From BiblePortal Wikipedia

Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible [1]

HOPE. 1. Hope and faith (the soul’s forward and upward look towards God) are imperfectly differentiated in the OT, as with men who ‘greeted the promises from afar’ (  Hebrews 11:13-16 ); hope has there the greater vogue.

Amongst the several Heb. words thus rendered, (1) signifying restful hope ( leaning on J″ [Note: Jahweh.] , &c [Note: circa, about.] .), oftener appears as ‘trust’ and sometimes as ‘confidence’ ‘hope’ in   Job 6:20 ,   Psalms 16:9 ,   Proverbs 14:32 ,   Ecclesiastes 9:4 ,   Jeremiah 17:7 . (2) A subjective synonym (radically, the loins ) is variously translated ‘hope,’ ‘confidence,’ and ‘folly’ (cf. AV [Note: Authorized Version.] and RV [Note: Revised Version.] in   Job 8:14;   Job 31:24; also   Job 4:6 ,   Psalms 49:13;   Psalms 78:7;   Psalms 85:8 ,   Proverbs 3:26 ,   Ecclesiastes 7:25 ). (3) RV [Note: Revised Version.] corrects the ‘hope’ (AV [Note: Authorized Version.] ) of   Jeremiah 17:17 ,   Joel 3:16 , into ‘refuge.’ (4) A synonym hardly distinguishable from (5) and (6), and rendered ‘hope’ or ‘wait upon,’ occurs 8 times (  Psalms 104:27;   Psalms 146:5 etc.). The two most distinctive OT words for hope are frequently rendered ‘wait (for or upon).’ Of these (5) bears a relatively passive significance ( e.g. in   Job 6:11;   Job 14:14 ,   Psalms 33:18-22;   Psalms 42:5 ,   Lamentations 3:24 ). (6) The term oftenest recurring, denoting practical , even strenuous, anticipation (rendered ‘expectation’ in   Psalms 9:18;   Psalms 62:5 ), has a root-meaning not far removed from that of the Heb. verb for ‘believe’;   Genesis 49:18 ,   Ruth 1:12 ,   Job 14:7 ,   Psalms 25:5;   Psalms 25:21 ,   Ezekiel 37:11 ,   Hosea 2:16 afford good examples.

It is to the OT rather than the NT that one must look for definite representations of the earthly hopes belonging to God’s Kingdom, the social regeneration and national well-being that come in its train (see, e.g. ,   Isaiah 9:6 f.,   Isaiah 11:1-9; 11:55, 60 f.,   Psalms 72:1-20;   Psalms 96:1-13;   Psalms 97:1-12;   Psalms 98:1-9 , etc.); broadly interpreted, these promises are of permanent validity (see   Matthew 6:10;   Matthew 6:33;   Matthew 13:33 ,   1 Timothy 4:8 etc.). Hope plays an increasing part in the later OT books; it advances in distinctness, grandeur, and spirituality with the course of revelation. The Holy One of Israel made Himself ‘the God of hope’ for mankind (  Romans 15:13; cf.   Jeremiah 14:8;   Jeremiah 17:13 with   Isaiah 42:4;   Isaiah 51:4 ff., isa 51:60). When the national hopes foundered, OT faith anchored itself to two objects: ( a ) the Messianic Kingdom (see Kingdom of God); and ( b ), esp. in the latest times, the resurrection of the dead (  Isaiah 25:8;   Isaiah 26:19 ,   Daniel 12:2; probably   Job 19:25 ff.,   Psalms 16:8-11;   Psalms 17:15 ) the latter conceived as necessary to the former, since otherwise those who had suffered most for God’s Kingdom would miss it (cf.   Hebrews 11:35 ,   1 Thessalonians 4:15 ff.). The OT heritage is developed in extravagant forms by Jewish Apocalyptic literature, which was the product of a powerful ferment in the Judaism of New Test, times. Philo Judæus, who represents philosophic Judaism at the farthest remove from popular Messianic enthusiasm, nevertheless makes hope (followed by repentance and righteousness ) the leader in his triad of the elementary religious virtues (cf.   1 Corinthians 13:13 ), while faith leads the second and highest triad.

2. To both factors of ‘the hope of Israel,’ separately or together, St. Paul appealed in addressing his compatriots (  Acts 13:32;   Acts 23:6 ff.,   Acts 26:6 ff.,   Acts 26:22 ff.,   Acts 28:20 ). It was ‘a lamp shining in a dark place’ (  2 Peter 1:19 ): hope at the Christian era was flickering low in the Gentile world (see Eph 2:12 ,   1 Thessalonians 4:13 ,   1 Corinthians 15:32 ff. amply confirmed by classical literature). ‘By the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead’ humanity was ‘begotten again unto a living hope’ (  1 Peter 1:3; cf.   Acts 2:22-36 ,   1 Corinthians 15:12-26 ,   Revelation 1:17 f.): the Israelite hope was verified, and the Christian hope founded, by the return of Jesus from the grave. The Greek word for ‘hope’ ( elpis , noun; elpizô , verb) primarily meant expectation of good or evil commonly, in effect, the former; but ‘in later Greek, at the time when hope made its presence so powerfully felt in the Christian sphere, elpis elsewhere came to be increasingly used with the sense of anxiety or fear , of which there is not a single example in the LXX [Note: Septuagint.] or NT’ (Cremer); ‘evil hopes’ in the Gr. of   Isaiah 28:11 is ironical, similarly in Wis 13:10 . The RV [Note: Revised Version.] rightly substitutes ‘hope’ for ‘trust’ in the 18 places where AV [Note: Authorized Version.] rendered elpizô by the latter; for the NT clearly differentiates ‘faith’ and ‘hope,’ referring the latter to the future good of Christ’s Kingdom longingly expected, while the former is directed to God’s past deeds of salvation and His present grace in Christ. ‘Hope’ is used by metonymy for the matter of hope , the thing hoped for , in   Galatians 5:5 ,   Colossians 1:5 ,   Titus 2:13 ,   Hebrews 6:18 . It is sometimes replaced by ‘patience’ (or ‘endurance’), its expression in outward bearing (cf.   1 Thessalonians 1:3 and   2 Thessalonians 1:3 f.); and (as in the OT) the verbs ‘hope’ and ‘wait’ or ‘look for’ or ‘expect’ are interchangeable (see   Romans 8:19-25 ,   1 Corinthians 1:7 ,   Galatians 5:5 ,   Hebrews 10:13 ). St. Paul uses a graphic and intense synonym for hope. lit. ‘watching with outstretched head,’ in   Romans 8:19 ,   Philippians 1:20 .

