In the November-December issue of Grace in Focus Magazine, we ran the following statement by Bill Fiess: “not a single English translation ever translates pisteuo as trust” (p. 37). I received a correction on that statement from my friend, Bob Swift. He is a terrific Bible scholar and I value his insights. Thus I wish to address the point he made.
We probably should have mentioned that pisteuo is sometimes translated as entrust or commit. I count eight places where pisteuo is translated as entrust or commit (Luke 16:11; John 2:24; Rom 3:2; 1 Cor 9:17; Gal 2:7; 1 Thess 2:4; 1 Tim 1:11; Titus 1:3).
Note well: Not one of these eight passages concerns what we must do to have everlasting life. In fact, none of these refer to what we entrust to God. All eight verses refer to what God entrusts or commit to men.
Luke 16:11: God will entrust true riches to overcomers in the life to come.
John 2:24: Jesus did not entrust Himself to new believers who were not yet committed to confessing Him publicly (compare John 3:1-21).
Romans 3:2: God committed His oracles to the Jews.
1 Corinthians 9:17: God entrusted Paul with a stewardship.
Galatians 2:7: God committed the gospel to the Gentiles to Paul.
1 Thessalonians 2:4: God entrusted Paul with the gospel.
1 Timothy 1:11: God committed the gospel to Paul’s trust (literally: “according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, to which I was entrusted”).
Titus 1:3: God committed the preaching of His Word to Paul.
I helped Bill in the crafting of that article. I thought about including a discussion of the eight places in which pisteuo means entrust or commit. I decided against it since I thought it was a distraction from the point of the article. However, after being asked about it, I see the need to clarify.
God does entrust or commit the proclamation of His Word to believers. If we are faithful in that and in our private lives as well, then we will be entrusted with rulership with Christ in the life to come. That is a terrific promise. We who identify the Lord Jesus as our Lord and Savior should handle our money, time, and talents in ways that honor Him. At the Bema we’d all love to hear, “Well done, good servant” (Luke 19:17).