Brian Gould wrote: ↑
November 23rd, 2019, 8:37 pm
It is sometimes said that the presence/absence of the preposition εἰς makes a difference. In v. 30 they “believe in him,” i.e. they believe he truly is who he says he is, but in v. 31 they only “believe him,” in the sense that they believe what he just said, they accept that one particular statement as being true.
Thus runs up against the difficulty, however, that Jesus’ statement (in v. 28) is about himself:
28 εἶπεν οὖν αὐτοῖς ὁ Ἰησοῦς: ὅταν ὑψώσητε τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ ἀνθρώπου, τότε γνώσεσθε ὅτι ἐγώ εἰμι, καὶ ἀπ' ἐμαυτοῦ ποιῶ οὐδέν, ἀλλὰ καθὼς ἐδίδαξέν με ὁ πατὴρ ταῦτα λαλῶ.
Because of this, I don’t really see how there might be a meaningful distinction, in this context, between “believing him” and “believing in him.”
People keep reviving necro-posts, but good to see these things are being read and still stimulating discussion.
Now that was just a general observation. Brian, I'm not sure of the logic behind your citation of v. 28 to support your point, but I agree with your conclusion. Here the parallelism seems to indicate that πιστεύω εἰς and πιστεύω + the dative are essentially equivalent, and I think that runs true consistently throughout the NT.
I've always seen the antecedent as those those who believed, but that John is playing with the idea of belief to demonstrate that the claim to belief must be backed up by action, and the response of the believers shows that their belief was not what it was supposed to be.
Paul, I love your presentation. I'm not even sure how to do that! This shows some of the practical application that aspect and discourse theory can have in our understanding of the text. Not totally convinced, but it gives us something to chew on.
N.E. Barry Hofstetter
Instructor of Latin
Jack M. Barrack Hebrew Academy
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