elpis appears first with its full Christian meaning in the NT Epp.; for it dates from our Lord’s resurrection and the gift of the Holy Spirit (  Romans 15:13 ). Its object is, in general, ‘the glory of God’ (  Romans 5:2 ,   1 Thessalonians 2:12 ), i.e. the glorious manifestation of His completed redemption and the ‘coming’ of His ‘kingdom in power,’ which is to be realized, particularly, in the acknowledged lordship of Jesus (  1 Corinthians 15:24-28 ,   Philippians 2:9 ff.,   Revelation 17:14 etc.), bringing about the glorification of His saints, shared by material nature (  Romans 8:17;   Romans 8:25 , 2Th 1:10 f.,   1 Corinthians 15:35 ff.). This will begin with the resurrection of the dead ( 1Th 4:16 ,   1 Corinthians 15:12-23 ,   John 5:28 f.) and the transformation of the earthly body ( 1Co 15:50 ff.,   2 Corinthians 5:1 ff.,   Philippians 3:21 ), ushering in for ‘those who are Christ’s’ the state of ‘incorruption’ which constitutes their ‘eternal life’ enjoyed in the vision of God and the full communion of the Lord Jesus (  Luke 20:35 f.,   1 Corinthians 15:54 ff.,   Matthew 5:8 ,   John 14:2 f.,   John 17:24 ,   1 John 3:2 ,   Revelation 7:14-17 etc.). Its goal is in heaven; and all the proximate and earthly aims of Christianity, whether in the way of personal attainment or of social betterment, are steps in the progress towards the final ‘deliverance from the bondage of corruption’ and ‘the revealing of the sons of God’ the great day of the Lord. Its ground lies in the ‘promise(s) of God’ (  Titus 1:2 ,   Hebrews 6:13-18 ,   2 Peter 3:13 ,   1 John 2:25 ), esp. the definite promise of the triumphant return of Jesus ensuring the consummation of the Messianic Kingdom (  Matthew 24:30 f.,   Acts 1:11;   Acts 3:18-21 ,   1 Corinthians 15:24-28 ,   Revelation 11:15-18 etc.); and its guarantee is twofold, being given objectively in the resurrection and ascension of our Lord (  Acts 17:31 ,   Romans 1:4 ,   Ephesians 1:18-23 ,   Colossians 1:18 ,   Hebrews 6:20 ,   1 Peter 1:21 etc.), and subjectively in ‘the earnest of the Spirit within’ Christian ‘hearts’ (  2 Corinthians 1:20 ff.,   Romans 8:16 f.,   Ephesians 1:13 f.). Its subjects are ‘the men of faith’ (  Romans 5:1-5;   Romans 15:13 etc.): it is ‘the hope of our calling’ ( Eph 4:4 ,   1 Thessalonians 2:12 ,   Revelation 19:9 ), ‘the hope of the gospel’ (  Colossians 1:23 ) that which the gospel conveys, and ‘the hope of righteousness’ (  Galatians 5:5 ) that which the righteousness of faith entertains; it belongs only to the Christianly pure, and is purifying in effect (  1 John 3:2 f.; cf.   Psalms 24:3-6 ,   Matthew 5:8 ,   Revelation 22:14 f.). Finally, it is a collective hope, the heritage of ‘the body of Christ,’ dear to Christian brethren because of their affection for each other (  1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 ,   2 Thessalonians 2:1 ,   Ephesians 5:27 ,   Revelation 19:8 f.,   Revelation 21:1-7 etc.); and is cherished esp. by ministers of Christ for those in their charge (  2 Corinthians 1:7-10 ,   1 Thessalonians 2:19 f.,   Colossians 1:28;   Colossians 3:4 ,   Philippians 2:16 etc.), as it animated the Chief Shepherd (  John 10:27 ff;   John 12:26;   John 14:2 ff;   John 17:2 etc.). ‘In Christ Jesus’ hope is bound up as intimately with love as with faith  ; these are the triad of essential graces (  1 Corinthians 13:13 ,   1 Thessalonians 1:3 ,   2 Thessalonians 1:3 f.,   Ephesians 4:1-4 ,   Hebrews 10:22 ff.).

The whole future of the Christian life, for man and society, is lodged with ‘Christ Jesus our hope’ ( 1 Timothy 1:1 ,   Colossians 1:27 ); NT expectation focussed itself on His Parousia ‘the blessed hope’ (  Titus 2:13 ). Maranatha (‘our Lord cometh’ was a watchword of the Pauline Churches (  1 Corinthians 16:22; cf.   1 Corinthians 1:7 f.). ‘The hope laid up for’ them ‘in the heavens’ formed the treasure of the first believers (  Colossians 1:5;   Colossians 3:1-4 etc.); to ‘wait for’ the risen Jesus, coming as God’s son ‘from heaven’ (  1 Thessalonians 1:9 f.), was half their religion. ‘By this hope’ were they ‘saved,’ being enabled in its strength to bear joyfully the ills of life and the universal contempt and persecution of the world around them, which stimulated instead of quenching their courage (  Romans 5:2-5;   Romans 8:18-25 ,   2 Corinthians 4:13;   2 Corinthians 5:8 ,   Philippians 1:20 f.,   Hebrews 10:32-36 ,   Revelation 7:13-17 ). According to the fine figure of   Hebrews 6:18 ff., hope was their ‘anchor of the soul,’ grappled to the throne of the living, glorified Jesus ‘within the veil.’

G. G. Findlay.

Holman Bible Dictionary [2]

Words for Hope In the Old Testament the words which are most often used to connote “hope” are tigwa (“to look for something with eager expectation”), batach (“to rely on something reliable”), and yachal (“trust”). In the New Testament “hope” is the proper translation for the verb elpizein and the noun elpis . Other words which belong to the vocabulary of hope are pepoithenai (“to trust”), hupomenein (“to endure”), and prosdokan (“to expect” or “to await”). It is important to note that the reality of hope is often present where the exact words are absent. A case in point is the New Testament Book of Revelation. The word “hope” does not appear in its pages. The message of Revelation, however, is permeated with the reality of hope. A complete examination of hope would have to include all of the exhortations, prayers, promises, and future tenses in the Bible.

The Ground and Object of Hope In the Old Testament, God alone is the ultimate ground and object of hope. Hope in God was generated by His might deeds in history. In fulfilling His promise to Abraham ( Genesis 12:1-3 ), He redeemed the Israelites from bondage in Egypt. He provided for their needs in the wilderness, formed them into a covenant community at Sinai, and led them into the successful occupation of Canaan. These acts provided a firm base for their confidence in God's continuing purpose for them. Even when Israel was unfaithful, hope was not lost. Because of God's faithfulness and mercy, those who returned to Him could count on His help ( Malachi 3:6-7 ). This help included forgiveness ( 2 Chronicles 7:14;  Psalm 86:5 ) as well as deliverance from enemies. Thus, Jeremiah addressed God as the “hope of Israel, the saviour thereof in time of trouble” ( Jeremiah 14:8; compare  Jeremiah 14:22;  Jeremiah 17:13 ). Likewise, the psalmist called on Israel to “hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption. He himself will redeem Israel from all their sins” ( Psalm 130:7-8 NIV; compare   Psalm 131:3 ).

A corollary of putting one's hope in God is refusing to place one's final confidence in the created order. All created things are weak, transient, and apt to fail. For this reason it is futile to vest ultimate hope in wealth ( Psalm 49:6-12;  Psalm 52:7;  Proverbs 11:28 ), houses ( Isaiah 32:17-18 ), princes ( Psalm 146:3 ), empires and armies ( Isaiah 31:1-3;  2 Kings 18:19-24 ), or even the Jerusalem Temple ( Jeremiah 7:1-7 ). God, and God only, is a rock that cannot be moved ( Deuteronomy 32:4 ,Deuteronomy 32:4, 32:15 ,Deuteronomy 32:15, 32:18;  Psalm 18:2;  Psalm 62:2;  Isaiah 26:4 ) and a refuge and fortress who provides ultimate security ( Psalm 14:6 ,  Psalm 61:3;  Psalm 73:28;  Psalm 91:9 ). An accurate summary of the Old Testament emphasis is found in  Psalm 119:49-50 . “Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope. My comfort in my suffering is this: your promise preserves my life” (NIV).

A significant aspect of Old Testament hope was Israel's expectation of a messiah, that is, an anointed ruler from David's line. This expectation grew out of the promise that God would establish the throne of David forever ( 2 Samuel 7:14 ). The anointed ruler (messiah) would be God's agent to restore Israel's glory and rule the nations in peace and righteousness. For the most part, however, David's successors were disappointments. The direction of the nation was away from the ideal. Thus, people looked to the future for a son of David who would fulfill the divine promise.

