“Doubt” and “Unbelief” in Ancient Greek meaning.

The word “doubt” in the Greek that is used in the Bible is: δισταζω - pronounced distazo. The Greek dictionary defines it as ‘to waver, hesitate’ and the modern English dictionary says the same too:
Doubt –verb (used with object) to be uncertain about; consider questionable or unlikely; hesitate to believe. to distrust. Archaic. to fear; be apprehensive about. to be uncertain about something; be undecided in opinion or belief. a feeling of uncertainty about the truth, reality, or nature of something. a state of affairs such as to occasion uncertainty.

So to doubt something is just to be uncertain or hesitant to accept something, not necessarily disbelieving it, but more being unsure that something could be true. Subtle differences. The word “unbelief” in the Greek is: ὰπιστια - pronounced apistia. The Greek dictionary defines this word as ‘unbelief; unfaithfulness’. The English dictionary defines this as:
un·be·lief –noun the state or quality of not believing; incredulity or skepticism, esp. in matters of doctrine or religious faith. Lack of belief or faith, especially in religious matters.

What is interesting here is in the modern dictionary, today’s language just defines unbelief as something that mainly concerns “religious matters” but in the ancient Greek context it also means “unfaithfulness” as well. So in the Bible then you could conclude that to have unbelief in God is the same as being unfaithful; which is defined as: “not faithful; false to duty, obligation, or promises; faithless; disloyal” and “not sexually faithful to a spouse or lover” So in essence, having unbelief in God is like being adulterous to your partner, and that is how God described Israel’s relationship to Him in the Old Testament when they fell into idolatry and unbelief. Hope this all makes sense and answer what you wanted to know!

Luke Wilson

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