It will be clearest to begin with a basic semantic map of faith in the Bible, but it is necessary to issue a warning immediately against the etymological fallacy. James Barr pointed out in 1961 that lexical analysis is often distorted by the assumption that words possess a fixed kernel or essence of meaning that persists over time. In fact, words are sign-functions, in Umberto Eco’s (1976) words, specifically, rule-governed correlations between a signifier, or marker, and a signified, or notion/meaning. These correlations can shift in relation to contextual activators over time and sometimes do so dramatically. This is very much the case for faith in the Bible.
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