The New Testament continues to speak of God as the source and object of hope. Paul wrote that it was the “God who raises the dead” on whom “we have set our hope” ( 2 Corinthians 1:9-10 NIV). Furthermore, “we have fixed our hope on the living God, who is the Savior of all men” (  1 Timothy 4:10 NAS). Peter reminded his readers that “your faith and hope are in God” (  1 Peter 1:21 NAS). In the New Testament, as in the Old, God is the “God of hope” (  Romans 15:13 ).

For the early Christians, hope is also focused in Christ. He is called “our hope” ( 1 Timothy 1:1 ), and the hope of glory is identified with “Christ in you” ( Colossians 1:27 ). Images applied to God in the Old Testament are transferred to Christ in the New. He is the Savior ( Luke 2:11;  Acts 13:23;  Titus 1:4;  Titus 3:6 ), the source of life ( John 6:35 ), the rock on which hope is built ( 1 Peter 2:4-7 ). He is the first and last ( Revelation 1:17 ), the day-spring dispelling darkness and leading His people into eternal day ( Revelation 22:5 ).

New Testament writers spoke of Christ as the object and ground of hope for two reasons. 1) He is the Messiah who has brought salvation by His life, death, and resurrection ( Luke 24:46 ). God's promises are fulfilled in Him. “For in him every one of God's promises is a “Yes” ( 2 Corinthians 1:20 NRSV). 2) They are aware of the unity between Father and Son. This is a unity of nature (  John 1:1;  Colossians 1:19 ) as well as a unity in the work of redemption. Because “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself” ( 2 Corinthians 5:19 ), hope in the Son is one with hope in the Father.

The Future of Hope While the New Testament affirms the sufficiency of Christ's redemptive work in the past, it also looks forward to His return in the future to complete God's purpose. Indeed, the major emphasis on hope in the New Testament centers on the second coming of Christ. The “blessed hope” of the Church is nothing less than “the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” ( Titus 2:13 ). See Future Hope .

This expectation filled the horizon of the early Christian community. Jesus Himself spoke of it ( Mark 8:38;  Mark 13:26;  Mark 14:28;  John 14:1-4 ). His disciples were promised that “this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven” ( Acts 1:11 ). Apostolic preaching reiterated the theme ( Acts 3:19-21;  Acts 10:42;  Acts 17:31 ). References in the epistles are numerous. Paul reminded the Philippians that “our conversation is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ” ( Philippians 3:20 NAS; compare   1 Corinthians 15:51-54;  1 Thessalonians 1:9-10;  1 Thessalonians 2:19;  1 Thessalonians 4:13-18;  1 Timothy 6:14 ). Christ “will appear a second time to save those who are eagerly waiting for him” ( Hebrews 9:28 NRSV). Christians are “shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time” (  1 Peter 1:5 ). If the Lord's coming seems delayed unduly, it is still certain because “the Lord is not slack concerning his promise” ( 2 Peter 3:9 ). The last book of the Bible begins and ends with a reference to Christ's return. “Behold, he cometh with clouds” ( Revelation 1:7 ). “He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus” ( Revelation 22:20 ).

The content of the hope which will be realized in the future is described in different ways. Christians will “obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God” ( Romans 8:21 NRSV); realize their hope of “righteousness” (  Galatians 5:5 ); be “transformed into his likeness” ( 2 Corinthians 3:12-18 REB; compare   1 John 3:1-3 ); acquire possession of the inheritance ( Ephesians 1:14 ), and experience the resurrection of the body (1Corinthians 15:21, 1 Corinthians 15:50-55 ).

Hope is not merely individual in scope, however. It has cosmic dimensions as well. God's purpose is to redeem the whole creation. Thus, Christians expect that “the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” ( Romans 8:21 ). Peter expressed it like this: “we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness” ( 2 Peter 3:13 ).

The Assurance of Hope Christians live in hope for two basic reasons. The first reason is because of what God has done in Christ. Especially important is the emphasis the New Testament places on the resurrection by which Christ has defeated the power of sin and death. “By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” ( 1 Peter 1:3 NRSV).

The second reason is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God” ( Romans 8:16 ). Furthermore, the Spirit is the “first installment of our inheritance, so that we may finally come into full possession of the prize of redemption” ( Ephesians 1:14 Williams). “Hope never disappoints us; for through the Holy Spirit that has been given us, God's love has flooded our hearts” (  Romans 5:5 Williams). Hence, Paul's prayer that “the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost” (  Romans 15:13 ).

Given the assurance of hope, Christians live in the present with confidence and face the future with courage. They can also meet trials triumphantly because they know “that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance character; and character, hope” ( Romans 5:3-4 NIV). Such perseverance is not passive resignation; it is the confident endurance in the face of opposition. There is, therefore, a certitude in Christian hope which amounts to a qualitative difference from ordinary hope. Christian hope is the gift of God. “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure” (  Hebrews 6:19 NIV).

Bert Dominy

Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology [3]

To trust in, wait for, look for, or desire something or someone; or to expect something beneficial in the future.

The Old Testament . There are several Hebrew verbs that may in certain contexts be translated "to hope" in English. One of them, qawa [   Jeremiah 14:22 ). He also uses a noun formed from the root qwh [קָוָה קָוָה] to teach that the Lord is the hope of Israel (14:8; 17:13; 50:7), which means that Israel's God is worthy of trust. Another noun from the same root, tiqwa [תִּקְוָה תִּקְוָה], is often also translated "hope" meaning "trust." Similarly, the verb qawa [קָוָה קָוָה] is parallel to batah [בָּטַח בָּטוּחַבָּטַח], "to trust, " in  Psalm 25:2-3 .

In the Old Testament believers are encouraged to wait for God hopefully, expectantly. In times of trouble one should wait for the Lord, who will turn things around ( Psalm 25:21;  27:14;  40:1;  130:5 ). Sometimes expressions of hope are accompanied by the prayer that the supplicant will not be ashamed, that is, disappointed. "May those who hope in you not be disgraced" ( Psalm 69:6; cf.  Psalm 22:5;  25:2-3,20 ). God promises that those who wait for him will not be disappointed ( Isaiah 49:23 ). God is able to bring about the realization of one's hopes. Looking with expectation is akin to hoping ( Job 6:19;  Jeremiah 8:15 ). From "looking for" or "expecting" it is a small semantic shift to desiring ( Isaiah 26:8 ).

Twenty-seven times qawa [   Psalm 40:1;  130:5-6 ).

Because of the close connection between hope and trust and because of the requirement to trust in God alone, a number of passages warn against trust in other things. We should not trust in riches ( Job 31:24-28;  Psalm 52:1-7;  Proverbs 11:28 ), idols ( Psalm 115:3-11;  Habakkuk 2:18-19 ), foreign powers ( Isaiah 20:5 ), military might ( Isaiah 30:15-16;  31:1-3;  Hosea 10:13 ), princes ( Psalm 146:3-7 ), or other humans ( Jeremiah 17:5-8 ). God is the true object of hope, but occasionally there are others. One may put one's hope in his steadfast love ( Psalm 33:18 ), in his ordinances ( Psalm 119:43 ), and in his word ( Psalm 119:49,74,81,114,147 ). Besides waiting in eager expectation for God, one may wait or hope for his teaching ( Isaiah 42:4 ) and for his salvation ( Psalm 119:166 ).

