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A common Greek word in the Bible that could be translated unbeliever is apistos (unbeliever or infidel)[1]

While it more commonly appears as "that believe not" apistos also appears as unbeliever and even infidel.

Matthew 17:17 Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless <apistos> and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.

Here a son of a man was considered a lunatick[2] who his disciples could not cure[3] him. The word perverse[4] is connected to the idea that that generation had turned away from the ways of God that would somehow bring healing if they went back to the ways of God. Jesus then heals the young man by rebuking[5] a devil[6]

Mark 9:19 He answereth him, and saith, O faithless <apistos> generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me.

This is the same account with a little different detail[7]

Luke 9:41 And Jesus answering said, O faithless <apistos> and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you, and suffer you? Bring thy son hither.

Again this same story and even though people were impressed with his power to heal he warned his apostles that he would be taken by men.[8]

Luke 12:46 The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers <apistos>.

The word appears in Jesus explanation of the parable about the faithful and wise steward who is found doing[9] and the one who knew his will and did not prepare his life according to the will of the master[10] was considered an unbeliever.

It is always true that we will never earn the grace and forgiveness of God where he owes it to us. But if we do His will and live according to His ways then he may choose to bless us with His grace and mercy. If we are disobedient that is evidence we are not believers. The fruit of true faith is obedience to the word.

John 20:27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless <apistos>, but believing.

So we see the word used in John only in the incident with doubting Thomas.

Acts 26:8 Why should it be thought a thing incredible <apistos> with you, that God should raise the dead?
1 Corinthians 6:6 But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers <apistos>.
1 Corinthians 7:12 But to the rest speak I, not the Lord: If any brother hath a wife that believeth not <apistos>, and she be pleased to dwell with him, let him not put her away. 13 And the woman which hath an husband that believeth not <apistos>, and if he be pleased to dwell with her, let her not leave him. 14 For the unbelieving <apistos> husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving <apistos> wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. 15 But if the unbelieving <apistos> depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.
1 Corinthians 10:27 If any of them that believe not <apistos> bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake.
1 Corinthians 14:22 Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not <apistos>: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not <apistos>, but for them which believe. 23 If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers <apistos>, will they not say that ye are mad? 24 But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not <apistos>, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all:
2 Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not <apistos>, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
2 Corinthians 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers <apistos>: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15 And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel <apistos>?
1 Timothy 5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel <apistos>.
Titus 1:15 Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving <apistos> is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.
Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving <apistos>, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

The word apistos also produces the noun apistia[11] translated unbelief 12 times.

Matthew 13:58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief <apistia>.
Matthew 17:20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief <apistia>: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
Mark 6:6 And he marvelled because of their unbelief <apistia>. And he went round about the villages, teaching.
Mark 9:24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief <apistia>.
Mark 16:14 Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief <apistia> and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.
Romans 3:3 For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief <apistia> make the faith of God without effect?
Romans 4:20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief <570>; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;
Romans 11:20 Well; because of unbelief <apistia> they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:
Romans 11:23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief <apistia>, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again.
1 Timothy 1:13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief <apistia>.
Hebrews 3:12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief <apistia>, in departing from the living God.
Hebrews 3:19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief <apistia>.

The Greek word apistos also produces the verb apisteo[12] which appears as believe not 7 times.

Mark 16:11 And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not <apisteo>.
Mark 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not <apisteo> shall be damned.
Luke 24:11 And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed <569> them not <apisteo>.
Luke 24:41 And while they yet believed not <apisteo> for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat?
Acts 28:24 And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not <apisteo>.
Romans 3:3 For what if some did not believe <apisteo>? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?
2 Timothy 2:13 If we believe not <apisteo>, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.


The word apistos is similar or related to the adjective apeithes[13] which is always translated disobedient in the Bible.

Luke 1:17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient <'apeithes> to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.
Acts 26:19 Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient <'apeithes> unto the heavenly vision:
Romans 1:30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient <'apeithes> to parents,
2 Timothy 3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient <'apeithes> to parents, unthankful, unholy,
Titus 1:16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient <'apeithes>, and unto every good work reprobate.
Titus 3:3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient <'apeithes>, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.

The word apeithes is simply the negative form of the verb peitho [14] which means to persuade, trust, and even appears as obey.

Another word that could be associated with apistos (unbeliever or infidel) but from apeithes as a verb is apeitheo[15] often translated believe not but also in the sense of disobedient.

John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not <apeitheo> the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
Acts 14:2 But the unbelieving <apeitheo> Jews stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil affected against the brethren.
Acts 17:5 But the Jews which believed not <apeitheo>, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.
Acts 19:9 But when divers were hardened, and believed not <apeitheo>, but spake evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus.
Romans 2:8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey <apeitheo> the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,
Romans 10:21 But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient <apeitheo> and gainsaying people.
Romans 11:30 For as ye in times past have not believed <apeitheo> God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:
Romans 11:31 Even so have <apeitheo> these also now not believed <apeitheo>, that through your mercy they also may obtain mercy.
Romans 15:31 That I may be delivered from them that do not believe <apeitheo> in Judaea; and that my service which I have for Jerusalem may be accepted of the saints;
Hebrews 3:18 And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not <apeitheo>?
Hebrews 11:31 By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not <apeitheo>, when she had received the spies with peace.
1 Peter 2:7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient <apeitheo>, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,
1 Peter 2:8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient <apeitheo>: whereunto also they were appointed.
1 Peter 3:1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not <apeitheo> the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives;
1 Peter 3:20 Which sometime were disobedient <apeitheo>, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
1 Peter 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not <apeitheo> the gospel of God?

The Greek word apeithesalso produces the word 'apeitheia[16]

Romans 11:30 For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief <apeitheia>:
Romans 11:32 For God hath concluded them all in unbelief <apeitheia>, that he might have mercy upon all.
Ephesians 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience <apeitheia>:
Ephesians 5:6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience <apeitheia>.
Colossians 3:6 For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience <apeitheia>:
Hebrews 4:6 Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief <apeitheia>:
Hebrews 4:11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief <apeitheia>.
  1. 571 ~ἄπιστος~ apistos \@ap’-is-tos\@ from 1 (as a negative particle) and 4103; adj AV-that believe not 6, unbelieving 5, faithless 4, unbeliever 4, infidel 2, thing incredible 1, which believe not 1; 23
    1) unfaithful, faithless, (not to be trusted, perfidious)
    2) incredible
    2a) of things
    3) unbelieving, incredulous
    3a) without trust (in God)
  2. 4583 ~σεληνιάζομαι~ seleniazomai \@sel-ay-nee-ad’-zom-ahee\@ middle voice or passive from a presumed derivative of 4582; ; v AV-be lunatick 2; 2
    1) to be moon-struck or lunatic
    2) to be epileptic
    2a) epilepsy being supposed to return and increase with the increase of the moon. This meaning is doubtful as the Greeks knew nothing of epilepsy.
  3. 2323 ~θεραπεύω~ therapeuo \@ther-ap-yoo’-o\@ from the same as 2324; v AV-heal 38, cure 5, worship 1; 44 1) to serve, do service 2) to heal, cure, restore to health
  4. 1294 ~διαστρέφω~ diastrepho \@dee-as-tref’-o\@ from 1223 and 4762; v AV-perverse 4, pervert 2, turn away 1; 7
    1) to distort, turn aside 1a) to oppose, plot against the saving purposes and plans of God
    2) to turn aside from the right path, to pervert, corrupt
  5. Matthew 17:18 And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour.
  6. which allowed him to be healed. He then tells them they could not do what he did because of their unbelief. [17]