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Hebrews 11:3 Comments by a man struggling to grasp the greatness of God.

Hebrews 11:3
By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

Hebrews 11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which appeared.(WBS)

Through pistis (faith), we concede that God formed or created the universe. How He did it, is irrelevant. The fact that we now walk upon this earth is evidence enough that it exists, but at some point, it did not.
The Greek says that by persuasion we are able to conclude that God created the universe. What is it that persuaded us?

".. we understand..."
Understand is the Greek word noieo, and means to "to exercise the mind (observe).
You want faith to be simple. I suppose it is if you do not think.

So far we can rewrite the passage to read - by the exercise of the mind, we can observe things that convince us that God made the universe. We must therefore concede that the only logical explanation is that God created the universe. Our application is called faith and demands that we come into conformity with that evidence in which we have believed. God is, and has made the universe, whether we know the definitions of how or not.

For those who want things simple, it is not. Language, a tool created by God, has parameters; understanding what those parameters are helps us to understand what God is trying to say to us. We want to believe that God demands that we merely accept things, disregarding thought, and that is just not the case.
Even though verse three, upon a simple reading gives the impression that a mindless acceptance is demanded, looking at the root of the words makes it clear that understanding is involved in every faith process.

"... that the worlds..." or "... that the universe..."
The term that the writers translated worlds is the Greek word aion. It means an age or perpetuity. The use of the word age implies a time frame, but that time frame is a period of indefinite duration, or time viewed in relation to what takes place in the period.
What we do know from scientific observation, is that time has not been constant, but has slowed down.
Read: Upheaval in Physics: History of the Light-Speed Debate - Helen D. Setterfield

framed or formed
Greek word katartizo.
Meaning: to complete thoroughly.

".. by the word of God, ..."
Word in Greek, here, is rhema. An utterance.

God here is the Greek word theos. Meaning: a deity. It is the same word that was used when the angel told Mary that her son would be the Son of God.

So then, we can comprehend with a sufficient understanding that the ages, and that encompasses what happened within those ages, regardless of the time frames that we want to constrain them to, were completed by the utterance of God. Our understanding of those facts, based upon what we see, are enough for to develop a conviction that God did create everything in the universe. This belief should now guide our lives as we come into conformity with the creator of the universe.

John told us that the nothing was made without Jesus' word.

".. so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible."
A potter makes pots from a nondescript mass of clay, but God started with nothing that our eyes could see. Prior to this I am given some form of tangible evidence, that which I can see, but now I must assent to God making a universe out that which seem to be nonexistent.
Therefore in this verse there are two conditions of faith. One based upon evidence, the other based upon taking God at His word, without being able to comprehend the how.

This is not new for early church fathers struggled to understand these same concepts. Thomas Aquinas being one of them.


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