For much of the Old Testament period hope was centered on this world. The beleaguered hoped to be delivered from their enemies ( Psalm 25 ); the sick hoped to recover from illness ( Isaiah 38:10-20 ). Israelites trusted God to provide land, peace, and prosperity. In early passages there are few expressions of hope for the next world. Those who descend to the grave have no hope ( Isaiah 38:18-19 ). Only those still living could hope ( Ecclesiastes 9:4-6,10 ), as salvation was for this life. Toward the end of the Old Testament God made known his plan to bring his everlasting kingdom to earth ( Daniel 2:44;  7:13-14 ) and to raise the dead (12:2). At that point hope became more focused on the next world, especially on the resurrection. God will "swallow up death forever" ( Isaiah 25:7 ), and the dead will rise again (26:19); this is the salvation for which the faithful wait (25:9).

The New Testament . The New Testament consistently uses the verb elpizo [   1 Timothy 4:10 ) and on Christ ( Ephesians 1:12 ). As Jeremiah proclaims that God is the hope of Israel, Paul announces that Jesus Christ is our hope ( 1 Timothy 1:1 ).

Parallel to those passages in the Old Testament where those who hope are not put to shame, Paul says hope does not disappoint us ( Romans 5:5 ). The reason is that we already have a taste of the future glory because of the love with which the Holy Spirit fills our hearts. In other words, the gifts of love and of the Spirit are downpayments of future glory for which we hope ( Romans 5:2; cf.  Ephesians 1:13-14 ).

In the Old Testament hope has to do with waiting for, looking for, desiring. This is paralleled in the Gospels, where the word "hope" is not very frequent but the idea of looking expectantly is. Simeon looked for Israel's consolation at the advent of the Messiah ( Luke 2:25-26 ). Likewise, Anna, the prophetess, upon recognizing who Jesus was, proclaimed him to all those who were anticipating redemption ( Luke 2:36-38 ).

In connection with hope in  Romans 8:18-25 Paul speaks of waiting with eager expectation for the revelation of the children of God (v. 19), waiting for the adoption as sons (v. 23). We are waiting "for the righteousness for which we hope" (  Galatians 5:5 ) and for "the blessed hope, " namely, the glorious appearing of our Lord ( Titus 2:13 ). Paul has both an eager expectation and a hope for God to be glorified in him, whether in life or death ( Philippians 1:20 ). He goes on to express his desire to leave this world to be present with Christ (1:23).

As hope is connected with patient endurance in the Old Testament, so in the New Testament trials lead to hope ( Romans 5:3-4 ) and hope is steadfast ( 1 Thessalonians 1:3 ). When we hope for something we wait for it through patience ( Romans 8:25;  15:4 ).

In the Old Testament hope is linked with "putting confidence in" or "taking refuge in." Paul also parallels hope with trust. He hopes to send Timothy and trusts in the Lord that he himself will come ( Philippians 2:23 ). Hebrews talks about courage and hope (3:6). Likewise, Paul links hope and boldness ( 2 Corinthians 3:12 ). In a passage about the confidence we can have in God's promises,  Hebrews 6:18-19 mentions taking refuge by seizing the sure anchor of hope that is set before us.

Reminiscent of the Old Testament false objects of hope, Paul counsels the wealthy not "to set their hope in wealth" ( 1 Timothy 6:17 ). In addition to putting hope in God and Christ, we hope for salvation ( 1 Thessalonians 5:8 ); God's glory ( Romans 5:2;  Colossians 1:27 ); resurrection ( Acts 23:6;  24:15;  1 Thessalonians 4:13 ); the redemption of our bodies ( Romans 8:23 ); righteousness ( Galatians 5:5 ); eternal life ( Titus 1:2;  3:7 ); the glorious appearing of Jesus ( Titus 2:13 ); and that we shall become like him when he does appear ( 1 John 3:2-3 ).

From the above list it is apparent that, in contrast to the Old Testament, New Testament hope is primarily eschatological. After being introduced late in Old Testament times, hope in the resurrection of the dead grew in the intertestamental period in such proportion that Paul could speak of the resurrection as the "hope of Israel" ( Acts 28:20;  24:15;  26:6-8 ). If our hope is only for our present existence, it is most pitiable ( 1 Corinthians 15:19 ). When our believing friends and relatives die we grieve in hope of the Lord's return, unlike unbelievers who have no hope. The only sure hope is Jesus: when he returns, believers who have died and those still living will both be given imperishable bodies like that of the risen Lord ( 1 Corinthians 15:20-23,51-52;  1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 ).

Hope is the proper response to the promises of God. Abraham serves as a prime example here. Even though he was very old, he had confidence that God would fulfill his promises. "Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed" ( Romans 4:18 ). Like Abraham, we can trust in God's promises and "seize the hope set before us" ( Hebrews 6:18 ). More generally, we are told that the Scriptures engender hope ( Romans 15:4 ). The Holy Spirit is also a source of hope, for his power causes hope to abound ( Romans 15:13 ). Finally, hope comes as a gift from God through grace ( 2 Thessalonians 2:16 ).

Hope leads to joy ( Romans 12:12 ) boldness ( 2 Corinthians 3:12 ), and faith and love ( Colossians 1:4-5 ). Hope also leads to comfort; we are to encourage one another with the knowledge of the resurrection ( 1 Thessalonians 4:18 ). Though boasting in our works is disallowed, we may boast or exult in hope of sharing God's glory ( Romans 5:2; cf.  Hebrews 3:6 ).

Hope has a sanctifying effect. We who look expectantly for the return of Christ, knowing that when we see him we shall become like him, purify ourselves "as he is pure" ( 1 John 3:3 ). Hope also stimulates good works. Following his teaching on resurrection of the dead, Paul exhorts his readers to do the Lord's work abundantly since such "labor is not in vain" ( 1 Corinthians 15:51-58 ).

William B. Nelson, Jr.

Bibliography . E. Hoffman, Dictionary of New Testament Theology, 2:238-46; P. S. Minear, IDB, 2:640-43; C. F. D. Moule, The Meaning of Hope  ; W. Zimmerli, Man and His Hope in the Old Testament .

Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament [4]

HOPE. —In considering the relation of hope to Christ and the Gospels, we are at once met with the fact that in the Gospels the word ἐλπίς does not occur at all, and ἐλπίζω only five times, viz. once in Mt ( Matthew 12:21), where the Evangelist quotes the LXX Septuagint, three times in Lk ( Luke 6:34;  Luke 23:8;  Luke 24:21), and once in Jn ( John 5:45); and in none of these instances does it refer to the theological virtue.

This absence of the word is the more remarkable, when we remember not only that Judaism, the religion in which our Lord and His disciples were reared, was essentially a religion of hope, but also that the result of the teaching of Jesus was vastly to enlarge and deepen that hope, by imparting to it the riches of the Christian faith. Great as was the religious hope inspired by the older dispensation, it was small when compared with that ‘better hope’ ( Hebrews 7:19) which rested on the unchangeable kingly Priesthood of Christ.

The disciples doubtless were too fully absorbed in the present to have felt deeply expectations for the future. They were held captive by the greatness of His personality and the depth of His love, and ultimately came to realize that they had in Him the Hope of Israel itself. And if Simeon, having received the Messiah into his arms, felt his greatest hopes realized, then the disciples, having found the Christ, must have been so absorbed by Him as to have had little room and little need for longings regarding the future.

But why did Jesus, who taught the necessity of faith ( Mark 11:22,  John 3:16) and the pre-eminence of love ( Matthew 22:40), remain silent as regards hope . It was due to the fact that in training His followers, the first necessity was to concentrate their attention on Himself as their present possession. Had He taught them fully of the fruition that awaited them at the end of the age, and had He thus made hope a distinctly prominent portion of His teaching, He would have dissipated their attention and diverted it from that which they most required to learn. St. Paul could teach, ‘Christ our hope’ ( 1 Timothy 1:1). Jesus had to lay the foundation by teaching, ‘Come unto me’ ( Matthew 11:28).

