Bible Questions and Answers

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The King James translation uses the word substance just four times in the New Testament.

1.    Luke 8:3 And Joanna the wife of Chuza Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance.

Here it is a translation of the Greek ‘huparchonta’ (used some 49 times) meaning that which one ‘has’ in the sense of ‘goods’, ‘wealth’, ‘property’ or ‘possessions.

Matthew 19:21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast (‘huparchonta’), and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

2.    Luke 15:13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.

Here it is a translation of the Greek ‘ousia’ (used twice) meaning ‘goods’, ‘property’ or ‘possessions’.

Luke 15:12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods (‘ousia’) that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.

3.    Hebrews 10:34  For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.

Here it is a translation of the Greek ‘huparxis’ (used twice) meaning to ‘be there’, ‘be ready’, 'be at hand’ in the sense of ‘goods’, ‘wealth’, ‘property’ or ‘possessions’.

Acts 2:45 And sold their possessions and goods (‘huparxis’), and parted them to all men, as every man had need.

4.    Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Here it is a translation of the Greek ‘hupostasis’ (used five times) meaning that which ‘stands under’ as in ‘substructure’, ‘foundation’, ‘confidence’ or ‘reality’.

Hebrews 1:3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person (‘hupostasis’), and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;

Hebrews 3:14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence (‘hupostasis’) stedfast unto the end;

If your enquiry is not about the word substance as used in the New Testament but about its use in the doctrine of the Trinity: "the one God exists in three Persons and one substance”; I have to advise you that the Trinity is a fiction having no basis in the Bible or commonsense and the answer will also be fiction and make no sense.

I hope this helps.

Glenn Smith