FWIW, I think by far the dominant view of faith in the Bible is evidence-based faith. Check out the so-called “faith Hall of Fame” in Hebrews 11. The examples there predominantly had evidences on which to build their trust.
Hebrews 11 talks about the faith of Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, the walls of Jericho and the prostitute Rahab. Many names, zero evidence.
Not so. There’s considerable evidence in each case.
See Genesis 4. The text suggests that God continued to manifest himself to men (“But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell. And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?”) As Flavius Josephus makes clear, it was understood among the Hebrews (coincidentally the audience for whom the book of Hebrews was thought to be intended) that Abel was devoted to this God for whom he had evidence. Cain was not.
Enoch is admittedly the weakest example in support of my point. The text says Enoch “walked with God,” but that doesn’t necessarily mean the same sense in which earlier figures dealt directly with God. Again, rabbinic tradition leans toward personal experience as the foundation for Enoch’s devotion and subsequent translation to be with God.
If God comes to you and tells you to build a boat on dry land, you’ve got some evidence that you should do it (“So God said to Noah, ‘I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth’). Detailed instructions about the construction of the boat should also offer at least some evidence that the god is serious.
Abraham had direct interactions with God on a continuing basis, including the past fulfillment of promises.
It is very plausible that Isaac remembered being offered up as a sacrifice for whom God offered a substitute, and moreover we should consider it likely that Abraham communicated his experiences with God to Isaac.
Jacob had numerous experiences of God fulfilling promises expected through the covenant with Abraham. It probably means something that the only act of faith mentioned in Hebrews has to do with the blessing he offered to Joseph’s sons, which followed in type his blessing ahead of that of his older brother (Esau).
Joseph lived the fulfillment of a dream, in the context of preserving the line of Abraham for the later fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant (his understanding of that was underscored by his promise not to allow his father to be buried in Egypt). See Gen. 50:24.
Moses’ parents receive a commendation to their faith, for they “saw that he was no ordinary child” and took steps to protect him. I take the “saw” as indicative of some sort of evidence. If “believed” had been used with no other suggestion of evidence then there would be a decent case for blind faith. As for Moses himself, he discussed things with God as had Noah before him and the text communicates quite a few evidences relevant to his faith.
Then the Lord said to Joshua, “See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have all the people give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the people will go up, every man straight in.”
The exodus had provided the Israelites with abundant evidence of God’s power, and a statement from God to the effect that he will bring down the walls of Jericho must count as evidence on which to act. The event continues a pattern of promise and fulfillment. Trust reasonably builds on the basis of such patterns.
We have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, the two kings of the Amorites east of the Jordan, whom you completely destroyed. When we heard of it, our hearts melted and everyone’s courage failed because of you, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below.
Rahab had evidence that opposing Israel would not work out well.
A joke, right?