that they believe in Christ and obey his teachings.

4. unbelief

The term “unbelief” refers to not believing something or someone.

  • In the Bible, “unbelief” refers to not believing in or not trusting in Jesus as one’s Savior.
  • A person who does not believe in Jesus is called an “unbeliever.”

Translation Suggestions:

  • To “believe” could be translated as to “know to be true” or “know to be right.”

  • To “believe in” could be translated as “trust completely” or “trust and obey” or “completely rely on and follow.”

  • Some translations may prefer to say “believer in Jesus” or “believer in Christ.”

  • This term could also be translated by a word or phrase that means “person who trusts in Jesus” or “someone who knows Jesus and lives for him.”

  • Other ways to translate “believer” could be “follower of Jesus” or “person who knows and obeys Jesus.”

  • The term “believer” is a general term for any believer in Christ, while “disciple” and “apostle” were used more specifically for people who knew Jesus while he was alive. It is best to translate these terms in different ways, in order to keep them distinct.

  • Other ways to translate “unbelief” could include “lack of faith” or “not believing.”

  • The term “unbeliever” could be translated as “person who does not believe in Jesus” or “someone who does not trust in Jesus as Savior.”

(See also: believe, apostle, Christian, disciple, faith, trust)

Bible References:

  • Genesis 15:6
  • Genesis 45:26
  • Job 9:16-18
  • Habakkuk 1:5-7
  • Mark 6:4-6
  • Mark 1:14-15
  • Luke 9:41
  • John 1:12
  • Acts 6:5
  • Acts 9:42
  • Acts 28:23-24
  • Romans 3:3
  • 1 Corinthians 6:1
  • 1 Corinthians 9:5
  • 2 Corinthians 6:15
  • Hebrews 3:12
  • 1 John 3:23

Examples from the Bible stories:

  • 3:4 Noah warned the people about the coming flood and told them to turn to God, but they did not believe him.
  • 4:8 Abram believed God’s promise. God declared that Abram was righteous because he believed God’s promise.
  • 11:2 God provided a way to save the firstborn of anyone who believed in him.
  • 11:6 But the Egyptians did not believe God or obey his commands.
  • 37:5 Jesus replied, “I am the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in me will live, even though he dies. Everyone who believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
  • 43:1 After Jesus returned to heaven, the disciples stayed in Jerusalem as Jesus had commanded them to do. The believers there constantly gathered together to pray.
  • 43:3 While the believers were all together, suddenly the house where they were was filled with a sound like a strong wind. Then something that looked like flames of fire appeared over the heads of all the believers.
  • 43:13 Every day, more people became believers.
  • 46:6 That day many people in Jerusalem started persecuting the followers of Jesus, so the believers fled to other places. But in spite of this, they preached about Jesus everywhere they went.
  • 46:1 Saul was the young man who guarded the robes of the men who killed Stephen. He did not believe in Jesus, so he persecuted the believers.
  • 46:9 Some believers who fled from the persecution in Jerusalem went far away to the city of Antioch and preached about Jesus.
  • 46:9 It was at Antioch that believers in Jesus were first called “Christians.”
  • 47:14 They also wrote many letters to encourage and teach the believers in the churches.

Word Data:

  • Strong’s: H0539, H0540, G05430, G05440, G05690, G05700, G05710, G39820, G41000, G41020, G41030, G41350