(English) What is the difference between faith and trust


When I was working on my intention for 2015 I came across this question: What is actually the difference between faith and trust. Is it the same? Or not?

Goggling this question gave me 66 300 000 results. Not bad. So depending on which of the links I read I got a different answers and many of them one way or another connected or linked to Christianity and questions about beliefs.

What I have done for myself is to collect the most useful answers for myself and maybe for others who have the same question: What is the difference between faith and trust?

Dena Johnson wrote:  ‚I had never considered the difference between faith and trust, but I am beginning to understand. Faith is a strong belief in someone or something without logical proof. But, trust is a firm reliance on the character or integrity of another.‘

In an email from Dean VanDruff  I found this:

  • ‚Faith is believing the truth. For faith to be faith, we must have a reason to believe.
  • Belief is an element of faith but not the whole.
  • Trust is nearly the inverse of faith … It is believing in spite of the evidence.‘

In a third article I found the following: ‚Trust would actually mean that a person places complete confidence and in another person. The person believes that the person he/she is trusting will not harm them in any way andtrust will always look out for them…Trust is a permanent concept, where a person that is trusted is usually trusted for life, until that person breaks that trust. If either party breaks the trust, it takes a long time to build it back…Faith is more commonly considered as a spiritual concept. It is considered as an allegiance, duty or loyalty to one person or being. It can also refer to believing in something or something, even if no proof exists…Faith has a more positive outlook so that when an individual is placing faith in a person or a being, they are looking for the silver lining or are positive about something. Faith is mostly complete belief, devotion or loyalty. It is usually when a person blindly believes a person or being.‘

I was curious where the word faith originated from. In the Oxford dictionary it is given two definitions

  1. complete trust or confidence in someone or something
  2. strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof

There I also read that faith comes from Old French feid and the Latin fides. Looking up fides brought me to the roman concept of it, which I find really interesting: ‚FIDES“ is often (and wrongly) translated ‚faith’… For the Romans, FIDES was an essential element in the character of a man of public affairs, and a necessary constituent element of all social and political transactions (perhaps = ‚good faith‘). FIDES meant ‚reliablilty‘, a sense of trust between two parties if a relationship between them was to exist. FIDES was always reciprocal and mutual, and implied both privileges and responsibilities on both sides. In both public and private life the violation of FIDES was considered a serious matter, with both legal and religious consequences…‘

When I looked up trust in the Oxford dictionary it was defined as a ‚firm belief in the reliability, truth, or ability of someone or something‘. Truth has its origin in Old Norse, which is the North Germanic language of medieval Norway, Iceland, Denmark, and Sweden up to the 14th century, traust, from traustr ’strong‘.

So could it be, that both words faith and trust mean actually the same, but originated in different languages. In Old French and Latin faith and in Old German trust was born. Faith is a ‚complete trust‘ and trust is a ‚firm belief‘. And belief? Belief is

  1. an acceptance that something exists or is true, especially one without proof
  2. a trust, faith, or confidence in someone or something

At the end of the day all three words faith, trust, belief define themselves with the help of the other two. I am curious, how would you define them? .