Is there any Extra-Biblical source, (in Classical Greek, or Semitic sources), or a syntactical rule, behind the construction: ["πιστεύων ἐν" and "πιστεύων εἰς" + "Some Leader"]* — Or, is this phenomena unique to New Testament texts?
John 3:16, NASB - 16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him [πιστεύων εἰς αὐτὸν] shall not perish, but have eternal life.
The argument, that this construction forms figures-of-speech, (Metonymy, etc), in the form [Verb + ἐν or εἰς + "Some Leader"], seems to be supported by the repetitive use of two specific forms in the New Testament, ("Believe In/Into", and "Baptized Into") :
Romans 6:3, NASB - Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus [ἐβαπτίσθημεν εἰς Χριστὸν Ἰησοῦν] have been baptized into His death [εἰς τὸν θάνατον αὐτοῦ ἐβαπτίσθημεν]?
- πιστεύω is understood to mean "Trust".
- New Testament use is complicated, by a lack of apparent use in Classical Greek.
- The New Testament appears to distinguish the use of the Greek word, "to Trust/Believe", from another, which takes a preposition, coupled with "Into/εἰς".
Other Similar Questions
The Source/Precedent issue is distinct from issues raised in other questions:
- The word 'believe' in John 3:15-16; (which is admittedly very close), but pursues the dichotomy of believing "about Jesus", or "believing what he said."
- What is the difference between πιστεύων ἐν αὐτῷ and πιστεύων εἰς αὐτὸν? appears to be a survey, and juxtaposes "πιστεύων ἐν αὐτῷ" and "πιστεύων εἰς αὐτὸν",