Counting PISTEUW EIS
Alex / Ali
alexali at surf.net.au
Sat Oct 20 18:46:23 EDT 2001
I mentioned a few days ago that I had done a hand count of the number of
times PISTEUW EIS is used in John's gospel, and had arrived at a total of
37; against this, Metzger gives 34 in 'A Textual Commentary on the GNT'. I
am grateful to Clay Bartholomew for giving me a list of references against
which I could check my own, a list generated by GRAMCORD, and this, too,
gives 34 instances, each nicely emboldened for easy viewing. I wasn't
surprised my count was at variance with a computer-generated list - I *did*
expect that I might miss a few examples and have a smaller total than the
actual, but what surprised me was that my figure was higher than the
I give the following details because for those like myself with something of
a passion for details, this is one time such a passion may be harmlessly
indulged; and also because the detail might be a worthwhile reminder that
old-fashioned hand counts still have something to offer.
Clay's GRAMCORD list produced the following references:
John 1:12 John 2:11 John 2:23 John 3:16 John 3:18 John 3:36 John 4:39 John
6:29 John 6:35 John 6:40 John 7:5 John 7:31 John 7:38 John 7:39 John 7:48
John 8:30 John 9:35 John 9:36 John 10:42 John 11:25 John 11:26 John 11:45
John 11:48 John 12:11 John 12:36 John 12:37 John 12:42 John 12:44 John 12:46
John 14:1 John 14:12 John 16:9
This adds up to 32 verses containing 34 instances of the use of PISTEUW EIS.
(The print-out makes obvious that two instances are counted both at 3:18 and
at 12:44.) The variance with my own figures arises as follows.
At John 12:44 the text reads, IHSOUS DE EKRAXEN KAI EIPEN, hO PISTEUWN EIS
EME OU PISTEUEI EIS EME ALLA EIS TON PEMPSANTA ME
I counted this as *three* instances rather than two, because although the
PISTEUEI is understood with EIS TON PEMPSANTA ME, it is the use of the
preposition EIS with the verb which is significant.
At 14:1, MH TARASSESQW hUMWN hH KARDIA. PISTEUETE EIS TON QEON KAI EIS EME
Here the variance is that in the second instance, the EIS EME is fronted.
Others might comment on the significance of the fronting, but the instance
ought to be included as an example of the PISTEUW EIS combination.
Finally, at John 17:20 we read, OU PERI TOUTWN DE ERWTW MONON, ALLA KAI
PERI TWN PISTEUONTWN DIA TOU LOGOU AUTWN EIS EME
The computer-generated list didn't include this reference at all, presumably
because of the intervention of the words DIA TOU LOGOU AUTWN between TWN
PISTEUONTWN and EIS EME.
To sum up.
The construction of PISTEUW with EIS in John's gospel is used 37 times (as
opposed to PISTEUW with EN at most once, if, at John 3:15, EN AUTWi be
taken with hO PISTEUWN rather than ECHi ZWHN AIWNION), not 34 times.
Computer-generated lists can be a wonderful aid in the analysis of NTGreek,
but there are traps. Having the computer's search function look for PISTEUW
and EIS within the same sentence would have captured all the relevant
verses, along with others which would need to be weeded out, and is probably
the most efficient method in terms of time. Yet the old-fashioned hand
count still has its benefits, too. It is possible for us to chase up more
than one thing at a time (unlike the computers, perhaps), and it is more
to familiarise us with any complexities involved (which the computer can't
anticipate); and for one like myself who regards the NT as God-given, it is
valuable in giving greater facility in reading and understanding God's word.
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