But if He did not give direct teaching on the point, He nevertheless laid deeply the basis upon which the Church’s doctrine of hope was to be built; for He pointed the disciples, in His promises, to the blessings which they ultimately would enjoy. The promises of His resurrection, of His perpetual spiritual presence, and of His final return in glory, were sure foundations upon which the Church could build her doctrine, and on this basis the developed teaching of the Epistles rests. And if the death of Jesus rudely shattered the Messianic hope of the disciples, His resurrection, followed by the illumination of the Holy Spirit, restored it to them in a purified and spiritual form.

As we study in the Epistles the doctrine of hope, which was thus awakened and became an integral part of Christian life, we find it vitally connected by the Church with her faith in Christ risen and glorified. (1) His resurrection is regarded as the ground of the Christian’s hope: by it Christians are begotten ‘unto a living hope,’ and through it their hope in God is established ( 1 Peter 1:3;  1 Peter 1:21). (2) All Christian hopes are realized in Him. Various objects worthy of hope are mentioned, such as salvation ( 1 Thessalonians 5:8), eternal life ( Titus 1:2;  Titus 3:7), the glory of God ( Romans 5:2,  Colossians 1:27), the resurrection of the dead ( Acts 24:15;  Acts 23:6); but all these different blessings are summed up in Jesus Christ. When they hope for Him, they hope for them all; for in Him all the scattered yearnings of the human heart are united and find their fulfilment. Thus it is that St. Paul calls Him ‘our hope’ ( 1 Timothy 1:1). (3) The Church therefore fixes her gaze on the heavens; for her Hope is there. She is ever ‘looking for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ’ ( Titus 2:13), for then she shall lie like Him, for she shall see Him as He is; ‘and every one that hath this hope set on him purifieth himself’ ( 1 John 3:2-3). Even inanimate nature groans for its coming redemption at the Parousia, having been subjected to vanity ‘in hope’ ( Romans 8:20). (4) But while the full realization of Christian hope will not be reached until the return of Christ, yet even now the Church has a foretaste of the bliss that ultimately will be hers. For Christ now dwells in the Church and in the hearts of her members, and thus grants an earnest of final fulfilment. Christ in the Church and in the individual is ‘the hope of glory’ ( Colossians 1:27), and therefore to be without Christ is to be without hope ( Ephesians 2:12).

See, further, the following article.

Charles T. P. Grierson.

Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary [5]

In the strict and proper sense of the word, this is Christ; for He, and He only, as the prophet hath described him, "is the Hope of Israel, and the Saviour thereof?" ( Jeremiah 14:8) And, indeed, this view must be uniformly preserved and kept up, because, without an eye to Christ, there can be no such thing as hope, for all our whole nature is, in its universal circumstances, "without God, and without hope in the world." ( Ephesians 2:12) And it is very blessed to turn over the Scriptures of God, and behold the Lord Jesus Christ set forth under this endeared character, in a great variety of figures and representations, throughout the whole Bible.

Jesus was the grand hope of all the Old Testament believers before his incarnation. They all, like Abraham, saw "his day afar off," rejoiced and were glad; and, like him, amongst all the discouraging circumstances they had to encounter"against hope, they believed in hope." Hence, though the longing expectation of the church, as Solomon expressed it, was like "hope deferred, which maketh the heart sick;" ( Proverbs 13:12) yet, as Jeremiah was commissioned to tell the church, there was still "hope in the end, saith the Lord, that the children of Christ should come to their own border." ( Jeremiah 31:17)

Christ, therefore, being held up to the church's view as the hope of his redeemed, is set forth under various similitudes corresponding to this character. His people are called "prisoners of hope." ( Zechariah 9:12) And the apostle Paul, under the same figure, calls himself the Lord's prisoner, and saith, it is for "the hope of Israel, I am bound with this chain." ( Acts 28:20;  Ephesians 4:1) And elsewhere, he described it under the strong metaphor of "an anchor to the soul, both sure and steadfast." ( Hebrews 6:19) In short, Christ is the only hope of eternal life, to which we are "begotten by his resurrection from the dead. In him our flesh is said to rest in hope," when returning to the dust; and all our high expectations of life and immortality are expressed, in "looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the Great God, and our Saviour, Jesus Christ." (See those Scriptures,  Titus 2:13;  1 Peter 1:3;  Psalms 16:9)

As Christ then is the only true hope the Scriptures speak of, it is very evident, that every other hope, not founded in Christ, is and must be deceitful. The world is full of hope, and the life of carnal and ungodly men is made up of it. But what saith the Scripture, of all such. "The hope of the hypocrite, saith Job, shall be cut off, and his trust shall be as a spider's web." ( Job 7:14) So that the hope of the faithful, which is Christ himself, affords the only well-grounded confidence for the life that now is, and that which is to come. And this "hope maketh not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in the heart by the Holy Ghost." It is founded in Christ, and is, in. need, Christ formed in the heart, "the hope of glory." ( Romans 5:5;  Colossians 1:27)

Bridgeway Bible Dictionary [6]

Hope is a characteristic of genuine faith in God. Such hope is different from the hope that people in general might speak of. It is not a mere wish for something, but a strong confidence that is placed in God. It is the assured belief that God will do what he has promised ( Psalms 42:5;  Psalms 71:5;  Romans 4:18;  Hebrews 11:1). Hope, according to its Christian meaning, is inseparable from faith ( Romans 5:1-5;  Galatians 5:5;  Hebrews 6:11-12;  1 Peter 1:21). Those without God have no faith and therefore have no hope ( Ephesians 2:12;  1 Thessalonians 4:13; cf.  Colossians 1:23).

The great hope for Christians is the return of Jesus Christ, when they will experience the fulness of their salvation and enter with Christ into the glory of the new age ( 1 Corinthians 15:19-23;  Ephesians 1:18;  Colossians 1:27;  1 Thessalonians 5:8;  1 Peter 1:13). For Christians, then, to have the hope of Christ’s return means to look forward to it eagerly; and the basis for such hope is Christ’s atoning death and glorious resurrection. Christ’s entrance into glory guarantees the entrance of believers into glory ( Colossians 1:5;  Hebrews 6:19;  1 Peter 1:18-21).

By its very nature, hope means that the thing hoped for has not yet arrived. Christ has not yet returned. Believers must therefore have patience as they wait for the day of their final salvation ( Romans 8:23-25;  Hebrews 11:1;  Hebrews 11:39-40).

This patience contains no element of doubt, for Christian hope is the anticipation of something that is certain. God confirms the hope of salvation by giving believers the Holy Spirit. They have a living guarantee within them until the day their hope is fulfilled. The Spirit is God’s mark of permanent ownership upon them ( 2 Corinthians 1:22;  Ephesians 1:13-14;  Ephesians 4:30; see Assurance ).

Until Christ returns, the world will continue to be a place of imperfection and suffering. Christians must therefore persevere and be patient through all the difficulties they meet ( Romans 5:3-5;  Romans 12:12). Their hope in Christ means that their endurance will be characterized not by grudging tolerance, but by positive enjoyment of all that life offers. Hope gives their lives purpose and stability ( Romans 15:13;  Colossians 3:1-4;  1 Thessalonians 1:3;  2 Thessalonians 2:16-17;  Titus 2:11-14; see Joy ; Patience ). At the same time they will work hard at keeping themselves free from sin; for their day of salvation is also their day of reckoning ( 1 John 3:2-3; cf.  Matthew 24:45-46;  2 Corinthians 5:10).

