以前，人们并不知道被翻译成“实底”一词的希腊原文“hupostasis”到底是什么意思。直到几年前，英国考古学家在巴勒斯坦发现了一家被烧毁了的旧旅馆的遗迹，人们才明白了“hupostasis”的含义。在那个遗迹中，他们发现了一位罗马贵妇的小铁盒，里面载有她的一些重要文件。很显然，当那家旅馆着火时，她正在留宿旅游，查看她在那个地区所拥有的各种地产 — 因为考古学家发现：在那个小盒中的大部分文件上，全都注有“hupostasis”这个大标题。它们全是证明她拥有那些地产的证书。
Faith is the Title Deed.
Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1 KJV). The word translated as “substance” here is the Greek word hupostasis. When the New Testament was first translated into English from Greek, the translators were puzzled by this word hupostasis. It seemed to be some kind of business terminology not found in classical Greek literature, and all they could determine was that it meant something fairly substantial, so they translated it as “substance.”
Hundreds of years later, archaeologists uncovered the charred ruins of an old inn in Palestine. There they found a small iron chest apparently containing the legal papers of some Roman noblewoman who had owned real estate in the area. Most of the papers in the chest had written in large Greek letters across the top: hupostasis. They were all title deeds to her properties! Before her apparent visit, this Roman woman had perhaps never seen her properties, but she knew they were hers and could prove her ownership because she had the title deeds.
So what is faith?—It’s the title deed! Had those translators known what we know now, that verse might instead read, “Now faith is the title deed to things hoped for.”