"Faith is the opposite of evidence and reason."


“Faith is the great cop-out, the great excuse to evade the need to think and evaluate evidence. Faith is belief in spite of, even perhaps because of, the lack of evidence.”

- Richard Dawkins


Some people think faith means "belief contrary to evidence", as if the less evidence we have for a claim the more faith it takes to believe. However, this recent redefinition of the word cannot be found in the Bible, it's ancient Greek manuscripts, or even most modern dictionaries. They all teach that faith simply means to "trust in someone or something". Wether or not this trust is grounded in evidence varies per individual. And in order to accurately critique Christianity, we can't insert modern definitions into the ancient text of the Bible.


Biblical definition

The Bible teaches that faith is "the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen" Hebrews 11:1. There's nothing in the definition that requires a lack of evidence. In fact, we have greater "assurance of things hoped for" the more evidence we have. For example, we have assurance our plane will land safely at it's destination because thousands of commercial jets land safely everyday. Likewise, we have a stronger "conviction of things not seen" when there are good reasons to believe in them. We can't see black holes, yet we are convinced of their existence because we see the powerful effects in the matter around them. Our trust in planes and black holes are exactly of the type of faith the Bible describes. The more evidence we have, the stronger our faith (trust) in something will be. You might be able to find Christians who think blind faith is a virtue, but it's an unbiblical idea. 


Greek Definitions

Bible manuscripts always use the Greek words pístis {πίστις} which means to "come to trust through persuasion" and elpid'zo {ἐλπίζω} "to have confidence in something; to trust". This is the exact opposite of popular culture's new definition of faith.


English Definitions

The New Oxford English Dictionary 2nd Edition: 1. Complete trust or confidence in someone or something.

Dictionary.com: 1.confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another's ability.

Merriam-Webster.com: a : allegiance to duty or a person : loyalty. b (1) : fidelity to one's promises (2) : sincerity of intentions