Charles Buck Theological Dictionary [7]

Is the desire of some good, attended with the possibility, at least of obtaining it; and is enlivened with joy greater or less, according to the probability there is of possessing the object of our hope. Scarce any passion seems to be more natural to man than hope; and, considering the many troubles he is encompassed with none is more necessary; for life, void of all hope, would be a heavy and spiritless thing, very little desirable, perhaps hardly to be borne; whereas hope infuses strength into the mind, and by so doing, lessens the burdens of life. If our condition be not the best in the world, yet we hope it will be better, and this helps us to support it with patience. The hope of the Christian is an expectation of all necessary good both in time and eternity, founded on the promises, relations, and perfections of God, and on the offices, righteousness, and intercession of Christ. It is a compound of desire, expectation, patience, and joy,  Romans 8:24-25 . It may be considered,

1. As pure,  1 John 3:2-3 , as it is resident in that heart which is cleansed from sin.

2. As good,  2 Thessalonians 2:16 . (in distinction from the hope of the hypocrite) as deriving its origin from God, and centring in him.

3. It is called lively,  1 Peter 1:3 , as it proceeds from spiritual life, and renders one active and lively in good works.

4. It is courageous,  Romans 5:5 .  1 Thessalonians 5:8 . because it excites fortitude in all the troubles of life, and yields support in the hour of death,  Proverbs 14:32 .

5. sure,  Hebrews 6:19 , because it will not disappoint us, and is fixed on a sure foundation.

6. Joyful,  Romans 5:2 . as it produces the greatest felicity in the anticipation of complete deliverance from all evil. Campbell's Pleasures of Hope; Grove's Moral Phil. vol. 1: p. 381; Gill's Body of Div. p. 82, vol. 3:; No. 471, Spect.; Jay's Sermons, vol. 2: ser. 2.

King James Dictionary [8]

HOPE, n. L. cupio.

1. A desire of some good, accompanied with at least a slight expectation of obtaining it, or a belief that it is obtainable. Hope differs from wish and desire in this, that it implies some expectation of obtaining the good desired, or the possibility of possessing it. Hope therefore always gives pleasure or joy whereas wish and desire may produce or be accompanied with pain and anxiety.

The hypocrite's hope shall perish.  Job 8

He wish'ed, but not with hope--

Sweet hope! kind cheat!

He that lives upon hope, will die fasting.

2. Confidence in a future event the highest degree of well founded expectation of good as a hope founded on God's gracious promises a scriptural sense.

A well founded scriptural hope,is, in our religion, the source of ineffable happiness.

3. That which gives hope he or that which furnishes ground of expectation, or promises desired good. The hope of Israel is the Messiah.

The Lord will be the hope of his people.  Joel 3 .

4. An opinion or belief not amounting to certainty, but grounded on substantial evidence. The christian indulges a hope, that his sins are pardoned.


1. To cherish a desire of food, with some expectation of obtaining it, or a belief that it is obtainable.

Hope for good success.

Be sober and hope to the end.  1 Peter 1

Hope humbly then, with trembling pinions soar.

2. To place confidence in to trust in with confident expectation of good.

Why art thou cast down, O my soul,and why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God.  Psalms 43

HOPE, To desire with expectation of good, or a belief that it may be obtained. But as a transitive verb, it is seldom used,and the phrases in which it is so used are elliptical, for being understood.

So stands the Thracian herdsman with his spear,

Full in the gap,and hopes the hunted bear.

HOPE, n. A sloping plain between ridges of mountains. Not in use.

Charles Spurgeon's Illustration Collection [9]

Once on a time, certain strong laborers were sent forth by the great King to level a primeval forest, to plough it, to sow it, and to bring to him the harvest. They were stout-hearted and strong, and willing enough for labor, and much they needed all their strength and more. One stalwart laborer was named Industry: consecrated work was his. His brother Patience, with thews of steel, went with him, and tired not in the longest days under the heaviest labors. To help them they had Zeal, clothed with ardent and indomitable energy. Side by side there stood his kinsman Self-denial, and his friend Importunity. These went forth to their labor, and they took with them, to cheer their toils, their well-beloved sister Hope; and well it was they did, for they needed the music of her consolation ere the work was done, for the forest trees were huge and demanded many sturdy blows of the axe ere they would fall prone upon the ground. One by one the giant forest kings were overthrown, but the labor was immense and incessant. At night when they went to their rest, the day's work always seemed so light, for as they crossed the threshold, Patience, wiping the sweat from his brow, would be encouraged, and Self-denial would be strengthened by hearing the sweet voice of Hope within singing, 'God will bless us, God, even our own God, will bless us.' They felled the lofty trees to the music of that strain; they cleared the acres one by one, they tore from their sockets the hug' roots, they delved the soil, they sowed the corn, and waited for the harvest, often much discouraged, but still held to their work as by silver chains and golden fetters by the sweet sound of the voice which chanted so constantly, 'God, ever our own God, will bless us.' They never could refrain from service, for Hope never could refrain from song. They were ashamed to be discouraged, they were shocked to be despairing, for still the voice rang clearly out at noon and eventide, 'God will bless us, God, even our own God, will bless us.' You know the parable, you recognise the voice: may you hear it in your souls to-day!

Webster's Dictionary [10]

(1): ( n.) That which is hoped for; an object of hope.

(2): ( v. i.) To entertain or indulge hope; to cherish a desire of good, or of something welcome, with expectation of obtaining it or belief that it is obtainable; to expect; - usually followed by for.

(3): ( v. t.) To expect; to fear.

(4): ( v. t.) To desire with expectation or with belief in the possibility or prospect of obtaining; to look forward to as a thing desirable, with the expectation of obtaining it; to cherish hopes of.

(5): ( v. i.) To place confidence; to trust with confident expectation of good; - usually followed by in.

(6): ( n.) A sloping plain between mountain ridges.

(7): ( n.) One who, or that which, gives hope, furnishes ground of expectation, or promises desired good.

(8): ( n.) A desire of some good, accompanied with an expectation of obtaining it, or a belief that it is obtainable; an expectation of something which is thought to be desirable; confidence; pleasing expectancy.

(9): ( n.) A small bay; an inlet; a haven.

Morrish Bible Dictionary [11]

This is described as waiting for something that is not seen but which has been promised.  Romans 8:24,25 . Blessed is the man whose hope the Lord is; though troubles arise he will not cease to bear fruit.  Jeremiah 17:7,8 . There is nothing vague in the Christian's hope: it is an anchor of the soul, sure and steadfast, because the Lord Himself is his hope, and Christ in him is the hope of glory.  Colossians 1:27;  1 Timothy 1:1;  Hebrews 6:18,19 . The coming of the Lord, and not death, is a blessed part of the Christian's hope.  1 Thessalonians 4:13-18;  1 John 3:2,3 .

