What you really need to do is to study the entries as cataloged in a good
lexicon under PISTEUW; you'll find quite a variety, ranging from PISTEUW +
dative for "believe, trust (a person)" to PISTEUW + accusative of the thing
credited (e.g. PISTEUW TA hRHMATA MOU) or a substantive clause (e.g.,
PISTEUW hOTI SWSEI hHMAS hO KURIOS). In the NT Koine one quite frequently
finds EIS + a personal pronoun--perhaps a Semitism--as equivalent to the
older and more standard Greek dative of the person trusted or believed.
The verse you've cited follows the older Greek tradition: PISTEUW is an
intransitive verb completed by a dative of the personal pronoun: ARA
PISTEUEIS MOI? = "Do you believe me?" or "Do you trust me?"
But PISTEUW is a flexible verb (I might even call it "volatile") and we
have also had many a discussion of the varied uses of the cognate noun,
PISTIS as used with an objective genitive which may stand for either the
dative or the accusative complement of the verb PISTEUW--or even for a
As I said at the outset, this is a matter that really requires some study
of a lexicon rather than a quick answer, all the more so in that the verb
is loaded with theological baggage, no matter what one's religious
persuasion may be.
Carl W. Conrad
Department of Classics, Washington University
One Brookings Drive, St. Louis, MO, USA 63130
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