Back to Main Menu
Session 1a Session 1b
Session 2a Session 2b
Session 3a Session 3b
Session 4a Session 4b
Session 5a Session 5b
Session 6a Session 6b
Session 7a Session 7b
Session 8a Session 8b
Session 9a Session 9b
Session 10a Session 10b
Session 11a Session 11b
Session 12a Session 12b
Bible Books Summary

Session 5: Section 2

Terminology (Part 1)

In this section we are going to look at some basic words commonly used in the Bible, but which are often not understood. We will use some of the principles we looked at in section 1 to help us find out what these words really mean.

1. Faith

The Bible definition is given in Hebrews:

Open Bible Look at Hebrews 11 v 1

The New International Version makes this verse easier to understand:
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see”.

Young’s and Strong’s concordances tell us that Hebrews 11 contains far more references to faith than any other chapter in the Bible.

Open Bible Read the whole of Hebrews 11,
noticing the effect faith has on people

Faith makes people do things because they are sure that God means what He says, even when they can’t prove it. This doesn’t mean that people are expected to have a blind faith. God gives us evidence to help our faith. We looked at just a little of this evidence in Session 3, Section 2, “The role of prophecy”. There are several other topics you can look at which show that the Bible could not have been written by men or women, which can all help build our faith. Different topics appeal to different people. Examples are:

  • Internal evidence in the Bible
  • The way unrelated passages support each other in unexpected ways. These are sometimes called "Undesigned Coincidences".
  • Evidence of design in nature

At the end of this section there is a list of some books you may find useful.

Open Bible
Look at Romans 10 v 17

The Bible makes it clear that reading our Bible effectively is vital to our faith.

In summary, you can see that faith is total trust and confidence in God, a trust that He will do what He has promised. Faith comes as a result of reading the Bible and looking at the evidence given in the Bible.

2. Hell

The entry in Young's Concordance looks like this:

  1. The unseen state, sheol.
  2. Deut. 32. 22 and shall burn unto the lowest hell, and
    2 Sa. 22. 6 The sorrows of hell compassed me about
    Job 11. 8 what canst thou do? deeper than hell
    26. 6 Hell (is) naked before him, and destruction
    Psa. 9. 17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, (and)
    16. 10 For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell

    (+ 25 more Old Testament references)

  3. Hades, the unseen world, hades
  4. Matt. 11.23 thou…shalt be brought down to hell: for
    16. 8 gates of hell shall not prevail against it
    Luke 10. 15 And thou….shalt be thrust down to hell

    (+ 7 more New Testament references)

  5. Valley of Hinnom, Gehenna, geenna.
  6. Matt. 5. 22 shall say….shall be in danger of hell fire
    5. 29 thy whole body should be cast into hell
    10. 28 him which is able to destroy…..body in hell

    (+ 8 more New Testament references)

Looking at this, you can see that the word "Hell' is used as a translation of:

  1. The Hebrew word "sheol"
  2. The greek word "hades" and
  3. The Greek word "geenna".
The Hebrew word “sheol” and the Greek word “hades” both mean similar things i.e. the unseen state or world. We show below the lexicon entries for these words. As we said earlier on in this session, when you have a Greek or Hebrew word, you can look it up in a lexicon to find out how it is translated.

grave 31
hell 31
pit 3

You can see that the word is translated “hell”, “grave” and “pit”.

grave 1
hell 10

You can see that, again, the word is also translated grave.

From this you can see that “sheol” and “hades” can both be translated as “grave”.


You can see from the Young’s Concordance entry that “geenna” is the “Valley of Hinnom” which is one of the valleys outside Jerusalem. This can be found on most maps of Jerusalem. The Valley of Hinnom was the rubbish dump outside Jerusalem where fires were kept constantly burning to dispose of the rubbish.

In summary, there are three words that have been translated “hell”. Two can also be translated “grave” and the third was a literal place of continual fires.

3. Soul

With two exceptions, “Soul” is a translation of the Hebrew “nephesh” in the Old Testament and the Greek “psuche” in the New Testament.

The lexicon in Young’s says that “nephesh” is also translated “creature”, “body”, “life”, “mind”, “person” and other similar words. (There are too many references to reproduce here.)

Open Bible Look at the following examples of the word “nephesh”
(bear in mind that the word “soul” could have been used
in place of the word indicated in all these passages)
  • creature: Genesis 1 v 24, 9 v 10, 12, 15, 16
  • body: Leviticus 21 v 11, Numbers 6 v 6, 19 v 13
  • life: Genesis 19 v 17, Joshua 2 v 14, Psalm 38 v 12
  • mind: Deuteronomy 18 v 6, 1 Chronicles 28 v 9, Ezekiel 24 v 25
  • person: Numbers 5 v 6, Joshua 20 v 3, 9, Jeremiah 43 v 6

Young’s says “psuche” in the New Testament is also translated “heart”, “life” and “mind”.

Open Bible Look at the following examples of the word “psuche”
(again bear in mind that the word “soul” could have
been used in place of the word indicated)
  • heart: Ephesians 6 v 6
  • life: Matthew 6 v 25, Mark 3 v 4, Acts 27 v 22
  • mind: Acts 14 v 2

To summarise, “soul” could also have been translated by such words as “creature”, “life”, “person” and “mind”.

Optional Assignment 7

Encouraging faith

Write down what convinces you that the Bible is the Word of God. If you are looking for more evidence, have a look at one of the books in the list below, and then write down what aspects help stimulate your faith. If you cannot locate any of these books, please e-mail us and we will try to send one to you.

Books you may find useful to encourage your faith:

Undesigned Scriptural Coincidences by J.J. Blunt
(Looks at the way various unrelated passages of Scripture support each other)

God’s Truth by A. Hayward
(A scientist shows why it makes sense to believe the Bible)

God Is by A. Hayward
(Why it makes sense to believe in creation)

Back to Main Menu