Easton's Bible Dictionary [12]

 1 Corinthians 13:13 Romans 8:24 1 John 3:2 1 Peter 3:15 Hebrews 10:23 Ephesians 1:18 4:4 Ephesians 2:12 1 Thessalonians 4:13 1 Timothy 1:1 Colossians 1:27 Titus 2:13 1 Peter 1:3 Romans 5:2  1 John 3:3

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia [13]

hōp  :

1. In the Old Testament

In the Revised Version (British and American) the New Testament "hope" represents the noun ἐλπίς , elpı́s (52 t), and the verb ἐλπίζω , elpı́zō (31 t). King James Version, however, renders the noun in   Hebrews 10:23 by "faith," and for the verb gives "trust" in 18 cases (apparently without much system, e.g. in Phil 2 compare   Philippians 2:19 and   Philippians 2:23; see Trust ), while in  Luke 6:35 it translates ἀπελπίζω , apelpı́zō , by "hoping for nothing again" (the Revised Version (British and American) "never despairing"). But in the Old Testament there is no Hebrew word that has the exact force of "expectation of some good thing," so that in the King James Version "hope" (noun and vb.) stands for some 15 Hebrew words, nearly all of which in other places are given other translation (e.g. מבטח , mibhṭāḥ , is rendered "hope" in  Jeremiah 17:17 , "trust" in  Psalm 40:4 , "confidence" in  Psalm 65:5 ). the Revised Version (British and American) has attempted to be more systematic and has, for the most part, kept "hope" for the noun תּקוה , tiḳwāh , and the verb יחל , yāḥal , but complete consistency was not possible (e.g.  Proverbs 10:28;  Proverbs 11:23;  Proverbs 23:18 ). This lack of a specific word for hope has nothing to do with any undervaluation of the virtue among the Hebrews. For the religion of the Old Testament is of all things a religion of hope, centered in God, from whom all deliverance and blessings are confidently expected ( Jeremiah 17:17;  Joel 3:16;  Psalm 31:24;  Psalm 33:18 ,  Psalm 33:22;  Psalm 39:7 , etc.). The varieties of this hope arc countless (see Israel , Religion Of; Salvation , etc.), but the form most perfected and with fundamental significance for the New Testament is the firm trust that at a time appointed God, in person or through His representative (see Messiah ), will establish a kingdom of righteousness.

2. In the New Testament

(1) The proclamation of this coming kingdom of God was the central element in the teaching of Jesus, and the message of its near advent ( Mark 1:15 , etc.), with the certainty of admission to it for those who accepted His teaching ( Luke 12:32 , etc.), is the substance of His teaching as to hope. This teaching, though, is delivered in the language of One to whom the realities of the next world and of the future are perfectly familiar; the tone is not that of prediction so much as it is that of the statement of obvious facts. In other words, "hope" to Christ is "certainty," and the word "hope" is never on His lips ( Luke 6:34 and   John 5:45 are naturally not exceptions). For the details see Kingdom Of God; Faith; Forgiveness , etc. And however far He may have taught that the kingdom was present in His lifetime, none the less the full consummation of that kingdom, with Himself as Messiah, was made by Him a matter of the future (see Eschatology Of The New Testament; Parousia ).

(2) Hence, after the ascension the early church was left with an eschatological expectation that was primarily and almost technically the "hope" of the New Testament - "looking for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ" ( Titus 2:13 ), "unto a living hope ...., unto an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled,... reserved in heaven for you, who by the power of God are guarded through faith unto a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time" (1 Pet 13-5; compare  Romans 5:2;  Romans 8:20-24;  2 Corinthians 3:12;  Ephesians 1:18-21;  Colossians 1:5 ,  Colossians 1:23 ,  Colossians 1:17;  Titus 1:2;  Titus 3:7;  1 John 3:2 ,  1 John 3:3 ). The foundations of this hope were many: ( a ) Primarily, of course, the promises of the Old Testament, which were the basis of Christ's teaching. Such are often quoted at length ( Acts 2:16 , etc.), while they underlie countless other passages. These promises are the "anchor of hope" that holds the soul fast ( Hebrews 6:18-20 ). In part, then, the earliest Christian expectations coincided with the Jewish, and the "hope of Israel" ( Acts 28:20; compare  Acts 26:6 ,  Acts 26:7;  Ephesians 2:12 , and especially  Romans 11:25-32 ) was a common ground on which Jew and Christian might meet. Still, through the confidence of forgiveness and purification given in the atonement ( Hebrews 9:14 , etc.), the Christian felt himself to have a "better hope" ( Hebrews 7:19 ), which the Jew could not know. ( b ) Specifically Christian, however, was the pledge given in the resurrection of Christ. This sealed His Messiahship and proved His lordship ( Romans 1:4;  Ephesians 1:18-20;  1 Peter 3:21 , etc.), so sending forth His followers with the certainty of victory. In addition, Christ's resurrection was felt to be the first step in the general resurrection, and hence, a proof that the consummation of all things had begun ( 1 Corinthians 15:23; compare  Acts 23:6;  Acts 24:15;  Acts 26:6 ,  Acts 26:7;  1 Thessalonians 4:13 ,  1 Thessalonians 4:14 , etc.). ( c ) But more than all, devotion to Christ produced a religious experience that gave certainty to hope. "Hope putteth not to shame; because the love of God hath been shed abroad in our hearts through the Holy Spirit which was given unto us" ( Romans 5:5; compare  Romans 8:16 ,  Romans 8:17;  2 Corinthians 1:22;  2 Corinthians 5:5;  Ephesians 1:14 , etc., and see Holy Spirit ). Even visible miracles were wrought by the Spirit that were signs of the end ( Acts 2:17 ) as well as of the individual's certainty of partaking in the final happiness ( Acts 10:47;  Acts 19:6 , etc.).

(3) Yet, certain though the hope might be, it was not yet attained, and the interim was an opportunity to develop faith, "the substance of the things hoped for" ( Hebrews 11:1 ). Indeed, hope is simply faith directed toward the future, and no sharp distinction between faith and hope is attainable. It is easy enough to see how the King James Version felt "confession of our faith" clearer than "confession of our hope" in  Hebrews 10:23 , although the rendition of elpis by "faith" was arbitrary. So in  Romans 8:20-24 , "hope" is scarcely more than "faith" in this specialized aspect. In particular, in  Romans 8:24 we have as the most natural translation (compare   Ephesians 2:5 ,  Ephesians 2:8 ), "By hope we were saved" (so the King James Version, the English Revised Version, the American Revised Version margin), only a pedantic insistence on words can find in this any departure from the strictest Pauline theology (compare the essential outlook on the future of the classic example of "saving faith" in  Romans 4:18-22 , especially  Romans 4:18 ). Still, the combination is unusual, and the Greek may be rendered equally well " For hope we were saved" (" in hope" of the American Standard Revised Version is not so good); i.e. our salvation, in so far as it is past, is but to prepare us for what is to come (compare   Ephesians 4:4;  1 Peter 1:3 ). But this postponement of the full attainment, through developing faith, gives stedfastness ( Romans 8:25; compare  1 Thessalonians 1:3;  1 Thessalonians 5:8;  Hebrews 3:6;  Hebrews 6:11 ), which could be gained in no other way. On the other hand this stedfastness, produced by hope, reacts again on hope and increases it ( Romans 5:4;  Romans 15:4 ). and so on. But no attempt is made in the New Testament to give a catalogue of the "fruits of hope," and, indeed, such lists are inevitably artificial.

(4) One passage that deserves special attention is  1 Corinthians 13:13 , "Now abideth faith, hope, love, these three." "Abideth" is in contrast to "shall be done away" in  1 Corinthians 13:8 ,  1 Corinthians 13:9 , and the time of the abiding is consequently after the Parousia; i.e. while many gifts are for the present world only, faith, hope and love are eternal and endure in the next world.  1 Corinthians 13:1-13 is evidently a very carefully written section, and the permanence of faith and hope cannot be set down to any mere carelessness on Paul's part, but the meaning is not very clear. Probably he felt that the triad of virtues was so essentially a part of the Christian's character that the existence of the individual without them was unthinkable, without trying to define what the object of faith and hope would be in the glorified state. If any answer is to be given, it must be found in the doctrine that even in heaven life will not be static but will have opportunities of unlimited growth. Never will the finite soul be able to dispense entirely with faith, while at each stage the growth into the next can be anticipated through hope.

