Jn.3:15,16 PISTEUW EN

Alex / Ali alexali at surf.net.au
Tue Oct 16 04:05:37 EDT 2001

>> Given John's very marked preference for EIS with PISTEUW, it seems
unlikely that
>> he would have written EN. [Iver]
>Only if you presuppose that EN is to be joined with PISTEUW. If on the
>hand we take  EN AUTWI with the following verb then we have a construction
>which finds lots of support in John and 1John (see Metzger Text. Comm. Jn
>3:15).  [Clay]

I'm grateful to Iver, Clay and others for gnawing away at this matter, and I
feel my own thinking shifting towards a more ready acceptance of the taking
of EN AUTWi with the ECHi ZWHN AIWNION that follows rather than with than
the preceding hO PISTEUWN.  I recently read through John's gospel in order
to do (among other things) a hand count of PISTEUW EIS as opposed to PISTEUW
+ dative, and probably was predisposed to the assumption that the
preposition be working with the verb preceding.  It's not so much Metzger's
point about 'John's manner of placing an adverbial phrase with EN before its
verb when the phrase is emphatic or metaphorical' that is working on me,
because in John's gospel (to leave the epistle out of consideration) he
gives only the two examples (which you quoted), to which might be added the
example mentioned by Carl.  A total of three examples of this construction
in the gospel doesn't seem to me to add great weight;  Clay, do you know if
there are others (again, not in the epistle, but in the gospel)?  Rather, to
my mind what questions the PISTEUW EN construction (whether it be resolved
at a textual level or by taking EN AUTWi with what follows) is the
overwhelming scoreline: PISTEUW EIS 37, PISTEUW EN 1.  (I notice that
Metzger gives the scoreline as 34 to 1, and I thought I was using his text -
maybe I dreamed some up!) At any rate, thanks to all for unsettling my own
thinking enough to look at the verse afresh.

Dr Alex Hopkins
Melbourne, Australia

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