Acts 24:15 and Paul’s Lack of Confidence

Does the use of the word “hope” in Acts 24:16 tell us Paul held some uncertainty in the future resurrection? Let’s take a look.

Acts 24:15 says this,

“And have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.”

The objection is, does Paul’s use of the word “hope” entail a lack of confidence or uncertainty in the future resurrection of the dead? Not at all. In actuality, Paul means quite the opposite.

The word for “hope” in the NT doesn’t have the same connotations as the modern definition. The word used in this verse is elpis, which holds the definition of expectation or confidence. It stands side by side with the Biblical definition of faith, that of trust and loyalty to one who has proven to be trustworthy. Hope is the confidence that our faith is well placed.

Thus the verse above states the complete opposite of the skeptic’s objection. Paul is expressing security in his belief, not uncertainty.