3. Practical

Only adventist bodies can use all the New Testament promises literally, and the translation of the eschatological language into modern practical terms is not always easy. The simplest method is that already well developed in the Fourth Gospel, where the phrase "kingdom of God" is usually replaced by the words "eternal life," i.e. for a temporal relation between this world and the next is substituted a local, so that the accent is laid on the hope that awaits the individual beyond the grave. On the other hand, the cataclysmic imagery of the New Testament may be interpreted in evolutionary form. God, by sending into the world the supernatural power seen in the Christian church, is working for the race as well as for the individual, and has for His whole creation, as well as for individual souls, a goal in store. The individual has for his support the motives of the early church and, in particular, learns through the cross that even his own sins shall not disappoint him of his hope. But both of the above interpretations are needed if religion is fairly to represent the spirit of the New Testament. A pure individualism that looks only beyond the grave for its hope empties the phrase "kingdom of God" of its meaning and tends inevitably to asceticism. And, in contrast, the religion of Jesus cannot be reduced to a mere hope of ethical advance for the present world. A C hristianity that loses a transcendent, eschatological hope ceases to be Christianity.

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature [14]

( Ἐλπίς ), a term used in Scripture generally to denote the desire and expectation of some good ( 1 Corinthians 9:10); specially to denote the assured expectation of salvation, and of all minor blessings included in salvation, for this life and the life to come, through the merits of Christ.

(1.) It is one of the three great elements of Christian life and character ( 1 Corinthians 13:13). Faith is the root, love the fruit-bearing stem, and hope the heaven-reaching crown of the tree of Christian life. Faith appropriates the grace of God in the facts of salvation; love is the animating spirit of our present Christian life; while hope takes hold of the future as belonging to the Lord, and to those who are his. The kingdom of God, past, present, and future, is thus reflected in faith, love, and hope. Hope is joined to faith and love because spiritual life, though present, is yet not accomplished. It stands in opposition to seeing or possessing ( Romans 8:24 sq.;  1 John 3:2 sq.); but it is not the mere wish or aspiration for liberation and light which is common to all creation ( Romans 8:19-22), nor the mere reception of the doctrine of a future life, which may be found even among the heathen philosophers. It is, beyond these, the assurance that the spiritual life, which dwells in us here, will be prolonged into eternity. Hence, in the scriptures of the N.T., Christians are said to have Hope rather than Hopes ( Romans 15:4;  Romans 15:13;  Hebrews 3:6;  Hebrews 6:11;  Hebrews 6:18). The Holy Spirit imparted to believers is the ground and support of their hope ( 1 Peter 1:3;  Acts 23:6;  2 Corinthians 5:5;  Romans 8:11;  Romans 15:13;  Galatians 5:5). Hence the notion of hope appeared first in the disciples in its full force and true nature, After the resurrection of Christ and the descent of the Holy Ghost. In the test we do not find it with its significance (see  Hebrews 7:19).

Thus hope is an essential and fundamental element of Christian life, so essential, indeed, that, like faith and love, it can itself designate the essence of Christianity ( 1 Peter 3:15;  Hebrews 10:23). In it the whole glory of the Christian vocation is centered ( Ephesians 1:18;  Ephesians 4:4); it is the real object of the propagation of evangelical faith ( Titus 1:2;  Colossians 1:5;  Colossians 1:23), for the most precious possessions of the Christian, the Σωτηρία Ἀπολύτρωσις , Υἱοθεσία , Δικαιοσύνη , are, in their fulfillment, the object of his hope ( 1 Thessalonians 5:8 sq.;  Romans 8:23; comp. Ezekiel 1:14; 4:30;  Galatians 5:5;  2 Timothy 4:8). Unbelievers are expressly designated as those who are without hope ( Ephesians 2:12;  1 Thessalonians 4:13), because they are without God in the world, for God is a God of hope ( Romans 15:13;  1 Peter 1:21).

But the actual object of hope is Christ, who is himself called Ἐλπίς , not only because in him we place all our dependence (the general sense of Ἐλπίς ), but especially because it is in his second coming that the Christian's hope of glory shall be fulfilled ( 1 Timothy 1:1;  Colossians 1:27;  Titus 2:13). The fruit of hope is that through it we are enabled patiently and' steadfastly to bear the difficulties and trials of our present existence, and thus the Ὑπομονὴ is a constant accompaniment of the Ἐλπίς , ( 1 Thessalonians 1:3;  Romans 8:25), and even is sometimes put in its place with faith and love ( Titus 2:2; compare  2 Timothy 3:10;  1 Timothy 6:11). As it is the source of the believer's patience in suffering, so it is also the cause of his fidelity and firmness in action, since he knows that his labor "is not in vain in the Lord" ( 1 Corinthians 15:58). Christianity is the religion of hope, and it is an essential point of its absolute character, for whatever is everlasting and eternal is absolute. To the Christian, as such, it is therefore not time, but eternity; not the present, but the future life, which is the object of his efforts and hope. See Herzog, Real- Encyklop, 6, 195; Krehl, N.T. Handw Ö rterbuch, p. 372.

(2.) "One scriptural mark," says Wesley, "of those who are born of God, is hope. Thus St. Peter, speaking to all the children of God who were then scattered abroad, saith, Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which, according to his abundant mercy, hath begotten us again unto a lively hope' ( 1 Peter 1:3) Ἐλπίδα Ζῶσαν a Lively or Living hope, saith the apostle, because there is also a Dead hope as well as a dead faith; a hope which is not from God, but from the enemy of God and man, as evidently appears by its fruits, for as it is the offspring of pride, so it is the parent of every evil word and work; whereas, every man that hath in him the living hope is holy as he that calleth him is holy' every man that can truly say to his brethren in Christ, Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and we shall see him as he is,' purifieth himself even as he is pure.' This hope (termed in the Epistle to the Hebrews,  Hebrews 10:22, Πληροφορία Πίστεως , and elsewhere Πληροφορία Ἐλπίδος ,  Hebrews 6:11; in our translation, the full assurance of faith, and the full assurance of hope,' expressions the best which our language could afford, although far weaker than those in the original), as described in Scripture, implies, first, the testimony of our own spirit or conscience that we walk in simplicity and godly sincerity;' but, secondly and chiefly, the testimony of the Spirit of God bearing witness with' or to our spirit that we are the children of God,' and if children, then heirs, heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ." The passage, "Thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother's breasts" ( Psalms 21:9), suggests that hope is an inbred sentiment. Considered as such, it implies (a) a future state of existence; (b) that progress in blessedness is the law of our being; (c) that the Christian life is adapted to our constitution. See, besides the works above cited, Homilist, 5, 116; Jay, Sermons, vol. 2; Tyerman, Essay On Christian Hope (London 1816, 8vo); Craig, Christian Hope (London 1820, 18mo); Garbett, Sermons, 1, 489; Wesley, Sermons, 1, 157; Liddon, Our Lord'S Divinity (Bampton Lecture), p. 72, 75; Martensen, Dogmatics, p. 450 sq.; Pye Smith, Christian Theology, p. 622 sq.; Pearson, On The Creed, 1, 24, 401, 460, 501; Fletcher, Works (see Index, vol. 4); Jahrb. deutsch. Theol. 10:694; Bates, Works (see Index in vol. 4); Harless, Systen of Ethics (Clark's Theol. Libr.), p. 174 sq.; Nitzsch, System d. christl. Lehrb, § 209 sq.